It is crazy the performance improvements we are seeing in fairway woods over the last couple of years. Manufacturers are really upping their game not only with new materials, but new designs that are giving golfers more choices in lofts and head size. Whether you use your fairway woods mostly off the tee or love the Heaven Wood (7 wood) or Divine Nine (9 wood), we will help you pick some of the best heads and shafts.
Getting the RIGHT Shaft
As usual, from our perspective, the proper shaft in your fairway woods makes ALL the difference in consistency, accuracy and distance! If you are struggling with your fairway woods, take a look at our fitting tips in this blog!
The short answer in fitting fairway wood shafts is to choose a shaft that has a little more weight than your driver, and has a slightly softer tip section to get the ball in the air.
How We Categorized The Best
We picked four categories for the Best Fairways for 2020 based upon distance golfers hit their 3 wood. This is not the best way to categorize them as some players that do not hit their 3 wood very far still prefer a smaller head, and visa versa. In general, in our fittings, these categories work very well in determining head design and shaft selection.
Stronger Players – 3 Wood Over 250 Yards
A couple of caveats here. If you are a low handicapper, you will probably like smaller heads like the MAVRIK SubZero, PING G410 LST and Titleist TS3. However, long hitters still need forgiveness so don’t dismiss the standard sizes. Also, long hitters that we fit tend to use more 4 woods (16 to 17 degrees) and then choose a hybrid rather than a second fairway wood.
Top performers are Callaway MAVRIK and MAVRIK SubZero, Cobra Speedzone Tour and Big Tour, PING G410 LST, PXG 0341X Gen2, TaylorMade SIM and Titleist TS3. These are all low(er) launch and lower spin models that create optimum distance but may be a bit less forgiving. And, the Tour Edge CBx 119 is a great performer as well!
You should be using a 70+ or 80+ gram shaft if you are hitting these distances. Not all shaft companies are making 80+ gram shafts these days but there are some good ones out there from ACCRA, Fujikura, Graphite Design and Project X.
In 80+ gram shafts the best options are the ACCRA TZ5 85, Fujikura VENTUS Black 8, TPT 14 LO, Mitsubishi TENSEI CK Pro White 80 and OBAN Devotion 8. There are also 70+ gram versions in each of the above shafts. If your tempo is fast an 80+ gram shaft will suit you better.
Our best performing 80+ gram mid-launch shafts are the ACCRA TZ6 85, Fujikura ATMOS TS Blue 8, Graphite Design Tour AD XC 8, Project X EvenFlow RipTide 8, and OBAN Revenge 8. Again, there are 70+ gram versions in each of these great shafts. You could also try the TPT 14 HI.
Strong Players – 3 Wood 210 – 250 yards
There are a TON of great options from both heads and shafts in this category. Most players in this category are looking for more distance AND forgiveness, i.e. consistency and accuracy.
Callaway MAVRIK, PING G410, Mizuno ST-200, TaylorMade SIM Max and Tour Edge EXS 220 are solid in terms of distance and forgiveness. And don’t count out the Titleist TS2 or Cobra Speedzone.
You should still be playing at least a 70+ gram shaft in this distance range. Heavier if you have a very fast tempo and transition. More than likely looking for more of a mid-launch, mid-spin shaft depending upon your game.
Mid to Low-Mid Launch
Great results from OBAN Kiyoshi Black 75, TPT 15 LO, Graphite Design Tour AD XC 7, Fujikura VENTUS Blue, Project X Even Flow RipTide 70 and KBS TD 70. At a lower price point try the Graphite Design MAD PRO 75 or the Fujikura Pro 2.0 7.
A lot of excellent results from OBAN Isawa Red 75, TPT 15 HI, Mitsubishi TENSEI CK Pro Blue 7, Fujikura ATMOS Blue, Project X HZRDUS Smoke Yellow and ACCRA TZ6 75 are our favorites. At a lower price point you should look at the Graphite Design YS-7 Reloaded and ACCRA FX 2.0 200F.
Average Players – 3 Wood 170 – 210 Yards
For average distances, we are also looking for a bit more forgiveness from both head and shaft. Also looking for more options in terms of fairway wood lofts. I would much rather see golfers in this category use a 5 wood instead of a 3 hybrid! Shaft weight may get a little lighter here..back into the 60+ gram range for the shorter hitters.
Callaway MAVRIK and MAVRIK Max, PING G410 SFT, Mizuno ST-200, TaylorMade SIM Max and Tour Edge EXS 220 are solid in terms of distance and forgiveness. And don’t count out the Titleist TS2 or Cobra Speedzone.
You should still be playing a 60+ to 70+ gram shaft depending upon the shaft weight of your driver. Usually go 10 grams heavier but sometimes stay with the same weight as your driver for a little more distance. More than likely looking for more of a mid-launch, mid-spin shaft depending upon your game, however some players may like a mid-high trajectory with a little more spin for more carry.
A lot of excellent results from OBAN Isawa Red 65 or 75, TPT 17 LO, Mitsubishi TENSEI CK Pro Blue 6 or 7, Fujikura Ventus Blue, Project X EvenFLow RipTide 60 or 70, and ACCRA TZ6 75 are our favorites. At a lower price point you should again look at the Graphite Design YS-7 Reloaded and ACCRA FX 2.0 200F.
For a little more carry try the Project X EvenFlow RipTide CB (blue shaft), ACCRA FX 2.0 100F, TPT 17 HI, Mitsubishi Fubuki v60 or v70, Graphite Design Tour AD XC 6 or 7 and Fujikura Ventus Red.
Three Wood Distance Under 170 Yards
Here is the distance where you should be looking for softer flex, higher launching shafts to maximize carry. And, if you like hitting fairway woods instead of hybrids this is where you can go for those 7 and 9 woods. Callaway even makes a MAVRIK Max 11 wood!
Callaway MAVRIK Max, PING G Le 2, Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo, Cobra F-Max Airspeed and XXIO X (2020) have a lot of great options for higher launch and more forgiveness.
Shaft weights will be in the 50+ to 60+ gram range. Depends upon the shaft weight of your driver. Usually go 10 grams heavier but sometimes stay with the same weight as your driver for a little more distance. More than likely looking for more of a mid-high launch, mid-high spin shaft, however if you struggle to get the ball in the air you should play a high trajectory with a little more spin for more carry.
For a little more carry try the KBS TD 50 or 60, Project X EvenFlow RipTide CB (blue shaft) 40 and 50, ACCRA FX 2.0 100F, TPT 18 LO, Mitsubishi Diamana RF 50 or 60, Graphite Design Tour AD MJ 5 0r 6 and Fujikura ATMOS Red 5 or 6. Excellent price points for the Veylix Alpina 573 and 673 and the Mitsubishi C6 Red 5 and 6.
For even higher launch check out the TPT 18 HI, Mitsubishi Fubuki v50 and v60, ACCRA iFwy, Fujikura Vista Pro 55, 60, and 65, and the UST Mamiya Helium.