The best Fairway Woods for 2023 are becoming harder and harder to identify. Performance improvements are impressive from almost every manufacturer. Each produces more distance, optimized spin and more accuracy. Plus, new materials and new designs are giving golfers more choices in lofts and head size.
Whether you use your fairway woods mostly off the tee or from any lie, here’s our recommendations for best fairway woods for 2023.
Get the right shaft for fairway woods
The proper shaft in fairway woods makes ALL the difference in achieving optimal distance, consistency and accuracy. Especially with the advancements in technology, your old shaft may not be optimal for new heads. When fitting fairway woods, the key is to choose a shaft that has a little more weight that the driver shaft. And, the tip section should be slightly softer to help get the ball in the air. More more information, read: What Happens When Golf Shafts are Not Right for YOUR Swing.
Methodology for selecting the best fairway woods for 2023
We categorize fairway woods based on the distance that a golfer hits their 3-wood. However, preference on head size is unique to the golfer. Even if a golfer doesn’t hit the 3-wood very far, they may hit the smaller head better – look, sound and feel are important. But across our 25,000+ fittings, this categorization works well in selecting head design.
Stronger players – 3-wood total distance over 250 yards
|If you are a low handicap player with faster club head speed, we recommend the smaller head designs in the Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond, Ping G430 LST and TaylorMade Stealth 2 TI. These smaller heads are visually preferred and have better playability out of multiple lies. But don’t dismiss the standard sizes. These players often elect to play a 4- or 5-wood instead of a 3-wood. And then add a 3- or 4-hybrid instead of a second fairway wood.|
Strong players – 3-wood total distance of 210 – 250 yards
|Mid-handicap players or players with slower swing speeds looking to squeeze out more distance and height have so many options to choose from. Each manufacturer’s new tech produces lower CG (center of gravity) and more forgiveness. Even more aggressive 3-, 4-, 5- and 7-woods are more forgiving. All are top performers in our fittings but the Callaway Paradym, Ping G430, Srixon Mk II and TaylorMade Stealth 2 are the people’s choice.|
Average players – 3-wood total distance of 170 – 210 yards
|For average players, slower swing speeds demand lower CG to get the ball up in the air. Here it is more critical than ever to pair with the right shaft flex, especially in the tip section. Increased forgiveness is available in most models, especially in standard sizes. And for these players looking for an oversized head for use off the tee – consider the Titleist TSR 2+ in addition to the Ping G430 Max.|
Other players with 3-wood total distance under 170 yards
|More distance (carry and total) is critical, and these players should look to pair these heads with softer flex, higher-launching shafts. Especially if you prefer hitting 5-, 7- and 9-woods instead of hybrids, pay close attention to getting the right shaft. Callaway Paradym and Paradym X have HL versions and Paradym even comes in an 11-wood.|