Golfers’ relationships with their fairway woods tend to be fickle ones, and in the hopes of getting players of all skill levels in a positive mindset when they pull off the headcover to hit a fairway woods, OEMs have made enormous strides this year.
With a theme of playability, higher launch and thinner faces, fairway woods are taking off and going farther than ever.
Take a look at the fairway woods that made our 2019 Honor Roll.
(Note: clubs are presented in alphabetical order)
Bridgestone Tour B JGR
Report Card: The Tour B JGR design borrows heavily from the patriarch of the JGR line, the Tour B JGR Driver. Featuring a power slit for increased ball speed as well as a micro milling face pattern, the Tour B JGR fairway combines both speed and forgiveness.
Callaway Epic Flash / Epic Flash Sub Zero
Report Card: After outfitting last year’s version with jailbreak technology, Callaway included its new A.I.-designed face to its fairway offerings. A thicker perimeter creates more flexing in the middle of the face, which results in faster ball speed.
Cleveland Launcher HB
Report Card: Staying in line with the Launcher HB driver, the fairway wood includes much of the technology that keeps Cleveland among the longest and straightest clubs on the market. Additional benefits come from the fairway’s crown, which offers a slim look and whose dual tone aids alignment.
Cobra F9 Speedback
Report Card: The first fairway wood in golf to feature a CNC milled face and 475 stainless steel insert provides the Cobra F9 Speedback with the thinnest, fastest face in the category. Its rails also aid in getting the ball launching higher and faster.
Knuth Golf High Heat
Report Card: The High Heat 257+ is the only brand that has a higher trampoline effect outside of the center of the face, which is legal under USGA Rules. The result? You now have a sweet spot across the entire clubface for more distance, more greens in regulation and lower scores – all without any change to your swing.
Mizuno ST190 / ST190 TS
Report Card: Employing a strong steel-alloy face that allows for a faster launch has also given way to a composite crown, which benefits the player in affording them a higher launch from sticky conditions. The TS version offers less spin for those looking to maximize distance.
Report Card: The PING G410 fairway series is designed to deliver fast ball speeds with a more penetrating ball flight than other higher-launching competitors. Also offers a variety of adjustability with an eight-part position sleeve.
PXG 0341 GEN2
Report Card: PXG’s fairway woods are manufactured for speed. While competitors disperse weight in favor of forgiveness, the 0341 GEN2 has its center of gravity close to the face for increased speed and less spin.
Srixon Z F85
Report Card: A players club, the Srixon Z F85 offers speed and a penetrating flight off the face with a 10-percent thinner front of the crown that increases launch conditions and reduces spin.
Report Card: Similar to its driver counterpart, the M5 fairway wood separates itself from the M6 thanks to its adjustable weight on the sole that allows players to dial in their desired ball flight. Of course, bad mishits are mitigated by the Twist Face technology.
Report Card: The speedier version of the two TaylorMade fairway wood offerings, the M6 took six grams from the crown and placed it along the perimeter of the club for a higher launch. Also comes in a draw-biased design.
Titleist TS2 / TS3
Report Card: The result of a two-year mission to get greater speed in every aspect of the fairway wood, Titleist’s TS2 and TS3 designs offer thinner, faster faces and the ability to adjust weights for ball flight or sweet spot control.
Tour Edge Exotics EXS
Report Card: Designed for the player who wants total control of their fairway woods, the Tour Edge Exotics EXS offers 11-gram and 3-gram interchangeable weights. The aerodynamics are improved by wider speed channels on the sole that create a faster clubhead speed due to smoother turf interaction.
Report Card: A true go-to club for tough drives and long shots from the fairway and rough, the Vixa V12 delivers explosive distance, superior height and uncanny accuracy for recreational golfers. The distance comes from a super-heated, ultra-thin “inox” steel clubface that produces exceptional ball speed. Vixa’s low-profile face, extra-low center of gravity, and 14.5° loft create high-launch impact conditions, even when the lies are less than ideal.
Wilson Staff D7
Report Card: Featuring a much lighter design than previous iterations, the WIlson Staff D7 fairway woods create increased clubhead speed coupled with a premium steel insert for incredible feel and distance performance.
Report Card: Uses three technologies to enhance the size of the sweet spot for improved contact and performance. Combines advancements in material manufacturing, lighter weights and a special shaft to increase consistency.