How to Buy a Fairway Wood

As golf enthusiasts just like you, we know how hard it is to decide on a fairway wood. It’s even more complicated than buying a car at times. You have to consider a lot of different factors that all contribute to your performance on the tee.

That’s why, in this post, we are going to cover everything there is about the fairway wood. Consider it a fairway wood buying guide before you go out and make a purchase.

What is a Fairway Wood?

Primarily, one could derive that these golf clubs are made of wood based on its name. And it was true maybe a few decades ago. But modern fairway woods have different compositions and types, and are no longer made of wood.

A fairway wood generally has a wide clubface with a smaller head and shorter shaft.  It may very well complement your drivers, but it cannot replace them.

However, fairway woods are a great replacement for long irons. If you’re having trouble taming your blade iron or cavity back iron, you should give the fairway woods a try. They are easier to hit and they are easier to control.

You have the liberty to use fairway woods for your first stroke on long par-3s and short par-4s. Or, you may even want to use them for your second stroke.

It’s ultimately up to you. But to make the decision, you need to understand the ins and outs of what a fairway wood has in store for you.

The Characteristics of a Fairway Wood

The first difference you can notice when you see a fairway wood is in the clubhead. Traditional drivers offer a 440cc area in general. When compared, the fairway clubhead only measures around 180cc.

Another difference would be in the clubface. You will notice that a fairway wood clubface is much shallower than a driver. It helps the club to keep the center of gravity as low as possible, giving the ball as much flight as possible.

Lastly, the sole design. The sole of your golf club will interact with the terrain no matter how hard you try. Fairway woods come with a more aggressive angle that allows you to hit even from the roughest terrains.

When Should You Use a Fairway Wood?

The answer to this question solely depends on what you are trying to achieve from your game. If you have confidence in your skills, you can get away with using the wood even in the greens. Or, if you have problems with your wedges, a good quality fairway wood can definitely help you with that.

Most players use these golf clubs from the tee, to send the ball as far as they can. As the fairway woods come with a higher loft, you can expect a soft landing. So, as long as you measure your shot right, you’ll be very close to the hole. Fairway bunkers are also a good place to start with these clubs.

What Materials are Fairway Woods Made of?

The name might suggest to you that these golf clubs are made of wood. But you’d be surprised to see what else is used to make the modern fairways. There was a time when only wood was used, hence the name. But now, it has all changed.

Steel

Believe it or not, some of the best fairway woods are made from steel. One of the main reasons for this is that the clubhead doesn’t have to be as big as the drivers. And steel offers exceptional strength and forgiveness that many golfers need.

Also, the metal is quite inexpensive which allows the manufacturers to offer good quality golf clubs at a very affordable price.

Composite

Stepping a notch up from the steel fairway woods, composite golfs clubs are also very popular. In general, the manufacturer inserts carbon in the clubhead and the crown to shave some unnecessary weight.

It can help you with your swings and a controlled follow-through. It costs a little more than steel ones but offers greater forgiveness.

Titanium

These are the pinnacles of modern fairway woods. The metal itself is very lightweight that makes it a perfect choice for large clubheads. The lighter weight allows the manufacturer to get the center of gravity even lower to offer superior control of the shots.

However, as you can already imagine, the price of these fairway woods is quite hefty. It’s only understandable because titanium is an expensive metal. In our opinion, the price is worth it as long as you have the skills to compensate for it.

The Shaft of Fairway Woods

Shafts are one of the primary things that distinguish fairway woods from other golf clubs. The shafts are shorter than long irons or hybrids. But that’s true for some hybrid clubs as well. So, what makes the fairway woods so special?

Well, they offer more control. With the cleverly designed clubheads and clubfaces, the shorter shafts offer more control over your approach shots. A golf club that is good for both short and long distances? That’s something you don’t come across every day!

The majority of the fairway woods come with graphite shafts. Graphite is a very hard material but it also offers higher precision and face twists. If you’re a fan of giving the ball a little spin, you can do it with the fairway woods.

Can You Use the Standard Variant or the Low-Spin Variant?

A very good question indeed. Most manufacturers offer fairway woods in two different variants. One is regular that comes with standard specs. And the other one is a low-spin variant that helps the flight path straight.

So, which one should you go for? If you have experience with marketing reps, they will let you take both variants for a spin. And with the low-spin version, you’ll clearly notice that your ball is going at higher speeds and covering more distance.

So, you should get it, right?

Well, stop right there. The launch monitor might show you that your ball is going faster than before, but it doesn’t show you how it performs with mishits. No matter how good of a player you are, you are bound to miss a few shots here and there.

And low-spin models are not forgiving to them at all. If you miss, the ball will go flying away who knows where.

We recommend that you stick with the standard variant. You may have to compromise a little distance, but you will cover it with your more accurate approach shots.

Are Fairway Woods Good for Launching from Turf?

The short answer is, no. If you notice the tee height when other players are launching, you may notice that the ones who use fairway woods set the tee higher. And when it comes to launching from turf, fairway woods are not a very good choice.

It’s not entirely the clubs’ fault, actually. The golf balls that are in circulation today share the blame. Modern balls come with less spin from the factory. So, it has become harder to swing with fairway wood and get the ball where you want.

Does Fitment Affect my Fade or Slice?

It does. Over the last few years, dialing the right shape for the right shot has become very important. And you would definitely want an adjustable fairway wood to aid you with those shots.

For example, a wood club with an upright lie angle is very good for closing the face a fraction. The higher you go, the more draw bias you get. Fairway woods give you amazing adjustability in terms of loft and upright lie. You can tune it your way for different purposes.

How Many Fairway Woods do I Need?

You cannot expect to get an exact answer to your question. Some players may get away with one while others might want to keep a set of fairway woods in their bag. If you feel comfortable with your fairway woods shots, you can use multiple.

Another thing to consider is the gap between your hybrids and your shortest fairway wood club. You can fill the gap with corresponding fairway woods.

You can do the same with hybrids or golf irons. The choice ultimately comes down to whether you are comfortable with the clubs and how you want to play your game.

Wrapping Up

The world of golf is more complicated than what meets the naked eye. Every single detail about the golf clubs, the balls, the turfs matter when you’re playing with a competitive mindset. Your task is to use our post as your buying guide to fine-tune your needs.

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