Choosing a fairway wood in 2023 is no easy task. There are several excellent options, and honestly, the technology from last year is still readily available and incredibly useful. This is a great time to be in the market for a fairway wood.
When we put together our list of best fairway woods, we took into account that what is best for one player is not best for another.
We broke down the clubs into different categories based on the most common characteristics that golfers are looking for when purchasing a fairway wood.
This best fairway woods list has an option that will work for every player.
Our Best Fairway Woods 2023
- Cobra Speedzone (Best Fairway Wood 2023)
- TaylorMade SIM MAX( Best Fairway Wood for Distance)
- Callaway Mavrik (Best Fairway Wood for Forgiveness)
- TaylorMade M6 D Type (Best Fairway Wood for Slice)
- Callaway Epic Flash (Best Fairway Wood for Women)
- Cobra F Max Airspeed (Best Fairway Wood for Seniors)
- Srixon Z F85 (Best Fairway Wood for Mid Handicappers)
- Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (Best Fairway Wood for Low Handicappers)
- TaylorMade M2 (Best Value Fairway Wood)
Best Fairway Woods of 2023: Cobra Speedzone
Our winner for the overall best fairway woods is a group of three winners. These Cobra Speedzone woods are the upgrade from the F9 fairway woods of last year. When the F9 was released, players of all handicap levels started paying much closer attention to Cobra. It’s about time.
What golfers realized with the Cobra King F9 Speedback series is that this club had enough adjustability to appeal to a wide range of players.
When developing the new Cobra King Speedzone woods, they took what they learned and split their fairway woods series into three separate models, one for every player type.
Even though there are three different models of this fairway wood, each was built with the same four principals in mind.
Cobra focused on four key components, the flex zone, stability zone, power zone, and light zone.
- Light Zone- Carbon crown for reduced weight
- Flex Zone- Hollow Split Rails-higher launch and ball speed
- Power Zone- CNC Milled Face
- Stability Zone-Baffler Rails for better turf interaction
These four things have helped increase ball spin, produce incredibly low spin, high launch, and incredible forgiveness. This is one of the longest fairway woods that Cobra has ever produced.
For the 5 to 25 handicap, the standard Speedzone model is going to be your perfect choice. With a slightly larger than traditional sized clubhead and some adjustability on the loft, this is perfect for the player who needs to focus on both distance and forgiveness.
The Speedzone Tour Model is built for better players, specifically golfers with less than a ten handicap. The Tour Model has a much smaller club head size. The focus on this club is more for feel, control, and workability. This is a lower launching model with low spin launch conditions.
The Speedzone Big Tour is an oversized club focusing almost primarily on distance. This club can be for any player type seeking distance and comfortable with a very large size clubhead.
The Speedzone fairway woods retail for very fair value, a little cheaper than several other of their competitors. In addition to all of the benefits that we already mentioned about this set of fairway woods, there is more. Each fairway comes equipped with the Cobra Connect technology.
Cobra connect will transmit information from the grip of your club to an app on your phone, letting you know your stats. The adjustability on this club is a tremendous benefit, but it can be hard to know what to adjust to.
Play a round of golf with the fairway wood set at 16 degrees and get more distance than you do with it set at 15 degrees, keep it at 16! Without Cobra connect, information like this would be difficult to determine without monitoring and calculating your ball flight and distance.
Regardless of your handicap and the features you are seeking in your new fairway woods, Cobra has you covered this year.
TaylorMade Sim MAX
Best Fairway Woods for Distance
It’s no secret that TaylorMade makes some long golf clubs. They have also done a tremendous job marketing their equipment to make sure the golfing public believes they have the longest golf clubs on the market.
The good news is that their claims about being crazy long are not just claims. These clubs fly for a long time!
The SIM fairway comes in three different models. The players model is the SIM, SIM MAX is built for the mid handicappers, and then there is a draw bias model called the SIM MAX D built for the slicers and high handicappers.
What makes this SIM MAX a better fairway than the M6 from last year? Just a few things. The M6 fairway was one of the longest fairway woods that TaylorMade ever introduced. They kept the distance but added some features on the bottom of this SIM to allow for better turf interaction.
The brand new and redesigned V Steel sole is designed to reduce friction at impact and help to increase launch. The positioning of the V Steel sole also gave club designers some room to put the center of gravity lower in this club. Any time the center of gravity goes, lower forgiveness goes up.
The SIM MAX fairway is available in a Rocket 3 (14 degree), 3 wood, 5 wood, 7 wood, and nine wood. So if you end up liking this golf club, you can fill your bag with them.
The SIM players model is only available in the Rocket 3, 3, and 5, but it does come with adjustable loft. The Titanium face on this club with the additional loft sleeve will cost you a little more than the SIM MAX or SIM MAX D models.
All three SIM Fairway woods come with the twist face technology to help players with the most common mis-hits.
Shaft options are plentiful on these fairway woods as it is a brand new release. The stock shaft offered in the SIM model is the Mitsubishi Diamana 75. In the SIM MAX, the fairway will come stock with a Fujikura Ventus Blue. The Ventus is a new option for TaylorMade this year, and it has been very well received.
Priced between at a standard opening release price, this fairway wood will make a significant impact in your game if any of your current fairway woods are four or more years old.
Read our TaylorMade SIM MAX Fairway Woods review.
Best Fairway Woods for Forgiveness
Last year the Callaway epic flash made some significant impacts in the fairway wood market. This club was longer than most people had ever seen. With amazing ball flight and ball speeds, this club is still selling well today, even with the hefty price tag.
New for this year is the Callaway Mavrik available in three different models to fit the needs of all players. The Mavrik, the Mavrik Max, and the Mavrik Sub Zero.
Similar to the Flash Sub Zero model, this Mavrik Sub Zero is built for the better player. Unlike the TaylorMade SIM players model that is more expensive than the standard, the Mavrik Sub Zero is the same price as the other Mavrik models.
The Sub Zero model comes with adjustable weights and a few different premium shaft offerings, including the project x even flow rip tide. The clubhead on the Sub Zero model is somewhat smaller and focuses more on control and feel than it does on pure distance.
What makes Callaway Mavrik woods better than previous M series woods? It’s a combination of technology. Earlier models had the face cup, jailbreak technology, or flash face technology. The Mavrik has all three combined.
Flash face technology is all about ball speed. This club gives incredible ball speeds and distance even on off-center hits. That is why we chose this club as the best option for golfers seeking forgiveness in their fairway.
All three Callaway Mavrik fairway woods have the same price tag. This seems to be the sweet spot for the cost of newly released fairway metals.
Read our Callaway Mavrik Fairway Woods review.
If the above options are not the right fit for you, we have put together a few other options in different categories for you to review.
Best Fairway Woods for a Slice
If you find yourself hitting the ball with a constant fade (or dare we say slice), then look no further than this M6 D Type Fairway.
M6 was the new release from TaylorMade in 2019, and it continues to perform well today. With prices having dropped a bit from last year, this is a great time to pick up one of the longest fairway woods out there.
The draw bias face makes this a perfect option for those looking to fix a slice. The M6 is an excellent option from the tee box for those players who haven’t quite figured out the Driver.
- Great feel and control
- Perfect for mid to high handicap
- Price has dropped since the release
- Speed pocket technology for extra fast ball speed
- Twist face technology
- Low center of gravity
The men’s Callaway epic series of woods came in a few different models, but when it comes to the women’s model, Callaway released just one version.
This version of the Epic Flash fairway is excellent. This club features incredibly fast ball speed and perfect launch conditions for a women’s fairway wood.
A 40gram Project X shaft will help even the slower swinging players get some extra ball speed.
- Incredible distance
- Callaway Epic Flash Face – just like the Driver
- For golfers of all handicap levels
- Price has dropped after the release of Mavrik
- Optifit hosel for adjustability in lofts
- Jailbreak technology for increased distance off the face
The most essential factors in a good fairway wood for seniors are distance and forgiveness. As a seniors club head speed starts to decrease, the distance will go away, and so will accuracy.
It’s an unfortunate reality for all golfers, but as we like to say, it sure beats the alternative!
This Cobra F Max Airspeed is all about getting golfers their swing speed back. The offset version is slightly draw bias, and overall, this club is extremely lightweight.
- Lightweight shaft
- Carbon crown
- Back heel weighting
- Low center of gravity
- Available in offset design to help with slice
- Priced fair
- Available in 16, 20 and 23-degree model
The Srixon Z F85 is one of the best fairway woods for the mid handicap player. This fairway wood provides a perfect combination of distance, forgiveness, and feel.
For years Srixon has been creating amazing clubs, and golfers are finally starting to catch on that they put out excellent fairway wood options. The Srixon Z f85 has a very classic design to it, although the clubhead itself is a bit oversized.
This Srixon fairway wood is available in the 3 wood, 5 wood, and a 3+ version for those looking for an alternative to a Driver off the tee.
- Priced very fair
- Lightweight carbon construction
- Crownstep for increased forgiveness
- Low center of gravity
- Comparable to Mavrik and Sim fairway wood
- Cup face technology for better ball speed
Best Fairway Woods for Low Handicappers
Even though we mentioned the Mavrik Sub Zero when we talked about the best forgiving fairway woods available in 2023, it will again make an appearance in the best for a low handicapper.
For several years Callaway has been using their sub-zero technology to help the lower handicap golfers achieve both distance and feel. In years past lower handicap golfers would have to choose between fairway metals that felt good or flew a long way. The good news is that now they can have both.
The combinations of technology in this Mavrik Sub Zero make it one of the hottest club faces in the game. Hotter than the Epic Flash Sub Zero, which is hard for some to imagine.
- Priced at same price as Mavirk and Mavrik Max
- Premium Aldila and Project X Shaft offering
- Jailbreak Technology
- 13.5 degree model perfect for those who struggle with Driver
- Adjustable weight options to dial in face angle and launch
- Low spin face
Best Fairway Woods For Bargain Hunter
Yes, we know this is a 2017 release, but there is nothing wrong with this club for a person looking for a great deal on a fairway. This TaylorMade M2 is available in a few different lofts, and it comes standard with the Reax Shaft.
The M2 was built for forgiveness. This is not a players model as it will best suit the mid handicap golfer. The M2 series was the first introduction of the TaylorMade Speed pocket technology.
We love this option for a player that has not upgraded since their old Burner fairway woods and is looking to take their fairway game to the next level.
Guide to Choosing a Fairway Wood
When choosing the best fairway wood for your game, several factors need to be considered. We will break down everything you need to know before making that final purchase.
Shaft and Flex Determination
The best way to tell what shaft you will need in your new fairway is to go and try some clubs out. Even if you don’t get the chance to use fitting equipment like the Trackman that will give you your ball speed and distance etc., it is great to at least get a feel for what you may need.
Generally speaking, if you are hitting a 7 iron greater than 155 yards, you should be fine with a stiff flex shaft. Anything below 135 or so, and that is where the senior shaft comes into play. The shaft that you choose should be the one that helps you hit the ball straight more often than the others.
Some players will hold onto the fact that the first swing they took with the stiff shafted fairway wood was perfect. The problem is as you go through your round and get tired you need a club that continues to perform.
Custom shafts can be a great thing for the better players that can feel the difference from one shaft to the next.
If you are a 25 handicap and a club-fitter tries to sell you a golf club with a premium upgraded golf shaft in it, you are likely not going to feel the difference or see the effects on the golf ball. The stock model shaft, in the correct flex should give you the distance and low spin that you need.
There are two things to consider when choosing your lofts on your fairway woods. It’s essential to check the spacing between each wood, the spacing between your hybrids and your woods, and to make sure you don’t purchase something that has an extremely low loft and is too difficult to hit.
Traditionally a 3 wood will have about 15 degrees of loft. Some manufacturers make a High Launch version that has some extra loft added in, and it becomes more of a four wood. The traditional five wood is nineteen degrees of loft.
I think every player must have a five wood in their golf bag. From the center of a fairway on a long par 5 or par four, the five wood is the perfect club selection.
A three wood is excellent off the tee, but players need to be realistic when hitting the ball off the fairway. Sometimes you will be better off hitting the five wood and coming up a few yards short than struggling with a miss-hit three wood.
Players often ask about fairway wood lofts and hybrid lofts overlapping. This is quite common, and it’s perfectly fine to have this happen in your golf bag.
The new fairway woods will go further than a hybrid of the same loft. They are longer and will roll further. This is a perfect choice from the tee or on a hole where you need all the distance you can get.
If, however, your golf ball found a small divot or is off the fairway, the hybrid, although not quite as long, is going to be the best club choice for all handicap golfers.
Tour Model vs. Standard Model
If you are above a ten handicap, a tour model club is likely not going to make the game more enjoyable for you. Tour models generally have a smaller profile club head and are built for feel. Mid to high handicappers should be looking for a club that improves both distance and forgiveness.
The center of gravity in a tour model wood will not be as low; therefore, the launch conditions will not be the same. If you struggle with getting your fairway woods high enough, the tour model will be difficult.
In addition to a lower profile head and less forgiveness, the shaft options in a tour model are generally for higher swing speed players. If you are a player that seems to be improving rapidly, one opportunity to consider is a standard model of three wood and a tour model five wood.
Five woods are traditionally a bit easier to hit because of their higher lofts. The tour model in this club may give you the feel you want while still having that forgiveness in the three wood.
Don’t be caught off guard if you have not purchased a fairway wood in a long time. They are not cheap. Kind of stuck between a Driver and a set of irons, the fairway woods had to prove their value in your golf bag.
Chances are in the course of a round; they will only come out of the bag a few times. It makes sense to choose something that fits your playing ability and earns a spot in your golf bag for years to come.
Custom grips and shafts can increase the price of a club. The best time to find deals on golf equipment is the early spring and late summer. Early in the spring, the top models from last year will go on sale, and late in the summer, the brand new models start to drop in price.
Offset vs. Straight Neck
Several models of fairway woods will over an offset version and a straight neck version. The general rule of them is that for players that hit the ball left to right, the offset clubs will help you to straighten it out.
If you are someone that hooks the ball or hits it straight (regardless of distance), then go for the straight neck model.
Sometimes club manufacturers will not directly state that their golf club is the offset model. It’s essential to look at the top-down view of the golf club when choosing the one that works best for your game.
Lower handicap players are going to want a club with a very square to slightly open clubface. This will better help them to hit a draw.
Unlike other clubs in your golf bag, the fairway wood can be very versatile. Some golfers will use a fairway wood off of every tee, and others will only use one to hit into a par 5 in two. Choosing what you need a fairway wood for is a critical step in the process.
If you are using the club solely off the tee, then the size of the club head may not need to be as small for you.
It can look similar to a Driver as long as it performs with a little better forgiveness. For those players that would never use a fairway wood off the tee and just want it for long fairway shots, then size may become a factor.
It is also more challenging to hit a fairway wood from the grass than it is from a tee. Keeping this in mind and looking for a forgiving sole is extremely important.
We recommend doing a little test exercise before purchasing a club. Spend about five rounds of golf recording how many times you use your fairway woods. What were the conditions like? What were the results?
Where are your strengths, and where are your weaknesses. Bring this information with you when it’s time to purchase.
Making an informed decision will also be a better purchase than a blind decision.
Choosing the best fairway woods of 2023 was no easy task. Having to narrow down all of this tremendous technology can be difficult. As we said from the beginning, there has never been a better time to be in the market for a fairway wood.
Choosing the right option for you can become complicated if you are not equipped with the correct information.
Cobra continues to stand out as the front runner. With the F9 fairway wood, they proved that they could produce a club that works for all players. This year with the introduction of the Speedzone, they made three different options to fine-tune their offerings.
When it comes to ball speed, forgiveness, overall distance, sound, and feel, you can’t go wrong with these Cobra Speedzone Fairway woods.
Do you have any other questions about how to pick out a fairway wood? Let us know which fairway wood you ended up choosing.