Best 3 Wood 2024 (Our Top 3 Recommendations After Testing)

Your golf experts: Jordan Fuller & John Marshall.
Updated May 13, 2024. This article was thoroughly audited by multiple golf experts and coaches for its accuracy. You can read more about our rigorous testing protocol here.

A well-made 3 wood can improve an amateur’s game from the tee box or fairway. Offering a low profile, the best 3-woods on the market provide an excellent combination of power and workability.

Since a 3-wood provides a more compact shape than a driver, some amateurs can experience better dispersion, more fairways hit, and farther distance because of how the club suits their swing.

On our list of the top 3 woods, we’ll take a deeper look at the best available fairway wood for amateurs, their top features, and how they can transform your game.

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Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
13
Hours spent testing
Products tested
3
Products tested

Best 3 Wood 2024

Taylormade Stealth 2 Plus Fairway Wood

 Best All-Around 3 Wood

TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus Fairway Wood

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Specifications

  • Loft: 15°-18°
  • Lie: 57°-61°
  • Length: 42.25”-43.25”  
  • Weight: D3

Pros

  • 50-gram sliding weight offers customized peak height
  • Lightweight crown offers maximum swing speed
  • Exceptional forgiveness across the entire face

Cons

  • Expensive fairway wood makes it best for serious golfers

TaylorMade’s impressive Stealth 2 Plus+, easily one of the most well-designed fairway woods of the last ten years, offers a sophisticated mixture of adjustability with premium performance.

Powered by an adjustable 50-gram weight behind the face, the Stealth 2 Plus+ provides total shotmaking control, a dream club for advanced golfers that value workability above all else. 

Along with the adjustable weight, it comes with several of TaylorMade’s most popular features, including the Thru-Slot Speed Pocket that increases face flexibility and forgiveness.

After spending time with the Stealth 2 Plus+, we’re unsure if we can be more effusive with our praise.

Simply put, this is the best 3-wood we’ve ever played and it quickly found its way into our golf bag after just a handful of swings.

We love the workability plus the raw power this 3-wood gives our game, making it a weapon for me off the tee box and on long par 4s.

Read our full Taylormade Stealth 2 Fairway Wood Review


Ping G430 Max Fairway Wood

Most Forgiving 3-Wood for Mid Handicappers

Ping G430 Max Fairway Wood

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Specifications

  • Loft: 15°-24°
  • Lie: 56°-57.5°
  • Length: 41.5”-43”  
  • Weight: D1

Pros

  • Lightweight design offers maximum swing speed
  • Very forgiving on off-center strikes
  • Hosel sleeve offer eight different lie and loft positions

Cons

Ping’s dynamic G430 Max 3-wood provides golfers with distance and accuracy from the tee box and fairway.

The G430 utilizes its low profile to get under the golf ball to produce high launch and extended carry, especially if you are carrying a fierce swing speed to the golf ball.

Its broad sweet spot also offers impressive forgiveness on off-center hits, redirecting the ball toward your target area with tight dispersion.

What we liked best about the G430 Max fairway wood is how smooth and effortless it strikes the golf ball.

Ping has always held a special place in our heart with their advanced design, and we found the G430 Max delivered superior workability along with its high-grade forgiveness.

Ideal for mid handicappers but accessible for all golfers, the G430 Max provides a sophisticated weapon for players ready to lower their handicaps.

Read our honest Ping G430 Max Fairway Woods Review


Srixon ZX MK II Fairway Wood

Best Distance 3-Wood for High Handicappers

SRX ZX MkII Fwy 3 15 5.5 LH
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Specifications

  • Loft: 13.5°-21°
  • Lie: 57°-58°
  • Length: 42”-43”  
  • Weight: D2, D3

Pros

  • Fixed hosel offers reliable shotmaking
  • Powerful launch provides exceptional distance
  • Flexible face transfers maximum power to the golf ball

Cons

  • Lacks adjustable features, not ideal for lower handicap players

Srixon, long making top-notch fairway woods, has another impressive release with their ZX MK II 3-wood.

Available in either a 13.5 or 15 degrees option, the fairway wood offers dependable performance that hits the ball high, long, and straight.

Along with its low profile, the Srixon wood delivers a nice feel at impact, helping build your confidence on the course.

The face also offers mid-tier forgiveness, especially on toe strikes, something mid and high handicappers can benefit from on long par 5s.

While we prefer woods that offer adjustable features, we couldn’t help but enjoy the smooth performance of the ZX MK II.

Especially when your ball sits in the fairway, the rounded sole glides over the turf without snagging to provide a clean strike. 

The Srixon ZX MK II delivers outstanding all-around performance if you are looking for a dependable option for your secondary woods.


How We Tested the Fairway Woods

In testing the 3 woods for this buying guide, we adhere to a precise methodology to ensure accuracy and reliability in our recommendations.

Our testing process prioritizes key performance metrics that matter most to golfers.

Distance, accuracy, forgiveness, and feel serve as the foundations of our evaluation criteria.

We thoroughly measure the distance potential of each 3 wood, considering both carry and total distance to provide a comprehensive overview of its capabilities.

Accuracy is assessed through repeated shots, examining dispersion patterns to gauge the club’s consistency and precision.

Forgiveness is another critical aspect we scrutinize, evaluating how well each 3 wood handles off-center strikes and mitigates the effects of mis-hits.

Finally, we delve into the subjective aspect of feel, considering factors such as sound, feedback, and overall sensation at impact.

Our testing team comprises experienced golfers with a deep understanding of the game and its equipment, ensuring that our assessments are rooted in real-world performance.

By adhering to this thorough testing process, we aim to equip our readers with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions when selecting a 3 wood for their golf bag.


How to Chose the Best 3 Woods

Loft

The 3-wood typically features a 15-degree loft. While the loft is certainly lower than a driver, the additional loft provides higher launch when compared to a #1 wood. Of course, that comes at the cost of distance.

While a 3-wood certainly gets the ball down the fairway, a driver hits the ball roughly 15-30 yards further when measuring full-strength swings.

With an adjustable loft sleeve, golfers can raise or lower the loft of the face for lower shot height and more distance or higher arc with shorter results. The customization of the loft and offset also increases workability for shot-shaping from side to side.

Looks

The appearance of a 3-wood can instill confidence in a golfer. With a strong look, a first-rate fairway wood can back up its exceptional appearance with high performance.

Modern fairway woods feature a sleek, sharp design that offers a cutting-edge look. The rounded crown of the head offers a shiny or matte finish that can either dazzle or attract playing partners with questions of curiosity.

While most fairway woods have a busy sole with a chaotic look, the chaos comes with a purpose. If the sole features stationary weighting, the chrome can stand out against the backdrop of the primary design.

Adjustability

Most 3-woods do not have adjustable features. The fixed hosel and lack of movable weighting provide a more stable appearance and consistent performance.

On the 3-woods that do offer adjustability, golfers can expect to find a loft sleeve that increases or decreases lie angle and potentially adds slight offset. For advanced players, the loft sleeve offers ultimate customization.

Sole weighting is another feature that occasionally finds its way onto a new, name-brand 3-wood. The weighting allows you to set the club up to hit a fade or draw with more ease.

While there are advantages to customization, most amateurs are best served by fixed features.

Forgiveness

Most 3-woods feature a smaller head when compared to a hybrid. The compact head shape allows for maximum swing speed to increase distance, but the elongated face provides ample impact area.

Modern 3-woods utilize the latest innovations to increase forgiveness when the ball comes into contact off-center on the face. Even on impact away from the sweet spot, the 3-woods of today do a wonderful job of keeping the ball along the target line.

The compact head does provide better stability, similar to a hybrid, to reduce twisting and the dreaded side spin that causes slicing and hook shots.

Versatility

The 3-wood can be used in a variety of areas on the course. The most obvious use is from the fairway on longer par 5s. Since most golfers face a second shot of over 250 yards, the 3-wood can provide the distance with better accuracy.

Other golfers love hitting their 3-wood off the tee box. On tighter par 4s with a narrow fairway, the 3-wood offers distance benefits along with tighter shot dispersion.

Finally, the 3-wood can actually be used in the short game. In deeper rough off the green, the 3-wood can smoothly move through the grass without twisting for clean contact.

Budget

Most new 3-woods cost a pretty penny, coming close to the cost of a new driver. While the 3-wood is cheaper, a well-made fairway wood will certainly come at a significant price.

The most expensive 3-wood options usually have bells and whistles, such as a high-grade shaft, adjustable loft sleeve, and weighting.

Value 3-woods come at a significantly lower price, close to the cost of first-rate wedges. While their performance might not reach the heights of a name-brand version, the value fairway woods certainly hold their own.

As with any club purchase, the cost of a fairway wood should be factored into a budget considering the entire club set.


Conclusion

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus+ offers dynamic performance for all golfers. With the 50-gram weight behind the face, golfers can make adjustments to their launch and carry with the simple click of a wrench.

The adjustability offers total control over every aspect of shotmaking with the 3-wood. The low profile helps scoop the ball cleanly off the turf without snagging or catching for extended carry, making this club a weapon off the tee box and fairway.

Although it comes with a hefty price tag, the Stealth 2 Plus+ has the rare power to truly revolutionize your long distance game.