Best Fairway Woods For High Handicappers 2024

Your golf experts: Jordan Fuller & John Marshall.
Updated April 18, 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.

Well-made fairway woods can transform the game of a high handicapper.

Instead of using a driver off the tee box, which can be difficult to hit consistently, golfers working on their fundamentals can enjoy the loft and easy launch of a fairway wood.

Also, a fairway wood can reach the green on a long par 3 or help cover the extended yardage of a lengthy par 5.

In this extensive list of the best fairway woods for high handicappers, we’ll take a firsthand look at the top clubs to add to your bag and how each of them can help your game.

Sources researched
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Sources researched
Customer reviews
17,650
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
12
Hours spent testing
Products tested
9
Products tested
Product Name
Best Fairway for High Handicappers
Best Draw Bias Fairway Wood
Best Budget Fairway Wood
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Our Grade
Our Rating: 99/100
Our Rating: 97/100
Our Rating: 95/100
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TaylorMade Golf Qi10 MAX Fairway 3 Wood Regular Left Handed, Silver
WD LH PDYM AI SMK MXD 5FW CYPH40GR WMSDM
Wilson Dynapower Men's Fairway Wood - Right Hand, Regular, 3
Feat 1
Loft: 16°-22°
Loft: 15°-21°
Loft: 15°-21°
2
Lie Angle: 59°-60°
Lie: 58°-59°
Lie Angle: 57.5°-58.5°
3
Shaft Length: 41.75”-43.25”
Shaft Length: 42.25”-43.25”
haft Length: 42”-43.25”
4
Weight: D2
Swing Weight: D2, D3, D4
Weight: D2
Best Fairway for High Handicappers
Product Name
Our Ranking
Ranked #1
Our Grade
Our Rating: 99/100
Thumbnail
TaylorMade Golf Qi10 MAX Fairway 3 Wood Regular Left Handed, Silver
Feat 1
Loft: 16°-22°
2
Lie Angle: 59°-60°
3
Shaft Length: 41.75”-43.25”
4
Weight: D2
Custom Button
Best Draw Bias Fairway Wood
Our Ranking
Ranked #2
Our Grade
Our Rating: 97/100
Thumbnail
WD LH PDYM AI SMK MXD 5FW CYPH40GR WMSDM
Feat 1
Loft: 15°-21°
2
Lie: 58°-59°
3
Shaft Length: 42.25”-43.25”
4
Swing Weight: D2, D3, D4
Custom Button
Best Budget Fairway Wood
Product Name
Our Ranking
Ranked #3
Our Grade
Our Rating: 95/100
Thumbnail
Wilson Dynapower Men's Fairway Wood - Right Hand, Regular, 3
Feat 1
Loft: 15°-21°
2
Lie Angle: 57.5°-58.5°
3
haft Length: 42”-43.25”
4
Weight: D2
Custom Button

Last updated on 2024-06-14. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.

Fairway Woods for High Handicappers 2024

TaylorMade Qi10 Max Fairway Wood

Best Fairway Wood for High Handicappers

TaylorMade Golf Qi10 MAX Fairway 3 Wood Regular Left Handed, Silver
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Specifications

  • Loft: 16°-22°
  • Lie: 59°-60°
  • Shaft Length: 41.75”-43.25”
  • Swing Weight: D2

Pros

  • Very forgiving with Twist Face Technology
  • Impressive turf interaction
  • Shallow profile delivers easy launch

Cons

  • No adjustable features

TaylorMade’s exquisite Qi10 Max has the muscle you need on the course to improve your distance. Its features minimize side spin to help you keep the golf ball along the target line.

Once we started using the club, we noted how the low, deep CG gets the ball airborne with speed. The distance and accuracy provided by the Qi10 Max remained unmatched throughout our time with this first-rate club.

One of the Qi10 Max’s best features is its shallow profile. The oversized 200cc club head uses its width to keep the ball toward your target, utilizing the popular Twist Face Technology along the hitting area.

The TaylorMade Qi10 Max offers the best all-around performance of any model we tested this year. It is great for high handicappers who want to grow into fairway woods.


Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max D Fairway Wood

Best Draw Bias Fairway Wood for High Handicappers

WD LH PDYM AI SMK MXD 5FW CYPH40GR WMSDM
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Specifications

  • Loft: 15°-21°
  • Lie: 58°-59°
  • Shaft Length: 42.25”-43.25”
  • Swing Weight: D2, D3, D4

Pros

  • Lightweight and agile
  • Delivers impressive power to golf ball
  • High, effortless launch

Cons

  • Draw bias with no adjustability

The Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max D is one of the more versatile fairway woods we’ve played in a long time with a draw bias. It delivers outstanding slice correction with distance to burn.

Once we got the Max D to the course, we were blown away by how easily the ball jumped off the face. Energy transfer is incredibly high resulting in impressive ball speed with optimal launch.

The Max D has a loft sleeve that adjusts lie and offset, but the lack of sliding weight means you’ll need a more neutral fairway wood setup once you shake off that slice.

The fairway wood is incredibly adept at minimizing side spin, helping you hit more fairways.

Great for high handicappers who want a high-quality fairway wood, the Ai Smoke Max D ranks among the best draw-bias woods we’ve ever tested.

Check our honest Paradym Ai Smoke Fairway Woods Review


Mizuno ST-Max 230 Fairway Wood

Best Luxury Fairway Wood for High Handicappers

Mizuno ST-MAX Fairway Metal, 15 Degrees, RH/GR/ML/REG
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Specifications

  • Loft: 15°-21°
  • Lie: 58°-62°
  • Shaft Length: 42”-43”
  • Swing Weight: D3

Pros

  • Affordable price for performance
  • Very stable through impact
  • 4-degree loft sleeve

Cons

  • Lacks adjustable weighting
  • Smaller club head shape

Mizuno’s exceptional club-making reputation has been boosted even further by the release of its ST-Max 230 Fairway Wood.

Built to produce consistent ball flight, the ST-Max 230 offers high handicappers a suite of worthwhile features.

From the fairway and even the rough, we found the ST-Max 230 Fairway delivers outstanding turf interaction to get the ball-first contact high handicappers need to maximize distance.

We believe there are few fairway woods on the market that can match the impressive energy transfer of the ST-Max 230 Fairway. Due to the strong steel face, ball speed is off the charts.

The fairway wood also offers exceptionally high MOI, keeping the head stable through impact by resisting the twisting that could close the face and cause a shank.

Great for high handicappers who want top-tier fairway wood, the ST-Max 230 should be at the top of your list if you want a durable, high-quality golf club to bridge the gap between your driver and hybrids.


TaylorMade Stealth 2 Fairway Wood

Most Forgiving Fairway Wood for High Handicappers

Taylormade Stealth 2 5 18 Fairway Wood Fujikura Ventus TR Red Flex R Right-Hand
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Specifications

  • Loft: 15°-24°
  • Lie Angle: 59°-60.5°
  • Shaft Length: 41.25”-43.25”
  • Weight: D3

Pros

  • Lightweight carbon crown delivers high swing speed
  • Thru-Slot Speed Pocket generates maximum ball speed
  • Low profile gets under the ball for high launch

Cons

  • Doesn’t have adjustable features

The Stealth 2 Fairway from TaylorMade improves upon the first Stealth by increasing launch behind the power provided by a lightweight club head.

Everything about the Stealth 2’s design dazzles, from the red and black color design to the compact head that packs a punch. The club’s V-Steel sole moves smoothly over the turf to provide a high MOI to the golf ball.

We loved how fluid this fairway wood felt during the swing. Its low profile and wide hitting area offered plenty of forgiveness on our off-center strikes.

We found our ball speed and distance never suffered if our contact point leaked toward the toe.

Also, we really enjoyed how the distance you get with each swing comes with minimal effort.

You don’t need to swing from your shoes with this fairway wood. You just have to be steady and compact with the golf ball to see results.

Check our full TaylorMade Stealth 2 Fairway Wood Review


Wilson Dynapower Fairway Wood

Best Budget Fairway Wood For High Handicappers

Wilson Dynapower Men's Fairway Wood - Right Hand, Regular, 3
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Specifications 

  • Loft: 15°-21°
  • Lie Angle: 57.5°-58.5°
  • Shaft Length: 42”-43.25”
  • Weight: D2

Pros

  • Tour-inspired head shape boosts swing speed
  • High MOI with high launch delivers long, straight shots
  • Low spin from the tee box with tighter dispersion

Cons

  • Doesn’t dazzle in the bag

Wilson’s Dynapower fairway offers fast ball speeds with high launch and extended carry.

Great for beginners and high handicap golfers who want an affordable fairway to grow with their game, the Dynapower offers high MOI helping players return the face to square with relative ease.

We really love the long, low profile of the face of this fairway wood. The broad sweet spot helps with forgiveness on off-center strikes.

Having this confidence to let it fly helps, especially on the tee box when using the wood to avoid trouble and land the drive in the fairway.

Although these golf clubs won’t turn any heads with their design and color palette, the wood remains one of the best releases of this year when it comes to helping high handicappers on the golf course hit more fairways.

Check our honest Wilson Dynapower Fairway Wood Review


Callaway Rogue ST Max D Fairway

Best Value Draw-Bias Fairway Wood for High Handicappers

Callaway Golf 2022 Rogue ST Max D Fairway Wood (Right Hand, Cypher 50G Shaft, Light Flex, 3 Wood)
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Specifications

  • Loft: 16°-22°
  • Lie Angle: 58°-59°
  • Shaft Length: 42.25”-43.25”
  • Weight: D3

Pros

  • Built like a tank producing jaw-dropping distance
  • Over 10 yards of slice correction
  • Low CG delivers high launch and extended carry

Cons

  • Draw-bias club won’t grow with your game

Callaway’s stunning Rogue ST series gives beginners and high handicappers a fairway wood option if they’re struggling with a slice.

The Rogue ST Max D fairway offers over 10 yards of slice correction to help you hit more fairways and find the green on long par 5s with more regularity. 

When we tested the ST Max D on the range, we were floored by how quickly the club got the ball into the air.

Along the sole, the sturdy Tungsten Speed Cartridge stiffens the club head to produce fast ball speed with minimal spin to keep the ball in the fairway.

If you are having trouble with a slice, this fairway wood offers significant correction by reducing side spin, boosting forgiveness, and maintaining ball speed.

The complete package makes this Callaway wood easily one of the best slice-reducing fairways today.

Check our full Callaway Rogue ST Max Fairway Review


Titleist TSR3 Fairway Wood

Best Advanced Fairway Wood

Titleist TSR3 Fairway Wood Tensei Black 75 Stiff
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Specifications

  • Loft: 13.5°-18°
  • Lie Angle: 56.5°-57.5°
  • Shaft Length: 42”-43”
  • Weight: D3

Pros

  • Low spin for tighter dispersion
  • Workable with adjustability for customization
  • Terrific sound and a dynamic feel

Cons

  • Less forgiving than most fairway woods

The Titleist TSR3 fairway woods offer a powerful weapon from either the tee box or fairway. The modern head shape delivers impressive swing speed to the golf ball to help you power the ball down your target line.

The wood looks as sleek as a race car and after you hit the ball, you’ll believe it’s as fast as one too. It also has various shaft options to give you the right feel during your swing and at impact.

Our favorite feature of the TSR3 fairway is the SureFit Adjustable CG Track System. With the quick turn of a bolt, you can customize your preferred shot shape with this fairway wood.

The loft sleeve also provides even more customization for high handicappers and beginners.

An easy choice for the best adjustable fairway wood, the Titleist TSR3 provides a low, deep CG that quickly lifts the ball into the air with extended carry.


Cobra LTDx Max Fairway Wood

Best Adjustable Features Fairway for High Handicappers

Cobra Golf 2022 LTDX Max Fairway Matte Black-Gold Fusion (Men's, Left Hand, Project X Hzrdus Smoke im10 60, Stiff Flex, 3w-15.5), 3
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Specifications 

  • Loft: 15.5°-21.5°
  • Lie Angle: 59°-60.5°
  • Shaft Length: 42”-43”
  • Weight: D1

Pros

  • Adjustable weighting can create slice correction
  • Progressive rails help shallow club path for more consistent contact
  • Lightweight crown boosts swing speed for maximum distance

Cons

  • Small, compact head does limit forgiveness

Cobra’s LTDx Max fairway offers beginners enhanced slice correction for the tee box and from the short grass.

The club’s adjustable weighting is a real asset as it boosts correction and increases launch with a steep landing angle that holds the green on long par 5s.

Although I’m not too crazy about the compact size of the club head, we can attest that the Cobra fairway delivers solid ball speed with high launch, two things high handicap golfers need for their game.

The wood also produces an exceptional feel with its lightweight crown, helping you confidently swing from the tee box or fairway.

Overall, the LTDx Max remains one of the best fairway woods for slice correction, delivering reliable results you can count upon during your next round.

Check our in-depth Cobra LTDx Fairway Wood Review


Ping G425 Max Fairway Wood

Innovative Fairway Wood with Adjustable Features

Ping G425 Max Fairway Wood

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Specs 

  • Loft: 14.5°-23.5°
  • Lie Angle: 56.5°-58°
  • Shaft Length: 41.5”-43”
  • Weight: D1

Pros

  • High MOI with easy alignment for better accuracy
  • Consistent spin with accuracy and distance
  • Facewrap design increases flex for more ball speeds
  • Exceptionally long from the tee box or fairway

Cons

  • Expensive for casual golfers
  • Moderate launch restricts distance for beginners, high-handicappers

The Ping G425 Max offers advanced golfers the sophistication and craftsmanship long associated with the company.

It minimizes spin for higher accuracy, along with high MOI with a distinct alignment line that keeps you aligned to the target.

Tungsten Sole Weighting

Positioned along the center-rear of the sole is an interchangeable tungsten weight. The weighting helps many areas but no more so than the launch of the golf ball.

Working in concert with several other notable features, the weighting is the engine behind the power that the G425 Max delivers on every swing.

With the impressive turf interaction, its features such as the sole weighting, provide exceptional shotmaking ability and unmatched versatility.

Increased Ball Spin for Distance

For golfers that need more distance via their versatile fairway wood, the G425 Max is well suited to the task. One of the areas where it excels is through spin rate.

Since advanced golfers want minimal spin from their woods, the G425 offers a severe reduction in spin to help tighten shot dispersion, along with maintaining the high speed needed for distance.

Although the club is tailored to the sophisticated golfer, mid handicappers will find that the G425 Max is very accessible to help them reach the next level in their game.

Facewrap Technology

Along with its gorgeous design and craftsmanship, the Ping G425 Max gets the company’s patented Facewrap Technology along the crown.

With a high-strength maraging steel face that extends from the crown and sole, increases flexibility for faster shotmaking with extended carry.

Check our honest Ping G425 Max Fairway Wood Review


How We Tested the Fairway Woods

We test fairway woods using various tests, from evaluating ball speed on the Trackman to seeing how the club responds once we hit golf balls on the range and course.

We also want to test fairway woods’ versatility, especially when hitting out of light rough and off the tee box.

Since high handicappers use fairway woods as easier-to-hit alternative drivers, their performance to start a hole is incredibly important.

Since most high handicappers use draw-bias fairway woods on the course, we also want to measure slice correction in yards to help readers better determine how straight their shots will fly with the wood.

In a controlled environment, the Trackman makes it easier to get important data readings such as ball speed, carry distance, and launch angle.

Since high handicappers struggle with launch, finding a fairway wood that boosts ball flight can be crucial for maximizing distance.

Once we move to the range and course, we’ve got a sense of how the club should perform, but we want to see if the fairway wood passes the “eye test.”

We note how the club feels and responds to various swing speeds and how it performs when attempting to shape shots.


How to Choose the Best Fairway Woods for High Handicappers

Forgiveness

Even pros don’t hit the sweet spot every time, and high handicappers will hit the ball all over the club face.

However, with the technology and materials available in golf clubs today, even mis-hits should be playable. 

I’m looking for fairway woods that’ll turn a slice into a fade and will still provide useful distance on a poor swing.

While no club can fix a chunk, some are better than others at turning bad shots into “that’ll work” and “just ok” shots into good ones.

Here’s our guide on how to fix a slice.

Distance

It also needs to be long no matter how forgiving a club is. Golf courses are getting longer and longer every day, so you don’t want to be stuck using a club that can’t keep up with the demands of the modern game. 

You want fairway woods with a thin, lively face that launches it as far as possible down the fairway.

Par 5s should be scoring opportunities instead of scary monsters. Distance has never been more critical in the game of golf.

Durability

Golf clubs get more and more expensive every year. With hand-crafted graphite shafts and carbon fiber compound clubheads becoming ever more common, the retail price tag reflects the manufacturing (and marketing) costs. 

So when you pay that much for a golf club, you want it to last. Durability is reflected in the craftsmanship and build quality. A club should be well-made enough to last you several years, if not decades.

Value

If fairway woods cost twice as much as the one next to it, shouldn’t it hit it twice as far and twice as straight? You’d hope so, but of course, that’s not the case. 

One club might eke a few more yards out of a mediocre swing than another, but if it costs exorbitantly more, it might not be worth the extra bucks.

Desirability

Is this the hot new fairway wood everyone’s talking about? Does it feature space-age materials to help the ball fly higher and longer? Is it from the same brand that all the pros use? 

A more desirable club will have features you may not find in other fairway woods, and it’ll retain its value better if you ever try to re-sell it.

More recognizable brands will be more desirable for a good reason: they’re usually on the cutting edge of technology, with tons of money poured into research and development each year.


Frequently Asked Questions

Should a high handicapper use a 3 or 5 wood?

High handicappers should use both a 3 and 5 wood on the course.

The 3-wood works excellent from the tee box because its loft is only slightly lower than a driver, so you can get plenty of distance with extended carry.

The 5-wood offers even more loft, making it a great weapon from the fairway. Both woods also provide a low profile to help you get under the golf ball to lift the shot into the air.

Should high handicappers use fairway woods?

Yes, high handicappers should use fairway woods, especially from the tee box.

Since drivers can cause problems with inexperienced golfers, fairway woods offer a smaller alternative that’s easier to hit.

Fairway woods also allow the golfer to utilize the club’s loft to get the ball higher into the air to maximize carry and distance.

What is the easiest 3 wood for seniors to hit?

The easiest 3 wood for seniors to hit is the Stealth 2 from TaylorMade.

Senior golfers need to maximize their swing speed to get the most distance from each swing. The Stealth 2’s lightweight design also helps senior golfers maintain their current club head speed to maximize carry to get the most yardage from the tee box or fairway.

Is a 3 wood better than a hybrid for a high handicapper?

A hybrid remains easier to hit than a 3 wood for high handicappers.

This is because a hybrid offers a rounded sole that moves smoothly over the grass to guarantee solid contact with the golf ball. A 3 wood usually carries a loft of 15 degrees, making it tougher to hit consistently for a high handicapper.

Also, a hybrid has a loft similar to a mid-iron allowing the high handicapper to hit the ball higher with more consistency.