If I had to pick two clubs that most golfers need to upgrade, it would be wedges and fairway woods. Everyone loves getting a new driver or a set of irons, but they always put off getting new wedges or fairway woods. If you are getting tired of your 3/5 wood and want to upgrade to a 2018 model, you came to the right place. Hopefully we can talk through a couple of options and eventually come to the best pick for you.
All links and photos that you click on in this article will take you to eBay’s available listings for the respective fairway woods!
Here’s what I look for a fairway wood:
- sole design: I like the look of a wider sole and a larger hitting area on the bottom of the club. Your preferences might vary though. If the club looks super unforgiving to me, I won’t even consider buying it
- look at address: this applies more so to fairway woods than any other club in the bag. If I am not comfortable over the ball with my fairway wood, my chances of hitting a good shot drop pretty drastically
- launch angles (ability to get the ball airborne quickly): with so little loft, it’s important that you can get the ball up in the air quickly. Otherwise, you’ll keep hitting low burners all day
With that being said, let’s talk about the best woods that you can buy in 2018. I’ll split the article up into a few different categories. Hopefully one of them sticks out to you as something that you prioritize in your golf game.
The Longest Fairway Woods 2018: Callaway Rogue
If you want the absolute longest fairway woods on the market, your first choice should be the new Callaway Rogue woods. They are crazy long off the tee and off the deck. Unless you are getting all new clubs, you might have to get a 5 wood as well, as you might be left with a substantial distance gap depending on what you were playing before.
Callaway fairway woods have always been my favorite, as they have a large hitting area on the bottom of the club face. Add in the jailbreak technology and a super hot club face, and you’ve got the longest wood on the market for 2018.
The jailbreak technology basically just puts two rods right behind the club face. This increases ball speeds and forgiveness across the entire club face. Reviews of the Rogue woods have been incredible so far, similarly with my personal experience. If they weren’t so expensive, I would be playing them now. If you can wait a couple of years, you will be able to pick them up at a great price. For now, though, they are priced at the top of the market for good reason.
Why is it the longest fairway wood?
- jailbreak technology for increased ball speed (first time in a fairway wood)
- Face Cup Technology for longer shots across the entire club face
- high launch and low spin due to “Internal Standing Wave” technology
- Designed to be more aerodynamic than Epic woods
The Most Forgiving (Easiest to Hit) Fairway Woods 2018: Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic
Maybe it was just how I was hitting at the time, but I felt on top of the world when I demoed the Callaway Epic fairway woods. I felt like I couldn’t miss, and that’s a rare feeling when hitting three woods for me. I can’t say that I always hit the center of the club face, so I’m sure the club had a large impact at how straight and long my shots were going, even on slight mishits.
The extremely low center of gravity (COG) plays a large part in how forgiving this club is. The Tri-avial carbon crown (super light) repositions the weight in a way that minimizes the COG for easier launch. Easier launch = more forgiving = making golf a tad bit easier.
How it’s the most forgiving wood:
- super low COG to make it easier to get the ball airborne
- super wide hitting area
- very straight club face (not bent/curved as much as others)
The Best Value Fairway Woods: Cleveland Launcher HB
Cleveland clubs are often times the most underrated clubs on the market. They are consistently gaining momentum in the club categories besides their popular wedges, and for good reason!
The Cleveland launcher HB clubs (driver, irons, etc) are exceptionally made. For the price that they are asking, it’s the best value three/five woods that you can buy.
I didn’t get a chance to hit them personally, but based on the many reviews from golfers of all skill levels, they perform nearly just as good as the clubs that are $100+ more expensive.
This club was released late in the prior year, but I thought I would include it as a more budget conscious option. Clubs can be expensive, so don’t feel bad for trying to find the best value fairway woods that you can buy.
Why the Cleveland Launcher HB fairway woods are the best value:
- larger head for more forgiveness
- “Flex Fin” technology for more flex at impact –> faster ball speeds
- weight low and back –> more forgiveness
- super low prices compared to similarly performing models
The Best Fairway Woods for Slicers 2018: Ping G400 SFT
When weight is centered among the heel and toe of the club, slicers often find themselves hitting the ball with a wide open club face. The more weight there is on the toe, the more you have to close the club face in your downswing to square the face. The more weight there is on the heel of the club, the less you will have to release the club to hit the ball with a square club face.
Ping club designers know that the majority of amateur golfers are slicers, so they designed the Ping G400 SFT fairway wood with weight closer to the heel and with a lighter swing weight to encourage draws, not slices.
On top of that, most slicers have trouble hitting woods high enough in the air, so this club is designed to launch the ball very high off the tee and off the deck.
Why you slicers might be interested:
- More weight on the heel of the club = less hand action needed to close the club face (it will close more naturally)
- lighter swing weight to encourage an in to out swing and a draw ball path
- higher lofts (16 degrees vs average of 15 degrees) to encourage a higher, straighter ball flight
The Top Fairway Woods for Women: Cobra F Max
If you are a women looking for a long, forgiving three wood, check out the Cobra F Max woods. They have offset to help you square the face, and the speed channel surrounds the club face to result in maximized ball speeds at impact across the entire club face.
This club has a very low COG, which encourages a super high ball flight and increased forgiveness. Many women struggle with getting their woods high enough in the air. The low COG and the increased lofts should ensure that you can getting enough height on your shots, both from the tee and from the deck.
Why women will benefit from this club:
- offset for more of a draw-biased, forgiving design
- speed channel for increased ball speeds
- low, deep COG for higher launch angles and more forgiveness on mishits