Whenever a new driver comes out on the market, people want to get it in their hands and try it. The driver is sexy. Despite the fact that you can’t hit more than about 14 drives on a normal golf course, many golfers spend an inordinate amount of time hitting driver on the practice tee. But what about those oft-ignored fairway woods?
Many golfers hit their three wood almost as far as their driver, with greater accuracy. Modern technology means fairway woods hit the ball further than they ever have. While there are many great fairway wood options on the market, here are a few that I have hit and think are worth a look if you are in the market for a new three, four or five wood.
If you are a fan of this site you already know what I think of the Ping G30 driver. Not only do I like it, but many more people do too. In fact, since the G30 arrived last July it’s the best selling driver in golf. In June 2015, 62% more G30 driver units were sold than the next closest driver model. It’s that good. Naturally you could assume that the G30 fairways are just as good, and they are. Available in 14.5, 18 and 21 degree lofts, the Ping G30 fairways are a perfect compliment to the best driver in golf. Street price: $249
Exotics E8, E8 beta & E8 Tour
Tour Edge’s legendary Exotics brand has built the hottest fairway woods on the market for several years, and while the premium price may scare away some people, their quality and performance is unquestioned. The latest Exotics E8 line is more affordable than ever without giving up anything in the way of performance and quality. The E8 model has the most forgiveness, the E8 beta model has a slightly smaller head and lower ball flight, and the E8 Tour has the smallest head and offers the most workability and control, along with an adjustable hosel. If you think your fairway woods are long, you need to hit the Exotics. After hitting just a few balls on the range, I put the Exotics E8 Tour in my bag for a tournament without any further testing, and won. It has stayed in the bag since and is now my “gamer” three wood. The small head, clean lines and exceptional performance inspired instant confidence for me, and they’ll do the same for you. Street price: $249 – $399 depending on model.
Nike Vapor Speed & Vapor Flex
I remember when Nike Golf started, riding the wave of Tiger Woods’ success. It has been many years and Nike Golf has gotten better and better in that time. While some of their radical designs are polarizing to some, I like that they are willing to take chances with innovative ideas. Their latest fairway wood offerings are the Vapor Speed and Vapor Flex models. Both models offer high launch and low spin with just the right amount of forgiveness. The Vapor Speed is not adjustable, while the Vapor Flex is. I tested the Vapor Speed model and came away impressed. The ball flight was high and straight with enough forgiveness for most golfers. If you are a Nike loyalist, you can’t go wrong with these sharp looking fairway woods. Add tons of custom shaft options and you are sure to find what you need. Street price: $249
Srixon Golf has enjoyed a resurgence in the United States this season. The brand is well established as a market leader in Asia , UK and Europe but has only just started to gain traction in the US following the success of their popular Z-Star and Q-Star golf balls. The latest fairway woods from the Japanese brand is the Z355. Available in four lofts (15, 17, 19, 22) and featuring Action Mass Technology, these fairways use more weight in the head combined with an ultra-high balance point shaft to help increase ball speeds and more consistency and stability. Street price: $229 (Available 9/18/2015)
Fairway woods aren’t as sexy as the driver, but everyone has them and many hit them as far a their driver, so why not upgrade to the latest tech? It also helps that fairway woods aren’t as expensive as the driver they go with. Give one of these fairways a try and you won’t be disappointed.