We all know how a trusty 3 wood can be a game changer. Off the tee on tight holes, or just dropping a bomb from the fairway going after a Par 5 in two. A good 3 wood can be magical in a good players hands.
The best fairway woods for good players can be hard to find. When a golfer finds one that suits his game, he’s unlikely to let go before time and advancements in technology make it necessary.
However, time marches on and golf manufacturers keep making better and better fairway woods. The best new fairway woods 2020 has to offer provide a wide array of options, both in function and form.
In this article, we’re taking a deep dive into the best player’s fairway woods, searching to uncover the best 3 wood on the market for your skill set and preference as well as the best 3 wood off the tee and off the fairway.
Our Picks for Top Fairway Woods for Better Players
- Taylormade SIM – Best Player’s Fairway Wood for 2020
- Titleist TS3 FW Wood – Also Very Good Better Player’s 3 Wood
- Mizuno ST200 Fairway Wood – Longest Fairway Wood for 2020
Not a great player but ended up here somehow? Instead of wasting your time here, you should head straight to our guide to the best fairway woods for beginners. You should also take a look at our article on blistering your 3 wood.
What should an average to good golfer look for when selecting a fairway wood?
Not to be a smart aleck, but it depends on what is important to you. There are many many options, but a versatile 3-wood should always be the goal.
And by versatile we mean one that performs well from the tee and off the fairway – and not just off perfect lies in the fairway but also when the turf is thin. Forgiveness should be fairly important to all of us.
No, we mean on shots struck off-center on the clubface. But then again, workability might be your thing as you not only call your shots but occasionally even execute the low, rising draw that land softly on the green.
Everybody loves the long ball. Especially, well, you know, never mind.
What should a player look for who intends to use a fairway wood as a driver replacement?
Distance, baby. Lower spin rates, higher launch – to maximize distance and probably a 3-wood lower on the loft scale. Most 3-woods on the current market can be adjusted, some can be dialed down to 13 degrees, which is really only 2.5 degrees weaker than many of the most popular drivers out there.
If you’re not keen on staring down at a 460 cc driver clubhead that’s roughly the same size as half a small cantaloupe, then by all means find a ‘hot’ 3-wood. They’re out there.
What if my typical 3-wood shot is a waist-high knuckleball?
Then spin is your friend. And loft.
Toting a 3-wood is just a suggestion anyway. Perhaps you could ditch the traditional set up, use an 11 or 12 degree driver and then make your 16-19 degree fairway wood your primary distance club once you leave the tee box.
Just as you can reduce the lofts, you can also crank those babies up. Manufacturers are applying the low center of gravity, thin springlike face, high moment of inertia technology they’ve been applying to drivers for the last five years to their most recent fairway woods.
What if I prefer to pound my Driver off the tee, but I need some help from the fairway?
You too are looking for loft which equals launch and could probably survive with a mid-spinning combination of shaft and clubhead. Don’t get wrapped up in which 3-wood you can hit the farthest with your maximum swing and perfect strike.
Rather, focus on a club which matches your clubhead speed and allows you to produce a consistent ball trajectory and curve. As another bonus, more and more manufacturers are designing flatter soles on their fairway woods which make it easier to elevate your golf ball.
Some, such as the Cobra model, have fancy little rails, creating the “Baffler” look that Cobra has been playing around with and improving for the better part of 30 years.
How many woods should I carry?
That’s a great question. More than one, less than 14?
Just kidding, three is the right answer for most good golfers. Of course you need a driver, and a strong fairway wood – probably something in the 13 to 16 degree range. And then, you have two options – hybrid or fairway wood- and that club needs to be in the 19-to-21 degree range, depending on your trajectory (high-to-low) and your preference.
For example, if you prefer the look of a long iron, then you’re likely best suited to a hybrid. If your swing is more of a sweeping motion and you love to crank your 3-wood, then why not toss a 5(ish) wood in your satchel.
With all that being said, here are our favorites for this year:
Review of the Best Fairway Woods for Better Players
TaylorMade SIM Fairway Wood
TaylorMade is an extremely well-known name in golf. Founded in 1979 featuring a single product, the company has since grown into a global powerhouse in the golf world. Its wide range of products is now used by some of the greatest athletes to play the game, including Tiger Woods and Jason Day.
The TaylorMade SIM Fairway Wood is just the latest of the company’s successes. The product has earned a place on the Golf Digest Gold Hot List 2020. Even though it was just released earlier this year, the club has already gained exceptional popularity. SIM stands for Shape in Motion, exemplifying the company’s dedication to an exquisite golfing experience. As golfers themselves, TaylorMade has learned how to make an excellent product for its clientele.
- Multi-material construction including V Steel, Composite Carbon, and ZATECH Titanium
- Twist Face
- Thru-Slot Speed Pocket
- 2-Degree Loft Sleeve
- Enhanced, clean turf interaction
- Improved performance and launch
- Allows for straight shots even on mis-hits
- Fantastic ball speed especially on hits below the center
- V-shaped soleplate
- 40% lighter than typical models
- Exceptional aerodynamics
- Corrective face angles
- ZATECH titanium is 20% stronger than the titanium usually found in clubs
- Expensive – This model will set you back more than other options on the market
This exceptional product is perfect for any intermediate to skilled golfer looking for an extremely light club with a low center of gravity. Experienced players will appreciate this club’s craftsmanship and find it a welcome addition to their golf bag. Buy the TaylorMade SIM Fairway Wood here today.
Cobra King SpeedZone Fairway Wood
Founded in 1973 by amateur golf champ from Australia, Thomas Crow, Cobra has been supplying the golf world with exceptional clubs for over forty years. The company’s clubs have been used by golf greats such as Ricky Fowler.
Its excellence continues with its latest offering, the King SpeedZone Fairway Wood. This newest addition to the Cobra lineup has earned itself a position on the GolfDigest Gold Hot List 2020. This club gives golfer enhanced speed and power for a competitive price that will please any elite golfer who wants to hit long, high shots down the fairway.
- Traditional Shape
- Colorful Design
- Hollow Split Rails
- CNC Milled Face
- Baffler Rails
- Carbon Fiber Crown
- Increased forgiveness
- More ball speed and higher launch
- Improved turf interaction
- Allows for effortless gliding techniques
- Back weighting
- Reduced stiffness in the sole
- 70% larger hot spot area
- Relatively Low Price
- Design is not as sleek as some other models on the market
Designed for distance and forgiveness, this club is a must-have in any serious golfer’s bag. With many different options for loft and shaft flex, you will be able to customize this club to match your style of play flawlessly.
You will also be able to choose whether you prefer the exciting yellow and black design or if you would instead opt for the sophisticated white and black. This club gives you significant autonomy allowing you to create your perfect experience. Get yours here today.
Titleist TS3 Fairway Wood
Titleist is known for producing golf balls and clubs like putters, irons, and drivers. The company spent two years of research and development to perfect its two popular fairway woods.
The TS3 Fairway Wood is a counterpart to its other similar model, the TS2. While the TS2 offers straight speed, the TS3 focuses more on delivering specialized speed. The TS3 is equipped with a thin titanium crown that allows its weight to be shifted lower as you are playing. Its construction grants golfers increased distance with their swings.
This club’s streamlined shape offers reduced drag, so you will notice an increase in clubhead speed. With this model, you will find Titleist’s lowest center of gravity ever. With this incredibly low CG, you will experience a lower spin and higher launch.
- Mid launch shaft
- Low spin
- 175cc clubhead (traditional shape)
- Loft Options (RH): 13.5°, 15°, 16.5°, 18°
- Loft Options (LH): 15°, 16.5°
- Lie Angle: 56.5°, 56.5°, 57°, 57.5°
- Length: 43”, 43”, 42.5”, 42”
- Increased distance
- Reduced drag (by 20%)
- Adjustable swing weight and CG
- Lightweight frame
- Taller ARC 3.0
- The traditional shape, as opposed to the modern shape of the TS2, might be an adjustment for some golfers at first.
Quick update: The Tsi series of fairway woods have been released. Click here for our full review of those clubs.
Callaway Mavrik Fairway Wood
In 2020, the golf club manufacturer Callaway released a popular line of new clubs. One of the clubs included in the release was the Mavrik Fairway Wood. Callaway has noted that they shaped their design in a way that would bring players better performance, forgiveness, and distance.
While the other version of this club, the Mavrik Max, is designed with forgiveness in mind. This club is for the intermediate golfer. Also in the lineup of Mavrik fairway woods, the ultra low spin Mavrik Sub-Zero is a favorite of very accomplished players.
- Shaft: Shaft options include Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI 70g, Project X Evenflow Riptide 60g/70g class, UST Helium Black 50g class, as well as custom shaft options
- Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align Gray 50g
- Interchangeable Weights: No, only available in the Mavrik Max and Mavrik Sub Zero models
- A.I.-optimized face
- T2C Carbon Crown
- Progressive leading edge
- Mid-sized head shape and face height
- Experience fast ball speed and forgiveness
- Design emphasizes easy launch
- Single fixed weight to improve distance and accuracy
- Jailbreak technology aids in distance
- Good value
- Clean appearance
- Good selection of Custom Shafts
- Easy to align
- Lacks interchangeable weights
In our opinion, you can’t go wrong with the classic Mavrik fairway wood from Callaway. This is a great club for most players that shoot in the 80s. Find the Callaway Mavrik Fairway Wood when you click here. If you are new to the game but still want to invest in a nice fairway wood, look at the Mavrik Max. And if you’re a very skilled player, you may want to look at the Sub Zero model.
Mizuno ST200 Fairway Wood
The ST200 is the newest fairway wood by Mizuno. It incorporates multi-thickness maraging steel and Wave Technology, which makes it effective at increasing ball speed.
Mizuno has a new technology called “CORTECH Design”. This design process optimizes the thickness of the club face to maximize forgiveness on off-center strikes.
What all of that means? You will find this club has a hot-face and is very forgiving. Whether you are using off the tee or the fairway, this club has a lot of “pop”.
When it comes to loft options, you have the choice between 15° or 18°, so you can control your trajectory and distance based on your skill level.
- Shaft material: graphite
- Carbon composite crown
- Can choose between a stiff or regular shaft
- Loft options: 15° or 18°
- Low spin
- Exceptional forgiveness
- Good energy transfer
- Superior impact feel and feedback
- Fine-tuned head geometry
- Optimal face thickness
- Reinforcement ribs in the clubhead
- Quick Switch Adapter to Optimize Loft / Lie
- It may take some time to get used to the unique combination of low spin and massive forgiveness.
Whether you’re a novice or professional player, the ST200 from Mizuno is a great choice for a distance 3 wood. This may not land soft into a Par 5, but I promise you’ll make it there! It feels great upon impact and offers exceptional feedback. Check out its current price here.
And the Survey Says….
They both offer the performance and versatility that better players seek, delivers a classic yet powerful club resting easily on the ground and able to easily launch the ball with ample spin and height from those uneven and scruffy lies we all must play from on occasion.
If you are in the market for pure distance, you will be very happy with the Mizuno ST200.
If you don’t find the right fairway wood in this lineup, check out our review of the best fairway woods for beginners. Although you probably will find some of the info pretty basic for you, it might be worth considering. Hitting cuts ands draws can be a lot of fun with a good 3 wood, but sometimes having a 3 wood that only offers high launch, distance & forgiveness might not be a bad thing either.