Hot List

Best Fairway Woods of 2024

Perhaps the most utilitarian club is the fairway wood. Part-time driver, full-time long-range specialist, the fairway wood serves multiple purposes. Despite its smaller size, underneath the slimmed-down exterior lies driver-like technology designed to give you the yards you never knew you had. Fairway woods are more forgiving, too—from enhanced stability on mis-hits to versatile sole designs that make shots hit slightly heavy behave close to center strikes. Also, lofts have expanded to the point where the 7-wood is a staple of most lines, and it all adds up to better shots off the tee and from the fairway.

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max
$350 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$350

This comprehensive model (seven lofts, including six with adjustable hosels) targets most golfers looking for a neutral shot shape with a shallow face that makes it easier to get the ball up in the air. The face’s variable thicknesses are designed based on tens of thousands of representative swings to uncover the most important spots to add extra spring at impact. Those “microdeflections” in the face are intended to improve distance and downrange dispersion. The head uses a balance of forward weight to lower spin and rear weight to improve stability.

More on this club

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max D
$350 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$350

This head targets players who need to launch their fairway woods higher and who fight a slice with their long clubs. The shallow face, designed with thick and thin sections to address the needs of this type of player, enhances mis-hits that tend to be lower on the face and range from heel to toe. The carbon-composite crown and sole free up mass that is redistributed heavily to the rear perimeter. This back weight makes for the highest launching model in the family.

More on this club

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fast
$350 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$350

This model helps players struggling to produce more clubhead speed by reducing the overall weight and offering higher lofts (like a 16-degree standard 3-wood). Built on a similar footprint as the Max D, the Max Fast offers a built-in draw bias to help players square the clubface at impact. Furthering the draw bias is a more upright lie angle, and a fixed hosel saves weight to redistribute to the perimeter. A 40-gram shaft offers the potential for more swing speed with shots likely to launch higher with mid-spin.

More on this club

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond
$350 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$350

With the most compact head in the series, this model features a slightly taller face designed to accentuate speed, spin and launch on center hits. In other words, this is a head designed for players who consistently make solid contact. The carbon-composite crown saves weight, but unlike the other models this one features a steel sole plate that adds a bit more spin for optimal control. An additional screw weight at the front further helps elite players to customize swing weight.

More on this club

Cobra Darkspeed LS
$430 | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$430

This clubhead’s lightweight titanium construction (compared to traditional stainless steel) provides more discretionary mass to move the center of gravity as low and as far forward as possible. That makes this compact head ideal for better ball strikers looking to maximize distance through low spin. The titanium face might not generate more ball speed, but by lowering the CG and raising the launch angle, the head creates more distance. Also enhancing distance is the L-shaped face that wraps under the sole with 15 thickness regions for better ball speed across a wider area.

More on this club

Cobra Darkspeed Max
$330 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$330

Designed with the shallowest face and deepest front-to-back measurement, the Max is built for easy launch and stability on off-center hits (the two things average golfers need the most for a club that’s hard to hit off the ground). Thanks to the weight saved by the carbon-composite crown, there’s room for two sole weights, one in the deep center and one in the heel. Placing the heavier weight back boosts forgiveness, and moving it to the heel adds a draw bias to fight a slice.

More on this club

Cobra Darkspeed X
$330 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$330

The standard model in the lineup produces a neutral flight with a lower and more forward center of gravity than the Darkspeed Max. This should result in faster ball speed, less spin and a slightly lower flight. An internal weight bar is closer to the face and sole on this year’s model to push that CG even lower and forward. A carbon-composite crown saves as much as 17 grams to provide extra perimeter weighting and lower internal weighting.

More on this club

Mizuno ST-G Titanium
$400 | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$400

Mizuno’s latest fairway wood ambitiously seeks to achieve faster ball speed, higher launch and low spin in a package that is pleasing and playable to average golfers. The ST-G Titanium’s compact shape should attract better players, but the nearly 90 grams of steel in the sole lowers the center of gravity to make it easier to launch the ball. With a loft range that extends to 20 degrees, the ST-G Titanium fairway wood makes the case that it's a playable option for a wider audience.

Ping G430 LST
$550 | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$550

This muscular but compact 3-wood gets its energy from a multimaterial construction that mixes perfectly, fitting pieces like an NBA general manager filling out the ideal starting five. First, the titanium body saves weight while making room for a special high-strength alloy in the face for better ball speed and distance. That face wraps around the toe region to create a larger area for faster ball speeds. Then, a carbon-composite section wraps around the back half of the crown and into the heel and toe to save more weight. A hefty tungsten soleplate lowers the center of gravity for reduced spin and optimal launch.

More on this club

Ping G430 Max
$350 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$350

The most complete lineup in the G430 family of fairway woods, the Max includes four adjustable heads that encompass a loft range from 13.5 to 25.5 degrees. The carbon-composite crown allows the center of gravity to be lower, and a face that wraps around the crown and sole improves ball speed and helps with loft. The face has less curvature (or “roll”) on its lower half where most fairway-wood impacts occur. With less roll, those lower-face hits launch with less spin and more velocity.

More on this club

Ping G430 SFT
$350 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$350

Because the tendency to slice doesn’t necessarily go away when switching to a fairway wood, this model has features to minimize that weak fade. Heel-side weighting adds draw spin and helps players square the face at impact. The SFT heads are a little larger, feature an extra degree of loft, use more upright lie angles and are a little lighter compared to the G430 Max. Those elements help shots launch higher and straighter.

More on this club

PXG 0311 Black Ops
$350 | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$350

Building a better fairway wood is no different than building a faster race car: Better parts mean more speed. This fairway wood features a new steel alloy in the face that’s stronger, lighter and more flexible. It provides more potential distance by making the face 12.5 percent thinner and enabling the rest of the body, including a lightweight carbon-composite crown, to get thinner and lighter, too. This freed up weight for a launch-enhancing lower center of gravity and three movable sole weights to tweak ball flight.

More on this club

TaylorMade Qi10
$350 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$350

The workhorse of the TaylorMade fairway-wood family, this model makes increasing playability for average golfers a directive. Making the club more playable involved taking everything from the hottest part of the face to the center of gravity and shifting them lower. Overall, these heads have a taller face and more volume, and they are stretched a little longer front to back to improve the way the face flexes and how stable the head is on off-center hits.

More on this club

TaylorMade Qi10 Max
$350 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$350

TaylorMade’s team increased the overall volume of this model to improve forgiveness yet kept the shallow face to give average golfers more confidence that they can get the ball up in the air. To further lower spin, TaylorMade reduced lofts on the Qi10 Max compared to the Stealth HD from last year.

More on this club

TaylorMade Qi10 Tour
$450 | Golf Galaxy
4.5
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$450

Its compact size and the 50-gram weight in the sole might have you thinking this is only a low-spin fairway wood, but that misses the variability of that weight in the sole. It slides from a very forward (and low spin) position to a much deeper spot for higher launch with more forgiveness and slightly higher spin. Still, the titanium construction is built for speed, thanks to a special alloy in the face. The carbon-composite crown flows directly to the top of the face for more saved weight.

More on this club

Titleist TSR1
$350 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$350

Targeting players who swing less than 90 miles per hour, this fairway wood focuses on weight but not how you might think. The TSR1 is 30 grams heavier that it used to be. Much of that extra mass helps to keep the center of gravity low and farther back for launching the ball higher. The extra mass also improves stability on mis-hits. Forgiveness and making it easier to launch the ball are two things this type of player needs.

More on this club

Titleist TSR2
$350 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$350

This all-around user-friendly design should fit most golfers with its focus on forgiveness, ease of launch and maximum ball speed. The head’s internal weighting results in the lowest center of gravity in a Titleist steel fairway wood ever. Freeing up the interior space around the hosel provided more mass that’s positioned in a flat weight that sits slightly forward in the lowest part of the head. This provides better energy transfer by lining up the CG with the center of the face. It also helps to reduce spin.

More on this club

Titleist TSR2+
$350 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$350

The problem with looking for a fairway wood to serve as your alternative driver is compromising its playability off the ground. This fairway wood doesn’t stray too far from its mission as a backup club for those shorter, tighter driving holes. First, its 190-cubic-centimeter size and the deepest center of gravity of any Titleist fairway wood automatically establish stability. Its taller face also makes for a bigger trampoline for tee shots. Still, its size and easier launch make it a more effective choice than driver off the deck.

More on this club

Titleist TSR3
$350 | Golf Galaxy
5.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Gold
$350

Titleist’s most adjustable fairway wood combines the 16-way loft- and lie-tweaking hosel with a weight pad in the sole that lets users choose from five center-of-gravity locations from the heel to the toe. The weight pad has more settings across a wider range, and its placement is deeper within the head to provide more forgiveness and a higher launch. The weight pad is also lower and more in line with the center of the face so that shots launch with less spin and more speed.

More on this club

Adams Idea
$200 | Golf Galaxy
4.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Silver
$200

The name might sound like a throwback, the slot in the sole may look familiar, and the inverted pyramid shape might even evoke the old Adams, but trust us when we say that this is an all-new take on the company’s original cult favorite fairway wood. Among the new features are a carbon-composite crown. Less weight helps lower the center of gravity and provides more perimeter weighting. There’s also a six-gram weight screw in the heel side of the sole to counter a slice. The heel and toe sides of the sole are angled up to provide more relief for smoother turf interaction.

More on this club

Callaway Apex UW
$300 | Golf Galaxy
4.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Silver
$300

Something of a cross between a hybrid and a modern fairway wood, this compact head targets better players looking for shot shaping, playability from a variety of lies, a neutral and penetrating ball flight and the same kind of flexible-face ball speed designed for regular golfers. This head, favored by recent winners on the PGA and LPGA Tour, features an internal stabilizing structure that stiffens the perimeter of the face to drive more deflection at impact from the high-strength steel face for more distance. The sole’s angled heel and toe sections provide extra turf relief.

Srixon ZX Mk II
$280 | Golf Galaxy
4.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Silver
$280

Spring-like faces matter only if they produce fast ball speeds. That’s why these fairway woods use stiff and flexing regions immediately around the face to create better energy transfer for more distance. They also have a thin, high-strength steel alloy in the face to create more rebound at impact. The final ingredient lies inside the clubhead: A low and forward weight pad lowers the center of gravity to reduce spin.

More on this club

Tour Edge Exotics C723
$330 | Golf Galaxy
4.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Silver
$330

Built for speed and low spin (and the elite players who benefit most from those characteristics), this head uses a lightweight titanium face and body and a lighter carbon-composite crown to set up the structure for a lower center of gravity. Completing that mission is a central, keel-shaped ridge on the sole that has a 75-gram steel plate and a 15-gram adjustable weight. Combined, these features push the CG low and forward for optimal launch and maximum distance. The angled shape of the sole ridge also improves turf interaction.

More on this club

Wilson Dynapower
$250 | Golf Galaxy
4.0
GD SCORE GD HOT LIST SCORE
Hot List Silver
$250

It sounds exceptional to build a fairway wood with the expanding possibilities of artificial intelligence, but a worthy design needs the best input of machine and human to truly elevate the standard. Wilson’s team used supercomputers and thousands of simulations to uncover the precise levels of varying thicknesses on the face to maximize ball speeds. Engineers also sought the wisdom of tour players. Their input on the flatter profile and shallower face improved the versatility so that more players of all skill levels could take advantage of that high-tech, high-speed face.

More on this club