Hitting a long, launched fairway wood shot has never been easier
When it comes to a player’s relationship with fairway woods, there’s not much middle ground. Either you savor every chance to whip out the 3-wood a la Henrik Stenson, or it’s mere appearance causes the worst type of fears—cold tops, duffs, wind-swept foul balls—to manifest. Luckily, with a wide range of styles, shapes and services, this year’s Hot List fairway wood winners will get you closer to that Stenson mindset.
These batch of clubs continue the fairway wood trend of placing more weight in the bottom and back of the head, a configuration that makes it easier for players to launch the ball in the air. This extra weight is found by extended use of carbon fiber crowns, a lighter material that has given manufacturers more discretionary weight to play with. Better yet, this design helps reduce spin, giving your ball the chance to fly further than it ever has before.
Of course, longer and higher can be problematic if the shot is not on line. To help with accuracy, many clubs have thinner faces than past iterations, with a few even featuring wrap-around contours, creating a larger sweet spot for contact. If that wasn’t enough, the flexing from most models helps provide ample ball speed across the face, alleviating some of the pains from mis-hits.
And, similar to innovation seen in drivers, adjustability is becoming more routine in fairway woods—both in loft, and draw and fade bias—allowing the player to get properly fit into the specs right for them. In short, hitting a fairway wood is now easier than ever.