If you’re a beginner or a high handicapper, (if you’re senior read best fairway woods for seniors instead) the best fairway wood for you to use for your game of golf should be one that allows you to make long-distance shots with ease. Let’s find out what are the best fairway woods for high handicappers and beginner golfers in general.
In a hurry? The best choice in 2019 and 2020 comes from the TaylorMade M series, with the TaylorMade M4 Fairway Wood being the most suitable for high handicap golfers. Other impressive choices for beginners include the Cobra King F6 Fairway Wood which offers adjustability so you can change your set-up as you improve and the Callaway Mavrik Max Fairway, which offers a huge club head for added forgiveness.
If you want to take another step towards lowering your scores then you might want to invest in a rangefinder. It doesn’t have to break the bank – read our budget rangefinders article to see what are the best affordable rangefinders on the market.
Top Rated Fairway Woods for High Handicapper: Quick Comparison
Cobra King F6
|Best for Confidence||
Callway Mavrik Max Fairway
|Great for Improvers||
Tour Exotics EXS 220
|Best for Looks||
Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo
Best Fairway Woods for Beginners and High Handicap Golfers in 2019 and 2020: Reviews
1. TaylorMade M4
The TaylorMade M4 offers everything a high handicapper needs from a fairway wood as it is long and very forgiving.
The technologies that allow this include the TaylorMade Speed Pocket, which reduces the weight in the clubhead whilst allowing a larger sweet spot.
Additionally, the inverted cone design maximizes ball speed, which further adds to the distance, but the ball will be kept on the fairway by the split internal weighting and thin Ni-CO C300 steel alloy face.
All of this technology comes together to produce higher level performance than you will have thought possible.
It is long, forgiving, and very gets the ball in the air easily. Also, the TaylorMade M4 looks, sounds, and feels great, which is why it is extremely popular with all levels of golfers.
- High Flights
- Not adjustable
2. Cobra King 2019 F9
They have managed to maintain their position as innovators with new technologies and high-quality products.
This King F9 offers excellent distance and accuracy. Called the Speedback, it has an ultra-light carbon fiber crown that allows increased speed and distance, and 2 “baffler rails” to increase accuracy from off-center strikes and power good ones further forward.
There are 8 different loft settings to help you get the ball airborne or under the wind if that is needed.
You should try them all to get the best out of your swing speed and style, and look at changing them regularly as you progress.
The Center of Gravity, (the lower this is the easier it is to get the ball in the air) can also be adjusted from the front of the club to the back to increase the forgiveness levels and height of the ball flight.
Beware though as a higher flight will reduce distance.
The Cobra is not short, however, as the Speedback technology creates high clubhead speeds.
This could mean the ball goes off target, but the face perimeter weighting and face thinness add to the forgiveness and keep the ball on track.
The F9 is modern with yellow inserts and a black carbon crown that looks cool, and the sound is very enjoyable too. All in all, this is a great fairway wood for high handicappers.
- Many possible adjustments
- Modern looking
- Not as long
3. Callaway Mavrik Max Fairway
Best for Confidence
Callaway is a brand synonymous with forgiveness and the Mavrik series does not stray from the norm.
The Callaway Mavrik Max Fairway is extremely easy to hit and as such, it is suitable for beginners and high handicappers.
The main reason for this is the oversized club head, which can only add to the confidence of anyone standing over the ball, and the large club offset, which is known to help beginners.
Large clubheads can create drag and lose distance but the Mavrik Max Fairway woods feature Flash Face technology which creates a springboard effect and increased distance.
Also, it features FaceCup 360 technology so the clubhead cuts through the air quickly so your fairway woods will go far as well as straight.
This technology is proven as it has been a featured in many of Callaway’s woods in recent years.
A problem with previous Callaway fairway woods is that they made strange sounds on contact, but this has been sorted with the latest iteration of this club.
The Mavrik Max Fairway both sounds and looks fantastic, meaning that you will be the envy of your friends even if you do not hit it high and long every time.
Combined with its excellent feel, it offers a great package for every level of golfer.
In short, the Mavrik Max Fairway will give confidence to all high handicap golfers and is an excellent choice if you are looking for new fairways woods.
- Very forgiving
- Confidence Building
- Quite expensive
4. 2020 Tour Edge Exotics EXS 220
Great for Improvers
It is manufactured from Hyper-Steel which is 14% lighter than previous models, so more weight is located in the center and rear of the clubhead.
This creates a lower Center of Gravity so the ball flight is higher, and also higher speeds so the ball travels further.
It is very accurate as it has dual-concentric weighting that produces a high launch angle and low spin rates, enabling distance and accuracy.
Additionally, the manufacture and materials used greatly increase the M.O.I. (Moment of Inertia) numbers in the clubhead, meaning that shots will be straighter than you might expect.
The EXS 220 is adjustable as it features a 6-gram weight that can be moved backward and forward on the club sole.
This allows the Center of Gravity to be altered, with a lower position making it easier to get the ball in the air.
The clubhead shaper is also designed to slipstream the air to improve speeds, which will increase the distance the ball travels.
Feel is somewhat dimmed by a sound diffusion insert, but this helps create outstanding acoustics, and reduces the impact from off-center strikes, which is a feature popular with high-handicap golfers.
Loved by PGA Tour players and beginners alike, the Tour Edge Exotic EXS 220 is one to look out for.
- High M.O.I
- High flight
- Low feel
5. Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo
Best for Looks
As with all Launcher series products it has a low Center of Gravity that gets the ball into the air quickly and easily.
It is also weighted on the perimeter so it is very forgiving, and the face is extra thin to help correct off-center strikes.
The clubhead shape penetrates the air ensuring that the clubhead speed is high, which equates to long distances.
When combined with the low CoG the ball will go high as well as far.
Speed is increased further with a hollow hosel, removing unnecessary weight which adds to the distances you can achieve, and the HiBore Crown, which removes even more weight.
This club is possibly the easiest to get into the air and is also very forgiving so it is popular among high handicappers and beginner golfers.
With the high levels of forgiveness and distance, it is a great package.
The most noticeable factor with the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo is its looks. The sleek matt charcoal finish and stunning details make it look like a top-level product and it will certainly wow your friends.
It sounds great too, even when you catch one off the heel or toe, and the feel is excellent as well.
- Easy to get in the air
- Very forgiving
- Not that long
- Not adjustable
What Makes a Golf Club a Fairway Wood?
When making long-distance shots, a wood golf club is typically used to do so, but not every wood is the same.
- Woods are divided into two classes, namely drivers and fairway woods.
- Fairway woods have a number from 2 up to 15 stamped on the bottom of their heads to make them more easily identifiable.
- The number 1 is designated only for drivers as they have the lowest loft ranging from 7 to 12 degrees.
- The higher the fairway wood number, the higher the number of degrees of loft that it has and the shorter its shaft length is.
- Most golfers use fairway woods that are engraved with odd numbers starting from 3 upwards.
- The most commonly used fairway woods are the 3-wood and 5-wood with higher-numbered ones only used occasionally.
When Should a Beginner or High Handicapper Use a Fairway Wood?
After making your opening stroke from the teeing ground of a par-5 hole using a driver, the ball is most likely to cover a distance of at least 275 yards or less and land on the fairway of the hole where you’re supposed to shoot it.
- As you drive your cart from the teeing ground to the fairway where your ball is, you might initially be tempted to use your driver again for your second stroke.
- While you can technically strike the ball from the fairway with a driver, you might not want to pull off such a specialized shot which is why you might want to stick to using a fairway wood instead as the name itself suggests.
- You can also use a fairway wood instead of a driver to make your opening stroke from the teeing ground or take a shot that’s supposed to avoid hazards along the fairway itself.
What Should Beginners and High Handicap Golfers Look Out for When Buying a Fairway Wood?
You might find some question marks above your head though if you aren’t that well-versed yet in buying the right fairway wood, especially when you consider the fact that not all fairway woods are made with beginners and high handicappers in mind. To help you choose which fairway wood to buy, here are some features that you should check first before checking out one from some sports shop and taking it out to the golf course.
The head of a fairway wood is constructed out of steel, titanium, or a composite alloy.
- Most fairway woods have heads made of steel since they aren’t required to be as large as that of a driver.
- On the other hand, some fairway woods have slightly larger titanium heads that are thin enough to provide high hits and forgiveness.
- To make less expensive fairway woods, some golf club manufacturers have started adding carbon and tungsten onto titanium heads.
The fairway wood head’s face depth refers merely to its height, not its actual thickness.
- You should go for a deep-faced fairway wood if you plan on using one for your opening shot from the teeing ground instead of a driver.
- On the other hand, you should choose a shallow-faced fairway wood if you plan to hit a ball that landed on the fairway itself.
No other type of golf club places more importance on the stuff that its shaft is made of than fairway wood.
- Graphite is the most common material used to make fairway wood shafts as it offers more ball height and distance to cover.
- As a beginner or high handicapper, you would want to steer clear of fairway woods with steel shafts.
In the language of golf, loft refers to the angle formed between two lines – one running down the shaft of a club and the other running down the top portion of its head – once they intersect.
- Fairway woods have a higher loft compared to drivers.
- The 3-wood has a loft of 15 to 18 degrees, while the 5-wood has a loft of 20 to 22 degrees.
- The higher the loft that a fairway wood has, the higher the ball goes up in the air once struck but the shorter the distance it will travel.
So Which Fairway Wood Is Best for Beginners and High Handicappers Alike?
Fairway woods are now extremely long and forgiving so all the options looked at in this review will probably improve your game dramatically if you are using clubs that are a few years old.
The speed of technological advancements matches the high speeds you can generate, and the loft, low CoG, and perimeter weighting all enable off-center strikes to fly straight and long.