Best Fairway Woods 2023: 28 models tested


What are the Best Fairway Woods of 2023?

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Selecting the best fairway wood for your game is one of the trickiest club choices in golf. They are typically the clubs we hit least often, but when they are required we need to have full trust in them. Whether it’s to navigate a tight tee shot or to reach the green on a par 5 or long par 4, a good fairway wood can play a crucial role in helping to lower your scores.

Choosing the best fairway wood for your game isn’t as simple as just picking the one that matches your driver. You’ll need to work out: whether a standard or low-spin fairway wood is the best fit for you; decide whether it will mainly be used from the tee or the fairway; be realistic about whether you struggle to launch fairway woods from the ground; choose the right shaft to suit your swing speed; and determine what loft(s) will prove most useful in your bag. If you want more guidance, check out our full guide to choosing the best fairway wood for your game.

To help simplify things, our pro has tested 28 of the current models head-to-head on a launch monitor to determine the best fairway woods of the year.

Best fairway woods – our top picks:

Best overall fairway wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 | VIEW UK OFFER | VIEW US OFFER

Longest fairway wood: Srixon ZX MK II | VIEW UK OFFER | VIEW US OFFER

Most accurate fairway wood: Ping G430 Max | VIEW UK OFFER | VIEW US OFFER

Best fairway wood for looks and performance: Callaway Paradym | VIEW UK OFFER | VIEW US OFFER

Best fairway wood for ball speed: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus | VIEW UK OFFER | VIEW US OFFER

Best value for money fairway wood: Wilson Dynapower | VIEW UK OFFER | VIEW US OFFER

Best fairway wood for slow swings: Cobra AeroJet Max | VIEW UK OFFER | VIEW US OFFER

Great forgiveness with better player looks: Titleist TSR 2 | VIEW UK OFFER | VIEW US OFFER

Best fairway wood for elite players: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond | VIEW UK OFFER | VIEW US OFFER

Best draw-biased fairway wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD fairway wood | VIEW UK OFFER | VIEW US OFFER

We’d recommend using our guide to help narrow down your shortlist before heading to your pro or nearest golf facility and getting fully fitted for your fairway wood(s), as that’s the only way to find and optimize the best fairway wood for your game.

Best Fairway Woods 2023

Stealth 2 is the total package in fairway woods

Best overall fairway wood


Ever since Rocketballz in 2012 TaylorMade have had a reputation for making fast and long fairway woods. It could be argued nothing too much has changed from the original Stealth fairway released last year, but our data has the Stealth 2 down as one of the very best fairway woods available.

The standard Stealth 2's head size is significantly smaller than TaylorMade’s wider body HD, so if you’re not the most confident fairway wood player there are alternatives that can better help you.

In testing, Stealth 2 was tied 3rd longest (252 yards), but distance is just a tiny part of this brilliant club's whole DNA. Its ball speed was 2mph faster than our test average, it had a higher peak height, steeper landing angle, and a fraction less spin, making it a brilliant option for hitting into greens and stopping quickly.

Our pro golfer also hit shots into a 34% smaller area than our test average, making Stealth 2 arguably the pick of the best fairway woods in 2023.  

Read our full TaylorMade Stealth 2 fairway wood review.


  • Good distance
  • Extremely accurate
  • Small head will suit better players
  • Lots of height
  • Steep landing angle helps hold greens


  • Less confident players will prefer a larger head
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The longest fairway wood of 2023 is best suited to good players

Longest fairway wood


Srixon ZX fairways have been strong competitors in our test sessions over the last few years, and the new MK II version slips perfectly into the shoes of its predecessor. So long as you have at least reasonable levels of club speed we’re big fans of the slightly larger, more friendly-looking head.

At 257 yards, the ZX MK II was our longest fairway wood of 2023 by three yards, which is seriously impressive considering the super strong opposition.

The backspin and shot height were below our test averages, which highlights how the model is a better fit for slightly stronger players. If that’s you, you’ll be delighted to know the model hit shots into a 28% smaller dispersion area than our test average. A top performer in the right hands.

Learn everything you need to know about the Srixon ZX MKII fairway woods.


  • Longest distances of any fairway wood
  • Very accurate
  • Large head inspires confidence


  • Low spin and height mean you need good clubhead speed
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<strong>Stock shaft</strong> Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red RDX

The G430 is easy to launch, very forgiving and extremely accurate

Most forgiving fairway wood


Fairway woods have become the most difficult-to-hit clubs in the club golfer's bag, as modern golf balls spin so little, which makes them harder to launch high off the turf for maximum carry distance. That's why we've seen Ping up their Max's 3-wood loft from 14.5º to 15º this year. It’s a decent move not just from a performance perspective, but because 14.5º felt quite mentally challenging too.

At £350 a pop, you won't invest in a couple of G430 fairway woods lightly, but like lots of Ping equipment, this model will offer a workman-like performance for all. Expect it to do just as good a job today as it will in a decade's time. Ping equipment doesn't seem to age as quickly as some.

We love the low profile/shallow face height appearance, the attractive head shape, and the solid impact sound.

G430 Max wasn't our longest fairway wood (242 yards) but with a carry distance drop-off of just seven yards the model was incredibly forgiving between on-and-off-center hits and shots were hit into our smallest dispersion area (158.2 yards sq).

With the right shaft, this model can fit a very wide audience of players.

Read our full Ping G430 fairway wood review.


  • Attractive head shape
  • Good sound at impact
  • Extremely forgiving
  • Very accurate


  • Less distance than some fairway woods
<strong>Lofts</strong> 3W –15° / 5W – 18° / 7W – 21° / 9W - 24°
<strong>Stock shaft</strong> Ping Alta CB Black,Ping Tour 2.0 Chrome, Ping Tour 2.0 Black

Great looks and consistent performance... but at a big price

Best fairway wood for looks and performance


The Callaway Paradym is a seriously good-looking fairway wood.

The head sits beautifully square, the face grooves highlight the center of the face and the size is more friendly than frighteningly compact.

Paradym was our 3rd fastest and joint 3rd longest (252 yards) fairway wood, so it's an impressive package.

But the addition of an adjustable hosel has seen Paradym's price reach an eye-watering level, which we think will be prohibitive to non-Callaway fans. If you are a Callaway fan and willing to stump up the money, then you're getting a great all-rounder fairway wood.

Read our full Callaway Paradym fairway wood review.


  • Beautiful looks
  • Excellent ball speed
  • Good distances
  • Adjustable hosel


  • Performance alone doesn't justify the price compared to other fairway woods
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A brilliant and very adjustable fairway wood for better players

Best fairway wood for ball speed


For many of you, the titanium chassis Stealth 2 Plus will be utterly out of reach this year – both in terms of price and target market. Realistically, it’s only the extremely well-heeled and Tour professionals (who get theirs for free) that could think seriously about playing this fairway wood.

But our data doesn’t lie. The Plus produced our fastest ball speeds (154.5 mph) and tied for the third longest, carrying 252 yards. It’s a seriously strong performance from a fairway wood, a lot of which is owed to the sliding sole weight. Stealth 2 Plus can go from a Rocket 3 (13.5º) to a 3HL (16.5º) model all with the crank of a wrench.

On tour, TaylorMade see a 50/50 split between players choosing the Plus and standard Stealth 2 fairway.

Players who choose Plus are predominantly doing so for its slightly higher spin, additional shot height, and steeper descent angle that aid stopping power on the very longest approaches, all of which our test data back up.

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus is a brilliant fairway wood but realistically it’s only for the strongest of golfers.

Read our full TaylorMade Stealth 2 fairway wood review.


  • Very fast ball speeds
  • Impressive distances
  • High spin and shot height help hold greens


  • Aimed primarily at good golfers
<strong>Lofts</strong> <meta charset
<strong>Stock shaft</strong> Mitsubishi Kai’li Red

Best performing fairway wood in relation to price

Best value for money fairway wood


There are always golfers who aren’t brand led and just want golf gear that performs but doesn’t cost the earth. It’s exactly the market targeted by Wilson’s Dynapower fairway wood.

At £220, it’s not particularly cheap, but it's £150 less than the most expensive model, which is considerable. We'd happily game Dynapower and use the saving towards improving another area of our bag.

Firstly, we like the completely inoffensive head shape and graphics, and we're also big fans of the sound at impact. Then there's the fact it bettered our test averages for ball speed, distance, and dispersion. Its performance won’t be lost on reasonable club golfers.

If your club speed hovers around average have a look at Wilson’s Launch Pad fairway wood instead. It is slightly easier to launch and was one of our best fairway woods 2022.


  • Good looks
  • Pleasing sound
  • Strong ball speed, distance, and dispersion


  • Not as easy to launch as some fairway woods
<strong>Lofts</strong> <meta charset
<strong>Stock shaft</strong> <meta charset

A great fairway wood for average-speed golfers

Best fairway wood for slow swings


Cobra’s three Aerojet fairway woods are all really good products, but if you’re an average-speed club golfer looking for a model that mixes speed with distance and forgiveness, the Aerojet Max fairway wood takes some beating.

More forgiveness usually means slower ball speeds, but the Cobra AeroJet Max has speed-enhancing PWR-Bridge tech located behind the face, which helped this model produce the second-fastest ball speeds (153.8mph with the 12g sole weight in the rear port) of our entire test.

Throw in a shallower face height than the other two models, a nicely shaped head, and the ability to get a lighter, livelier, and higher launching UST Helium shaft as standard, and you’ve got a very strong performer for a wide audience of players.

We love how the model launched and flew higher, span more, and hit the green at a steeper angle than our test averages. These are all traits that will help average swing speed players keep shots in the air longer to maximize carry distance.


  • Extremely fast ball speeds
  • Shallow face makes it easy to launch
  • High flight and spin
  • Great for slow swing speeds


  • Shorter distances than some fairway woods
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A great forgiving option for less consistent golfers


Titleist's reputation for making equipment aimed at good players can be pretty intimidating to the lesser skilled. Credit where credit is due then, Titleist’s more forgiving TSR 2 fairway wood is very friendly and forgiving, hitting shots into our second-smallest dispersion area of any fairway on test.

The TSR launched in 2022, so it’s not part of the very latest crop of new fairway woods to hit the market, but expect to see it in Titleist’s line-up throughout 2023 and beyond.

The TSR 2 was nine yards back from our very longest fairway wood, but its attractive head shape and profile, an array of stock shaft options, and a good range of lofts mean we can see how the family could be dialed in to suit reasonable speed but less consistent club golfers.

Read our full Titleist TSR 2 fairway wood review.


  • Very accurate
  • Excellent forgiveness
  • Attractive looks


  • Nine yards shorter than longest fairway wood
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Great distances, but only suitable for good players

Best fairway wood for elite players


The Callaway Paradym fairway wood is popular among tour pros, including Jon Rahm, Si Woo Kim, and Justin Rose.

Just like the Paradym Triple Diamond driver, the fairway is fast and long when hit from the middle. At 254 yards it was the second-longest on test.

However, while it looks neat and attractive at address, there’s no hiding that it hit shots into an area twice the size of our test average. It also launched shots with 700rpm less spin, flew four yards lower, and hit the ground at a five-degree shallower angle than our test averages. Put simply, the majority of club golfers will struggle to launch and live with this model on the golf course.

Read our full Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond fairway wood review.


  • Long distances
  • Fast ball speeds


  • Only for high-speed elite players
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Great for slow swingers wanting distance and forgiveness


As club golfers ourselves, we’re always on the lookout for equipment that performs exceedingly well in the hands of average players. The HD (High Draw) isn't designed for our golf pro, but our test shows perfectly just how much difference there is between this one-degree more lofted model and TaylorMade’s standard Stealth 2 set-up.

With a wider, more forgiving head shape and lightweight, higher launch shaft, the HD was never going to be the fastest or longest for our test pro. But where the model comes into its own against the standard Stealth 2 is in producing 1,100rpm more spin, five yards additional shot height, and a 5.8-degree steeper landing angle. These are all traits that will help slower-speed players optimize distance and forgiveness.

Expect a larger, more confidence-inspiring head size, than the standard Stealth 2.


  • Plenty of spin
  • Great height
  • Good distance and forgiveness


  • Won't suit better players
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Best Fairway Woods: Launch Monitor Data

In total we tested 28 models to find the best fairway wood of 2023.

Two of the clubs (Yonex Ezone Elite 4 and Benross Aero X) were excluded from our data sheets having been supplied in the incorrect specifications, making it impossible to produce comparable numbers.

The launch monitor data from our best fairway woods 2023 test.

The launch monitor data from our best fairway woods 2023 test.

How we tested the best fairway woods 2023

We invited all of the major equipment manufacturers to submit their 2023 fairway woods for testing and created a controlled environment indoors at Keele Golf Centre and used a premium tour-level golf ball (Srixon Z-Star).

Using a Foresight GC Quad launch monitor, we collected a ton of data from every shot hit. Some sample delays meant several test sessions were pushed back to the final week of January to ensure none of the latest product launches escaped our test team.

We always test the same category of products on the same day to ensure all conditions and our test team’s swings are the same throughout.

How we analyzed our best fairway woods data

We rejected major misses but recorded how shots launched, span, peaked, and dropped out of the air, before crunching the numbers.

Before we came to any conclusions, we analyzed the data for each club tested; on distance, spin rates, and forgiveness. The latter we refer to as drop-offs; the differences in ball speed, spin and carry between our test pro’s on- and off-center hits.

This insight gives a reliable indication of how forgiving each model will be on the course, as we’ve argued for years that dispersion can be very misleading as it’s based on how you swing on a particular day. We analyzed all that data before choosing winners.

Srixon Z-Star 2023 golf ball.

Why did we use a Srixon Z-Star golf ball to test the best fairway woods?

It would be easy to use just one test golf ball brand every year, but that inevitably leads to criticism for being too closely aligned to one manufacturer, especially if that brand’s equipment performs particularly well. To ensure fairness we like to switch manufacturers for our test ball each year. For 2023 we’ve used the Srizon Z-Star.

The brand have just revealed their eighth-generation model, and Srixon General Manager Brian Schielke says “finding the right ball for your game is just as important as finding the right irons or driver, it’s the one piece of equipment you use on every single shot”.

Thanks to the previous Z-Star mopping up 31 wins across all tour global tours last year (that’s 15.5% of the wins available) we know the model is trusted by the world’s very best.

Neil Wain is Today's Golfer's test pro.

Why do we use a professional golfer as our tester?

Speak to any golf club engineer about product testing and they all talk about needing a repeatable, reliable strike to offer any sort of valuable comparison. So, whilst we accept not all of the equipment included within our tests was designed for our test pro, what our data shows is a great comparison of how clubs in each particular category differ, which is hugely valuable in helping you narrow your choice as a consumer.

Not only is Neil Wain the perfect club tester because he loves hitting golf balls all day, but he is consistent in delivering accurate and reliable comparative data.

We would of course always recommend attending a proper fitting session, to ensure any purchase is tailored to your game. 

See more about how TG tests golf clubs and other equipment.

Buying Guide: How to choose the best fairway wood for your game


You have space for 14 clubs in your bag so you want to make the best use of all of them. Having a fairway wood that goes the same distance as your driver or gives you the same shots as your longest iron or hybrid is a waste. Make sure you know exactly what gap it is that you’re trying to fill in your golf bag and allow this to dictate the loft of your fairway wood.


As with drivers, manufacturers now create versions of their fairway wood models specifically to give more forgiveness. This year sees TaylorMade, Callaway, Ping, Cobra, and Titleist to name just a few create multiple versions of their headline fairway wood to ensure there’s a model to suit everyone. You’ll find models that are adjustable, have different head shapes, and are designed to provide a draw bias.

A larger head is a great option if you need more forgiveness. If you’re a better player who strikes their fairway woods more consistently, forgiveness may not be a key factor for you.


Adjustability is as common in modern fairway woods as it is in drivers. Many models allow you to tweak the loft and lie, move weights, and get the perfect shaft for your swing. Consider how important adjustability is to you… Are you likely to need to change the characteristics of your club’s performance with a simple twist of a wrench? Or would you prefer a model with a non-adjustable hosel, standard weights, and a stock shaft? If you’re unsure then speak to your PGA pro and book a fitting.


Modern fairway woods are designed to play a huge variety of shots. As well as being a great option off the tee and for second shots into par 5s, they can even be used from a variety of different lies, to get the ball out and running when you’re in trouble, or even for shots around the green.

If your current fairway wood only offers you one type of shot then it is worth considering upgrading.


Liking how a fairway wood looks doesn’t guarantee it will perform for you, but there is very little point in considering a fairway wood that doesn’t suit your eye.

When you look down on a golf club you want it to breed confidence, be easy to align, and not have any features you find distracting. Fairway woods are among the most difficult clubs to hit, which is why you need something that you feel happy pulling out of the bag for any shot.

We’d recommend you go and select several models, see how they look and feel, and then test them in a variety of situations and lies before getting a full fitting for your preferred style.


As with all golf clubs, prices really vary, but make sure you stay within your means. You might want to go for one of the premium models, such as the TaylorMade Stealth 2 or Callaway Paradym, or you can opt for cheaper but still impressive performers like the Wilson Dynapower.

Ultimately, select models within your budget and then let the looks and performance dictate which one you invest in.

Best Fairway Woods 2023: Frequently Asked Questions

What are fairway woods?

A fairway wood fills the gap in your bag between your driver and your longest hybrid or iron. It is a versatile distance club that can be used off the tee, fairway, out of light rough, and around the greens, and is designed to sweep the ball. It has a similar look to a driver, only with a smaller head, more loft, and a shallower face.

A fairway wood ranges from 140cc to 180cc in size (drivers can be up to 460cc) with a 3-wood starting at around 13.5º, which is considered a strong loft, up to around 16.5º. That loft would be called a 3-wood. Many players carry two or more fairway woods in different lofts to help them hit the different shots they require around their home course.

7-woods have become far more common in recent years because they are easier to hit than long irons and hybrids and allow players to create a high ball flight and soft landing. Stats gurus Arccos say the greens in regulation stats with a 7-wood are 70% higher than that of a 3-hybrid; astonishing numbers when we’ve always been told hybrids are the more forgiving option. Read our full 7-woods test to find out if they’re right for you.

Who are fairway woods for?

Every golfer, from high-handicappers to tour pros. As with drivers, most brands now create multiple versions of their fairway woods to suit different needs – from low-spinning to more forgiving and draw-biased. Most modern fairway woods also feature adjustable hosels so that the loft and lie can be perfectly suited to your game.

What shots can I use a fairway wood for?

Fairway woods are very versatile. They can be used instead of a driver off the tee if you want to leave the ball short of a hazard or leave yourself a specific yardage into a green.

As the name suggests, they can also be used from the fairway and are designed to sweep the ball from the turf. They are mostly used to play approach shots into long par 4s and par 5s.

You can also use a fairway wood to hit shots out of light rough – just be sure to check the lie before you play the ball to ensure it’s suitable. If you can comfortably sit the club behind the back of the ball then it should be playable, but if your ball is buried or in long grass then playing a higher lofted club and getting back into play would be more sensible.

Some players also use fairway woods around the greens, taking advantage of the clubs sweeping nature to run the ball onto the greens. Justin Rose famously used his fairway wood to get up and down on the final hole of his 2013 US Open win at Merion, below.

What loft should a fairway wood be?

It really depends on what you need it for. Manufacturers offer a range of fairway wood head styles and lofts. Strong-lofted 3-woods are 13.5° and designed for distance, while a 5-wood is often designed for players who can’t play a 3-wood because it doesn’t create enough of a gap from their driver distance. 7, 9 and 11-woods (21º-27º) are designed for golfers who struggle to launch irons and want a club that they’ll find easier to hit and will help the ball go further.

Carrying several fairway wood lofts can provide a variety of shot options for senior players, slow-swing-speed players, women, and juniors who want alternatives to hitting longer irons.

7-woods have become far more common on the game’s professional tours when course conditions require high-flying soft-landing ball flights. Matt Fitzpatrick, Cameron Smith, Dustin Johnson, and Xander Schauffele are among the star names who have had a 7-wood in their bags.

What fairway woods should I carry?

This depends on three factors.

Ability level

A fairway wood is more forgiving than a long iron, so if you are a beginner or a high-handicapper then we’d suggest switching out as many of those clubs for fairway woods as possible, providing the lofts and gapping are correct. With many brands now offering up to 11-woods, there are plenty of options.

If you are a better player, then which woods you carry will depend on the following two factors.

Loft and gapping

You need to know how far you hit each club in your bag to ensure you choose the right loft and style of fairway wood to fill the yardage gap between your driver and the longest iron or hybrid. If you don’t have detailed knowledge of your yardages with your current clubs then visit your local range or pro and book a session on a launch monitor.

Your course

Then you have to consider where you play most of your golf. If your home course is a links then you’re more likely to want clubs that help you hit lower penetrating shots, meaning a high-lofted fairway wood is less likely to suit your game, especially during the summer when the course is playing particularly firm.

If you mostly play on inland or parkland courses then their nature means you’ll need to hit more shots that fly higher and land more softly due to the ‘target’ nature of their set-up.

You also need to consider the weather conditions. If you play a links course, a course that is high up or exposed to the wind, then fairway woods and their higher launching nature will be harder to control. In that case, we’d recommend checking out our guide to the best driving irons and utility clubs.

What is the most popular fairway wood?

TaylorMade’s Stealth 2, Callaway’s Paradym, Ping’s G430 and Titleist’s TSR are among the most played fairway woods on golf’s DP World and PGA Tours. But you shouldn’t buy a fairway wood based on what your favorite pro uses. Select the clubs that fit your budget and suit your eye and test them thoroughly.

What fairway woods do the world’s best golfers use?

Rory McIlroy uses two TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus fairway woods, as we detail in our guide to what’s in his bag.

Jon Rahm has two Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond fairway woods in his bag, while Scottie Scheffler uses TalorMade’s Stealth 2. Tiger Woods uses older models, playing the TaylorMade SIM Titanium and TaylorMade M3.

Lydia Ko plays a Titleist TSi2, and Nelly Korda games TaylorMade Stealth 2.

– Best Drivers
– Best Hybrids

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