Best Fairway Woods 2017 – Our Top Picks And Expert Review

Welcome to our Best Fairway Woods 2017 review!

In this comprehensive guide we have sifted through the absolute best fairway woods currently available on the market. The guide separates fairway woods by category, price and features to help you find the best woods for your game.

We tried to keep our selection pretty broad in terms of handicap suitability, but admittedly, most of the fairway woods featured below are for low single figure to high-teen handicaps.

If you are just beginning golf or are a high handicapper we recommend you check out our review of the Best Golf Clubs for Beginners and High Handicappers.

Let’s jump into our Best Golf Fairway Woods review and find out which is best for you and why!

Don’t have Time to Read On?

Our Editor’s Choice of Best Fairway Woods 2017 is the Srixon Z F65.

Srixon have built on the things that worked with the F45s, and the outcome is an elegant, forgiving, consistent and potent set of woods, whose selection will be more than ample to cater for all your particular loft/distance needs. We’d definitely recommend giving them a test drive.

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Best Fairway Woods

Use the quicklinks to navigate our Best Golf Fairway Woods Review.

Assessment Criteria

With the huge variety of offerings on the market, the most challenging aspect we had was choosing a comprehensive set of fairway woods to review. We initially cast the net wide, but quickly whittled the list down to our view of the 10 best golf fairway woods available on the market at the moment.

Below you can find a side-by-side comparison of our list of best golf fairway woods currently on the market.

All fairway woods were put to the test against our standard assessment model, where we looked at 5 key aspects: Design and Appearance, Build Quality, Control / Feel, Performance and Value for Money. Individual scores of each of these aspects was then aggregated to give an overall assessment score, as follows:

Overall Mark Score Description
Excellent A+ 9.6 – 10 Stop the clock and buy now. This piece of equipment will change your game.
Excellent A 9.0 – 9.5 Superb piece of gear. Amazing quality, performance and value for money.
Great B+ 8.6 – 8.9 Great offering. This piece of gear won’t let you down.
Good B 8.0 – 8.5 Solid piece of gear with only minor issues to criticise.
Average C+ 7.6 – 7.9 Adequate offering, but not the best value for money.
Average C 7.0 – 7.5 Not the most exciting piece of gear, seek alternatives.
Weak D+ 6.6 – 6.9 Leaves lots to be desired. You can do a lot better.
Weak D 6.0 – 6.5 Steer well clear of this gear. Not worth the money!

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Side-by-Side Comparison

Below is a side-by-side comparison of our top picks for the the Best Fairway Woods currently available. To read our detailed individual reviews just click on your fairway wood of choice!

Image DescriptionScore Offers
Best seller
Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Fairway Wood Review

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Fairway Wood Review

On this page you’ll find our detailed Callaway Big Bertha Fusion Fairway Wood Review, the pros and cons, and a ...

Editor choice
2 Srixon Z F65 Fairway Wood Review

Srixon Z F65 Fairway Wood Review

On this page you’ll find our detailed Srixon Z F65 Fairway Wood Review, the pros and cons, and a side-by-side ...

Editor choice
3 Callaway Great Big Bertha Fairway Wood Review

Callaway Great Big Bertha Fairway Wood Review

Callaway. You thinking stylish with a bit of funk. You thinking super long. You remember how it was one of the ...

4 Mizuno JPX900 Fairway Wood Review

Mizuno JPX900 Fairway Wood Review

On this page you’ll find our detailed Mizuno JPX900 Fairway Wood Review, the pros and cons, and a side-by-side ...

Best price
5 Cobra F7 Fairway Wood Review

Cobra F7 Fairway Wood Review

On this page you’ll find our detailed Cobra F7 Fairway Wood Review, the pros and cons, and a side-by-side comparison ...

6 Cobra King Ltd Fairway Wood Review

Cobra King Ltd Fairway Wood Review

You've just NAILED your 3 wood off the tee and your partners have also just hit their fairway woods 'for position'. ...

Best seller
7 Titleist 915F Fairway Wood Review

Titleist 915F Fairway Wood Review

A very interesting question that you probably don't ever think about too much when buying a new club - what ...

Best price
8 Callaway XR 16 Fairway Wood Review

Callaway XR 16 Fairway Wood Review

Can you remember the first time you ever saw a metal fairway wood? You remember how big you thought it was back ...

Best value
9 Taylormade M2 Fairway Wood Review

Taylormade M2 Fairway Wood Review

It’s hard to get any better when you’re already the best. That’s the position Taylormade find themselves in when it ...

10 Titleist 917F2 Fairway Wood Review

Titleist 917F2 Fairway Wood Review

On this page you’ll find our detailed Titleist 917F2 Fairway Wood Review, the pros and cons, and a side-by-side ...

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Best Fairway Woods by Category

Here is a brief overview of the best fairway woods by category:

  • Editor’s Choice
  • Pro’s Choice
  • Best Sellers
  • Best Value
  • Best Price
  • Worthy Competitors
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Editor’s Choice

Srixon Z F65

It’s really hard to knock what Srixon have delivered with the Z F65s. They’ve built on the things that worked with the F45s, and the outcome is an elegant, forgiving, consistent and potent set of woods, whose selection will be more than ample to cater for all your particular loft/distance needs.

Despite no obvious adjustability, these woods won’t really exclude many players of differing abilities or swing speeds – the performance levels are that nuanced. These clubs are well worth the acclaim they’ve been steeped in, and we’d definitely recommend giving them a test drive.

The Z F65s are our Editor’s Choice of Fairway Wood for 2017.

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Here is a summary of the pros and cons. To read the full review click here.


PROS:
  • Smooth, elegant and understated design oozes class
  • A delicious cocktail of forgiveness, easy launch, a fearsome sound and excellent feedback
  • Impressive distance, but even more impressive consistency
  • Very competitive price

CONS:
  • A lack of adjustability – although many players won’t notice

Callaway Great Big Bertha Fairway Wood

The Callaway Great Big Bertha Fairway Wood was our Editor’s Choice for Fairway Woods in 2016.

A beautiful club that isn’t so much focused on distance as it is on playability and ball flight. Versatile and also feels fantastic on center strikes. Without doubt one of the best value fairway wood on the market in our opinion.

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Here is a summary of the pros and cons. To read the full review click here.


PROS:
  • Callaway have won the race here in terms of playability – the straighter leading edge is to thank for this and really provides a consistently good strike
  • Mid to high launch with a low spin rate that really does improve accuracy and is not affected by the elements
  • Good looking solid black appearance, especially from aerial view

CONS:
  • Only thing that MIGHT (really scraping the barrel here) be a factor is because of the very shallow profile you may strike the clubface a bit too high up off the tee or from first cut of rough

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Best Sellers

Callaway Big Bertha Fusion

It’s pretty difficult to come up with any legitimate criticism of the Fusion fairway woods. Forgiving, long-hitting woods are generally big and cumbersome. But these tick such boxes whilst sporting a slender, streamlined look and keeping the bulk down.

An innovative design, backed up by consistent and impressive results. What more do you want?

Callaway have set the bar high over the years when it comes to fairway woods, but these may well be the best ones yet.

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Here is a summary of the pros and cons. To read the full review click here.


PROS:
  • Long, long and longer!
  • The shiny triaxial carbon on the crown underpins the ingenious weight distribution across the clubhead
  • Such an easy launch, and tremendously forgiving and consistent
  • Arrow-like head shape and sound at impact make for very satisfying look and feel

CONS:
  • Could possibly point to a lack of versatility in loft/face angle features

Titleist 915F Fairway Wood

The Titleist 915F was our Best Seller for 2016 and simply put it’s a quality brand that most golfers love.

A Players club. All the factors that the good ball striker will really appreciate and use to their advantage!

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Here is a summary of the pros and cons. To read the full review click here.


PROS:
  • More than long enough, plenty of oomph on the center strikes with low spin
  • High launching, which in turn improves accuracy and dispersion
  • Feels superb on center strikes – this is actually a consistent factor in Titleist fairways and drivers
  • Very workable in terms of shaping it either way

CONS:
  • Forgiveness not exceptional – off slightly downhill lies or when sitting down a touch it’s tough to get the whole face on the back of the ball
  • Beware fiddling with the loft/lie adjustability too often unless helped by a professional as it can affect shot dispersion

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Best Price

Cobra F7

There isn’t a world of difference between the F7 woods and the F6 Bafflers from the previous season, especially in terms of look and feel. But our ball speeds and distances were considerably higher, and what impressed us most was the forgiveness on offer.

There is only so much that the rail system can do, and, at the end of the day, consistency will always be hardest to achieve with fairway woods. But we’re converts to the rail system, and we think that for players from quite a wide range of handicaps, there are great results waiting to be enjoyed here – and at an excellent price too.

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Here is a summary of the pros and cons. To read the full review click here.


PROS:
  • Simple but effective hosel and weight adjustability
  • Surprisingly potent in the distance stakes
  • Upped their game in terms of forgiveness, and the Baffler Rail System is a winner
  • So affordable. Brilliant work from Cobra once again with price

CONS:
  • Better players may point to a lack of ‘workability’

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Worthy Competitors

Titleist 917F2

The F2 woods have plenty to offer. The fullish shape of the clubhead, combined with easy, high launch makes it a suitable metal both off the tee and on the deck. It also does an excellent job of instilling weight-based versatilities for things like CG and fade/draw bias, while still retaining good balance across the various settings.

Higher handicappers will be charmed by improved user friendliness compared with some of its predecessors too. Yet while it is difficult to criticize anything about the F2, there was nothing to really set our lives on fire either; nothing especially memorable.

And it doesn’t come cheap either.

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Here is a summary of the pros and cons. To read the full review click here.


PROS:
  • Elastomer-filled ARC reduces spin and gives distance a big boost
  • World-class adjustability and versatility
  • Excellent, soft feel across the whole clubface
  • Arguably the most forgiving Titleist fairway wood to date

CONS:
  • Titleist prices for Titleist clubs. This one seems particularly costly though
  • By their high standards, not the best-looking wood they’ve ever produced

Mizuno JPX900

The bottom line is that we all hit fairway woods very differently, and it thus gives you a puncher’s chance when there is material (but balanced) adjustability and versatility on offer. That’s precisely what the JPX900 woods deliver, with the adjustable hosel and the front-to-back Fast Track technology.

The latter system is crucial for a fairway wood, as it allows you to seamlessly use it off the tee and from the deck, and bridge any distance gaps to boot. But, customization aside, the levels of performance were impressive across every metric, and we can confidently say that these are the best woods Mizuno have produced to date.

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Here is a summary of the pros and cons. To read the full review click here.


PROS:
  • Plenty of versatility with loft, face angle, spin, launch and more
  • Superb balance and stability across various settings
  • Easy, user-friendly launch without being naturally ‘hook biased’
  • Compact head and sleek design will appeal to better players

CONS:
  • Perhaps a bit too much offset in the 5 and 7

Cobra King Ltd Fairway Wood

Funky offering from Cobra that offers a range of benefits and is one of our best picks for 2016.

It is an expensive choice, but the King Ltd is POWER in a nutshell. If you struggle with confidence in your fairway woods and looking for a bit more length then this has your name on it.

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Here is a summary of the pros and cons. To read the full review click here.


PROS:
  • Very long!! In fact the longest fairway wood we’ve tested and will give you huge confidence
  • Forgiving clubface where there isn’t much difference between center and off-center strikes
  • Funky checked crown that makes you look twice

CONS:
  • Expensive purchase – even though it has plenty of punch
  • The feedback isn’t the best either with you not being able to define EXACTLY where you struck each shot

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Key Considerations

Build Quality

You’d think that as technology advances there would be some kind of homogenization, as, while clubs undergo rigorous testing and thought leadership, a new normal is tended to. Not so. In fact with fairways in particular, I’m fascinated by the different features, nuances and technologies various brands adopt.

And they aren’t just gimmicks either – they have a material impact on performance. As ever, the things to look out for when looking at build quality are weight distribution, CG, MOI, the materials used, adjustability and any features which make the wood(s) stand out from the crowd.

Control and Performance

As alluded to above, it can be difficult to generalize performance of fairways, because it varies so much from person to person. This is particularly so when it comes to players of different abilities and swing speeds, whereby it becomes hazardous to find common denominators and metrics to ensure targeting of as wide a market as possible.

But I think we are starting to see that gap being bridged to some extent, as huge improvements in forgiveness, spin reduction, trajectory, shape and consistency of distance bring us all a bit more into line.

And of course, where these important measures of performance and control can’t be generalized in a fairway’s stock form, there is always adjustability to keep (almost) everyone satisfied.

Design and Appearance

Round? Pear-shaped? What’s your fancy? Clubhead shape preference seems to oscillate between the two with fairways, and the jury’s out as to which is preferential. But there is much more to design and appearance than mere clubhead shape. There can be nothing quite as intoxicating and confidence-building as a sleek, glossy or matte crown; while I for one have a real eye for subtle features such as groove lines on the clubface or the terrain of the sole.

But perhaps the most important aesthetic issue of all is with any technological features or gimmicks. Do they enhance the club’s looks, or diminish it? That’s the question you need to ask yourself, and no doubt the same one manufacturers ask themselves on the production line every day.

Value for Money

Drivers and irons will naturally have the most variance when it comes to price tags. But it is interesting to note how brands position themselves within the fairway niche too. For some, it is all about reaffirming a sense of quality, and even elitism. For others, it is about coming in with a cost that is more accessible to the masses. Which is interesting, given that this is the top-end of the market we are talking about here – we’d have expected more homogeneity.

Anyway, what’s important is trying to determine what proportion of any premium is reflected in terms of quality and suitability. Once you are able to confidently balance these two elements against each other, you’ll be well placed to determine what represents good value for money, and what doesn’t.

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Have Your Say!

We put this article together to help players, like yourself, find a fairway wood that suits their specific game, level and budget. By keeping this guide updated and via feedback from the GA community, we hope this article becomes a great resource for anyone looking to get a new fairway wood or two. Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Golf Assessor is the web’s No. 1 independent golf equipment review website. Each week 1000s of avid golfers visit Golf Assessor to get our latest views and reviews on new equipment releases in the golfing industry. We try to keep things light and fun at Golf Assessor, whilst maintaining a rigorous, thorough and fair assessment process that puts golf clubs and gear to the real test.

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