What is a Fairway Wood?
Fairway woods can be used off the tee, however, they are a great club to have for when you have just hit the perfect drive and now the ball is sat in the middle of the fairway. This club is the perfect tool to drive a shot from distance to the green, if you have the power to do so.
Fairway woods are versatile clubs that have a much larger head than long irons, making it easier to get the distance you are looking for while also giving you the opportunity to reach the green in fewer shots. However, compared to irons and hybrids, fairway woods are harder to control, so you have to have a club that works for you to ensure it works with your skill set.
Steel – Steel has been the most common metal used in fairway woods as it provides stability to the entire body of the driver.
Titanium – Compared to steel, titanium is so much lighter which allows for larger club head designs without adding any additional weight. The titanium also allows for thinner faces to be used that create a more spring-like effect that produces more distances than the standard steel faces.
Composite – Composite materials aren’t normally used on the faces or the sole of the fairway woods, but they are often used when designing the crown. Many clubs use carbon fibre crowns to reduce the weight of the club so that internal tungsten weights can be added, or more emphasis is paid to the centre of gravity.
Adjustable weights are less prevalent for fairway woods than what they are in drivers, however as technology improves and engineering techniques find new ways to gain extra yards on every swing they are becoming much more popular.
Adjustable weights allow for golfers to alter the MOI and centre of gravity of their club to create a feel and swing that works best for them.
By putting more weight in the toe of the club you create a fade bias, more weight in the wheel creates a draw bias and putting more weight in the back of the club can create a much higher launch.
A fairway wood tends to have the longest shaft of all the clubs in your bag, either being made from steel or graphite.
More experienced golfers tend to go for the graphite option as it is lightweight and allows for higher club speeds with less effort, however, this is the more expensive option. Steel is the choice for most players as it helps to prove a more consistent shot.
For the flex of the shaft, a player with a stronger swing should look to use a less flexible shaft so that they are able to control the ball off the face. A player with an average swing will need a shaft that allows a little more flexibility.
However, if the shaft is too flexible this may negatively affect the accuracy of the shots, as well as having a shaft that is a little too stiff could reduce the overall carry distance of the ball.
What’s the difference between a Fairway Wood and a Hybrid?
The key differences between a fairway wood and a hybrid are the size of their heads and the length of the shafts.
Fairway woods have the longer shaft and larger head of the two options, allowing for shots that are much more suited for off the tee and the fairway. The larger head on the fairway is much more forgiving and will send the ball higher as it creates much more backspin. The hybrid is best suited for shots that need to be played from the rough as its smaller head will allow for a better connection with the ball on uneven and bad lies more easily.