We take a look at some of the best fairway woods for higher handicap golfers.
Best Fairway Woods For High Handicappers
By the nature of the high handicapper you are likely to be hitting a lot of fairway woods into par 4s and the ability to advance the ball in the region of 200 yards is a huge benefit and a very quick way to getting your handicap down.
The best fairway woods for players with a higher handicap will help in this regard as well as provide a level of forgiveness to give confidence and provide some consistency of strike. Chances are they will also have a degree of draw-bias, have a slight offset and also have technology to help players get a higher launch.
Likewise they will get the ball in play more often which is a common issue for those at the higher end of the handicap spectrum.
Acknowledging all of this here are some of the best fairway woods for high handicappers. Additionally we also recommend checking out our guide on most forgiving fairway woods or best fairway woods for mid handicappers.
Best Fairway Woods For High Handicappers
TaylorMade SIM2 Max D-Type Fairway Wood
+ Fast and forgiving with built in draw-bias
+ Clean turf interaction
– Minimal gains over last year’s model
For higher handicappers who struggled to get fairway woods up in the air quickly and easily, the SIM2 MAX D fairway wood is an ideal solution and can be used to equal effect off the tee and off the deck.
TaylorMade has put the centre of gravity in this club as low as possible, the lowest in any of its fairway woods, which allows you to launch the ball high with little extra effort and the larger 195cc head means increased area for even more forgiveness.
There is also a cleverly placed draw bias weight in the heel of the club to encourage the right-to-left ball shape that most higher handicappers struggle to achieve. This club won’t automatically mean you start hitting a big draw shape, but it will certainly stave off a big slice or a leaky fade.
Cobra Radspeed Draw Fairway Wood
+ Baffler Rails make this a usable fairway wood out of questionable lies
+ Adjustable loft enhances versatility
– If you like to work your ball about then you might want to look elsewhere
With strategically placed back and heel weighting, the Radspeed Draw fairway wood gives you all of the power and speed of the Radspeed family but with the extra help to get it in the air quickly. The heel weighting also encourages a draw shape and keeps the face square or even slightly closed at impact.
Cobra’s famous baffler rails on the bottom of the club mean this club is versatile out of a number of different lies as well as off the tee. The stock head is 14.5° but there is plenty of adjustability in the hosel, allowing you to put even more loft in for more forgiveness.
Mizuno ST-Z Fairway Wood
+ Beautiful, classic look with carbon crown
+ Very forgiving off centre
– There are only two loft options, but they are adjustable
Mizuno fairway woods are some of the most criminally underrated woods on the market and the new ST-Z has shown marked improvements on last year’s ST2000 model.
We love this model for how high it launches, making it a great fairway wood for those who use them to approach greens, especially as a second shot attacking a par 5. The ST-Z also has plenty of adjustability, which the ST2000 didn’t have, allowing you to get just the right kind of ball flight and distance.
Honma T//World GS Fairway Wood
+ Great for those with a moderate to slow swing speed
+ Sits flush to the ground at address
– A more expensive option than others in this list
Honma introduced its GS line in early 2021 aimed at higher handicap golfers with a slower swing speed. The GS stands for Gain Speed and extra ball speed is certainly something we found in these fairway woods. The head is aerodynamically designed to create quicker club head speeds, even for golfers who swing the club at a moderate to slow speed.
It also comes with a built in draw-bias to alleviate slice and create a more consistent and penetrating ball flight. We found very little drop in ball speeds from off-centre hits, making this a very forgiving fairway wood off the tee and off the deck and an ideal fairway wood for a higher handicapper with a moderate to slow swing speed.
Callaway Big Bertha B21 Fairway Wood
+ The high launch will benefit plenty of players
+ Definitely starts the ball more left than most
– The offset looks might take a bit of getting used to
The latest club Callaway have launched the iconic Big Bertha range, this fairway wood is particularly easy to launch and, Callaway say, it is easy to hit like a hybrid.
You’ll notice that this has a shallow face and the larger head provides plenty of distance and, to help us even more, a lighter crown provides even more forgiveness. A healthy amount of offset inspires confidence at address and will encourage a right-to-left shape when hit – a shot most higher handicappers struggle to create.
Otherwise the usual Callaway details – the Artificial Intelligence, Flash Face and Jailbreak technology – are part of the process to deliver another strong and very helpful club. Definitely one of the best Callaway fairway woods on the market, let alone for high handicappers.
Callaway Epic Max Fairway Wood
+ Long, forgiving with a hint of draw-bias
+ Stretched out look inspires confidence
– No hosel adjustability, but there are plenty of loft options to choose from
Callaway’s Epic 21 woods were launched at the start of 2021 to sit alongside its Mavrik range and are available in a Speed and Max version. For higher handicappers, we are going to focus on the Epic Max for its larger head, adjustable weight and high launch that make it a great option if you’re a higher handicapper.
The Epic Max fairway wood features Callaway’s new Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades which have produced even faster ball speeds across the whole face. Flash Face SS21 is also incorporated on the Epic Max and keeps ball speed up even on off-centre hits.
There are two adjustable weights in the head, 2g and 14g, and having the heavier weight at the back increases the ability for the club to easily launch the ball, especially off the deck. A great option for a higher handicapper who wants all the technology of a Callaway fairway wood with maximum forgiveness.
Ping G425 SFT Fairway Wood
+ Faster ball speeds across the face against last year’s model while keeping the forgiveness
+ Three dot alignment system helps frame the ball nicely
– Loud impact sound most please all
Ping is renowned for its forgiveness across its range and the new Ping G425 fairway wood family is no different. Without a doubt, the Ping G425 SFT fairway wood is the best of the bunch for higher handicappers.
The weight is positioned slightly more towards to the heel to encourage a draw shape and the one-piece face makes for very fast ball speeds, 1.5mph quicker than last year’s Ping G410.
The G425 SFT is lofted at 16° for extra forgiveness and playability but its adjustable 1.5° up or down so this club can be fine-tuned to suit any needs.
If you are a Ping fan we also think you will like our guide on the best Ping fairway woods too.
Wilson D9 Fairway Wood
+ Confidence inspiring at address and forgiving across the face
+ Excellent value for money
– No loft adjustability and only a few loft options
For the first time ever, Wilson Staff fairway woods feature Variable Face Technology, which seeks to deliver high ball speeds and high launch angles regardless of strike location on the face. This is ideal for high handicappers who struggle to get the ball up in the air and it makes the D9 a versatile club off the tee or off a fairway.
The Wilson D9 fairway strikes a classic looking pose at address and inspires confidence with a slight amount of offset and useful alignment tool on the crown. At a modest retail price too, this fairway wood is ideal for those who swing the club at moderate speeds and want maximum forgiveness from a fairway wood
Srixon ZX Fairway Wood
+ You won’t struggle for distance with this club
+ Clean and quick through the turf
– No adjustability limits the appeal somewhat
Srixon say this is their most advanced fairway yet thanks to their ‘rebound frame’ technology. This provides a more efficient transfer of energy by focusing more energy into the ball. Put simply(ish) it works by layering alternating zones of flexible and stiff material which then transports the correct energy into the ball.
This comes in four options with the 3+ and 3 using a lightweight carbon crown to push the MOI up and increase forgiveness in the lofts where higher handicappers need it most.
At address this looks classy, clean and simple.
Titleist TSi1 Fairway Wood
+ Very lightweight shaft makes it easy to swing
+ Ideal for golfers that struggle to flight the ball from the deck
– Slightly smaller head than other forgiving fairway woods on the market
This fairway wood is a great option if you have a moderate to slow swing speed and are looking for ultimate forgiveness from a fairway wood.
The TSi1 offers all the same technology benefits that were introduced in the TSi2, but with the added benefit of being super-lightweight. It is 50g lighter than the average fairway wood currently on the market.
The ideal fairway wood for a golfer who finds approaching lots of greens with a wood and wants added height and spin to help stop the ball.