Best Fairway Woods For Mid Handicappers 2024

We take a look at the best fairway woods for mid handicappers

Best Fairway Woods For Mid Handicappers
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)
Best Fairway Woods For Mid Handicappers: Quick Menu

The technology these days in the best fairway woods is incredible and the following products, while all trying to give us a helping hand, have a remarkable variety of approaches going on underneath the bonnet. An array of technology is present across different brands, but all fairway woods have to be versatile enough to use off the tee, from the ground and, at times, around the green. They also have to bridge the gap from the driver to the irons well.

Mid handicappers in particular often neglect to focus on this area of the bag which could cost them shots. As such, we have taken a look at some of the best models for that level of player - all of which have slightly smaller heads than the most forgiving fairway woods, and yet still offer some help to ensure consistency of strike. Here, after doing a lot of thorough testing of models from different brands, we take a look at the best fairway woods for mid handicappers. Alternatively, take a look at our other guides on the best fairway woods for high handicappers or the best women's fairway woods as well.

WATCH: We test and compare the best fairway woods on the market in 2024

The Quick List

Best Fairway Woods For Mid Handicappers

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TaylorMade Qi10 Fairway Wood

Photo of Taylormade Qi10 fairway

(Image credit: Future)
A superb all-rounder with forgiveness and power

Specifications

Lofts: 15º, 16.5º, 18º, 21º, 24º

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely forgiving on low-struck shots
+
Produces a powerful, towering ball flight
+
New weight saving design aids launch and flight

Reasons to avoid

-
Infinity carbon crown has made it slightly harder to align the clubface

In our experience TaylorMade fairway woods rarely fail to deliver and this is one of the best all around fairway woods on the market today. The TaylorMade Qi10 fairway wood has been designed with both power and forgiveness in mind and it delivers on both fronts, but then so did its predecessor, the Stealth 2

It's in the aesthetics where we see the biggest changes as most of the trusted technology has stayed put. For example, TaylorMade has persisted with the Thru-Slot Speed-Pocket to create fast ball speeds and a powerful thud through impact, with the V-Steel sole technology continuing to offer golfers a smooth feeling through impact and the best turf interaction possible.

Overall, the performance of the TaylorMade Qi10 fairway wood was solid and produced an impressive, powerful feeling through impact. In testing, the distance was respectable, but there weren’t massive gains to be had over the previous years model, but then there didn't need to be as the previous model was one of the best fairway woods we've tested..

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fairway Wood

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max Fairway Wood Review

(Image credit: Future)
A stunning fairway wood with performance to match

Specifications

Lofts: 15°, 16.5°, 18°, 20°, 21°, 24°, 27°

Reasons to buy

+
Produces a high, powerful ball flight
+
Extremely forgiving
+
Looks superb from every angle

Reasons to avoid

-
The more confident player may prefer a deeper face

After a particularly successful 2023 with the launch of the Paradym range, Callaway has now unveiled the Paradym Ai Smoke fairway woods which feature new and improved aesthetics. Our choice for this particular category is the Ai Smoke Max, which is aimed at a broader range of golfers making it ideal for mid-handicap players.

The white and grey crushed carbon sole gives the product its ‘Smoke’ name, which is nicely highlighted in a bolt blue to really capture the attention of your playing partners. When in the sun, both the sole and the carbon crown come to life and look spectacular when this club is at address and we would class this as one of the most aesthetically pleasing clubs of 2024.

When we tested this club the thing that jumped out at us was how incredibly forgiving it was. This is largely due to the Ai Smart Face technology implemented throughout the entire Paradym Ai Smoke family. Data from thousands of golf shots has been taken and entered into Callaway's ‘super computer’ to create a face with multiple sweet spots for incredible consistency of ball flight and spin rates, regardless of strike location. This makes it a stand out as one of the most forgiving fairway woods money can buy.

Cobra Darkspeed X Fairway Wood

Cobra Darkspeed X Fairway Wood Review

(Image credit: Future)
A powerful fairway that delivers satisfying strikes off the face

Specifications

Lofts: 15º, 18º, 21º

Reasons to buy

+
Modern, sleek looking head
+
Plenty of launch and spin for those seeking carry
+
Solid levels of forgiveness

Reasons to avoid

-
Matte head can make the club appear a little small

Cobra continues to impress in its fairway wood game. The Darkspeed range is new for 2024 and the X fairway wood is the 'standard' model out of the three released, meaning it is the model created with the broadest range of golfers in mind.

The matte black head is a thing of beauty although it does make the head look a little more compact than other models out there. We found in our testing that the Cobra X fairway wood produced a particularly high ball flight and one that will suit golfers looking to maximize their carry distance and stopping power into greens. This won't suit the higher handicap player who needs a little help getting the ball airborne, but the Cobra Darkspeed Max fairway wood will be much more to their liking.

The feel off the face was energetic very solid, while producing a fairly loud sound to match. All in all, we would recommend the Cobra Darkspeed X to anyone who is looking for a high flight with plenty of spin from their fairway wood and who uses it much more off the deck than from the tee.

Ping G430 Max Fairway

Ping G430 MAX Fairway on the course

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)
Excellent feel and superb power

Specifications

Lofts: 15°, 18°, 21°, 24°

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptional forgiveness
+
Versatile from different lies
+
Consistently fast ball speeds

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the easiest to flight low into the wind

This is a great club that actually features in several of our various guides for the best fairway woods. It appeals to such a broad range of golfers that we have it in this category for mid-handicap players, as well as in the best overall category and the most forgiving fairway woods guide too. It goes without saying that it's also among the best Ping fairway woods too.

The Ping G430 range offers several upgrades on the G425 fairway woods, the most noticeable of which are its aesthetics. At address, the carbon finish, along with the dark grey and neon green accents, give the G430 Max fairway a more premium and modern look than models before it. 

The club comes in plenty of loft options, from a 3-wood all the way up to a 9-wood so there's a solution to fill any problematic slot you may have in your bag. It boasts Ping's new Facewrap Technology, designed to deliver greater stability between the sole and the crown of the club on all strikes across the face. One of the standout features of this club for us during testing was the feel, with Ping replacing the 'metallic' sounds on the G425 with a much more satisfying sensation on the G430  courtesy of a new Carbonfly Wrap across the crown. 

Ultimately this club continues to deliver excellent forgiveness and ball speeds that emulate some of the longer fairway woods in the game, and we were so impressed that it made it onto our editor's choice list for 2023. 

Srixon ZX Mk II Fairway

Srixon ZX Mk II Fairway

(Image credit: Future)
An excellent option from a variety of lies

Specifications

Lofts: 13.5º, 15º, 18º, 21º

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile sole sits well at address
+
Generous sized head improves forgiveness

Reasons to avoid

-
Looks of step in crown may not be for all

The ZX Mk II has made some significant upgrades over its predecessor the Srixon ZX fairway, including a new Cannon Sole that has a weight pad which has been moved closer towards the front of the club behind its face. That positions the center of gravity closer to the face which increases the MOI of the club. It also comes with a step down design at the front of the crown that creates a defined leading edge that helps to frame the golf ball a little better at address.

Additionally, the notches you'll see on the sole of the club work with the higher trailing edge to create a squarer face angle at impact, which helps when you're striking the ball from the ground. We found during testing that the Mk II cuts very nicely through short grass and semi-rough an we enjoyed how fast this club was off the face due to its Rebound Frame and the Dual Flex Zones on the face  

The result of all this is that the Srixon ZX Mk II fairway wood is a great option for those looking for more penetrative ball flights. Ultimately, it was a very easy club to hit and feels reassuringly stable - making it a good choice for golfers who are inconsistent with a fairway wood in their hands. 

Mizuno ST-Z 230 Fairway

Mizuno ST-Z 230 Fairway

(Image credit: Future)
One of the best looking fairway woods on the market

Specifications

Lofts: 13º, 15º, 17º, 20º

Reasons to buy

+
Extremely forgiving across the face
+
Pleasing, classic looks
+
Adjustable hosel for customization

Reasons to avoid

-
Didn’t quite produce the distance expected

During testing, we found this club to be very versatile and it performed steadily off both the tee and the fairway. Where it really impressed though was on off-center strikes. Toe strikes remained relatively straight and on other miss-hits, the technology accommodated for poor shots and the ball still traveled well and on line.

Additionally, the Mizuno ST-Z 230 fairway wood is probably one of the most impressive looking clubs on the market right now. It features a very cool glossy black clubhead which is contrasted by an icy blue Coretech Chamber on the club's sole. At address, it looks fantastic, with the carbon fiber design on the crown giving it a premium shelf appeal.

After extensive testing we found this to be a high launching, straight biased club that offers mid-to-low spin, meaning the ST-Z 230 is suitable for mid handicap players. 

Titleist TSR2 Fairway Wood

A golfer swings the Titleist TSR2 Fairway Wood

(Image credit: Future)
Easy to launch and aesthetically pleasing

Specifications

Lofts: 13.5°, 15°, 16.5°, 18°