If you need help in the fairway wood department, here are some of the most forgiving.
Most Forgiving Fairway Woods
There is a trend these days to give us all as much help as possible when it comes to fairway woods. The best fairway woods for forgiveness seek to help players in a variety of ways, with specific technologies.
For example golf club manufacturers know what a large collection of club golfers do – hit it left to right and without enough loft – so the emphasis is on fairway woods with a draw bias, slight offset and also specifically designed to create higher launch angles. This is to help players get the ball into the air.
The most forgiving fairway woods offer a combination of all of these things and many of them also have slightly larger heads than normal to give players more confidence when looking down on the ball. These heads are also there to help with consistency of strike too.
But, even if you’re a better and stronger player, there might be plenty of help at hand with our selections of the most forgiving models below.
Most Forgiving Fairway Woods
Callaway Epic Max Fairway Wood
+ All of Callaway’s distance technology with maximum forgiveness
– No hosel adjustability but there are plenty of loft options available
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. Callaway’s most forgiving option is the Epic Max for its larger head, adjustable weight and high launch that make Callaway’s most forgiving fairway woods for 2021.
The Epic Max fairway wood features Callaway’s new Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades which has 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.
Titleist TSi2 Fairway Wood
+ Great off the deck, sounds good and produces a lovely flight
– The smallish head size might not be what you want for a bit of help
This is designed more for forgiveness and to get the ball in the air easier than the TSi3. And unlike its sibling it doesn’t feature the weight track – the flat weight at the back here gets the CG as far back and as low as possible to improve the launch.
There is speed and accuracy across the entire face rather than a specific strike position which will be music to many ears.
An interesting stat about the new TSi2 and TSi3 is that the discrepancy between the drivers on tour is about 85 per cent in favour of the TSi3 whereas in the fairway woods it’s almost 50-50 so don’t see this as the option for the mid to high-handicapper, it’s just a great sounding, looking and feeling club.
TaylorMade SIM2 Max Fairway Wood
+ Twist Face technology gives maximum forgiveness from off-centre hits
– Minimal gains from last year’s model
The SIM2 Max offers a slightly larger head than other models in the family, providing a more inviting club to look at from address and inspiring confidence in a golfer looking for as much forgiveness as possible.
The SIM2 Max fairway wood also comes with TaylorMade’s Twist Face technology, a technology that was introduced in the M3 and M4 driver series, that reduces the effect of off-centre shots in the toe and heel.
The 3-wood starts at 15° but there is a 5-wood and 7-wood option if you want even more loft and forgiveness off the deck.
Ping G425 SFT Fairway Wood
+ Faster ball speeds across the face versus last year’s model while maintaining forgiveness
– Not the flashiest looking club
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 new family for forgiveness.
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. Adding forgiveness across the face can often mean a tradeoff with distance, but that certainly isn’t the case here.
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.
Honma T//World GS Fairway Wood
+ Forgivness and speed for those who have a moderate to slow swing speed
– A more expensive option than others in our 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.
Cobra Radspeed Fairway Wood
+ Baffler Rails make this a forgiving club out of unfavourable lies
– Less workability than some others in our list
Cobra’s new Radspeed fairway wood family comes in four distinct heads but the by far the best for forgiveness is the stock Radspeed fairway wood.
The Cobra Radspeed fairway features CNC Milled Infinity Face for the first time as well as 16g and 7g weights in the front and back respectively. This gives you quite a scope for adjusting the preferred ball flight, whether you want forward for lower spin or back for higher launch. For maximum forgiveness, we recommend having the heavier weight at the back to allow the ball to launch quickly and easily even
The Radspeed fairway wood features Cobra’s signature Baffler Hollow Split Rails, which increases flexion on the leading edge by 70 per cent to increase speed while still providing excellent turf interaction. This makes it an incredibly forgiving club even out of unfavourable lies.
The large sweet spot, forgiveness on turf interaction and fine-tuned adjustability means the Radspeed fairway wood is definitely the most forgiving fairway woods by Cobra this year.
Wilson D9 Fairway Wood
+ Confidence inspiring at address and forgiving across the face
– No adjustability and limited 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 golfers seeking forgiveness and who struggle to get the ball up in the air, making 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.
Mizuno ST-Z Fairway Wood
+ Beautiful, classic look with a carbon crown
– Limited model options, but there is plenty of adjustability
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.
Most Forgiving Fairway Woods From 2020
Cobra F-Max Airspeed Fairway Wood
+ Stylish looks for a club aimed at the higher handicapper
– This is aimed solely at the super game-improvement player
This is a fixed loft offering, with 3, 5 and 7 options, which is heel weighted and offset to help with the shot that goes right. Everything sets up to give you some help with an ultra-lite shaft and shallow profile there to help with your confidence. There is also some alignment help on the crown.
Cobra call this ‘the lightweight champion’ and this is the lightest range in the company’s history.
US Buy Now at Worldwide Golf Shops for $219.99
UK Buy Now at American Golf for £189
Wilson Staff Launch Pad Fairway Wood
+ The mass appeal of this club is obvious
– There are only two options, 3 and 5, but they launch high anyway
This has been designed to help with what the majority of club golfers do, it’s not re-inventing the wheel but is a simple and easy way to attack the common fault. It came out at the start of 2020 and there is a 1.5˚ offset, which is not obvious to see at address, which promotes a closed face at impact and helps to straighten out your fade.
The shaft, face and grip all have lightweight components and this translates into more clubhead speed for greater distances.
US Buy Now at Worldwide Golf Shops for $199.99
UK Buy Now at Golf Support from £139
Callaway Mavrik Max Fairway Wood
+ The 3-wood can be so hard to get right but there’s loads of help here
– Will only appeal to those who need that help
One of the best Callaway fairway woods in the current range, the Mavrik Max has the largest and most forgiving head of the three models and the sole weights come at the back and heel to promote easy launch and more of a draw. But the real kicker is how much forgiveness that this club offers with a significantly higher MOI than the Epic Flash fairway and the face has a wider radius at the bottom for when we catch the ball low in the toe or heel which will appeal to plenty.
The stigma of too many headcovers should be a thing of the past these days and there are bundles of options here with the 3+, 3, 5, Heavenwood, 7, 9 and 11-wood.
US Buy Now at Worldwide Golf Shops for $299.99
UK Buy Now at Scottsdale Golf for £249
Mizuno ST200 X Fairway Wood
+ Is cheaper than the ST200 and great for more moderate swing speeds
– You won’t be able to add or take off a bit of loft if required
The X is a little bit lighter than the ST200 and has more draw bias but there’s no option for any adjustability. This extremely lightweight design will favour those who don’t swing it quickly and those who find the right rough a bit too often and it has a larger clubface and a wider body with more mass in the heel.
The face in the 3-wood has a driver-type construction while the 5 and 7-woods are designed for greater energy transfer.
UK Buy Now at Scottsdale Golf for £199
TaylorMade SIM Max Fairway Wood
+ If you struggle to launch your fairway woods then welcome to your new saviour
– With the fixed hosel there’s no going back once you’ve been fitted
The SIM models are some of the best TaylorMade fairway woods ever made with this Max model being the option that offers maximum forgiveness with a higher launch than the SIM. It has the same design ethos with the V Steel sole, Speed Pocket and Twist Face technology but without the zatech titanium face or adjustability so, whatever you have in your hands, there’s no tinkering with.
This comes in the 3, 5, 7 and there’s also a 9 (24˚) which is becoming more popular as more of us realise that our longer irons might not be doing us too many favours. The idea is to play what’s right for you rather than worry about how many headcovers you have in the bag. Dustin Johnson has had both the 3 and 5-wood Max in the bag.
US Buy Now at Worldwide Golf Shops for $299.99
UK Buy Now at American Golf for £229
Honma XP-1 Fairway Wood
+ The ultra-lightweight shaft are designed to up your swing speed and launch it
– This is a premium brand, and a lot goes into the construction, but it’s not cheap
These were introduced in 2019 as a new range of game-improvement clubs. They are designed to help you square the club with a draw-biased design which will appeal to those who are looking for some help with their swing path.
Like the driver this fairway wood features the Double Slot sole across the clubhead, with a narrow slot in the centre, that helps to deliver more distance and reduce spin on those shots that come out the heel and toe.
US Buy Now at Fairway Golf USA for $299.99
UK Buy Now at American Golf for £309