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Fairway woods do not seem to get the same degree of glory as drivers but getting the right one to suit your style and swing is at least as important as your driver and will probably save you a good many strokes each round. So, we decided, through this best fairway woods ever review, to pay a little tribute to the clubs that’s made an impact on the golf world through the years. Just to show any doubters out there what these bad boys can (and will) do. Let’s get stuck in.
The Development of Fairway Woods
Firstly, fairway woods are not only used on the fairway and many people use them off the tee. They are also no longer made of wood but use the same modern metals and composites used in drivers.
Fairway woods are starting to lose a bit of favor to the extra forgiveness, distance, and playability of modern hybrids. These hybrids really give you the best of both worlds and combine the best elements of the irons and fairway woods.
Sometimes called rescue clubs, hybrids are extremely versatile and great off a poor lie. An increasing number of golfers use them in place of the longer irons and, in many cases, the less forgiving fairway woods.
With all that being said, if you ask a group of golfers, particularly those who have been playing for quite some time, there are a few names that regularly pop up when you ask about the best fairway woods ever.
Hit the right fairway wood well and you will be rewarded with an incredible shot, long and accurate. Many people passionately cling to their faithful fairway woods for many years or look online to purchase their old favorites back after selling and upgrading.
From listening to the chatter among golfers and reading the many online forums, these are the names that standout, many of them achieving an iconic status. It is one of the rare occasions a player beams with pride at one of the oldest clubs in his bag.
Best Fairway Woods Ever Review
These are the names that came up regularly as the best fairway woods ever. In many cases, it is a line that has evolved over the years and developed as new technologies come out.
One of the most fondly remembered and spoken about fairway woods is the Callaway Steelhead, an absolute revolution when it first came on the scene. The club, that debuted nearly 2 decades ago, remains to this day, Callaway’s biggest seller ever. It was well loved by amateur and professional golfers alike.
The key feature of this legendary club is the Hawkeye sole. This made it exceptionally good out of a poor lie, something most golfers had not experienced before. The compact, aerodynamic head was also groundbreaking on their early models.
Modern technology has improved on the great original design over the years and the Steelhead XR stood out as one of the ultimate hybrid woods ever made, proudly continuing the Callaway legacy. In total, the company sold in excess of 2.3 million Steelhead Fairway Woods.
Ping Rapture Fairway Woods
The Rapture series hit the market just over a decade ago and soon became a firm favorite in the fairway wood market. It is still regarded by many golfers as their best fairway woods ever.
Ping’s main new technology with the Rapture series, in general, was a multi-material design, a technique still very much in use today. With the fairway woods, however, Ping stuck to an all-titanium head.
The V in the name refers to the sole design that helps it play well out of even the poorest lie, one of the clubs main attractions. It was also known to hit long and far and they are still rated by many as their most loved fairway woods of all time.
They are equally at home off the tee or off the deck and The V Steel is easy to launch and produces a pleasing sound while providing great feedback as well. A number of players were not happy with the stock shaft but fell in love with the club once they had found the right shaft for their swing. This practice is a lot more common these days and goes to show what a difference it can make.
It was not the most forgiving of fairway woods but when you hit it well it tore down the fairway. It was great for playing out of the rough. The combination of features made the V Steel a highly popular choice.
These guys deserve a worthy mention in any list of top fairway woods and they are still very popular with many players including quite a number of pros. They are clearly near the top of the list in the looks department but these game improvers are brilliant performers as well.
Some of their features include the Slipstream sole technology which cut amazingly well through the turf. The weighting and design lends itself to mid-launch with good distance. It is a well-designed and exceptionally crafted fairway wood.
Another fairway wood from Callaway is the Big Bertha, generally better known for powerful, forgiving drivers. Their fairway woods also perform exceptionally well. Many players have vehemently hung onto their Warbird woods year after year in spite of all the developments in design, materials, and adjustability.
The Warbirds name refers to the soleplate. This combined with the optimized weight distribution and low CG positioning made for a forgiving fairway wood that went the distance.
These fairway woods also achieved a degree of fame, largely due to their slot technology. The slot allowed Adams to maximize distance and forgiveness, the two things you want out of a fairway wood. As the name suggests, the clubs were perfect for those really difficult lies.
The slot is no longer visible on later models, earning it the name “ghost slot”. The forgiveness and power were still there, you just no longer had to clean the turf out of the slot after every shot.
The efficiency of the Tight Lies Fairway Woods was further enhanced by the tri-level sole design that further improved the clubs performance when the lie was less than perfect.
Ping TiSi Tec Fairway Wood
Another popular favorite, also by Ping, was the Tisi Fairway Woods. They have an adjustable hosel to optimize the angle according to your swing speed or conditions on the day.
The weighting minimized twisting and improved consistency and accuracy while the variable face thickness, largely due to chemical milling technology (CMT) made for super-fast speeds and great distance.
The Final Word
These were the names that popped up most often but given the mixed bag of golfers out there, a number of fairway woods have come or evolved into modern incarnations that some players still swear by. While hybrids are increasing in popularity, certain shots can never be replicated without a quality fairway woods and I have no doubt they will remain in the bags of most players for many years to come.
While the modern designs offer many benefits and improved technology, it is amazing how passionately many of the more seasoned players feel about their older, trusted fairway woods. This is a testament to their quality and design at the time they were made.