Are Fairway Woods Worth It? - Clarkes Golf

Are Fairway Woods Worth It?

Fairway woods have come a long way since the days they were actually made of wood and fixed together with glue and screws.

Any older golfers probably still remember the heartbreaking sight of seeing the club face on the wood come loose because you’d hit the ball too hard or had the fairway wood for a while.

Today’s fairway woods are obviously not made from wood.

But the bigger issue is whether the fairway wood still has a place in the modern golf bag, with long irons and hybrids becoming more popular among casual golfers and pros.

In this blog, experts from Clarke’s Golf Centre make a case for keeping a fairway wood in your golf bag.

What are fairway woods good for?

Fairway woods are best used when you need some extra distance off the ground or as a Driver replacement on holes where you could use more control than distance.

The sweet spot of fairway woods is closer to the ground, increasing your shots' loft (compared to drivers, where the sweet spot is closer to the middle of the club face).

This makes them a better choice when you need more distance than you might get from a long iron but need more control than you could get from a driver.

Fairway woods can be an excellent alternative to a driver for newer golfers, as they provide more control, despite having a smaller face and contact point.

Fairway woods can also be good recovery clubs, particularly when trying to get out of thick rough.

It can be challenging to generate enough power with irons (or even hybrids) when hitting out of thick rough, whereas, with a fairway wood, you can at least get clear of obstructions and reduce the damage.

Fairway woods vs hybrids

Probably the biggest reason many golfers have started to question the need for a fairway wood in their bag is the rising popularity of hybrid clubs.

In case you’re new to golf, a hybrid club is a combination of a wood and iron, which offers a good combination of loft and distance and can be easier to hit.

There’s no question that hybrid clubs make a great addition to your golf bag (we stock an extensive collection of hybrid golf clubs to choose from)

Hybrids are especially good for new golfers or those with a slower swing tempo.

They offer more forgiveness on miss-hits and are generally easier to use.

But you’ll have a hard time getting the same distance.

Fairway woods are better for more experienced players and those with a faster swing.

Many fairway woods like the Callaway Rogue ST MAX Fairway Wood, or the TaylorMade Stealth Golf Fairway Wood (among others) are designed to increase the sweet spot on the club face and the forgiveness to make fairway woods easier to use.

You could also buy a fairway wood with a higher loft if you’re worried about coming into the green too strong compared to a hybrid.

Fairway woods vs irons

One of the other reasons that could account for the questions over fairway woods is because you don’t see as many pros using them on the TV anymore when you watch major tournaments.

Because modern pro players can get more distance off the tee, many can handle courses with irons.

The reality is pros still carry fairway woods, many more just choose to use them as a driver replacement off the tee - rather than for a shot off the fairway.

That’s fine for pro players who can get the distance and control out of long irons.

But anyone who’s tried to use a long iron will know they’re one of the most difficult clubs to control.

That’s because the longer a club gets while retaining a high level of loft, the harder it is to control.

Even the higher loft fairway woods have less loft than the longest irons.

So if you’re primary consideration is distance, then a fairway wood will come in much handier than a long iron.

Using a combination of fairway woods, hybrids and irons

When it comes to creating the best golf club set for yourself, much of it will come down to your level of skill and experience.

Most complete golf sets come with a combination of irons (usually from 4-PW) along with at least one hybrid club and usually two fairway woods (3-wood and 5-wood).

Typically speaking, the newer to golf you are (or the lower your skill level), the higher the combination of golf clubs you should have in your bag.

There’ll be times on the course when a fairway wood will be the best option (whether off the ground or the tee), and there’ll be times when a hybrid will be better.

If you’re new to golf, we’d recommend you use a combination of fairway woods and hybrids rather than going for long irons (2-irons and 3-irons)


But whatever combination of clubs you choose, there’s no question that a fairway wood still has a place among your selection.

Buy the best fairway woods from Clarke’s Golf Centre

At Clarke’s Golf Centre, we stock an extensive collection of fairway woods and other clubs.

Our selection includes all the major brands like Titleist, TaylorMade and Ping.

We also offer a complete club fitting service to get a set of clubs built specifically for you.

If you want to see the clubs on offer, come and see us at our dedicated Golf Centre in St Helens, just off the Rainford Bypass.

Or you can continue to browse and order online.