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Most forgiving fairway woods 2023

Most Forgiving Fairway Woods 2024

The best of the best! We roundup the most forgiving fairway woods that have been released for the 2024 season.


Fairway woods are an essential for most golfers and so finding the right one for you is crutial. As a club used both off the tee or on the fairways, it’s important to find one that provides you with the most confidence.

Like all other clubs there is different types of fairway woods designed specially to mean the needs of different types of golfers. In this article we explore which fairway woods will provide you with the most distance without compencating accuracy and most importantly, forgiveness.

Most Forgiving Fairway Woods 2024

Wilson Dynapwr Fairway Wood

4.5 star review
Wilson Dynapwr fairway wood

Reviewed by Jack Backhouse

I hit the 3 wood 228 yards carry with wind removed, which isn’t too bad but to be honest with over 150mph ball speed I’d have liked to have seen a bit more.

Wilson have designed the Dynapwr fairway using artificial intelligence to calculate the variable thickness in the face to provide maximum speed and spin from all strike locations. It also features a weight on the rear of the sole which drags back the centre of gravity to increase MOI.

The result of this tech is an extremely forgiving fairway wood. I made sure to hit plenty of shots from a wide variety of face locations and none of the shots were unplayable. Wilson have done a brilliant job building a fairway wood that players can actually use and rely on.


  • Classic shape
  • Ball speeds remained high on miss-hits
  • Plenty of spin to keep the ball in the air
  • Great price


  • Not the longest fairway wood
  • Not adjustable

RRP: £220

Right-handed lofts: 15°, 18°, 21°

Featured shafts: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red

More information: Wilson Website

TaylorMade Qi10 Max Fairway Wood

4.5 star review
TaylorMade Qi10: Everything you need to know!

Reviewed by Gillon Fabbroni

The Qi10 Max is their most forgiving model in this new range. There is no adjustable hosel, which gives it a sleeker look and allows the freedom to optimise the weight distribution and lower the centre of gravity to deliver longer distances.

The infinity crown, made from carbon, also contributes to this, and TaylorMade says this is the highest MOI fairway wood they have produced. This very low CG makes it easy to launch, giving an extremely high launch that is optimised for carry distance. Other features are the Thru-Slot speed pocket to optimise ball speed on low-face hits and twist-face technology to straighten those less-than-perfect strikes.

The Qi10 Max has a slightly shallower head and a bigger 200cc head to help with confidence off the deck and tee.

Unsurprisingly, less-than-perfect strikes were not disastrous, and this is a reassuringly forgiving club. Both distance and direction were helped by the forgiving technology. Off the tee, I gained about 5 yards, which is what I would have expected.


  • Clean looks
  • Wide appeal
  • Very Forgiving
  • Great off the deck and tee


  • Some may perceive the lack of adjustability as a negative

RRP: £309

Shafts: Fujikura Speeder NX TCS 50 (S, R, A)

Lofts: 16°, 19°, & 22°

More information: TaylorMade Website

Ping G430 SFT Fairway Wood

4.5 star review
ping g430 sft fairway wood

Reviewed by Tom Irwin

As with the driver the fairways feature Ping’s ‘Spinsistency’ technology. This reduces loft low on the face. I like this, as my bad shot tends to be thin and it helps me maintain ball speeds from less than perfect strikes. I think the data demonstrates this tech and is possibly another reason I have always been drawn to Ping fairway woods

I was really keen to get out on the course with it. I took this and the other fairways on test to try some tee shots and some second shots into a long par-4. I actually like this club off the tee, it feels stable and it is not super low profile (this is code for I am not scared of skying it) and it is for that second shot where it really comes into its own. The shot I have left myself is over a big false front from a hanging lie and of all the fairways on test it is the Ping SFT that sweeps the ball away with enough flight to carry up on to the green the easiest.

Overall the Ping G430 SFT fairway wood has confirmed my view that Ping lead the way with in this category.


  • Low profile
  • Extremely easy to launch
  • Versatile on course
  • Consistent spin rates


  • Not the longest fairway on test

RRP: £350

Right-handed lofts: 3 (15), 5 (19) 7 (22)

Shafts: ALTA CB Black 55 / 65 / 70 or ALTA QUICK 35 /75 or Ping Tour 2.0 Chrome 65 / 75 / 85 or Ping Tour 2.0 Black 65 / 75 or Project x HZDRUS Smoke Red RDX 50 / 60 / 70 or Mitsubusi KAI’Li White 60 / 70

More information: Ping website

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max D Fairway Wood

4.5 star review
Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke: Everything you need to know!

Reviewed by Gillon Fabbroni

Callaway is utilising their Ai technology, which this year uses data from real-world golfers. They use advanced machine learning to produce sweet spots around the face and claim the Max D model produces high launch and draw bias.

The Max D is built with a more upright lie angle and a neutral face angle to help with that right-to-left shot shape. It sits nicely behind the ball, and the face does not have a closed look to it as some might expect from a draw-biased wood.

Off the deck, it was confidence-inspiring and relatively consistent. Off the tee, being easier to launch it became more consistent and the distance was pretty much equal to my current fairway wood.

Off-centre hits were, as expected, very forgiving. I got decent distance with some pretty poor strikes.

Callaway, it seems to me, are describing this as their maximum forgiveness fairway wood, and I would agree with this. Despite this, I think it should be in the discussion for all handicaps. The head is a modern, classic shape. The three wood has an adjustable hosel and can therefore be tweaked to provide a perfect fit.


  • Properly easy to fly high
  • Extremely forgiving so great for mid handicappers too
  • More great acoustics
  • Love the looks


  • Low profile head isn’t as confidence inspiring on tee shots

RRP: £379

Shafts: Project X Cypher 2.0 | 40 G (LGT) | D2 & 50G (LGT, REG) | D2
MCA Tensei AV Blue | 60 G (REG | STF) | D3 & 70 G (STF) | D4

Right-handed Lofts: 15°, 16.5°, 18°, 21°

Left-handed Lofts: 15°, 18° & 21°

More information: Callaway website

Cobra Darkspeed Max Fairway Wood

4.5 star review
Cobra Darkspeed Max Fairway Wood Review

Reviewed by Gillon Fabbroni

The Cobra Darkspeed series of fairway woods are some of the most stunning clubs I have seen. This series has something for everyone. The Darkspeed Max is their most forgiving club. The club has been designed to give a high draw-biased flight. It has an adjustable weight system for fine-tuning forgiveness and flight. The Darkspeed Max uses the Cobra PWR-BRIDGE and PWRSHELL H.O.T face technology which is being used across the board in this range.

This provides faster ball speed through a low forward CG location. The fairway wood has a carbon crown shell that removes weight from the upper part of the clubhead, which contributes to the low CG. The technology in the face uses machine learning to provide a multitude of hotspots across the face, leading to even greater forgiveness. This golf club has a really shallow face and looks so gettable, which is a confidence-inspiring feeling from a club that is historically the hardest to hit from the ground consistently.

I was interested to see if I actually got more distance with the forgiveness and slightly more loft, perhaps launching the ball more easily. The figures, however, showed the distance to be that expected with the loft when comparing it to other Darkspeed woods and, indeed, my own 3 wood. Off the tee, I gained around 5 yards, which is normal for me.


  • Gorgeous looks.
  • Forgiving
  • Performed well from tee and fairway
  • Extremely adjustable to get a great fit
  • Sits square despite draw bias


  • None

RRP: £279

Loft: 3W 15.5˚ (14°-17°), 5W 18.5˚ (17°-20°), 7W 21.5° (20°-23°)

Stock Shafts: UST MAMIYA LIN-Q M40X Red A, R and S Flexes.

More information: Cobra Website

Cleveland Launcher XL Halo fairway wood

4.5 star review
Cleveland Launcher XL Halo fairway wood review

Reviewed by Jack Backhouse

The Cleveland Launcher XL Halo fairway has a very shallow face and a head that’s so big the ball feels almost small at address. Whether you love fairway woods or hate them, standing over the Launcher XL Halo gives you the feeling you will easily get the club on the ball.

Like most players, fairway woods can be really hit or miss for me. Sometimes I have no issue hitting great shots, and other times, I really struggle, often just carrying it so my golf bag looks nice with matching headcovers. The Halo, however, gives me a refreshed feeling over the ball, as if all of my striking issues might disappear.

Cleveland has moved the centre of gravity low and further back in the head, which makes the Halo really forgiving and easy to get airborne. This might not make it the longest fairway wood out there, but when consistency is the biggest issue golfers face, these high launch high carry characteristics are exactly what we need.

I did find this fairway incredibly easy to hit, and it goes high and seems to stay in the air for ages. If you are struggling with your fairway wood consistency, get out and try the Cleveland Launcher XL Halo!


  • Guide rails help with strike out of the rough
  • Consistent launch and spin
  • Long


  • No adjustability

RRP: £219

Lofts: 3W: 15° – 5W: 18° – 7W: 21°


More information: Cleveland Website

The Most Forgiving Fairway Woods 2024

Choosing the right fairway wood can have a significant impact on your golf game, especially if forgiveness is a top priority.

If you didn’t find the fairway wood for you, why not check out our other buying guides for more options…

How do we test fairway woods?

At National Club Golfer, we are passionate about producing accurate and thorough reviews and making sure our testing process is rigorous so we get a good understanding of how each club performs.

Each iron is hit with Pro V1 golf balls to allow us to collect launch monitor data with our in-house TrackMan and FlightScope. After this it is time to head out onto the golf course and test the clubs in practice and competition play. We do test them at a variety of golf clubs in our base of Yorkshire.

What is important when buying a fairway wood?

When buying a new fairway wood it is important to know what you want from that club to help you improve.

Most people are looking for more distance, each model is optimised for different things. Depending on your swing and your impact conditions, you may not actually hit the model that is advertised as the longest, the furthest. So if you want more distance, it is always worth giving different models a hit before you make a decision.

For most golfers, especially high handicappers, something that is more forgiving is going to yield the best performance. Most forgiving golf fairway woods have a slightly bigger club head with perimeter weighting for high MOI, which means off-center hits still perform well. They also have a center of gravity that is further back to help players get more height on their ball flight.

Do you want something that is draw bias? There are so many models out there to help with slice correction, it would be silly not to take a look if you see your ball disappearing into the right trees too often. A closed face and draw bias weighting can get you hitting straighter shots in no time at all.

Don’t forget about the shaft, either. Getting the correct shaft can help dial in your spin and launch angle and can also give you some extra distance. Having a club fitting or trying different options with your local pro can really improve the performance of your new fairway.

What handicap are forgiving fairway woods best suited for?

These types of fairway woods are ideal if you’re an inconsistent ball striker or struggle to get your fairway woods shots in the air. These clubs are not particularly for a specific handicap range, as fairway woods can be real hit-and-miss for golfers of all levels. Generally, the most forgiving fairway woods have a shallow face design which may not be ideal for golfers who use the fairway from the tee often.

They are also great for players with slower swing speeds as they can help golfers hit the ball with a higher launch, which these golfers can struggle with, especially in three woods.

Cobra Darkspeed X Fairway Wood Review

What brand produces the most forgiving fairway wood?

All of the products in this most forgiving fairway woods 2024 article are picked from the brands that offer the most forgiving fairways.

Do any pros use forgiving fairway woods on tour?

Contrary to popular belief, PGA & DP World tour players do often play a forgiving fairway wood. This will vary from player to player as golfers want different things from their fairway woods, but if you check out Hannah’s what’s in the bag pieces, you will see forgiving fairway woods in there.

Tour players will often have two fairway woods in the bag, one low spin model that they might use as a backup club from the tee and another more forgiving model that will launch higher and land softer, more used for second shots into par 5s. Tour players consider small details like turf interaction and larger vs smaller head designs to manipulate the ball flight to what’s required. Amateur players should also think more about this and have a proper custom fitting!

Jack Backhouse

Callaway Epic Max driver review

Jack is a PGA Golf Professional who specialises in coaching, teaching golf to beginners and top-level amateurs for 10+ years. He also loves his golf equipment and analysing the data of the latest clubs on the market using launch monitors, specialising in blade irons and low-spinning drivers despite having a chronically low ball flight.

Although Jack has no formal journalism training, He has been reading What's In The Bag articles since he started playing at 12 and studying golf swings since his dad first filmed his swing to reveal one of the worst over-the-top slice swings he reckons has ever been recorded, which set him off on the path to be a coach. His favourite club ever owned was a Ping G10 driver bought from a local top amateur with the hope that some of the quality golf shots would come with it (they didn't), and worst was a Nike SQ driver he only bought because Tiger was using it.

Jack is a member of Sand Moor Golf Club and regularly gets out on the golf course to prepare for tournaments. Jack uses a TaylorMade BRNR Mini driver, a half set of TaylorMade P7MB irons, MG4 wedges and a TaylorMade TP Reserve putter.

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