The best of the best! We roundup the best fairway woods for mid handicappers in 2023
Eight of golf’s most significant brands introduced us to a whopping fifteen new fairway woods for the 2023 season, and our team has tested them all to let you know which one is the best fairway wood for mid-handicappers in 2023.
We’ve hit them in the sun, in the rain, abroad, at home, in the heat, in the snow, on the course and in a simulator room with TaylorMade TP5 golf balls using TrackMan to create honest reviews you can actually trust.
We have scoured through all the shot data we’ve collected and dove deep into the new technology to assemble our list of the best fairway woods for mid to high handicappers 2023.
As all of the below picks are fairway woods, they are available in different loft sizes. In other words, all of the options on this page are some of the best 3 woods in 2023 for mid handicappers and best 5 woods in 2023 for mid handicappers!
Best fairway woods for mid-handicappers 2023
Wilson Dynapwr Fairway Wood
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 for high and mid handicap golfers. 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
- RELATED: Read our full Wilson Dynapwr Fairway Wood Review
Right-handed lofts: 15°, 18°, 21°
Featured shafts: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red
More information: Wilson Website
TaylorMade Stealth 2 Fairway Wood
The Stealth 2 fairway builds on the success of the original Stealth fairway, which was among the most-played fairway woods on the PGA Tour in 2022. It features a slightly lower profile carbon crown that pushes CG down and away from the high-toe area.
This all adds up to more forgiveness and a product that is easier to launch. This is very much the message for all of the Stealth Fairways, the message is the ease of use, and they certainly deliver on that.
It sits really cleanly, and I feel like I can open and close the face as there is some ‘roll’ in the sole. I like this as it feels workable. TaylorMade calls this a ‘V steel’ sole, and it is designed to improve versatility, as well as lowering CG, obviously. Early impressions are that it will as the Stealth 3 wood nestles in for the first few shots of our test.
The slightly bigger head in this versus the Plus probably inspires slightly more confidence from the tee and the low profile head, and lower CG made it easy to launch off the tee and off the turf. I think, for me, I have a slight preference for the Plus.
The more compact head just feels a little bit more workable, and with the weight moved back I feel like I am getting the same CG benefits that are baked into the Stealth.
- V sole helps versatility
- More great acoustics
- Very clean looks and sits beautifully
- It lacks the sliding weight of the Plus model
- RELATED: Read our full TaylorMade Stealth 2 Fairway Wood review
Lofts: 3 – 15°, 3HL – 16.5°, 5 – 18°, 7 – 21° and 9 – 24°
Shafts: Fujikura Ventus TR Red FW
Grip: Golf Pride Z-Grip
More information: TaylorMade Website
Ping G430 Max Fairway Wood
The first thing I am looking for in a 3-wood is depth of face, and this sits really tight behind the ball. I instantly feel like this is something I am going to be able to launch easily due to the relatively low profile face. This suits me as someone who is primarily looking for a second shot club.
As with the driver the acoustics are hugely improved here. Ping say it is down to that carbon crown. Regardless of the reason they sound so sweet.
This is a massive tick in the box for me as in recent years this has been a negative for Ping versus some of the other manufacturers who have nailed their acoustics. This is well and truly put to bed throughout the G430 range of metals.
The head in the Ping G430 max fairway wood is adjustable by a significant 1.5 degrees. The 3-wood on test is 16 degrees and I can crank that to 14.5. I think this is really advantageous in a 3-wood where, depending on course or conditions, I can see myself using this functionality.
There is nothing worse than never taking your fairway out of your bag on a windy links for fear of losing it in a cross wind. This would allow you to knock the loft down on such a day and bring the club back into play.
- Really versatile with distance and forgiveness on offer
- Super forgiving, so ideal for high handicap golfers
- Massively improved acoustics
- Consistent spin rates
- Not the longest fairway on test
- RELATED: Read our full Ping G430 Max Fairway Wood review
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 Fairway Wood
Is it possible to be in love with a golf club? I think I am in love with this fairway wood. It’s shallow, sits square and has a stunning colour scheme. As soon as I put the Callaway Paradym fairway behind the ball I decided I didn’t ever want to give it back as it made me feel more confident about hitting a fairway wood than I ever had before.
Callaway have drastically redesigned the construction of the Paradym so that it now features a forged carbon sole which has allowed them to move weight around in the head so it’s more forgiving and Callaway’s longest-ever fairway.
I was able to get the ball up in the air from a variety of different lies out on the course, which is important because most golfers are going to use a fairway from the ground quite a lot.
Another point that’s great about the Paradym is that it comes in so many loft options. You can get it in 3 wood or 11 wood and everything in between, which means there is a head to suit everyone’s requirements.
- Neutral set up
- Crazy ball speeds
- It sits beautifully behind the ball
- Great selection of lofts
- There are no cons
- RELATED: Read our full Callaway Paradym Fairway wood review
Right-handed lofts: 3w 15°, 3HL 16.5°, 5w 18°, 7w 21°, 9w 24°, 11w 27°, HVN 20°
MCA Aldila Ascent PL Blue 40g (Womens, Light)
Project X HZDRUS Silver 50g (reg & stiff) 60g (stiff)
Project X HZRDUS Black 60g (stiff & X stiff)
Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360
Lamkin ST Soft Undersized
More information: Callaway Website
Best fairway woods for mid-handicappers 2023
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 shots that miss the sweet spot hits still perform well. They also have a center of gravity that is further back to help players get a more high launching 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 brand produce fairway woods for mid-handicap golfers?
All of the products in this most forgiving fairway woods 2023 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!
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