The best of the best! We roundup the most forgiving fairway woods that have been released for the 2023 season.
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 in 2023 to suit your game.
For many golfers, fairway woods are essential for getting the distance and accuracy needed to succeed on the course. When it comes to choosing a fairway wood, forgiveness is often a top priority.
In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the most forgiving fairway woods available in 2023. These include the Wilson Dynapwr Fairway Wood, TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD Fairway Wood, Ping G430 SFT Fairway Wood, and Cobra Aerojet Max Fairway Wood.
Each of these fairway woods is designed with unique features to enhance forgiveness and help you play your best round of golf.
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 most forgiving fairway woods 2023. But not only do we answer that very question, we’ll also be unveiling what we believe to be the most forgiving fairway woods of all time as well as the most forgiving fairway woods for high handicappers.
Who doesn’t love a bit of forgiveness, anyway?
Most forgiving fairway woods 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. 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 HD Fairway Wood
It is quite a big departure from previous TaylorMade fairway woods, that 200cc head is definitely bigger than we are used to seeing, and is ultra high MOI, as opposed to low spin. The therefore larger and more low-profile sole helps the club hug the ground at address and makes it easier to achieve a high launch.
It is a pleasure to keep flicking ball after ball away. It just seems effortless. Stealth HD has the highest MOI of any TaylorMade fairway wood and this really comes into play off the deck where it is super easy to flight shot after shot.
I don’t really want to stop hitting this club. It is super flattering. I am a pretty competent fairway wood player but this is so easy to use I can see it helping people who struggle with lofted woods from the deck.
I think this will HD 3 Wood will bring new players to TaylorMade, whose perception may have been that their tendency is to build super powerful, low spinning metals. Here is a club that is as easy to use as anything out there.
- Properly easy to fly high
- Extremely forgiving
- More great acoustics
- Love the looks
- Low profile head isn’t as confidence inspiring on tee shots
- RELATED: Read our full TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD Fairway Wood review
Lofts: 16°, 19° & 22°
Shafts: Fujikura Speeder NX Red
More information: TaylorMade Website
Ping G430 SFT Fairway Wood
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
- RELATED: Read our full Ping G430 SFT Fairway Wood
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
Cobra Aerojet Max Fairway Wood
I think this tech achieves what it sets out to do. There are marked performance differences across the range from Max via this base product to LS, but the ball speeds throughout are tremendous. The hottest iteration is certainly the LS, but for me, there were some compromises in launch and workability. The Max is definitely easy to launch but retains thorough ball speeds. The Aerojet is a good compromise but leans more towards the LS as it produces a really powerful flight from the standard 15-degree head.
It feels really versatile, able to pick up of downhill and tight lies but also a club that you can dial up and open your shoulders with when required. I feel like you could step on it and get more out of it if the situation required it
I keep coming back to those looks, I mean, how classic do you want to be? The alignment is so pure you can just see the grooves and are able to match them up with the simple Cobra symbol on the crown.
- A thing of beauty
- Super forgiving
- Easy to square up
- Still with the fat grips…
- Not as powerful as LS or Aerojet
- RELATED: Read our full Cobra Aerojet Max Fairway Wood
Right-handed lofts: 15.5 3 Wood / 18.5 5 Wood / 21.5 7 Wood
Shafts: KAI’LI Blue 60 S or UST Helium Nanocore (4F2 Lite 5F3 Reg)
More information: Cobra website
The Most Forgiving Fairway Woods 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 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.
What brand produces the most forgiving fairway wood?
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!
Choosing the right fairway wood can have a significant impact on your golf game, especially if forgiveness is a top priority.
With options like the Wilson Dynapwr Fairway Wood, TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD Fairway Wood, Ping G430 SFT Fairway Wood, and Cobra Aerojet Max Fairway Wood, you have a variety of forgiving fairway woods to choose from in 2023.
Consider the unique features and benefits of each fairway wood to determine which one will best suit your needs and help you achieve your golfing goals.
With the right fairway wood, you can enjoy improved distance, accuracy, and overall performance on the course.
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