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Fairway Reviews

Review: Titleist 915F and 915Fd Fairway Woods

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Pros: The 915F and 915Fd are longer and lower spinning than their predecessors. Titleist leads the way in loft, lie and face angle options, and offers an impressive variety of premium stock shafts.

Cons: Compact head shapes could intimidate less accomplished players.

Who are they for? Golfers looking for well-rounded fairway woods that maintain traditional looks, sound and feel. These are easy to fit, and their top-tier distance and forgiveness makes them suitable for a wide variety of players.

The Review

At a glance, many golfers might not be able to tell the difference between the company’s 915F and 915Fd fairway woods. Both are a traditionalist’s dream, with pear-shaped heads and clean, glossy, black-painted crowns, but upon closer inspection distinct differences do exist.

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The 915F is Titleist’s larger, higher-spinning fairway wood, which will also launch higher for the majority of golfers. It measures 165 cubic centimeters (at 15-degrees) and has a slightly shallower face than the company’s 915Fd fairway wood.

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The 915Fd is a little smaller (155cc), which makes it more workable. It also has a slightly taller face that golfers with steeper angles of attack tend to prefer.

So how do you know which model is best for you? In Titleist’s two previous lines of fairway woods — the 910F, 910Fd and the 913F, 915Fd — it was a fairly easy thing to predict. Golfers who needed less spin generally fit into the Fd model, while most others played the standard F model.

Related: Titleist 915D2 and 915D3 Driver Review

Because of the Titleist’s engineering improvements, the answer is not so predictable with the 915 line. Both fairway woods are noticeably lower spinning, which means that high-spin players won’t necessarily fit into the company’s Fd model. And lower-spinning golfers may even find themselves playing a fairway wood with slightly more loft than what they’re used to, which can help them launch the ball higher for more carry distance.

Let me be clear. This is not a loft up story, but fairway woods are often the most difficult clubs in the bag for golfers to hit consistently. Any time a golfer can use fairway wood with a little more loft and possibly a slightly shorter length, that’s a win — especially if they’re maintaining or adding distance.

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The low-spin nature of the 915 fairway woods can be atrributed to their new Active Recoil Channel (ARC), a deep slot that extends underneath the entirety of their 465 stainless steel club faces. It allows the club heads to flex more on impact, creating more speed, a higher launch and less spin — all good things. It also improves spring-like effect on shots hit away from the center of the club face, creating more distance on those shots.

Click here for more on the technical aspects of Titleist’s 915 drivers, fairway woods and hybrids. 

The Results 

We took the 915F and 915Fd to the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland in West Bloomfield, Mich., to test the clubs against their predecessors on a Doppler Radar launch monitor. Since Titleist used the same SureFit Tour Hosel on the 915 line as it did the 913 line, we were able to test all four of the fairway woods with the same shaft.

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For our test, we had two golfers of different swing speeds (102 mph and 109 mph) hit five shots with each club. Obvious mishits were discarded, and the clubs were tested in the following order: 913F, 915F, 913F.d, 915F.d.

All clubs were hit in Titleist’s neutral A1 setting. The results are below.

913F vs. 915F

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913Fd vs. 915Fd

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If you’re familiar with launch monitor numbers, you’ll notice that the results are somewhat mixed, and expectedly so. Fairway wood launch monitor numbers are generally more inconsistent than driver numbers because they’re hit off the ground, not a tee. There are some general, positive trends in the numbers, however.

Both testers picked up ball speeds with at least one of the models and saw higher smash factors with the clubs.

  • Tester 1 saw a ball speed increase of 1.3 mph with the 915F and 1.1 mph with the 915Fd.
  • While Tester 2 saw a 2 mph drop in ball speed with the 915F, he saw a substantial jump of 3.3 mph with the 915Fd. He also saw a higher launch and less spin with both models than their predecessors.

Again, there’s no hard and fast rule on which 915 fairway wood will work best for you, but there are a few good starting points.

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The 915F at address

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The 915Fd at address

  • Do you rely on your fairway wood as a second driver off the tee?

If so, the lower-spinning 915Fd is likely your best option. Its smaller head size also makes it more workable for golfers who like to draw and fade the ball.

  • Do you need a fairway wood that launches higher and stops faster, or do you prefer higher-lofted fairway woods?

The 915F is likely your best option, and its slightly larger head size and more rearward center of gravity offers slightly more forgiveness and stopping power than the 915Fd.

Whatever model you choose, Titleist makes it easy to dial in the fairway woods with five premium stock shafts, and countless others that are available through its custom club department. The slew of available lofts and Titleist’s wide-ranging SureFit Tour Hosel also make it easy for golfers to get the loft, face angle and lie setting they need to play their best.

The 915F ($299) is available in lofts of 13.5, 15, 16.5, 18 and 21 degrees and comes stock with the following shafts: Aldila Rogue Black 80, Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana D+ 80, Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ 70, Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana M+ 60 and Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana M+ 50.

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The 915Fd ($299) is available in lofts of 13.5 and 15 degrees and comes stock with the following shafts: Aldila Rogue Black 80, Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana D+ 80.

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The Takeaway

Like Titleist’s 915 drivers, the 915 fairway woods might not be the longest fairway woods that you test — but they’ll be close. And they probably aren’t the most forgiving fairway woods you’ll test — but they’re even closer. The 915F and 915Fd could have the best combination of distance and forgiveness we’ve seen in a 2015 fairway wood.

They truly do everything well.

If you’re currently using an older Titleist fairway wood, these are an easy way to add a bit more distance to your game. If you’re using some other fairway wood, these are still a must test.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. theo

    Mar 8, 2015 at 11:01 am

    109 and 110 swing speed players. Nice woods that (with stock shaft offerings) are still getting sub 3000 spin rates on a couple of these tests.

    (Thats how you glean out data regardless of your personal swing)

  2. Question

    Mar 7, 2015 at 7:07 am

    You should include a picture of the face of the clubs in your review.

  3. Jason

    Mar 6, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    I didn’t think the 915F would knock my RBZ Stage 2 fairway wood out of the bag, but I put an AD DI 7x in the 915, and it was actually longer (not to mention more consistent) than the Taylormade. Absolutely love it.

    • Dan

      Mar 11, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      Jason… I’m so glad I saw your post… I’ve been torturing myself about picking up the 915 16.5 with AD DI 7s to replace RBZ stage 2 16.5 w/ aldila rip alpha S … while I tattoo that club 1-2 times a round, I just have never felt 100% comfortable going after the green from 220+… glad to see someone else got past their dilemma and is satisfied!

      thanks

      Dan

  4. myron miller

    Feb 15, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    As others have mentioned it would have been nice to have the average golfers tested. Most golfers are in the 85-90 Driver MPH (not over 100+). The reaction to those much lower swing speeds would have been interesting to see. The days that I swung in the 100+ range are way way behind me. Now I’m lucky to hit 80+. Why would the average senior or super senior play these. Nothing here to prove it one way or another. Believe me, The reaction of a ball hit at 85 or even 75 is way different from a person hitting in excess of 105MPH. Compression of the ball is totally different. And what ball can make more of a difference than the club can for these speeds.

  5. Jerry

    Feb 13, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    I think part of the reason, besides Titleist has kinda always just stick to their roots. I find a small portion of my like for their product, reason being was because I had over two years to get acquainted (bad spell) and they won’t come out with a new fairway or driver in 4 months and be on clearance rack, then feeling like I’m playing my OEM of choice inferior product. I still see people playing 910’s. They are all pretty solid, come well equipped with shafts as well particularly this year

  6. Brian

    Feb 13, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    I put both the 915 driver and Fd in my bag recently. I found that I had the same carry on the launch monitor with my old 913 13.5 degree fairway wood as the 915 Fd at 15 degrees (spot on 243 yards with each one). So to get more loft, yet going the same distance was a win for me. The 13.5 in the Fd was too long and messed up my gaps between driver and my next club, a hybrid.

    I do find the Fd tends to have a bit more “workability” than my 913 – and a lot of times that results in a draw/hook for me, whereas I had more of a straightball/slight fade with the 913. All set to A1. Still trying to sort that one out and what’s going on there…. I tend to hit the 3 wood a bit closer to the toe on misses, so wondering if the gear effect has been changed up due to the new slot, which results in more toe hooks rather than a straighter ball on 913 “misses”.

  7. Golfraven

    Feb 13, 2015 at 8:06 am

    If I was looking for a 3 wood I would go with the fd model. But I actually chose the 915 #2 hybrid and looking to take my 910 5 wood out of the bag eventually. Love the new design and technology. Classic Titleist woods again.

  8. Mats "PUMP 2" Bergsten

    Feb 13, 2015 at 3:38 am

    Adam: You’re correct, F and Fd has been changed in 915 compared to previous 910/913 models. I’m surprised Golf WRX, hasn’t been informed or taken notice of this….-But I hereby confirm your statement…. These 915s are great clubs though, no matter what club fits you the best…. 🙂

  9. Kiran

    Feb 12, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    I feel like I’ve been beating myself over the head for 3 months trying to determine if I should get the 915 driver and 3 wood over my 913 D3 driver and 910 Fd. I got fitted by one of the best Titleist guy’s in Atlanta outside with a launch monitor and still unsure if the 915 woods are worth the money. I ended up getting the 915 D2 and 915 Fd b/c I had credit to use at my club. My point is, all of these reviews you read make a reader more confused. It makes you question things more. How can you look at the numbers above and buy the 915? Is it really worth the hundred’s of dollars? Probably not. All these reviewers I feel are scared to be honest because of backlash from companies and the lack of readers if they say all the marketing of clubs these days is a joke. Callaway released 5-6 Big Bertha’s last year. How is anyone supposed to keep up with that and believe each one is much better? Just be honest and say that if you own a club that was made around 2010 and you are fit perfectly, then you can’t do much better. If the 915 is worth buying, then just tell us that and translate it to # yards gained from the results we see or how much more accurate we may be with the results above. What does less spin rate translate to for the average or better player? If these clubs are really hotter, then prove it to us and not cover up the truth.

    • Teaj

      Feb 13, 2015 at 9:14 am

      your questions would be hard to answer as mentioned in the article its hard to determine between players the added benefit in relation to yardage as different players will have a different attack angle (sweepers/pinchers). The main difference in the previous and latest models is a reduction in spin which for the most part will add distance. Titleist for years has been known to spin a little to much for some people which they have rectified with the “Slot” technology which helps reduce spin on balls struck low on the face which is likely to happen off of the fairway. Also what are you looking to have your fairway wood do for you? Are you going to be hitting this off of the tee for the most part like the pros do or are you looking for something thats going to launch higher with a little bit more spin to hold long approach shots into a green? So what your asking for without getting feedback from you as to what you are looking for is know a guessing game, im sure once a knowledgeable sales person or fitter gets you hitting some balls and can look at your data and has a discussion with you of what you are looking to get out of a 3 wood or other woods for that matter they can get the right club into your bag, if that is your current gamer so be it.

  10. Steve

    Feb 12, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    What a joke, are they serious?

  11. theo

    Feb 12, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    915’s are the best fairways for me. I honestly don’t hit anything better. And they are very long.

  12. adam

    Feb 12, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    The 913 F should be compared to the 915 Fd, and 913 Fd to 915 F.

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Feb 13, 2015 at 9:54 am

      And that would make sense, why?

      • AndyUK

        Feb 13, 2015 at 10:12 am

        I think Adam is referring to the fact that head sizes have swapped between 913 and 915 so comparing 913F to 915FD could have arguably been fairer?

        My big issues with tests is taking out obvious mis-hits! That’s just not a reflection of what happens in real life. However, I also appreciate that you can’t please everybody all of the time and people will always question the testing method

        • Casey

          Feb 13, 2015 at 10:42 am

          Even though the head sizes have changed, the 915Fd is still the deeper faced lower spinning option so it makes sense to compare it to the 913Fd.

          On a side note, are the head sizes correct? This is from Titleist’s website…

          “915F VS. 915Fd FAIRWAY METALS: The new 915F and 915Fd fairway metals provide golfers with low-spin, high-speed performance in two distinct chassis options.
          915F features a full pear profile (175cc) for maximum forgiveness. The large profile provides confidence and produces a slightly higher flight versus the 915Fd. It is offered in five lofts (13.5º, 15º, 16.5º, 18º and 21º), including a new high-lofted 16.5º 3-metal and new 18º 5-metal.
          915Fd, with its traditional pear profile (160cc), is workable and forgiving. The compact profile delivers slightly lower launch and spin versus 915F. 915Fd is available in 13.5º and 15º lofts.”

      • Adam

        Feb 13, 2015 at 1:28 pm

        Because of head size. I don’t think the face depth is that different between the two, small bit of difference but not that noticeable personally.

        • Joe

          Feb 14, 2015 at 4:16 pm

          Yes, I agree. The 915 F.d. should have been compared to the 913F. When you do that the 913F actually spins less than the 915 F.d. for tester 1 and only 94rpm more for tester 2.

          Comparing the 915 F vs the 913 F.d., the 915 F spins more for tester 1. Makes sense by the logic of the review. The 915 F actually spins LESS than the 913 F.d. for tester 2 by 404rmp! I thought the F versions were supposed to be more spin.

          Conclusion: If you need less spin, it’s a toss up between the 915 F.d. and the 913F. If you need more spin and have a lower swing speed, pick up the 915F, if you have a higher swing speed pick up the 913F.d.

          • Rich

            Feb 15, 2015 at 4:10 am

            You guys are wrong. The head size is not the main criteria for comparison. The Fd in each model is the low spin model according to Titleist so they’ve been been compared as such. The head size for the low spin version for each model has been swapped around, that’s all. It actually makes more sense now because the smaller head is low spin and more workable, a combination more commonly suited to the better player. Larger head for the F, slightly more spin and forgiveness.

      • Adam

        Feb 15, 2015 at 3:08 pm

        Both players had lower spin with the F than the Fd in the 915.

  13. Greg

    Feb 12, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Thanks for another great review. I have the 915f 13.5 and the 915h 18 both with the Rogue Black and they are GREAT clubs. I’m fixing to move to the 915 D3 and get rid of my SLDR. Thanks for maintaining an awesome website!

  14. David

    Feb 12, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Loves these clubs. I just put the 15* (3 wood) 915F in my bag about a week ago. I absolutely love it. I traditionally have used the Diamana shafts in my Titleist clubs but I was hearing so many good things about the Rogue that I had to try it. So I game my 915F with the Aldila Rogue Black. What a club! I am sure the Diamana shafts are still great as always but the Rogue shafts have impressed me. Thanks Titleist for always have great stock shaft options!

  15. Barry S.

    Feb 12, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I play with a guy who hits a 905R with a UST Proforce V2 shaft. He consistently hits it 290 to 300 yards down the middle, yesterday he cranked one out there 350.

    A couple of years ago he bought a 913D but he didn’t hit it as well as the 905R so he got rid of it. I think it had more to do with the shaft and not the club head.

    • Mikec

      Feb 12, 2015 at 9:04 pm

      And this is pertinent to the 915 “fairway” (not driver) review how??

  16. Jadon

    Feb 12, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    I ordered a 915f with Diamana S+ 70g shaft. I didn’t do any testing although I should have. I hope she works as good as they say.

  17. Kurren

    Feb 12, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Someone please explain to me how for Tester 2, in testing both the “F” models, had a swing speed increase and a ball speed decrease for the 915, and yet his smash factor increased??

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Feb 12, 2015 at 4:44 pm

      It’s an easy explanation — we goofed the chart! Thank you for your help. We have updated the story with the accurate chart.

  18. Jason

    Feb 12, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Once again, test with average swing speed would be more beneficial! Knowing how a 3 wood will work for a PGA player is completely useless to the average golfer.

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Feb 12, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      Jason,

      These testers are certainly not PGA Tour players. While they might swing a little faster than average, as we stated throughout the review, golfers of different abilities should see a little more ball speed and a little less spin from these models compared to their predecessors.

      • Jason

        Feb 12, 2015 at 5:52 pm

        Average with a 3 wood has to be quite a bit lower than the 102-110 range as tested. It would just be nice to see what the exact numbers are on an average golfer rather than just saying they should see a little more ball speed and less spin.

        • snowman0157

          Feb 12, 2015 at 8:44 pm

          jason: You and I are the only ones on Golfwrx that will admit they swing the 3-wood (& driver in my case) under 100 mph.

      • Andrew Cooper

        Feb 13, 2015 at 9:20 am

        PGA Tour average SS with 3 wood is 107mph. Your testers are way more than a “little faster” than the average recreational player.

    • Mikec

      Feb 12, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      Agree, I swing my driver (at best) 102, NOT my 3-wood….

      • Jason

        Feb 12, 2015 at 10:09 pm

        I found the only 2 other people on this site that don’t swing a driver 122 with a nice little 365 yd draw. 🙂

        • Teaj

          Feb 13, 2015 at 9:19 am

          365 that’s landing distance right? how much role out do you get?

        • MHendon

          Feb 14, 2015 at 2:34 pm

          I’m only 112 with a nice little 275 draw. lol

  19. Kalervo

    Feb 12, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Talking about adding distance against 913, but leave the data out?

    I don’t see those other parameters supporting the extra distance.

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Equipment

Members Choice: The Best Fairway Woods of 2017

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In this edition of Members Choice, we attempt to answer the question, “What’s the best fairway wood of 2017?”

Admittedly, it’s a bit of a loaded question since golfers use fairway woods for different reasons and in different situations on the course. Some use a fairway wood strictly as an alternative to their driver off the tee; other golfers use them almost entirely as approach clubs from the turf on long par fours and par fives; the rest use fairway woods for some combination of both situations. So are we looking for the longest and straightest fairway wood, or simply the most accurate and forgiving?

The best way to determine the best fairway wood, therefore, is to pose that question to golfers who have hit them all and let them decide. Thus, we have Members Choice: The Best Fairway Woods of 2017, where GolfWRX Members describe their experiences with the latest fairway woods. With in-depth descriptions from their testing, GolfWRX Members illuminate the pros and cons of each fairway wood, providing the real information you need when making your purchasing decisions.

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Our advice when reading through this story is to think about what you want from your fairway wood. Do you want max distance, max forgiveness, or a combination of both? The feedback from GolfWRX Members on each fairway wood will lead to toward a few models that match your needs and desires. Then test them out for yourself. Everyone interprets the performance of golf clubs differently, so personal testing and professional fittings are imperative, especially in this particular category. View the full results from the poll testing here

Note: Responses from GolfWRX Members have been minimally edited for brevity and clarity. 

Callaway Steelhead XR (4.08 percent)

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  • SwingMan: I recognize that the Steelhead XR is late to the game, having just entered the market, but for a club that does everything well for GI and Players (the + models), they are long rocket launchers. Light, hot feel with pleasing metallic crack, deep face for ease off the tee, low CG (center of gravity) for ease off the deck, rounded sole gives you versatility from rough and bunkers. Forgiving and long. J36 carbon weave crown moves weight low. Because of the deep face with lot of bulge you need to lay it on the ground and it sits square. Take care when you pick it up so as not to close it. I hit it long off the tee with an R-Flex, obtaining 260-270 yards under favorable conditions — this club produces an urgent, direct trajectory with loads of roll in the lower lofts. Off the deck, 220+ with light wind; against a strong wind, 200. This club is surprising. Even the 7 wood off the deck with a higher trajectory gives you great yardage. Only caveat is that if you are in low speed range and insist on a 3 wood, you may want to order a high launch shaft instead of the mid-launch Tensei. But that’s the same advice with all 3 woods — you must be able to launch them. Callaway has several no cost shaft options. Otherwise, go with the 5 and 7 woods, which are loooong and versatile. The + models, for players and pros, are more weight forward and fade bias and arrive with a 65 Tensei CK Blue fairway shaft — smoother than the CK Blue driver shaft.
  • DWtalk: I just finished testing the 15-degree Callaway Steelhead with the Tensi Blue shaft, and it’s a great club. It’s long and my misses are either a little right or left, but very solid. I also have a 15-degree M2 that is very good also with the stock shaft but I’m going to reshaft it with the Tensi blue. You couldn’t go wrong with either club.

Further Reading: Callaway upgrades a classic, introduces Steelhead XR fairways

Titleist 917F3 (5.28 percent)

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  • Peanut191: I thought the Titleist F3 was the best combination of looks and feel, but they didn’t offer a 16.5 version, so I ordered the M2 Tour HL. I thought the M2/M2 Tour were the best distance wise, with the Callaway Epic, then the Titleist 917F3 just behind.
  • II PigBimpin II: I used to be a Taylormade loyalist when it came to woods, but I recently switched to a Titleist 917F3 15-degree and it has single handedly put me in prime position to make three eagles within two weeks. Very predictable ball flight and distance, easy to hit off the deck.
  • DuckHook02: I did try the Titleist 917F2, and if I was using it off the deck more, I’d probably gravitate towards the F2 and it’s shallow profile. However, I like the more compact look of the F3 and the lower ball flight it produces.

Review: Titleist 917F2 and 917F3 Fairway Woods

Cobra King F7 (6.40 percent)

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  • Steveko89: I didn’t do nearly as much testing for my 3 wood after going up and down the racks picking out my Cobra F7+ w/ Hzrdus Yellow shaft. After settling on the driver, I said, “That 3 wood that matches looks pretty slick, let me hit a few with it.” and immediately fell in love. Has a nice traditional note at impact and the ball just flies off the face, especially with the weight forward. Probably could’ve tried a few different shafts, but the stock-stiff shaft works well enough and was able to find one used-mint on the bay for $150. Unfortunately, this was before the Cobra BOGO promo. Most of the positive shots that stick in my head from this season have come with the 3 wood, won’t be seeking out a replacement for a while.
  • carcharodan1977: Cobra F7 fairway, currently playing at 4 wood loft… it’s fantastic. Easy to swing, impact sounds great and it’s a rocket from the fairway and even bad lies. The baffler rails really work well. Such a forgiving club.
  • herbst20: Have played the Titleist 910 fairway woods since they came out. The Cobra F7 finally kicked them out of the bag. I have had an easier to hit whether it be off the team, fairway, or especially out of the rough. I love the baffler technology. I play it at 13 degrees because I am sporadic with my driver.

Further Reading: Cobra’s King F7 and F7+ drivers, fairways and hybrids

Callaway GBB Sub Zero (7.39 percent)

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  • Warrick: The (Sub Zero) 3+ was the first Epic in my bag, and it is never leaving. I have never hit a long club so consistently.
  • Dobbs983: This is a fantastic year for fairway woods. I game the Epic Sub Zero 15-degree, set to 14 degrees. Easy distance, mid launch and penetrating flight. Easy to hit off the deck and a tee. I can move it left and right, if I need to, but why bother when straight and long is so easy. The Titleist 917’s are both very close to the Epic SZ, but not quite as forgiving. They are the best looking of the bunch. The Exotics EX10 Beta is amazingly long and straight and the sole is fantastic out of the rough.
  • belacyrf: I currently game the TaylorMade SLDR fairway woods as I’ve never seen enough improvement from any new woods to make a change. However, IF I were to make a change, I would definitely move to the Callaway Epic Sub Zero. They are so forgiving and their flight is exactly what I like, plus they are long.
  • PreppySlapCut: I was very pleased when messing around with the Epic Sub Zero this week. I was able to launch the 13.5 degrees off the deck, which has literally NEVER been a strength for me. Very impressive stuff from Callaway. The Ping G400 also just seems like the next wonderful iteration from Ping.
  • kejoal11: I put the Epic Sub Zero 3+ in my bag and love it. Long off the tee, long from fairways. I love the ball flight and the fact that it doesn’t balloon on me. Very consistent with the club and by far my best purchase of 2017.
  • golftech: If you like smaller, traditional shaped fairway woods, then Callaway’s Epic Sub Zero 15-degree is the best I’ve played. For that matter, it’s the best 3 wood I’ve had since my Toney Penna persimmon in the early 80s. It’s versatile off the tee and the fairway. I’ve been hitting career shots all season including the 18th at the famous Monterey, CA course.
  • ago33: I’d choose the Epic Sub Zero over the M2 Tour. Adjustable hosel is better, looks better behind the ball and more forgiving.

Further Reading: Callaway GBB Epic and Epic Sub Zero Fairway Woods

Ping G400 (7.67 percent)

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  • Mwiseley10: Love my Titleist 917, I hit it so well off the deck I use it without a tee!
    The Cobra Baffler felt great and has good sound but didn’t purchase. Hit the Ping G400 this morning, it hits great but d*** that profile is low!
  • DNice26: I tried the Ping G400 against my Ping G, both using my own shaft… little to no difference. The G400 looks and sounds better, but any performance benefit seemed negligible from the Trackman numbers I saw. My swing speed is about 109 mph with the driver.
  • PrettyGood: Hit the new Ping G400 fairway this morning. My current 3-wood is the 2016 PING G series, at 14.5-degrees. So, between the two models: Turbulators on the G400 are definitely more pronounced. Footprint of the G400 looks bigger, and it’s a rounder shape somewhat (PING.com says G400 is ~12cc larger). Sole of the G400 does look a bit flatter, but no difference hitting shots. G400 face feels more lively, and it’s louder… but no more or less pleasing to hit, just different. Switching my own shaft between the two, performance looked pretty close… G400 maybe a shade higher, if anything. G400 headcover much nicer, big improvement. That’s about it.

Further Reading: Ping introduces new face material with its G400 Fairways

TaylorMade M1 2017 (7.88 percent)

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  • lowball5732: My TaylorMade M1 15-degree is a wonder! Either off the deck or on the tee — optimal performance for me. My wife swears by her M2. She’s straight and true!
  • Rdarling18: I really hit Taylormade’s entire M family pretty good. I went with the M1 because it was most consistent for me. However both M2 models (M2 and M2 Tour) are very long.
  • AWD430: TaylorMade’s M1 was giving better distance than M2 when I hit them. I do agree that the M2 head on this year’s model seems very big when hitting off the deck.
  • gpleonard: My two cents is the TaylorMade M1 HL 2017 is a monster both of the deck and from the tee… It is a go to club for me on long Par 5’s and on short Par 4’s off the tee.
  • Mob: I have the TaylorMade M1 2016 and tried it against the M1 2017 and preferred the 2016 model for some reason. I know that I am supposed to prefer the newer model, but I consistently hit the 2016 straighter. Distance was a wash.

Further Reading: TaylorMade 2017 M1 Fairway Woods

TaylorMade M2 Tour (8.94 percent)

TaylorMade_M2_Tour_Fairway_Woods_2017

  • AThompson_3: Best fairway wood by far is TaylorMade M2 Tour. Exceptional feel, workability, and forgiveness. Great off the tee while also able to launch the ball off the fairway very easily. Fantastic club. Expecting it be in my bag for years to come.
  • Bomber_11: TaylorMade’s M2 Tour would get all 3 of my votes if I could do that. Wins out on distance, accuracy, forgiveness, versatility, and feel.
  • Roadking_6: M2 Tour HL is an absolute beast this far (in my testing).
  • halfsumo: M2 Tour: best look, sound, feel and performance. M1: awesome look and feel, I just decided to go with a 3HL version and since the M2 Tour spins less, I went with that to counteract the extra loft. Mizuno JPX900: second best look and feel and best stock shaft of anything out there by far.
  • DeCuchi: M2 Tour. Higher launch and less spin makes it an excellent choice. Forgiveness is on par with other top fairways makes it the cream of the crop.
  • Scratchat50: M2 Tour HL with a Project X HZDRUS 75g shaft (6.5-flex, -1 inch under std). Been searching for a great 3 wood for over 10 years. This is it!
  • john443: M2 Tour is THE 3 wood of 2017.

Further Reading: TaylorMade 2017 M2 Tour Fairway Woods

Titleist 917F2 (10.13 percent)

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  • bazinky: I’ve spent years searching for a fairway wood that I could hit with a consistent shot shape/pattern, and I finally found it in the Titleist 917 F2.
  • tleader: I went from the Titleist 915F to the Titleist 917F2. Found them very similar, perhaps a slight increase in launch and more consistent across the face on mishits. Went with the 16.5-degree so it was an easy decision.
  • MJL313214: I’ve hit the 917F2 at 16.5 degrees a good bit. It’s crazy long compared to the previous fairway woods. I like the slightly bigger look than the 917F3.

Review: Titleist 917F2 and 917F3 Fairway Woods

TaylorMade M2 2017 (12.60 percent)

TaylorMade_M2_Fairway_Woods_2017

  • Gnomesteel: (The TaylorMade M2 2017 fairway wood is) long off the tee and easily hit off the deck with control. Best of both worlds.
  • kush614: My vote is for M2 2017, as well. Gaming a 15-degree M2 2017 with an Oban Kioyshi White shaft. Mid launch, low spin monster.
  • venturagolfer87: There’s nowhere even remotely close to me that has the M2 Tour, but my 3HL normal M2 is as close to automatic as I’ve ever been. I’ve never been able to hit 3 woods, to the point where for the last few seasons, the next club in my bag after driver was a 5 wood that was shortened an inch. The M2 2017 is somehow just as easy to hit, and looooooong.
  • johnnylongballz72: M2 3HL with AD DI 7X; probably the single best golf club I have ever owned.
  • qwetz: I’m playing a 3HL M2 with a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue and it’s just a bomber from the deck or the tee.
  • lordemsworth: How do those that have hit Epic fairway feel about the sound? That dull thwack is awful. As another opinion, I found the M2 2017 easier to hit consistently than the Epic fairway. Both from tee and deck.
  • Porsche928: I had the M2 2017 and it was huge too hard off the deck. Never hit the M1 2017 but had the old M1 2016 for a demo and loved it.

Further Reading: TaylorMade 2017 M2 Fairway Woods

Callaway GBB Epic (13.37 percent)

GBB_Epic

  • mcgem: Hands down, without a doubt, Callaway’s GBB Epic fairway is the best of this year’s crop.
  • Sean2: I have three Callaway Epic fairway woods and am quite enamored with their performance at 16/20/24 degrees. I am comfortable standing over the ball with any of these woods in my hands. I have no problem hitting the 16-degree off the turf and I find it a very good club on tight driving holes. The 7 and the 9 fly high and land soft.
  • aussieb: Tested the Mizuno JPX-900 fairway wood on a few occasions now and it’s really the best off the deck, adjustable from 13-17 degrees and the sliding weight dials it in, has a great stock shaft and sounds as good as it looks. Ping’s G400 was really solid and forgiving, didn’t spin too much and set up well for my eye. A bit of adjustability and stock Tour shafts are great. Callaway Epic had the smallest head and best ball speeds off the tee. I didn’t really care for the sound and lack of forgiveness compared to the previous two, was dead feeling but that’s mostly shaft I think.
  • leftshot: I went through a thorough fitting at Club Champion last month and had access to most of the heads on this list. So I know the answer FOR ME. Notably none of the top fits involves a club head with the standard shafts offered off the rack.  The results of my testing was:
    1. Callaway GBB Epic: Distance #1 (Tied), Dispersion #1, Off-center hits #1
    2. Titleist 917F3: Distance #1 (Tied), Dispersion #2, Off-center hits #3
    3. TaylorMade M2 2017: Distance #3, Dispersion #3, Off-center hits #2
  • rony10: Epic. Accuracy, forgiveness and flight, distance is very good to.
  • Benkross: I just put an Epic in the bag. I tried the M2, M2 Tour, M1 (2017 and 2016) and was playing a Titleist 915F and prior a 913Fd and 909 F3 before that. The Epic sounded the best and feels awesome. The 2016 M1 was the worst feeling 3 wood I’ve ever played. I’m replacing the shaft in the Epic so I’m excited to use it this weekend.
  • kgeorge78: The Epic looks much smaller than the M2 2017 for some reason and easier to hit off the deck.

Further Reading: Callaway GBB Epic and Epic Sub Zero Fairway Woods

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Equipment

Review: Titleist 917F2 and 917F3 Fairway Woods

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Pros: Dialing in trajectory and spin is more in the hands of the player than ever with SureFit CG adjustability. Feel and sound have improved, and 915 users will likely see a jump in distance.

Cons: If you preferred the black finish, you’re out of luck with the return of silver.

Who they’re for: Everyone who plays a fairway wood should give the Titleist 917F2 and 917F3 fairway woods a shot. They provide everything most golfers want from a fairway wood.

The Review

  • Models: 917F2 (13.5, 15, 16.5, 18, 21 degrees), 917F3 (13.5, 15 degrees)
  • Release Date: Oct. 21
  • Price: $319 (MAP)

Right off the bat, you’ll notice a number of changes to Titleist’s new fairway woods: name, color, center of gravity (CG) adjustability, and if you’re really attentive a change in the Active Recoil Channel. I break down each of the major changes below.

Related: See the results from the Ultimate Titleist Driver Fitting Experience

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What’s in a name?

In its most recent fairway wood releases — the 913 and 915 models — Titleist used the F and Fd naming system. “F” was a larger, more forgiving fairway wood that launched higher and spun more, while “Fd” was a smaller, deeper-faced, lower-launching fairway wood that reduced spin. It was a bit confusing, and didn’t mesh well with the D2 and D3 naming system the drivers were using, so Titleist went to F2 and F3, which is what Titleist used in previous models such as the 909.

If you’re confused: F = F2, Fd = F3 (easy to remember since this rhymes).

Now, the F2 (179 cubic centimeters) is the larger, higher-launching and more forgiving model, while the F3 (169 cubic centimeters) is smaller, deeper and more workable. The relationship hasn’t changed, just the names.

Sure thing

As with the 917 drivers, the 917 fairway woods have SureFit CG technology to give golfers the ability to tweak the draw/fade bias of the clubs. In the fairway woods, the SureFit CG system is also positioned slightly crooked, as seen in the driver, which has the same purpose; lower-spinning fades and higher-spinning draws. When in the draw position, the weight system will add spin to keep the ball in the air longer, and will decrease spin in the fade setting to keep shots from ballooning. The design also maintains the moment of inertia (MOI) of the fairway woods, keeping forgiveness high regardless of the weight setting.

In the SureFit CG system, weight is changed using interchangeable weights* or tubes, made of a mixture of different materials. The neutral weights have a uniform weight throughout, while the draw-fade tubes have a heavier side.

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A Peek Inside: A 14-gram, neutral SureFit CG fairway wood weight.

When adjusting the system, golfers should look for the “+” sign, which indicates a fade setting, while a “-” sign indicates the draw setting. Note that this is opposite of the 917 drivers, as the entry port is on the opposite side (toe side) of the club head in the 917 fairway woods. A solid red circle indicates a neutral setting. Like the 917 drivers, the 917 fairway woods also have Titleist’s 16-way adjustable SureFit hosel, which offers independent adjust loft and lie settings.

*Note: SureFit CG driver weights cannot be used in fairway woods, and vice versa, due to their different sizes. 

Active Recoil Channel 2.0

While the 915 fairway woods had an Active Recoil Channel behind their faces, designed for higher ball speeds on off-center hits, the area was hollow. The channel in the 917 fairway woods is filled with elastomer, helping produce more ball speed across the face and lower spin, according to Titleist. There’s is also a face insert with variable thickness for increased speed on off-center hits.

Another change for the better is the sound and feel of the 917 fairway woods. They have more of a muted sound and softer feel at impact, which is no doubt helped by filling the Active Recoil Channel. Another benefit is that golfers won’t need to frequently clean the dirt out of the channel, as they needed to do with 915 models.

Color

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Titleist’s 917F2 (right) and 917F3 fairway woods at address.

The “liquid slate” finish on the crown is a throwback to Titleist woods of yesteryear, which is something Titleist fans may very much appreciate. Some of the classic Titleist fairway woods, such as the 980F, had a similar gray finish.

Overall performance

So what’s to be expected of the 917F2 and 917F3 in terms of performance? According to Titleist, golfers hitting the 917 versus a 915 should expect higher ball speeds, a higher launch, slightly lower spin and 4-7 yards in increased distance. It just so happens I hit the 917F2 and 917F3 versus the 915F and 915Fd, and you can see the numbers below.

The Numbers

2017TitleistFairway

I took the 917F2 and 917F3 fairway woods to the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where I tested them against Titleist’s 915F and 915Fd models on Trackman with premium golf balls. The fairway woods were set to my specifications (C2 hosel setting, neutral weight setting in the 917 models) with the same Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Limited D+ 80X shaft. Shots were hit with each club — order was constantly rotated, and outliers deleted — until 10 shots with each club had been recorded.

917F2 v. 915F:

  • The 917F2 generated slightly less spin (-60 rpm) and a slightly higher launch angle (+0.7 degrees) than the 915F.
  • The 917F2 offered more ball speed (+1.5 mph), more carry distance (+1.6 yards), and more total distance (+3.6 yards) than the 915F.

917F3 v. 915Fd:

  • The 917F3 offered slightly less ball speed (-0.8 mph), a slightly higher launch (+0.3 degrees), and a little more spin (+74 rpm) than the 915Fd.
  • The 917F3 increase carry distance (+4.3 yards) and offered more total distance (+6.3 yards) than the 915Fd.

Specs, pricing, availability

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Titleist 917F2 and 917F3 fairway woods ($319 MAP) will be available on Oct. 21 with the following stock shafts: Aldila Rogue M-AX, Fujikura Speeder Pro Tour Spec and Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Limited D+, S+ and M+.

With the purchase, consumers will receive either a 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18-gram neutral weight (the 12-gram is stock) and a matching draw-fade weight. Additional weights can be purchased for $40, or SureFit weight kits are available for $180 with every weight.

The Takeaway

Titleist_917_fairway_woods_review_917D2_917D3

Any golfer with an older version of a Titleist fairway wood, especially one with a silver finish, will find the switch to a 917 fairway wood an easy and valuable transition.

Not only do the fairway woods offer CG adjustability for fine tuning trajectory, but they also have a softer feel and more muted sound than the 915 versions while providing more carry distance and more total distance. You’d be hard pressed to show me an all-around better fairway wood in the current market.

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Fairway Reviews

Review: TaylorMade M2 Fairway Woods

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Pros: Driver-like ball speeds in a fairway wood that’s forgiving, workable, and the more affordable option in TaylorMade’s 2016 lineup.

Cons: No adjustability. The sound and feel is different than other fairway woods.

Who’s it for: The M2 fairway woods can be played by golfers of all skill levels, from beginners to PGA Tour players.

The Review

  • Available Lofts: 15, 16.5, 18, 21, 24
  • Stock Shafts: REAX 65 (X, S, R flexes), many custom shafts available free of charge.

“1.49? Really? Again? Man, these new fairway woods are amazing.” That was me during my launch monitor testing for this review. I kept getting pretty high smash factors for a fairway wood. To quickly explain, smash factor is ball speed divided by swing speed, and the average PGA Tour smash factor for a 3 wood is 1.48.

TaylorMade_M2_Fairway_Wood_1

I am not a PGA Tour player, so getting a 1.49 the few times I did was pretty impressive, and shows an advance in technology — not that my swing has actually improved.

To say there’s been a revolution the past five years in fairway wood design is an understatement. Hotter faces are the norm now. I’ve actually heard people say they hit their 3 woods “too far,” which sounds absolutely insane. But with fairway woods the way they are now, many are providing the same relative ball speeds as drivers, and just as much distance.

TaylorMade_M2_Fairway_Wood_crown

When TaylorMade released the M2, there was some chatter that it was a price-point fairway wood, and it wouldn’t be as good as the company’s M1 since it didn’t have the moveable weights and changeable shafts. This is simply not the case. The M2 contains every bit of technology as the M1, and while I didn’t test them head to head, the feedback from most golfers has been that the M2 launches higher, spins less and offers more ball speed than the M1. For that reason, it will be the longer-flying TaylorMade fairway wood for most golfers.

When viewing the clubs in the address position, it’s hard to tell the difference between the M1 and the M2. The M2 has the “ball” grooves, where there’s a centering point of no grooves in the shape of a ball. The only other difference is the M2 has a new “fluted” hosel construction, which moves a few grams of weight lower in the club head, and is said to improve sound and feel. I’m also a fan of the black-and-white painted composite crown. It seems to give off a more compact feeling to me, and makes it easier to line things up.

TaylorMade_M2_Fairway_Wood_hosel

The face also sits square, which is a major requirement for me as well. I’ve bought and immediately sold 3 woods that have faces that are closed. I was actually worried about this, as in years past TaylorMade has sold a TP line of fairway woods, which have a more open face angle than standard models. There is no TP model in the M2 line, and what TaylorMade seems to have done is focused on making the M2 sit perfectly square.

The Results

M2v.VaporFairway

To do my testing, I took the M2 out to my course and played a few rounds, and then took it to the range and also had a couple of simulator sessions. The data above is from The Professional’s Golf Shop using Trackman and premium golf balls. The M2 was 15 degrees with a Fujikura Pro Tour Spec 73X shaft at 43 inches (untipped).

On Trackman, I was attempting to hit fade shots off the deck each time. The results are the 10 shots that best represented the fade. Overall, the numbers are pretty consistent. There were a few really good hits that made me say, “WOW!” But there were also several shots in this bunch that I hit thin, and I expected them to come up much shorter. That is until I got the results and was impressed that the shot still carried 225-230. I left those in, as I wanted to show how forgiving this club can be.

On The Course

On the course is where the M2 fairway wood really shines. Off the deck, I was getting great numbers on the simulator, but on the course I was hitting the M2 places where I have never hit a 3 wood before.

I came close to muttering those words “too far” at one point. I used it on a par 4 to stay short of water, and I ended up only a foot short of the hazard. We’re talking 280 to the water! And distance isn’t even the best thing about this club. Well, maybe … the distance IS pretty awesome. But there’s something else that’s really good, too. It goes back to the shape, sole design and face angle. I’m able to work this club with ease around the course. I can draw, fade, hook, slice, everything really easily with this club. Whether it’s from the tee box or behind 40 trees, I’m able to do some really fun things.

TaylorMade_M2_Fairway_Wood_faceBut I do have one negative. It has the same sound and feel as TaylorMade’s other M2 woods, and it’s something I don’t love. It almost feels a little hollow, and not as solid as other fairway woods. After awhile you do get used to it, and honestly I don’t think about it much now unless I hit another 3 wood right after it.

Comparison

As you might have seen in the data above, I was able to compare the M2 to my gamer, a Nike Vapor Fly (15 degrees with the same shaft, measuring the same length) both on the course and on the simulator. The only difference between the two clubs was that the Nike Vapor Fly’s shaft was tipped 0.5 inches.

Overall, they are pretty similar fairway woods. When hitting the fade shot on the simulator, they were almost identical. Both have great ball speeds, both are forgiving, and both pretty easily hit that shot.

TaylorMade_M2_Fairway_Wood_address

But on the course, the M2 ended up being a better club for me. The Vapor Fly has an open face angle, and it is harder for me to work shots both directions. I can hit fades with it all day, but I struggle to square the face and hit draws with it. The best hits on the simulator showed the M2 as the longer of the two, and that showed up on the course as well, especially off the tee. I thought I loved an open face, but it ended up not being good for me overall and my testing proved it.

Conclusion

The M2 is a fairway wood that anyone can play. It’s built with a square face, neutral weighting, and offers incredible distance. It should absolutely be on a list of fairway woods for any player to check out. It has a great combination of everything that I look for in a fairway wood. The feel and sound is the only knock I have.

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