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Best fairway wood of 2020: GolfWRX Members Choice

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What is the best fairway wood of 2020? Is the best fairway metal in golf the longest? The most forgiving? The best looking? Best sounding and feeling? Some combination of all or some of these attributes?

We’ll find out.

At GolfWRX, we take great pride in our online community and the cumulative knowledge and experience of our members. Needless to say, that extends to our GolfWRXers views on the best fairway woods of 2020.

The bedrock of GolfWRX.com is the community of passionate and knowledgable golfers in our forums, and we put endless trust in the opinions of our GolfWRX members—the most knowledgeable community of golfers on the internet.

No other group of golfers in the world tests golf clubs as frequently or as extensively, nor is armed with such in-depth information about the latest technology.

Read the discussion in the forums here

best fairway woods 2020

You can see the results for the best fairway wood of 2020, as well as quotes we pulled from GolfWRX members about them from our forums.

Best fairway wood of 2020: The top 5

1. TaylorMade SIM

The SIM Ti fairway wood has a Zatech titanium body, carbon composite crown, and an 80-gram steel sole weight. It also offers an adjustable hosel to dial in loft and face angle as well as Twist Face to help golfers that miss shots around the face. This is the all-in-one fairway wood for golfers looking for adjustability, forgiveness, and top-of-the-line ball speed.

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • “The TaylorMade SIM is the hottest 3-wood I have ever hit. I had the M6 all last year and absolutely loved it. I said all last year it was the best fairway I’ve ever played….the SIM is even better. I love the profile at address, and there are times the SIM 3W gets within 1 mph of my driver ball speed.” – Member JoeFrigo
  •  “I bought the 5-wood based on reports the SIM is silly long and low spin, and after my first round today, it absolutely delivered. The 5-wood isn’t too big, and I found it to flight excellently off the tee and off the fairway. It set me up today for birdies on all the par 5s. I have mine shafted with an 80X Diamana Blue, and it is fantastic.” – Member DNice26
  • “I’ve never had a club that was more point and shoot than this. Great off the turf and on the tee. Very happy and might even keep the stock shaft in it (HZRDUS Smoke Black 70g 6.0) instead of hitting the bay for an AD IZ or AD DI.” – Member RobYakes
  • “When I was fit for my SIM 3-wood I didn’t think it stood a chance of beating out my M5, but 45 minutes later, I had a new fairway wood that carried farther and went straighter than anything I had ever hit.” – Member tobybear

Read what others are saying in the GolfWRX forums: Official TaylorMade SIM fairway wood discussion. 

2.Titleist TS2

The TS (Titleist Speed) fairway woods, were re-engineered from the ground up for faster ball speeds, higher launch, lower spin rates, and increased MOI. The crown of the TS2 fairway wood is 27 percent thinner than the previous 917 fairways, which allowed engineers to move weight lower and deeper in the club heads. Also, a new variable thickness face helped to save additional weight from the face and helps to deliver faster ball speeds.

The other key piece of technology is the Active Recoil Channel on the sole to help assist golfers in launching the ball higher.  Since fairways need to hit the ball off the turf, and thus, lower on the face, Titleist believes the Active Recoil Channel is a “crucial technology.”

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • “I just got my TS2 15 degree Tensei 65. First range session and (I) am thrilled with the club. Over the years, I’ve had the 909, 913, and 917F2 heads, and this one feels better than them all, plus it’s easy to hit off a tee and the deck.” – Member DeBoPGA78
  • “I picked up a TS2 fairway and fell in love instantly. I was playing a Cobra F8 (Atmos Blue 7x/tipped 1/2 inch), which is one of the hotter 3-woods IMO, but inconsistent off the tee and off the deck. The TS2 is a straight bomber. Looks great, feels better than anything I’ve tried in a while, and it’s easy to flight high and low.” – Member ClubChamp88
  • “I bought a 15 degree TS2 this week and road-tested it for the first time yesterday. It replaces my old 910Fd 3-wood, and the distance difference is truly amazing. Seem to go as far as my 917 driver.” – Member Plugger
  • “I have a TS2 HL 16.5° and am very pleased. Tensei Blue shaft yielding me up to 245 off the tee. Also easy to elevate off the deck. Great ball flight, sound, and feel.” Member Lobber
  • “I have a TS2 15° with a Tensei Pro White, and it’s the best fairway wood I have had to date. I went from the original RBZ, G30, G400, XHot, Rogue, 917, and now the TS2. Paired with a low/low shaft with the forgiving head its the perfect flight and forgiveness…..and long…” – Member agood3putt

Read what others are saying in the GolfWRX forums: Official Titleist TS2 fairway discussion

3. Ping G410

The Ping G410 fairway woods utilize maraging steel to create a stronger and more flexible face, which Ping believes helps golfers generate faster ball speeds and launch shots farther and higher. The other new technology addition from Ping is a low-back CG and high-density tungsten weight positioned at the extreme boundary of the head which provides greater stability and forgiveness on all shots.

Just like the driver, the Ping G410 fairway woods include a lightweight adjustable hosel which offers golfers the choice of implementing loft (0, +1º, +1.5º, -1º, -1.5º) and making lie adjustments (including up to 3º flatter than standard) with the aim of optimizing ball flight.

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • “I’ve had the G410 3W with the Tour shaft since April. Definitely one of the most versatile 3W I’ve owned. I had the G400 Stretch—while it was good on the monitor and practice range, it just had too many mini driver characteristics (look and feel). I initially thought I’d seamlessly move into the G410 LST, but my fitting session didn’t give me any confidence and consistency with that club. The standard G410 3W was just easier to launch and work the ball.” – Member RoughingIt
  • “The feel is so solid. It was easy to launch and was probably the best fairway for consistency in striking that I have ever hit. With the ability to adjust the lie 3 degrees flat, it was a no brainer for me.” – Member TGG27

Read what other golfers are saying in the GolfWRX forums: Official Ping G410 fairway wood discussion.

4.TaylorMade SIM Max

The new 2020 SIM Max is a bonded hosel fairway wood designed to get the ball up quickly and with less spin. It uses a C300 steel face and body paired up with a carbon composite crown to keep the center of gravity low and to boost forgiveness. Both the Sim Max and SIM are built on the famous V-Steel sole to reduce friction and make it easy to get under the ball and through any lie you might experience on the course.

It also has TaylorMade’s Twist Face, and speed pocket to keep shots more online and going further.

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • “The SIM Max is a rocket launcher. Low spin missiles. It doesn’t seem to balloon up on mishits, and when you square one up, you’ll be taking a long walk down the fairway.” – Member gevans24
  • “Sim Max w/ Tour AD IZ 7x… unreal, picked up 20 yards” – Member rangewarrior83
  • “I’ve really liked the larger footprint of this fairway wood so far although I’ve only hit it inside on a simulator. I have a SIM 15 degree w/Ventus Black; I’ve seen 3-4 mph speed increase and 10 yards from my M5 with an old Speeder Evolution 757x. This fairway is hot!” – Member TK3309
  • ” I picked up a SIM Max 3, 15 degrees with the Ventus Blue shaft, and it is a beast!!” – Member J_L_35

Read what others are saying in the GolfWRX forums: Official TaylorMade SIM fairway wood discussion. 

5. Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero

Callaway Mavrik sub zero fairway 2020 sole angle

This is the Mavrik fairway wood for faster players who desire workability and need lower spin. It uses a two-weight system to allow golfers to move weight front to back in the head to alter spin, and adds speeds by using C300 maraging steel in the face and body to provide strength and weight saving.

From a looks perspective, the Mavrik Sub Zero differentiates itself from the others in the Mavrik line by having full-face scoring lines on every head and a more open face angle from the address position—something better players are generally looking for in a fairway wood.

Here’s what GolfWRX members are saying

  • “Love the way the Mavrik SZ sits behind the ball… After three months of owning the SZ, I’ve never driven the ball better and my confidence off the tee is unbelievable. – Member Dingerz
  • “SZ three wood might be the best-looking fairway wood out this year. – Member getair32
  • “Mavrik Sub Zero has a traditional rounded look with a deeper face that traditionalists should appreciate. The Sub Zero’s hot face, flatter trajectory, and lower spin produce long shots off the tee or turf that can easily be worked right and left. Moving the heavy sole weight to the back of the head can add forgiveness while also increasing the launch for those of us who need it!” – Our very own Brian Knudson

Read what others are saying in the GolfWRX forums: Official Callaway Mavrik wood discussion. 

best-fairway-wood-2020

Rounding out the top 15

  • Callaway Mavrik
  • Ping G410 LST
  • Cobra SpeedZone
  • Titleist TS3
  • Mizuno ST200
  • PXG 0341
  • Callaway Mavrik Max
  • Tour Edge EXS 220
  • Cobra SpeedZone Tour
  • Mizuno ST200 Tour

best fairway wood 2020

Ongoing Members Choice polls: Have your say!

We’re still looking for your feedback on the “best” items in several other categories, so head to the GolfWRX forums to have your say!

Check out the polls in the GolfWRX forums below!

Read the discussion in the forums here

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Whats in the Bag

Jordan Spieth WITB 2021 (April)

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Jordan Spieth what’s in the bag accurate as of the Valero Texas Open.

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (10 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 X

3-wood: Titleist TS2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 X

Hybrid: Titleist 818 H2 (21 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 95 X Hybrid

Irons: Titleist T100 (4-9)
Shafts: True Temper Project X 6.5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-10S), Vokey Proto (60-T)
Shafts: True Temper Project X 6.0 (6.5 in 46)

 

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A post shared by Aaron Dill (@vokeywedgerep)


Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T 009
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Flatso 1.0

Grips: SuperStroke S-Tech

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

 

 

 

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Equipment

Equipment rewind: A deep dive into the Cleveland HiBore driver legacy

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I have always been fascinated by product development, specifically the development of unconventional products. Now in the world of golf clubs, one of the most unconventional designs ever introduced was the Cleveland HiBore driver, which during its lifespan, experienced tremendous success through a number of generations, including the HiBore XL, XLS, and finally, the Monster XLS, which, as you may remember, hid the acronym “MOI” on the sole, alluding to its massive level of forgiveness.

As a golfer, I played the original HiBore, along with the XL Tour for a period of time and was always curious about the story behind the “scooped out crown.” In a search for answers, I reached out to Cleveland-Srixon to get the lowdown on the HiBore and discuss where it sits in the pantheon of drivers.

Ryan Barath: Considering how engineers are continuing to do everything they can to increase MOI and push the center of gravity low and deep in driver heads, it feels like the original HiBore and the subsequent models were well ahead of their time from a design perspective. 

It makes logical sense the best way to save weight from the crown is to make the crown “disappear” compared to traditionally shaped drivers, am I correct in assuming that?

Cleveland design team: You nailed it.

At the time of the HiBore, there were really only two solutions to create a low and deep center of gravity:

    1. Make the crown lighter – by either replacing the crown with a lighter-weight material such as a graphite composite or magnesium or by thinning out the material on the crown. Thinner crowns were possible thanks to advances in casting technology and using etching techniques to remove material.
    2. Make the driver shallower – this change in geometry created a very forgiving low profile design, but the downside to this was that you ended up with a very small face that looked intimidating compared to the larger-faced drivers on the market.

The HiBore took a new approach and inverted the crown geometry so that all the crown weight was moved lower. By inverting the crown the HiBore design allowed for a very long and flat sole, therefore there was space in the head that was really low and deep to put the weight.

The HiBore was really the first driver to eliminate, or nearly eliminate the tapered skirt. Almost every modern driver in the market is inspired by the HiBore in that respect. It was a two-part solution where we lowered the weight of the crown and simultaneously created a low/deep location to put any extra mass.

The lower and deeper CG of the HiBore improved launch conditions significantly, but also made the driver much more consistent across the entire face. The deep CG increased MOI resulting in tighter dispersion since the sweet spot was in the center of the face. Misses both low and high performed exceptionally as opposed to having a small hot spot high on the face.

RB: In every conversation I have ever had with engineers, there is always this give-and-take mentality from a design perspective to get to the final iteration. Was there anything that was given up or sacrificed for overall performance with this design?

Cleveland design team: The hardest part about the HiBore design was the sound. Prior to the HiBore, internal ribbing in a hollow golf club head was nearly unheard of. To make the HiBore sound acceptable, we had to design a ribbing structure to control the sound and design an entirely new manufacturing process to produce those internal ribs. To this day, most drivers include some form of internal ribbing to control sound or improve ball speed and that ribbing technology can be traced back to the HiBore.

In terms of tradeoffs, the major one was the low spin nature of the driver made it more difficult for low spin players to use. If a golfer is already low spin, this club would be too low and drives would just fall out of the air. Low spin golfers tend to be low spin because they hit the ball high on the face. Since we lowered the sweet spot, a high face impact was further from the sweet spot so ball speed fell as compared to a higher CG driver. Fortunately for us, in that era most golfers were fighting too much spin or way too much spin, this wasn’t a real issue.

RB: Do you have any final words on the HiBore drivers and the legacy they have left behind?

Cleveland design team: We are very proud of the HiBore driver family and the success it had at the time, but we are also proud of its legacy.

In the same way that you can trace nearly every modern band back to the Beatles or Led Zeppelin, you can trace nearly every modern driver back to HiBore either through the internal structure that is prolific across modern drivers, or the long, flat sole that is a must-have in a high-performance driver.

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (04/03/21): Tiger Woods spec’d irons

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At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals who all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing, including equipment or, in this case, a sweet set of irons!

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for Tiger Woods spec’d TaylorMade P7TW irons, or as they are also known: the GOAT irons.

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: TaylorMade P7TW **TIGER SPECS* 3-PW

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules.

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