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Best fairway woods of 2021: By club fitters for you!

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Having the right fairway woods is essential for golfers of all skill levels looking to get the most out of their long games—whether it be approach shots into longer par 4’s and par 3’s, going after par 5’s in two, or just trying to hit more fairways off the tee—finding the best fairway wood of 2021 to fit your needs is a must.

Looking at the best fairway wood playing field for 2021, we continue to see more fairway wood options from every manufacturer. What used to be a single model release has been expanded to three—and in some cases even four—models to fit specific player types. These new fairway woods impress us with their ability to utilize new technology and construction methods to go faster, and further, while also offering never-before-seen levels of forgiveness. It’s now easier than ever to find the right one that matches your swing.

That being said, ultimately the best way to find the best fairway woods for you is to work with a professional fitter using a launch monitor. The difficult part is a lot of people don’t have easy access to fitters, launch monitors, and club builders—so at GolfWRX, we have done a lot of the work for you.

The methodology is simple: We want to give you the tools and information to go out and find what works best for you, with recommendations based on exactly what you need from your fairway woods.

Best fairway woods of 2021: Meet the fitters

Nick Sherburne: Founder, Club Champion
Clare Cornelius: Fitter,
Cool Clubs
Eric Johnson: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Shaun Fagan: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Kirk Oguri: PGA Professional/ Club Specialist, Pete’s Golf
Sue O’Connor: Fitter, Cool Clubs 
Scott Felix: Owner, Felix Club Works
Mark Knapp: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Ryan Johnson: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Eric Hensler: Manager & Fitter, 
Miles of Golf
Brad Coffield: Fitter Carls Golfland
Nick Waterworth: Fitter, Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop
Adam White: Co-Founder & Director of Club Fitting, Measured Golf
Scott Anderson: VP of Sales, Fitter, True Spec Golf
Matthew Sim: Director of Operations, Modern Golf
Ian Fraser: CEO & Founder, Tour Experience Golf
Mike Martysiewicz: Director of Club Fitting & Building, Tour Experience Golf
Shawn Zawodni: Fitter, Miles of Golf
Ben Giunta: Owner, The Tour Van

Best fairway woods of 2021: The categories

We have broken our 2021 best fairway wood list into two categories.

  1. Best fairway wood for golfers seeking forgiveness 
  2. Best fairway wood for golfers seeking versatility

We selected this format for fairway woods because every golfer fits into one of these two “want” categories regardless of age, handicap, or gender, and for a lot of golfers, forgiveness is the number one factor when selecting a fairway wood.

Before we started building the survey, we reached out to our trusted fitters to discuss how they sort through the fairway wood options available to golfers. Forgiveness and versatility were the highest-ranked choices.

We can’t thank the fitters enough for their time, and we hope that in your search for your best fairway wood for 2021, we can help you find it!

Most forgiving fairway woods 2021

TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Unlike the SIM2 Titanium, the SIM2 Max fairway has gotten bigger than the previous model and comes in at 190 cc head in the 3-wood (compared to 185 in the 2020 version) to increase forgiveness. Although the head has gotten larger, it is still easy to elevate from tighter lies with the help of the newly redesigned two-step V Steel sole.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 TaylorMade SIM2 Max fairway wood launch piece.

Fitter Notes

  • With its larger size, the SIM2 Max serves a great dual purpose for any golfer looking to use a 3-wood off the tee and off the fairway. If you are a golfer that is intimidated to hit a bigger-headed 3-wood from off the deck you will be hugely surprised how easy it is to elevate thanks to the low center of gravity.
  • The SIM2 Max is great for those golfers that struggle with the low left miss with their fairway woods thanks to its slight draw bias, and for the golfer that tends to “get into the dirt” a bit more often with their fairways, the deeper face really helps prevent the dreaded high ball near the topline.
  • If you struggle to elevate your standard 3-wood you have to try the 3HL in this head!

Ping G425 Max

The G425 Max model fits the widest amount of golfers on the launch conditions bell curve. Instead of looking at golfers by age or other visible factors, it’s much more productive for engineers and designers to look at golfers using their launch dynamics. The Max is a neutrally biased head and has the highest MOI for total forgiveness.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Ping G425 Max fairway wood launch piece.

Fitter Notes

  • Beyond just the head design, the thing that makes the G425 Max fairways really forgiving is the ability to adjust the hosel. You can go to a flatter lie for shorter players who tend to hit lower-flying shots to the left or you can add some loft and close it up to help with a fade.
  • Ping’s new face shape really helps golfers who have a hard time hitting their fairway woods off the deck and tend to come up short, which is traditionally caused by excess spin.
  • It’s the perfect tweener size of being big enough to inspire confidence while still offering something that you are not scared to hit from the deck or from a bad lie when you are just trying to advance it from the rough—that’s a true test of forgiveness.

Callaway Epic Max

Just like Callaway’s Epic Max driver, the Epic Max fairway wood also features the company’s new Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades designed to provide increased ball speeds as well as a club that is easy to launch. The oversized head on the new Epic Max woods combines with a shallow face to make the club extremely easy to launch from the fairway while also offering added forgiveness.

The Epic Max line also offers adjustable weighting allowing golfers to adjust launch and spin using two and 14-gram weights. The added weight in the rear provides more forgiveness while more weight in the front offers lower launch and spin.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Callaway Epic Max fairway wood launch piece.

Fitter Notes

  • How else can you say fast and high launching? The traits of the Epic Max driver carry through to the fairway wood by offering a high and stable ball flight.
  • Where this club really shines is lower on the face – where a lot of golfers tend to miss, and towards the heel and toe.
  • If you need that higher flight but want to keep spin down while using a larger and more game-improvement style fairway wood you need to try the Max with the heavy weight upfront.

Titleist TSi2

The combination of the newly constructed face with ARC 4.0 and the lower center of gravity position make the Titleist TSi2 fairway woods fast and easy to hit. They offer a rounded front leading edge that makes getting under the ball from any lie possible—and you can fine-tune the back weight to match your preferred feel.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Titleist TSi2 fairway wood launch piece.

Fitter Notes

  • This is my go-to fairway wood to start a fitting because the adjustable hosel is so functional. I’m really glad Titleist hasn’t messed with this feature. If you use your fairway wood from the rough a lot, the rounded leading edge and sole are brilliant.
  • It’s such a functional and forgiving head because it’s nice and shallow and easy to elevate. To the higher handicaps who have been afraid of Titleist thinking they weren’t forgiving enough, the TSi2 will 100 percent vanquish that stereotype the first time you hit it.
  • If you need height with your fairway woods try the 16.5 or 21 degrees. Hey, if the TSi2 7/21-degree is good enough for Adam Scott, what do you have to lose trying it?

Ping G425 SFT

The G425 SFT fairway has been differentiated more than the previous G410 to create more left bias in the club to help stop slicing. This is achieved with the head shaping combined with the more heel-biased tungsten weight in the back of the head.

From testing, the G425 SFT is six yards more left-biased than the previous G410 SFT and almost a colossal 20 yards more so than the G425 Max in the standard-setting. When you include the ability to further close the face with the adjustable hosel, you get even more slice-killing power.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Ping G425 SFT fairway wood launch piece.

Fitter Notes

  • The G425 is everything the standard G425 Max is with a lot more draw bias!
  • If you hate hitting fades with your fairway woods, hit this.

Join the discussion about 2021 best fairway woods in the forums.

Most versatile fairway woods 2021

Titleist TSi2

2021-titleist-tsi2-fairway-wood-featured

The combination of the newly constructed face with ARC 4.0 and the lower center of gravity position make the Titleist TSi2 fairway woods fast and easy to hit. They offer a rounded front leading edge that makes getting under the ball from any lie possible, and you can fine-tune the back weight to match your preferred feel and the hosel to adjust ball flight.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Titleist TSi2 fairway wood launch piece.

Fitter Notes

  • This head excels in versatility because of its shape, the available lofts, and the adjustable hosel—you can do almost anything you want with the TSi2.
  • Not only are the TSi2 fairway woods long, but they offer a playable trajectory for going into greens. There is no point in having a fairway wood for attacking long par 4 and par 5’s if you can’t stop it on the green.

Ping G425 Max

The G425 Max model is the one that is going to fit the widest amount of golfers on the launch conditions bell curve. Instead of looking at golfers by age or other visible factors, it’s much more productive for engineers and designers to look at golfers using their launch dynamics. The Max is a neutrally biased head and has the highest MOI for total forgiveness.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Ping G425 Max fairway wood launch piece.

Fitter Notes

  • If you are a golfer who uses your fairway woods to fill specific approach shot distances, you need to try the G425 Max because the loft options and trajectory tuning hosel can get you exactly what you need.

TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Unlike the SIM2 Titanium, the SIM2 Max fairway has gotten bigger than the previous model and comes in at 190 cc head in the 3-wood (compared to 185 in the 2020 version) to increase forgiveness. Although the head has gotten larger, it is still easy to elevate from tighter lies with the help of the newly redesigned two-step V Steel sole.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 TaylorMade SIM2 Max fairway wood launch piece.

Fitter Notes

  • This club is versatile, not for its adjustability, but because of how many players can use it. Higher loft options with a softer shaft and boom, you have height. Standard loft options and a tour-level/weight shaft, and you have a cannon. This head really can work for so many players.

TaylorMade SIM2 Titanium

The new SIM2 Titanium comes in at 170 cc, 10 cc smaller than the 2020 version. It has also been reshaped from address to offer a more “tour-inspired” look, and to instill confidence for those shots off the fairway. The most impressive thing about the new Sim2 Titanium fairway wood is even in a smaller size it offers a five-percent higher MOI thanks in part to the reconfigured 80-gram steel soleplate, ZaTech titanium face and body—along with the carbon crown.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 TaylorMade SIM2 Titanium fairway wood launch piece.

Fitter Notes

  • This could easily be the longest fairway wood on the market. If you just want a pure distance 3-wood, the stronger lofted “Rocket” will closely keep up to your driver off the tee.
  • The SIM2 is a low spinner, so as far as pure distance, it’s hard to beat—although it doesn’t come in a true “4-wood” head, I have had great success already with players using the SIM2 Titanium 5-wood lofted down at 3-wood length.
  • The new smaller shape compared to last year’s SIM Titanium really helps those golfers that are going to use their fairway woods from the rough.

Titleist TSi3

Titleist TSi3 introduces a new SureFit track weighting system that incorporates more weight deeper in the head to lower the center of gravity while also offering the ability to easily alter the CG location. The new system is superior to the previous models’ SureFit CG system thanks to its external visibility and ease of use. The three-position system (heel/toe/neutral) is secured by a robust Kyron Max Polymer with a carbon fiber cover.

For the full technology breakdown, check out our 2021 Titleist TSi3 fairway wood launch piece.

Fitter Notes

  • You get lofts from 13.5 degrees all the way to 18 degrees, and then you get the adjustable hosel on top of that. Once you add in the option to use the SureFit hosel to tune ball flight and the weight to help with the contact point and flight bias, you can make this head do anything you want.
  • The TSi3 is such a safe bet if you are buying a fairway wood off the rack because it’s packed with forgiveness relative to its overall shape and you also get endless tuning options with the head.
  • If you need height with your 3-wood, the 16.5 degree set to standard or slightly lofted down will give you all the height you need while still keeping spin in the appropriate window.
  • Classic Titleist look with modern technology is hard to beat.

Join the discussion about 2021 best fairway woods in the forums.

Best fairway woods of 2021: Conclusion

The fitters consulted for this piece have accumulated data from thousands of fittings with golfers just like you. From beginners to tour players, their feedback and information can’t be undervalued.

Now, it’s your turn: Everybody swings the club differently and everybody has their own experience. We want to hear from you. What fairway woods are you using? What did you switch from? What performance gains did you find in your own game? Share your experience looking for your personal best fairway wood of 2021 to help others!

 

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Equipment

Modern Classics (Ep. 4): Testing a TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 3-wood

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GolfWRX recently launched a new 8-part video series, called “The Modern Classics,” in partnership with 2nd Swing Golf. Throughout this video series, GolfWRX’s Head of Tour Content, Andrew Tursky, tests out 8 legendary used golf clubs that are still being played on Tour today. How do the older, less expensive products compare to modern technologies?

In the first three episodes, Tursky tested out TaylorMade’s Tour Preferred MC 2011 irons, Adams Idea Pro hybrids from 2006, and a TaylorMade Rocketballz RBZ fairway wood.

For episode 4, we highlight the TaylorMade Burner SuperFast fairway woods, which were released to the public in 2010. Although they’re more than a decade old, we spotted one in Richard Bland’s 2022 WITB.

The Burner SuperFast fairway woods are currently available for $76.99 on 2nd Swing’s website.

Check out the video at the top of the page for more on the product, design, and how it stands up in testing against a modern 3-wood.

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Whats in the Bag

Will Zalatoris WITB 2023 (February)

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Driver: Titleist TSR3 (10 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Black 7 X

3-wood: Titleist TSR2+ (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 8 X

Irons: Titleist T200 (3), Titleist T100
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Prototype Graphite on Steel Technology Prototype Hybrid 10 ST X (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (50-08S, 54-10S),Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (60-T)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Putter: Scotty Cameron T-11 Proto
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Tour 1.0PT

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Grips: Golf Pride Z Grip Cord

More Will Zalatoris WITBs

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Equipment

Best wedge for bad bunker players? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing wedges for poor bunker players. WRXer ‘gdb99’ kicks off the thread saying “I’m not good out of sand. I used to be, 35 years ago. I blade shots over the green. It’s all technique, and I need a lot of practice. I know that,” and reaches out to our members who have been sharing what they feel are the wedges that can help him the most.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • hammergolf: “Ping Eye2 is the best bunker club ever. If you’re blading it you’re not steep enough. Open the face and hit down on the sand. The bounce will stop it from digging too much.”
  • flubberlange: “Try a Vokey 60* in a K grind.”
  • Fwitz11: “I also struggle with the bunker and have found that an open 60 and hitting just behind the ball is the easiest out I have used. Has helped me a ton with not blading it over the green.”
  • lazyjc4: “I’ve hit the best bunker shots of my life with PM Grind wedges.  I look like I know what I’m doing almost all of the time.”

Entire Thread: “Best wedge for bad bunker players? – GolfWRXers discuss”

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