What are the Most Forgiving 3 Woods in 2018?
I think you'll agree with me when I say:
It's REALLY hard to consistently and accurately hit long shots on the fairway.
Or is it?
Well, it turns out, you can dramattically increase your shot consistency on the fairway by adding one simple club to your arsenal…
…a club that's designed to be more forgiving and vastly increase your margin of error.
And in today’s article I’m going to show you what the most forgiving 3 wood are…and exactly how you can easily choose the best one for you.
Let's dive in.
Our Roundup Selection
Editor's Choice: Callaway Golf 2018 Men's Rogue Fairway Wood
Rouge fairway is Callaway’s most advanced and sophisticated wood, but also the most expensive one. The club is available for both hand orientations, several flex options, numerous configurations and tons of adjustability.
The shaft is graphite, but comes in various forms, from 50G to 70G. This particular Rouge club features Jailbreak technology and advanced and renewed Face Cup Technology. When merged, these technologies produce the most modern fairway that belongs to 2018.
The Jailbreak technology introduces two steel bars. These thin bars strengthen the body and transfer the impact load from the back of the clubhead to the face. The face will promote speed, and grant more forgiveness.
The face is very thin and features new Face Cup Technology. It is made of light, 455 stainless steel material. When combined with Jailbreak technology, this fairway performs well on off-center shots as well as on center shots.
So, you have the Jailbreak Technology, renewed Face Cup Technology, and the extra thin Face. When combined, these technologies deliver fast, forgiving and distance-craving fairway. The club also features Callaway’s Internal Standing Wave advanced technology.
CG is stationed very low and is pushed a bit forward to minimize the spin and maximize the distance upon impact. And as this wasn’t enough, Callaway also introduced futuristic, air burning shape. The head literally does look as if it can cut the air in half when you swing it.
The downside is the fairway’s price: it is costly. Also, it probably isn’t the best fit for beginners. It is forgiving, but a beginner won’t be able to utilize and unlock all the features this fairway brings to the table. But other than these small issues, we unquestionably recommend it to those who seek forgiving and sophisticated wood.
- introduces several new technologies that improve distance and speed
- this wood features original and stylish air cutting design
- thin stainless steel face, very responsive and forgiving
- excellent sound and feedback
- excellent for off and on center shots
- this wood is somewhat expensive
- it isn’t best fit for beginners
Best Value: TaylorMade 2017 M2 Men's Fairway Wood
TaylorMade 2017 M2 Fairway Wood is durable and complex fairway wood, made of three different materials: 6-layer carbon crown that features very low CG, 450 stainless steel inner frame (body), and the face made of 455 stainless steel.
This club features Geoacoustic engineering, which is just a fancy name for a technology that grants forgiveness and distance. External rib pattern enhances both sounds and feels, thus providing the player with valuable information on every shot. Technology broadens the sweet spot, thus helping the players realize their potential on the course.
The club also features TaylorMade’s Inverted Cone Technology. In short, the TaylorMade introduced this technology to increase that sweet spot area along the club’s face. This technology makes the M2 Fairway Wood more forgiving and fit for those who struggle with swing speed and technique.
The M2 Fairway Wood is known for the 3Fs: it is fast, it goes far, and is very forgiving. All of this is achievable thanks to the multi-material design. The carbon crown grants forgiveness, while the two steel variables give stability, durability, speed, and balance.
We also commend the long and highly flexible speed pockets, which help with fairway’s speed. Shafts come in various flex options and are graphite, durable and soft. The grip is solid and comfortable.
The downside is that this fairway isn’t very adjustable (regarding adjustable weights and configurations). Also, the two-tone design (white and black) are introduced to help people with their aim but may confuse some players.
All in all, the M2 Fairway Wood is certainly one of the most forgiving fairway woods currently available on the market, with a fair price tag to beat.
- sturdy and versatile features multi-material design
- very forgiving face with Inverted Cone Technology
- Geoacoustic engineering introduces excellent sound and feel
- value for money, quality design at an affordable price
- the two color pattern might confuse players
- offers very limited adjustability
Best Seller: Callaway Great Big Bertha
Callaway Men’s Great Big Bertha is right/left hand compatible and comes in 3 different shaft flex options (regular, stiff and senior). Like Most Callaway fairways, the Big Bertha features Face Cup Technology, which helps add distance to your game.
The club’s head is large, which can be frustrating for experienced players, but is perfect for beginners because bigger head means more MOI and also grants more forgiveness with each shot.
The club feels right and hits straight, and will undoubtedly add yardage to your golf experience. This club is also highly adjustable. You can adjust the loft, take it off, and fine tune it to your game style. The club performs well with off center and on center shots.
Big Bertha is highly adjustable, forgiving, durable and quality made fairway wood, fit for beginners and high handicappers. Adjustability is the club’s most prominent feature.
However, it won’t add the most distance to your game. Also, it isn’t the most consistent golf club, regarding golf ball’s direction. But, for this price, I doubt you’ll ever find more consistent and accurate fairway wood.
- highly adjustable golf club
- true value for money
- highly durable and robust
- light, perfect fit for beginners and high handicappers
- decent forgiveness capabilities
- emphasizes distance, but not as good as others on the list
- not the most consistent (in terms of accuracy)
Worthy Competitor: Callaway Men's XR Fairway Wood
Callaway Men’s XR is available for right and left-handers, featuring graphite shaft, which comes in three flex options (senior, regular and stiff). The loft is adjustable at various angles, ranging from 17 to 19 degrees.
This club features big clubhead, which makes it both forgiving and comfortable to use. The overall shape of the clubhead is big, emphasizing high MOI, and low CG (center of gravity, read here for more info), and highest possible COR (coefficient of restitution).
All these factors contribute to the club’s high speed and distance. But still, this club is very forgiving, and will undoubtedly fit those who struggle with swing power and impact angle. This fairway wood emphasizes ball velocity, thanks to the hot club’s face. The face is thin, having a broader sweet spot, thus granting more forgiveness.
The head is aerodynamically designed, which also impacts the club’s speed. In short, Callaway Men’s XR is all about speed. It cuts through the air, minimizes drag, and at the same time features broad face, allowing you to focus more on the power, than on the technique.
We especially liked the Callaway’s notable Face Cup Technology, which helps add distance to your game. You also have the option select various stiff options (you can read about it in value section).
There aren’t many downsides to this club.
Though this wood grants fantastic feel and is very forgiving, it will take some time before you get used to it. Also, it doesn’t offer that much control when it comes to shots; most shots will go straight and straight only.
- very forgiving club, adds distance to the game
- emphasizes speed, which in turn helps with distance
- has several flex options
- emphasizes high MOI and low CG
- doesn’t offer that much maneuverability
- has a steep learning curve
Worthy Competitor: TaylorMade Men's AeroBurner Fairway
TaylorMade Men’s AeroBurner Fairway features graphite and stiff shaft and is compatible with both right and left-handers. It features advanced aerodynamic shape, which helps cut down the drag and increase the club’s speed.
Club’s face is raised, shallow and thin, and as such increases the sweet spot area and offers a lot of forgiveness and spin reduction. The club is made of various materials, all playing an integral role in club’s energy transmission and distance craving features.
It features black and white matte color patterns, which should help with the alignment.
However, some players argue that the color patterns confuse them. The fact is black, PVD, while the crown features white graphic design.
We do commend the speed pockets since they help reduce the spin, but at the same time broaden the club’s sweet spot. This club is simple, efficient and durable, obtained at an affordable price. We do recommend it to beginners.
However, the shaft is somewhat thick and lacks the different flex options. While it is very affordable (the most inexpensive product on our list), it is also the less durable club on our list, so mind that if you decide to obtain it.
- light and somewhat flexible
- decent forgiveness with broad sweet spot
- the most inexpensive wood on the list
- simple design, fit for beginners
- not the most durable fairway wood
- lacks flex options (only stiff flex)
Let's examine the factors that make a club forgiving or non-forgiving, emphasizing the technical parameters and elements.
Also, let's will explain why someone should or shouldn't search and obtain forgiving fairway wood.
This guide is aimed at beginners, but experienced players should also go through it; you can always learn something new and interesting.
Moment of Inertia (MOI) – please see the video below for a short explanation of the concept.
Center of Gravity (CG/CoG) – read more about it here.
The center of gravity on a golf club refers to the place where all the points of balance on a golf club intersect. It helps determine how easy it is to create ideal launch conditions for a golf shot.
Coefficient of restitution (COR) – read more about it here.
Does a fairway wood or iron have a very high COR? Then there is less energy loss at impact with the golf ball compared to a fairway wood or iron with a lower COR.
Here is a problem: Fairway woods are often difficult to master and are very unforgiving. Generally speaking, beginners often have a hard time using the fairway, due to its club shape and long shafts.
With the introduction of hybrid golf clubs, people forgot about fairway woods, at least those fairways that are above 5.
Manufacturers noticed this trend, and thus they started producing fairways that will attract high handicappers and beginners. That is why you will see some many technologies been introduced to the world of fairways, like the Jailbreak technology, Face Cup Technology, Inverted Cone Technology, and so forth.
All these technologies are introduced for one particular reason: to enhance the fairway's forgiveness.
In short, they are designed for people who struggle with swing speed and swing technique. Such clubs have larger sweet spots, add distance to beginners and high handicappers, and are often very light.
Why A 3 Wood?
3 Wood delivers fantastic distance, almost at the level of drivers. Probably the most significant friend of 3 Wood fairways is the loft angles, which is generally set by default at 15-degree angle.
According to GolfDigest, it is the hardest wood to hit off the fairway, and one should use it only when they can reach the green with one shot. The 3 wood club is often overused, which is fine if you are a beginner. In fact, 3 wood will probably act as a driver for you.
Related: You can also see our selection for the best overall 3-woods.
And that is the 3 wood's most important feature: its driver-like design and capabilities. It is the fairway wood that has the highest potential regarding distance and speed but is often very difficult to use and master.
That is why it is essential that you pick the most forgiving 3 wood club; it will help you master the swing and distance, but will challenge you more than iron or hybrid would.
Should You Obtain Forgiving Fairway Wood?
It depends. If you are a beginner, amateur, and high handicapper, then you should consider opting for the forgiving fairway. Most modern fairways have an adjustable loft, several flex options, and they emphasize speed and distance.
As such, they are fit for low swing players, that is, for those who want more distance out of their swings. While the fairways help and make your game more comfortable, they still challenge you.
This is why we recommend you go for the fairways: yes, they make your swing more natural, but they always test your swing technique and swing strength.
When it comes to 3 wood, adjustability often refers to loft angle. Golf clubs can have adjustable hosels (like the Callaway Men's Great Big Bertha) or weights.
Though it might not concern beginners, those who have golfing experience and play a mid handcap will appreciate the fact that they can fine tune their 3 wood according to their game style, golf course terrain, environmental conditions, and so forth.
Also, movable or adjustable weights help shift the center of gravity, allowing you to have more control over the ball's trajectory and distance. If you seek extra control over your game, go to the golf club's that grant you adjustability.
However, if you are total beginners, do not worry about these things, ing unless you want to try adjusting 3 wood, which is certainly recommendable.
Other Technical Factors
There are a lot of elements you should consider when you decide on 3 wood club. Firstly, make sure that you order right or left handed version. Secondly, decide on flex option (if the options are available).
If you seek maximum distance and feel, go for the soft flex option. It just means that the shaft will flex more upon impact, and help you add distance. But, if you don't struggle with swing power, go for the stiff flex.
Also, take a closer look at the product's design, colors, head size, crown shape, and so forth. The clubs we reviewed often feature oversized, driver-like head, and as such grant more forgiveness and more MOI.
You should also consider the club's weight, consistency, and naturally, the price. Though we technically advise you on the price (your budget is your budget), if you are a beginner, we suggest you go for the cheaper clubs.
Such clubs often features a simple design, offer decent durability, and are easy to use and less challenging to master.
The winner of our list is the Callaway Rogue Fairway Wood. Firstly, it is by far the most sophisticated 3 wood club on our list. It features numerous game improving technology, such as the Jailbreak Technology, Face Cup Technology, Geoacoustic engineering, and so forth.
It is very adjustable, forgiving, and fit for high and mid handicappers. It is, however, the most expensive club on the list, and we wouldn’t recommend it to beginners due to its complex design.
But, you should always pick the club that will serve you, your needs and requirements. If you do decide to obtain a 3 wood club, consider its uses and think about the factors you should consider when you search for the 3 wood club.
We emphasize forgiveness, and the clubs on our list are fit for beginners, amateurs, high handicappers, and all those who want to enhance their swing and add distance to their game. If you see yourself on this list of people, we hope this article has been of some help to you, and that it will help you pick the club that fits you the best.