Best 3-Wood (2018) – Buyer’s Guide
Certain types of golf clubs are considered to be very useful in any golfers’ bag. And this applies to the best 3-wood as well. The thing is that many players now look to this particular fairway wood as the best option for playing their 2nd shot on long par 4 or higher holes.
The golf club does seem like a risky substitute to 7 or 6 iron. But it excels at performing the task at hand. And that is to reduce those yards in as many few shots as possible. On the other hand, very few golfers use 3-woods occasionally. On short holes, however only as an alternative to the driver!
But you know what; it doesn’t matter how often the club is subjected to use. Even so, it is ranked as an invaluable option in the golfer’s kit. So it’s time to find out what the top picks are!
The Best 3-wood: Top 10 Reviews
Photo credit: golfsidekick.com
In this section, I’m going to get into the topmost features and major drawbacks of the most popular models. All you have to do is go through each offering to determine what best suits your skills and preferences.
Below is the basic comparison table that gives you an idea of each fairway wood as it is. And you can scroll down further to read the detailed product reviews.
Now please remember that I have discussed both the pros and the cons. So you can make a better decision. The disadvantages are as useful as the advantages. And that’s because the ultimate goal is to find the best option for you. And not to sell products mindlessly!
TaylorMade Men’s R15 Fairway Wood (Editor's Choice)
3-wood, 15 Degrees
Adams Golf Tight Lies Fairway Wood
Titleist 915 F Fairway Wood
Tour Edge Golf Men’s Hot Launch 2 Fairway Wood
7 Wood Offset
TaylorMade Men’s M2 Fairway Wood
3-wood HL, 16.5 Degrees
Adams Golf Men’s Blue Slimtech Graphite Fairway
Callaway Men’s Big Bertha Alpha 815 Fairway Wood
1. TaylorMade Men’s R15 Fairway Wood – Most Adjustable Fairway Wood
Let me begin the reviews section by introducing you to the TaylorMade R15. The manufacturer, TaylorMade is known for coming up with phenomenal fairway woods. So the R15 belongs to that category, without the shadow of a doubt.
But what makes this best 3-wood so popular is its impressive adjustability. The club is equipped with 25g Tungsten technology weight. You can move the wood across 17 different positions. And this brings more customization into the picture, which means better performance. (Difference between fairway woods and rescue clubs)
Another praiseworthy characteristic comes in the form of the Front Track feature. The system is exactly like Speed Pocket. It increases sweet spot and reduces spin.
Furthermore, the excellent crown design goes a long way in promoting clubhead weight redistribution. And whenever that happens, the CG location improves to a great extent.
In all, the TaylorMade R15 Fairway Wood is an ideal pick in all aspects. The club features a large enough sweet spot. All thanks to the added flexibility of the face during impact.
The thing about getting hands on maximum adjustability is that it allows you to customize your performance. No wonder golfers prefer using the TaylorMadeR15 Fairway Wood. Its 25g Tungsten component is the only reason why this particular model is much in demand!
Now, fortunately, there’s nothing wrong with the design and functionality of the wood. But the fact that the manufacturer has not added an adjusting tool or head cover is quite disappointing.
- The TaylorMade club is well-balanced, so it swings easy.
- It produces a pleasant sound at impact.
We Don't Like
- Yardage improvement is minimal.
- No adjusting tool or head cover included.
R15 Fairways - Made of Greatness
2. Adams Golf Tight Lies Fairway Wood – Most Affordable Fairway Wood
Do you know the two factors that caught my attention when I came across the Adams Golf Tight Lies? The first was the aesthetically pleasing design of this best 3-wood. And the second was its budget-friendly price tag. But wait, that’s not it. There’s a lot more the Adams Fairway Wood has to offer.
Let’s talk about the unique Velocity Slot feature. This technology is the most useful as it increases ball speed throughout the clubface. And it does so by adding extra flexibility to the club during impact.
Along the same vein, you also get Ghost Slot. Now, this particular system is almost hidden. But it doesn’t fail to increase ball speed and launch. What’s more is that the Adams Fairway Wood features a triple-level sole. And do you know what that does? It is responsible for minimizing turf interactions. As a result of which you can expect impressive performance. Irrespective of the type of lie!
As for the shaft, you’ll be quite relieved to know that it’s a lightweight steel version. With all that in mind, you won’t experience any letdown from the club in terms of performance and functionality.
Small clubhead and low profile are the two admirable design qualities. So you can hit the club quite easily. And that too from multiple lies!
Also, note that the Adams Golf Tight Lies Fairway Wood helps you achieve good, consistent distances. It even offers advantages to make up for mishits!
One huge drawback presents itself in the form of the clubhead here. The head of the Adams Golf Tight Lies Fairway Wood is prone to breaking sooner than you can imagine. So be prepared for such a loss if you’re willing to trade it for affordability.
- The Adams wood encourages good ball contact at all times.
- Impact feel and response are top-notch.
- The classy design is also a contributing factor.
We Don't Like
- The small clubhead might be intimidating for some players.
- The head tends to snap off during gameplay.
Adams Commercial - Tight Lies Fairway Wood - Watson & Perry
3. Callaway Men’s XR 16 Fairway Wood – Most Versatile Fairway Wood
The beauty of Callaway Men’s XR 16 Fairway Wood is that it’s not only good from that fairway. The club also performs well off tee and from semi-rough and tight lies. This is how maximum versatility comes into play.
The only feature that brings forth such high performance is the improved “Warbird” sole. The large contoured design of the sole gives you an excellent address position and lie angle. While the reduced CG makes the Callaway club more playable on long grass. So that means you can hit this best 3-wood from all kinds of slopes and lies. Even semi-rough!
Now it’s time to highlight the clubface technology. Known as Hyper Speed! The component adds more flexibility to the clubface at impact. With that, consistency and distance benefit the most.
But what’s even better is the sound and feel. During impact, you experience the greatest responsiveness with a pleasant, light vibration. So overall, the Callaway XR 16 is a classic fairway wood. One that is capable of delivering exactly what you need!
The forgiveness factor is something that you might appreciate the most. The Callaway XR 16 Fairway Wood rewards both your mishits and well-hit shots. Plus, the feel that you get during the downswing is unrivaled on the current market.
So what the negative takeaway in this case? The crown of the XR 16 has an alignment aid that lacks a clear-cut design. And sometimes, to certain types of golfers, this might cause problems.
- You can use the Callaway wood from rough and fairway.
- Sound and feel during impact are notable advantages.
- It allows you to control swing and enables solid ball contact.
We Don't Like
- Crown alignment aid is not as pronounced as expected.
Are The New XR 16 Drivers & Fairway Woods Really That Forgiving?
4. Cobra Men’s 5-7 W Bio Cell Fairway Wood – Most Advanced Fairway Wood
Cobra is a company that’s always striving to invent new and improve existing technologies. So it comes as no surprise to know that they managed to create the best 3-wood. One with the most number of advanced features! I’m talking about the Cobra Men’s 5-7 W Bio Cell.
The first, and most important, technology is the remarkable MyFly8. The system works as a beast to deliver unbeatable distance. And it does so by optimizing trajectory.
Another exceptional inclusion is the E9 clubface. This, when combined with Bio Cell, promotes weight redistribution. And the outcome is low CG and high MOI. This means excellent ball speed. Even on your mishits!
Next comes the adjustability factor, which is just as impressive as the rest. The adjustable hosel offers 8 loft combinations. All you have to do is twist that wrench! Plus, the adjustable options also include three draw bias variations. So this is what customization at its best looks like. Am I right?
And lastly, I’m going to rave about the high, thin strength steel clubface inserts. They help you achieve outstanding distance. So you can rely on the Cobra 5-7 W Bio Cell. Without worrying about how it’s going to impact your performance.
Since maximum loft settings are a part of the scene. You want to work with a club that delivers square face during impact. Irrespective of loft settings, right? With that in mind, there’s the phenomenal SmartPad clubface technology to hold responsible for that!
Sadly, the Cobra 5-7 W Bio Cell Fairway Wood cannot provide anything but a flat feel. So that’s what you get off the clubface in terms of feedback.
- The Cobra club offers eight loft adjustments.
- Steel clubface inserts add more flex.
- It offers maximum forgiveness and eliminates slices.
We Don't Like
- The response/feedback is almost nonexistent.
5. Bullet Golf .444 Hi Loft Fairway Wood – Best Fairway Wood for Beginners
Sometimes even the best fairway woods don’t make the learning curve easier for amateur golfers. But that doesn’t mean they don’t help at all. Without clubs like the Bullet Golf .444, beginners might take very long to acquire necessary skills. But when such a fairway wood is a part of the experience, you enjoy maximum forgiveness. And in my opinion, that sounds like a huge benefit.
Do you have a difficult time hitting long irons? Even maintaining consistency is not an easy task, right? In that case, let the Bullet Golf .444 Hi Loft Fairway Wood come to your rescue. So it’s not only the compelling physical appearance that speaks volumes. The functionality of this particular model is also quite effective.
The thinner crown enables weight redistribution. And the result is seen in the form of higher club lift and easier ball flight. You might also admire the high-quality stainless steel design. It does an excellent job of enhancing the equipment’s lifespan.
As for the shaft, it has a graphite construction with proline rubber grip. The latter adds superior comfort to the whole golfing experience. Plus, the manufacturer has taken care of every little detail. This includes providing an attractive head cover for club protection. So that’s how the Bullet Golf .444 Hi Loft Fairway Wood gets the upper hand!
The concentration of weight belongs to the lower part. And the crown has a thinner structure. So what does this tell you? It means you should expect nothing short of impressive performance. Especially when it comes to lifting the wood higher and improving trajectory!
The only issue is the not-so-light clubhead weight. But to be fair, being comparatively heavier doesn’t affect the performance level. Despite the weight, it makes the ball travel higher and enables a soft landing.
- The Bullet Golf wood is plenty durable and playable.
- The shaft features a solid grip.
We Don't Like
- The heavyweight of the club is slightly disconcerting.
- It takes a while to get used to the features.
6. Titleist 915 F Fairway Wood – Best High-Quality Fairway Wood
When it comes to Titleist, there’s no doubt about the reliability of their products. That makes the Titleist 915 F Fairway Wood a high-quality, durable choice. And many golfers swear by both the performance and long-lasting value of this best 3-wood.
Everything about the Titleist 915 F is simply outstanding. This includes factors from the distance to workability to consistency. I would also go as far as to state that the Titleist model is an ideal option for low-handicap golfers. It’s because the club offers a high launch. While also carrying the ball exceptionally far!
The channel is also another remarkable feature. It has a forward positioned design that performs a primary function. The component gives you greater distance from turf and tee through lower spin and higher speed.
On top of that, Titleist has equipped the club with minimal CG. That brings tons of stability into gameplay. In fact, it even maximizes ball speed while preserving forgiveness. So these are the kinds of benefits you’re up for if you pick this champion of a 3-wood!
It’s time to discuss the exceptional face inserts of the Titleist 915 F. They are the high-speed versionthat does nothing but increases ball speed. And this is something that takes place all across the clubface. So there’s no disappointment of any kind!
There’s no point in keeping negative information from you, right? In such a case, here’s what the downside looks like. The loft adjustability feature is slightly complicated to work with. It requires a professional skill set. So the Titleist 915 F might not be suitable for beginners.
- The Titleist wood is perfect for center strikes.
- It encourages high launch to improve shot dispersion and accuracy.
- Durability is unbeatable.
We Don't Like
- Adjusting the loft is not easy.
- The forgiveness factor needs improvement.
We Are Golfers
7. Tour Edge Golf Men’s Hot Launch 2 Fairway Wood – Most Forgiving 3-Wood
If you’re hunting for the best 3-wood that offers unmatched forgiveness, here’s the ultimate pick. The Tour Edge Golf Men’s Hot Launch 2 Fairway Wood is created for that very reason. It provides maximum forgiveness like no other. But there’s more than what meets the eye!
The Tour Edge Hot Launch 2 is an invaluable offset version. One that counteracts slicing! But the fairway woods of the company are famous for other reasons. The first one is associated with the affordability factor. And just because they’re cheaper in price doesn’t make them cheaper in quality too. I have tried and tested many, so you can take my word for it.
Moving on, the wood features variable clubface thickness. It’s this particular design element that broadens the precious sweet spot. And the outcome is greater forgiveness and ball speed.The thing even helps in achieving straighter shots.
You might also value the shallow clubface structure. Such a design allows the ball to fly higher. As if that wasn’t enough already, the ball travels farther with a soft landing as well.
Overall, the Tour Edge Golf Men’s Hot Launch 2 Fairway Wood fits your budget range. While also offering tons of forgiveness!
Did you know that the wood I’m currently reviewing has an offset hosel? Such a sought-after design delivers the type of control that eliminates slices. And this translates into straighter shots. Isn’t that something!
It’s time to talk about the elephant in the room. And that is the lack of loft adjustability. So are you ready to give that up to gain maximum forgiveness? If yes, then it does sound like a safe bet!
- The shallow face and face thickness deliver high and powerful launch.
- The VFT technology works exceptionally well for mishits.
We Don't Like
- Loft adjustability is nonexistent.
Tour Edge Hot Launch IRON-WOOD
8. TaylorMade Men’s M2 Fairway Wood – Best 3-Wood for All Types of Handicappers
Let me begin by stating that the TaylorMade M2 consists of HL modification. And that means High Loft. Such a structure allows you to strike high shots much easier. And that is exactly why this particular club is so popular in the golfing industry.
But you know what, there’s more! Since the wood has a 16.5-degree loft that means it’s suitable for high and low handicappers. If you ask any slow swinger, he/she will tell you how they love the additional loft to achieve greater distance.
With the extra distance, you also get abundant forgiveness. So you can strike the clubface as low as you want off that fairway. The golf ball doesn’t fail to travel on and on. And if you somehow manage to hit the invaluable sweet spot, the ball offers target precision.
The black/white crown design is also a huge advantage. As it helps in aligning this best 3-wood to your target! Plus, the contrast that you get with the turf is quite useful.
So to sum it up, the TaylorMadeM2 Fairway Wood is easy and comfortable to hit. No wonder it’s such a popular pick among both professional and beginner golfers!
The lightweight carbon composite construction of the crown makes way for weight distribution. In fact, it brings the mass closer and lower to the impact zone. And that results in improved spin and launch conditions. So there’s the convincing aspect!
Now there’s nothing wrong with the way the TaylorMade M2 Fairway Wood performs. But only for the sake of listing down a flaw, I feel obligated to tell you that it doesn’t come with a head cover.
- The TaylorMade club adds distance like no other.
- It has a solid, well-built construction.
- Ball contact is consistently good.
We Don't Like
- No headcover included.
2017 M2 Fairway Testing — Athlete Reactions
9. Adams Golf Men’s Blue Slimtech Graphite Fairway – Most Effective Long Fairway Wood
The club I’m talking about is by far the longest one on the list. It’s the only best 3-wood highly recommended by beginners and experts alike. So what does that tell you? It implies that despite being long, the club ranks high in performance too. Am I right? So let’s get to know the features a little better.
The thing about Adams Golf products is that they’re packed with core strength. And you can see that in the form of easy launch and maximum forgiveness. The former is a result of nothing but the company’s unique technology. Known as the Easy Launch Working System!
The Adams Golf Blue Slimtech Graphite Fairway Wood is perfect for high and mid handicappers. These types of golfers can make the most of the club to enhance their gaming potential. (How to calculate golf handicap)
Let’s talk about the phenomenal velocity slot feature for a minute. The component is added to the sole region. And what it does is flex that sole during impact. So much so that it results in increasing ball speed.
Now you already know that hitting a 3-wood off that deck is not an easy shot to make. At such times, the Adams Golf Blue Fairway comes to save the day. It has an excellent upside down clubhead profile. So completing the task at hand becomes easier. And, quite frankly, doable too!
So are you looking for the best 3-wood for mid handicapper? Or the most forgiving 3-wood for high handicapper? For both questions, the answer is the same. And that is the Adams Golf Men’s Blue Slimtech Graphite Fairway.
Cutting through turf without having to face any hassles is not a pipe dream. Making successful shots is what every golfer wants, right? And the only part that helps in achieving such results is the clubhead.
With that in mind, you’ll be quite relieved to know that the head, in this case, has a very profitable structure. One that is upside down to allow you to take those shots easily!
When using the Adams Golf Blue Fairway Wood, don’t expect it to last for many years. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give you the upper hand when it comes to durability.
- The Adams club has a sleek, lightweight shaft.
- Upside down clubhead is a huge advantage.
- Easy launch technology adds consistency to the game.
We Don't Like
- Durability is a weak factor.
Adams Golf - Deep Blue
10. Callaway Men’s Big Bertha Alpha 815 Fairway Wood – Best All-Around 3-Wood
Yet another model manufactured by none other than Callaway. It’s not a surprise that the company has succeeded at placing another best 3-wood on the market. So let me introduce you to the many exceptional features of the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815.
Before I begin, I want to add something important. The club that I’m currently reviewing offers everything you need from a fairway wood. Including looks! So it doesn’t only perform exceptionally well. But the aesthetically pleasing design is also quite an impressive aspect.
With the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815, you can adjust more than only the lie and loft angle. It gives you the opportunity to alter the spin profile and ball flight as well. So what does that mean? It implies maximum customization, doesn’t it?
What’s even better is the clubface’s ability to send the ball flying. And that too with a solid yet smooth explosion. Holding greens with this particular fairway wood is not a difficult task either. Thanks to the high trajectory that the club produces.
Along the same vein, the heavy yet compact clubhead is perfect. Especially for working through tall grass with maximum ease.
Overall, the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Fairway Wood is a pick that completes every such article. Even though it’s a new addition to the golfing industry, the club ranks high in terms of performance and design.
What do I like the most about this particular model? Without the shadow of a doubt, it’s the Hyper Speed FaceA Forged Cup of the clubface. What the technology does is create maximum ball speed from any impact location. Even on shots that are lower on the clubface!
There are all types of golfers, right? Each of them has certain kind of preferences when it comes to clubs. So a relevant factor that weighs in here is the size of the clubhead. Some players opt for a bigger head over the more compact version. So if you’re like that too, then the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 might not be an ideal option.
- The Callaway wood offers adjustability like no other.
- Explosive sound and feel at impact.
We Don't Like
- Not suitable for golfers who prefer using big clubheads.
Spin Control and Trajectory Adjustment - Big Bertha Alpha 815 Fairway Wood
Fairway Wood - Buyer's guide
Photo credit: mygolfspy.com
Now that you know what options to look at when you want to buy the best 3-wood, it’s time to move on. And by that, I mean understanding important aspects of the selection process.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or amateur golfer. The necessity of having 1 or 2 woods in the set remains. So it’s best to purchase clubs that rank high in performance. And not just aesthetic appeal!
So as a rule of thumb, these are the factors involved in choosing the best 3-wood. Or any other fairway wood as a matter of fact!
1. Handicap: Mid, Low, or High Handicap
The clubs you buy should be a perfect match to your handicap level. And that’s because your golf handicap determines your performance with any type of a golf club. So in this case, high handicappers are better off with higher-lofted fairway woods. To be more specific, the best 3-wood! And why is that? The thing about 3-woods is that they allow you to produce solid strikes quite easily.
On the contrary, low and mid-handicappers should opt for lower lofts. Ideally, the whole point is to get something that enables you to make shots from that fairway in the most comfortable and easiest manner.
It goes without saying that material plays a significant role. Back in the days, fairway woods were equipped with the traditional wooden head. That’s how the term “fairway wood” was coined. But it’s not the same anymore. The modern versions have a steel material construction. The only reason for such a change is that now these clubheads can be smaller than the driver.
Also, note that steel tends to add more forgiveness. Plus, it’s an affordable option.
Other common materials include titanium and composite. The latter is slowly gaining momentum in the golfing industry. These types of fairway woods have a carbon rear section or head crown. This way, the clubhead becomes lighter and forgiveness increases.
What about titanium? It’s yet another common material but with a larger clubhead. Golfers prefer using titanium designed fairway woods because they’re light in weight. The clubs also feature a thin face. And such a design lowers CG (what is center of gravity) and clubhead weight.
When it comes to the shaft, it can either make or break the experience. In that case, it’s important to take golf club shaft into account. The majority of woods have a longer shaft. And for what?So they can deliver more distance right?
Here’s an explanation for such a design. Longer shafts give you a larger head speed. And that, inevitably, increases range. But, at the same time, an increase in range means minimal control. So if control is your primary concern, you’d do better with shorter shafts.
Now, what about shaft material? Most fairway woods have graphite shafts. So they are light in weight, hence easy to hit.
The loft of a fairway wood is responsible for controlling trajectory like no other feature. That means it also affects the distance you achieve. The best way to go about choosing the correct loft is to opt for an adjustable one. So it’s a relief to know that most 3-woods are equipped with an invaluable adjustable hosel.
With that in mind, you should also know that loft adjustment implies changing the angle of the clubhead. So make sure that you select a suitable fairway wood. One that allows you to make adjustments to the loft till at least 5 degrees! (Explaining loft angle in golf clubs)
5. Head Design
The part of the club that comes in contact with the golf ball is none other than the head. No wonder the size and shape of the clubhead are crucial aspects! The overall design affects the playability factor of the wood.
For example, you’ll find it more efficient to use a broader face off tee. On the other hand, a shallower version is more effective for launching balls off the fairway.
Also, note that clubs with flat-bottomed edges help in striking from difficult tight lies. While the rounded ones allow you to work through rough quite effortlessly.
The length of any fairway wood depends on nothing or nobody but the manufacturer. Even so, it is considered to be an important feature. In the case of woods, models with a higher value are the shortest. This means the best 3-wood is as long as 42 or 43 inches. 5 wood falls somewhere between 41 and 42 inches. And 7 wood between 40 and 41 inches.
But do you wish to buy only a single fairway wood? So my advice to you would be to choose a length that suits your particular handicap.
My Choice: TaylorMade Men’s R15 Fairway Wood
Despite the invention and popularity of hybrids, the best 3-wood still remains very relevant. However, if you want to make the most of such a club, you have to choose wisely. So all the more reason to go through both the guide and reviews sections of the article!
And if possible, try out more than 1-2 options to select what suits your skills and game the most. But if you can’t do that, then I would recommend buying the TaylorMade Men’s R15 Fairway Wood. That’s because the model has a lot to offer!
The sliding weight technology, for one, is great for adjusting the shape of every shot. In fact, this particular characteristic makes the wood among the most adjustable on the market. Another noteworthy inclusion is the Front Track mechanism. It performs just like Speed Pocket to increase sweet spot. And reduce spin as well!
In all, the loft adjustability of the TaylorMade R15 is the greatest achievement. So you can work with launch conditions that complement your particular technique and game. The fairway wood is built on greatness and for greatness. It’s a true story!
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