Which Golf Club is (Usually) Used on the Fairway?
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New golfers are surprised by the wide range of clubs used by serious amateurs and semi-professionals. “Surely, I don’t need all those clubs,” they tell themselves.
And they are right…to an extent!
You can play golf as long as you have a putter, a driver, and a club to help you in between the teeing ground and the putting green. If you don’t have the recommended golf clubs, the place that is the trickiest to keep a low score in is the fairway.
A fairway wood, usually a 3-wood or a 5-wood, is used on the fairway. The lower-digit wood has a higher loft and lower distance coverage, while the higher-number wood sends the ball further with acceptable accuracy. Any club marketed as a fairway wood works on the fairway.
But in this article, you will learn how to pick a club that doesn’t just work but also helps you ace the fairway. You will learn what material these clubs are made out of and what makes fairway woods so good on the fairway.
But before getting into things you must know about fairway woods, let’s look at the top three fairway clubs for beginners:
Are Fairway Woods Made Out Of Wood?
Fairway woods are not made out of wood despite their name. Golf woods are called woods because they used to have wooden club heads. That was in the 1900s, though. Today fairway woods (and golf woods in general) are made from metal.
Titanium is a popular material for golf club heads meant for fairway driving. It performs better than wooden club heads, which is why it has replaced wood as the primary material for golf woods. You might be able to get a golf wood with an actual wooden head but it will be outclassed by any modern fairway wood.
When buying a fairway wood, you shouldn’t sort your options by the material of the club but by the number on it. The material of the club as well as its design, are dictated by the club title/category. You can use long irons and fairway woods on the fairway.
What Number Is A Fairway Wood?
A fairway wood is either a 3-wood or a 5-wood. Generally, if a wood is meant for the fairway, it is marketed as such. So other than the number on the club, you should look out for the words “fairway wood” in its title or on its package.
For close-distance shots in the fairway, you should use 5-wood, and for higher-distance ones, you should opt for the lower-number club. Avoid going below 3-wood, though, because clubs with higher lofts have too high a drive for the fairway.
Can You Use Drivers On The Fairway?
You can use your driver on the fairway if you need to add distance to your shots. If you want to strike a standard fairway shot but want to use your driver for it, then you will need to master shot control.
It is tough to use a driver on the fairway for a fairway-spanning medium-range shot. You risk overshooting and racking up the score unnecessarily. If you do not have a 3-wood or a 5-wood, you should invest in one because your driver will not be ideal in the fairway.
4 Things Look For When Buying A Fairway Wood
The numbers on the club indicate the loft of its head. They should not be all that you look for in a fairway wood. Not all 3-woods are built alike. Let’s look at the specific aspects you should look for when buying a fairway wood.
The Club Type
The first thing you must look for in a golf club when buying it specifically for fairway driving is its type. The club must b a fairway wood or a long iron, depending on the desired outcome of the shot.
Once you’ve narrowed down which wood or long iron you plan to buy, you can start sorting your options by the individual products, brands, etc.
The Country Of Origin
USA and Japan are two of the best countries to buy golf clubs from. If a fairway wood is made in the USA, you can be positive about the customer service you will get. These clubs ship quicker and reach earlier than international imports.
Many Japanese golf club makers also have a footprint in the US, so you can buy foreign-quality clubs with local shipment speed.
Not all American and Japanese clubs are built alike. You should familiarize yourself with top golf club brands like TaylorMade and Callaway if you’re in the market for a wood or an iron. The more recognizable a club’s brand is, the better it is to buy it.
Some brands are good at producing irons, and others are better at making woods. Some golf club makers are known just for their putters. So, before you buy a 3-wood or a 5-wood from any popular brand, make sure to check out its reviews.
Generally, you should look for over 500 reviews as this establishes the reliability of its average. It is hard to fake over 500 reviews.
Then, you should look for a 4.5-star or higher rating. Clubs with a rating of more than 4.5 stars on a 5-star scale rarely disappoint.
How to Strike Your Fairway Wood?
Once you have bought your fairway wood, you should take a few random shots to understand its drive. After you have a fair idea of how far the club can make the ball travel for a given strike impact, you should adjust the force until your striking power matches the fairway coverage.
To strike your fairway wood, you should put the ball forward by one ball’s width and place the club head’s back on the ground so that you can see the loft. This ensures that the entire impact of the swing gets behind the ball, giving it the desired elevation and horizontal coverage.
The wisdom behind putting the ball forward is that the momentum of the club translates efficiently into the impact that the ball receives. But some golfers go too far back, which can lead to missed contact or high swing. The ideal adjustment is one ball’s width.
When a club is meant to have a high drive, its backside has more weight. You should hit the ball with this weight. To help with precision, you can start by putting the back end of the club head on the ground. If you get this placement right, you can actually see the loft.
Whether you’re a novice golfer or an expert, you need fairway woods in your golf bag. The term refers to 3-woods and 5-woods that are handy in the fairway. These clubs have medium-range to medium-high-distance coverage and are referred to as fairway clubs or fairway woods.
When buying one, you should check the country of origin, brand, and the average customer rating for the specific club. And if you don’t want to do that, then you can simply buy one of these tried and tested clubs to use on the fairway: