Picking A Fairway Wood

Hey everyone. SirPuttsAlot has been hard at work in the email department and I thought I'd post another one tonight. We had a reader ask about picking a fairway wood so let's see if we can help…

My problem is consistency in hitting my 3 wood off the fairway. More times than not I'll leave it in the bag rather than hit it when the situation warrants. Granted this may only be 2 or 3 times a round but it bugs me nonetheless. On the flip side, I hit my 7 wood off the fairway very consistently. I'm thinking about ditching my 3 wood and adding a 4 wood or 5 wood. I'm willing to give up some of the distance with the 3 wood for more consistency in distance/direction. Can you give me your opinion of which 4 woods I should look at?

It sounds like you are just looking for a club that will be easier to hit off the turf and give you more consistency, correct? If so, definitely I think a 4 or 5-wood will make your life easier. The extra loft and slightly smaller head should help quite a bit.
As for models, I would take a look at anything Adams has made in the last couple of years.  I particularly like the Ovation but the RPM is also very good. Adams really thrives at fairway woods and all of their offerings are built to be easy to hit.
I also like the Cobra X series. They have a little deeper face but a huge sweet spot and a pretty reasonable price tag.
My third choice would be the Callaway X fairways. These set up very nice and are a great club, like most Callaway fairway woods. Prices should start to drop on them shortly if it hasn't already.

SirShanksAlot Adds… It sounds like our reader has a pretty good grasp on what he's after. Sometimes customers come in and want to add a 3 wood for the sake of adding a 3 wood… they feel that a "complete" golf set has to contain a 3 wood. I like to ask them why they want a 3 wood. Some want it as a driver replacement… which is a great idea for a lot of players. There are some deeper faced models that work well here. Some players want to use it strictly as a fairway club so they can reach par 5's in 2 shots… something that the majority of golfers have little chance of doing in the first place. Most players are better off advancing the ball to the 150 yard mark and then going for the green. A hybrid would probably be a better idea for these players. It might not hit the ball as far as a wood but it should keep it in the short stuff…. making birdies and pars a bit more obtainable. 

I like to tell golfers to build their bags around their strengths and build it based on the golf courses they play most. Play a shorter course on a regular basis? Maybe you should take out a fairway wood or long iron and add an additional wedge. Players that play longer courses should consider adding a longer hybrid or additional fairway wood. I know lots of players (including myself) that actually have a few extra "go to clubs" that alternate in and out of the bag depending on the course being played. You don't need to drop a ton of cash on an alternate club but it's a nice luxury to have. Tour players often change their bags depending on course conditions and layouts. Check out our Mapping Your Bag article for more info on this topic.  

SirPuttsAlot has suggested some good clubs for you to have a look at. Pay attention to the shafts too. Look for shafts that help get the ball in the air… shafts with a low kick point should help here. 

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