Golf woods are a group of golf clubs designed for the long game. They are characterized by a larger head (compared to golf irons and standard hybrids) and an increased loft, which allows the ball to be swung from the tee (the base on which the ball is placed at the start of play at the beginning of the fairway). Golf woods are used to start the game, but also for teeing off from the grass. The basic set of golf woods includes a driver. In a golf set, the woods may be replaced by hybrids or irons of lower numbers, but at least one is included as standard (unless replaced by a hybrid).
When selecting a golf wood, it is necessary to focus on its purpose, i.e. whether you need a driver or one of the higher number woods, which are designed for specific types of swings.
Types of golf woods
Golf woods are traditional club clubs used by golfers since the early days of golf. Originally, the rounded heads of these club clubs were made of wood (hence their name) with a reinforced face.
Nowadays, mostly composites or metal are used, retaining only the shaping of the head, as well as the long shaft that is typical of them. As with hybrids or irons, there are 9 basic sizes of golf woods (but you will also encounter higher ones), and these can be further subdivided into three groups according to purpose:
- driver – is the No. 1 golf wood, i.e. the one with the largest head volume and the longest club,
- fairway (fairway) woods – are the higher-numbered golf woods, most commonly used in golf sets in sizes 3 and 5 – they are slightly smaller and shorter than the driver and are used both as tee shafts and as clubs for longer fairway play,
- woods for shorter tee shots (auxiliary woods) – sizes 7, 9 and 11 are standard in the set and can be the equivalent of lower iron numbers or mid-range hybrids for shorter play.
If you are selecting a golf wood, you should therefore primarily know its specific purpose. You will then use this to determine the loft and overall club parameters. When choosing, you should focus primarily on the following characteristics:
- technological head design
- shaft material
Golf Wood Head Technology
Originally wooden golf wood heads have undergone significant evolution – nowadays they are most often made of solid steel or other solid metals (titanium and its alloys) or composite materials, which are fitted with various elements that allow its special balancing according to the player's needs.
The specific feature of the golf wood head is its rounded shape, which allows for a very large hitting area, which is why the wood forgives many more errant shots than wedges or irons.
In the standard version, the shaping is designed with balance in the toe (the shaft is fitted in the heel of the head). The rounding then allows for very good shock absorption and swing direction. In addition to the classic solution, the golf wood can also be equipped with grooves for placing weights, which allows you to influence the overall balance of the club.
Loft and face of the golf wood
The lofts of golf woods (i.e., the angle of the head's lateral inclination) depend primarily on the specific size, and therefore the intended use and type of swing you intend to make with it.
The lofts of golf drivers range from 7-15°, with standard use of woods with less than 10° loft. For fairway woods, the loft is usually higher and reaches values between 15 and 22°.
Auxiliary woods have a loft higher than 22°. Modern clubs have an adjustable loft (a mechanism that allows the loft to be changed by up to 5° within a given range and is used to fit the club).
In addition to loft, the design of the face, the area that the head hits the ball when hitting, is also an important consideration when choosing a golf wood.
The face is usually reinforced and may be fitted with grooves to limit the rotation of the ball. The face can also be rotated on some models of golf woods to reduce the deviation of the ball from its intended trajectory at impact.
Material and shaft stiffness
A specific feature of golf woods is the length of the shaft, which is usually longer compared to other types of golf clubs. The length of the shaft also depends on the size of the golf wood and is also one of the fitting parameters (selection of the club based on the player's body proportions and abilities).
In this respect, the golf wood should have a shaft length that proportionally matches the height and gender of the golfer.
The material of the shaft then determines the weight of the entire club, as well as its stiffness, which are important characteristics that define the player's ability to execute the desired stroke or the difficulty of handling the club.
The stiffness or flex of golf wood is categorised in a similar way to other types of clubs. The flex of the shaft is dependent on the specific abilities of the player, primarily the swing speed he can develop.
Based on this criterion, either more flexible shafts (for players with a low swing speed) or stiffer shafts (for players with a high swing speed) are selected.
The breakdown of shafts by flexibility is determined by a scale that defines two supercategories, namely stiff and flexible shafts. For flexible shafts, the following types are distinguished by flex:
- L (ladies)
- A (senior)
- R (regular)
- S (stiff)
- SX (extra stiff)
Stiff shafts are marked S (stiff) – in addition to the basic stiffness, shafts with XS-XXXS stiffness can be purchased.
Grip of golf woods
Golf wood grips vary in length and shape. In addition to the standard design, they can also have a special ergonomic design to enhance the quality and strength of the grip.
When choosing a golf wood, always test the grip to see how it fits in your hand. In addition to ergonomics, you can also choose from design designs.
How to choose the right golf wood
Golf woods are normally selected as part of a golf set, in which they are usually represented in a total of 3-4 for the long game, usually one driver (#1 wood), 2 fairway woods and one auxiliary wood.
Of course, there can be more in the bag, as they are also capable of substituting lower irons, but usually the above number is preferred, or the auxiliary or fairway wood is replaced by a hybrid.
When fitting, it is therefore primarily necessary to determine what type of golf club you are looking for and to determine the shaping and adjustability of the head, loft, shaft type and grip accordingly.
The manufacture of golf woods today is handled by a number of manufacturers focused either directly on a specific type (driver, fairway, auxiliary), an entire category or golf clubs and equipment in general.
In individual manufacturers you will also find various types of special designs of individual components of golf woods, which are the result of continuous research and development linked to the study of the relationship between the design and balance of the club and the parameters of the stroke for experienced players and beginners.
In addition, golf wood manufacturers adapt the individual models with respect to fitting in order to achieve the best results at impact, taking into account the age and experience of the player. The quality of the slingshot itself determines the specific price of the model.
Among the best known and largest manufacturers of golf woods are the companies:
Depending on the type, model and year of manufacture, the prices of golf woods range from the cheapest ones designed for beginners to practice their shots (the price of such clubs can be very low, approx. 500 CZK) to very expensive professional models costing up to 8000 CZK or more. Golf woods of ordinary quality can be purchased in the price level of 3000-7000 CZK.
Parameter table for golf woods
|Hole type||driver / fairway wood / short=shot wood|
|Face solution||standard / modified|
|Flex||L / A / R / S / XS / XXS / XXXS|
|Player Dominance||right/left side|
Most popular golf woods according to consumers
Golf woods are purchased either individually or as a replacement, addition or extension to a set. Separately, golf drivers are usually selected for which a consistent fitting is performed, while other types of golf woods are usually selected with regard to the overall design and composition of the golf set, so that the individual clubs in the set cover all the needs of the player on the full range of swings.
Here are 10 of the current most popular golf wood models according to consumers.
Callaway X HOT 19 – Review
Callaway's X HOT 19 fairway wood is an intermediate option suitable for both beginners and advanced players. The golf head design is technologically adapted to high error forgiveness. The golf club can be purchased in two sizes – 3 and 5 with non-adjustable lofts of 15 and 18°. The shaft of both types is made of graphite, so they are characterized by a relatively low weight, which facilitates handling, and medium stiffness.
Reasons to buy the CALLAWAY X HOT 19 golf wood
- ideal for beginners and intermediate players – good flex and head shaping
- easy handling, comfortable grip
- high error forgiveness
Reasons not to get the CALLAWAY X HOT 19 golf wood
- low accuracy at higher swing speeds – not conducive to advanced players
- relatively high price
TaylorMade M6 Fuji Atmos – Review
The fairway wood M6 Fuji Atmos from TaylorMade is a unique type of golf club with precision head design made of titanium composite. The specific feature of this wood is a special face with treatment to prevent backward rotation of the ball during the swing and shaping to achieve a high forgiveness of error, which will benefit especially beginners and moderately advanced players.
The graphite shaft provides optimal flex. This fairway wood comes in size 5 for right-handed dominant players and size 6 for left-handed players.
Reasons to buy TaylorMade M6 Fuji Atmos golf wood
- Excellent quality and head shaping for high forgiveness
- very suitable for beginners and intermediate players, especially for practice but also for playing intermediate fairway shots
Reasons not to buy TaylorMade M6 Fuji Atmos golf wood
- lower accuracy at high swing speeds – not suitable for advanced players
- high price
TaylorMade M2 Fairway – Review
The M2 Fairway wood from TaylorMade features a composite head combining carbon fibre and solid stainless steel to form the face. The head shaping helps to better control the accuracy of the stroke and allows for a high degree of error forgiveness.
The club can be purchased in two variants – with flexible or rigid shaft. This golf wood is versatile, it is used for both tee shots and fairway shots. It is more suitable for more advanced players.
Reasons to buy TaylorMade M2 Fairway golf wood
- compact head design with very good accuracy at higher swing speeds
- two flex options to suit the player's experience
- more suitable for advanced players
Reasons not to buy TaylorMade M2 Fairway golf woods
- worse handling for inexperienced players
- relatively high price
Callaway Rogue graphite Aldila Synergy – review
Callaway's Rogue graphite Aldila Synergy fairway wood is offered in two sizes (5 and 7) and variations for both right- and left-handed dominant players.
The composite head offers fairly good error forgiveness, and the face features grooves for better ball spin control. The shaft of the club is made of graphite with very good flexibility. The club is suitable for both beginners and advanced players.
Reasons to buy the Callaway Rogue graphite Aldila Synergy golf wood
- Right-handed and left-handed dominance design
- optimal resilience and forgiveness
- can also be purchased in auxiliary wood
Reasons not to get the Callaway Rogue graphite Aldila Synergy I golf wood
- relatively high price
Cobra King F8 – Review
The King F8 fairway wood from Cobra is specially modified for ladies. The head of this wood allows for significant error forgiveness, and it comes in three variations with adjustable loft, as fairway woods 3-4, 5-6 and auxiliary wood 7-9. The shaft of the club is graphite with L flexibility.
Reasons to buy the Cobra King F8 golf wood
- customized for female players with customized face and shaft
- suitable for beginners and intermediate golfers
- adjustable loft
- favorable price
Reasons not to buy a Cobra King F8 golf wood
- not suitable for male players
Callaway XR 16 – Review
The fairway wood XR 19 from Callaway is a model that can be purchased in several versions, special solutions are designed for players with right- and left-handed dominance, to whom specific size and loft is adapted.
The loft of the head is adjustable and set in a graphite shaft with variable flexibility, which can be fitted to the experience and swing speed of the golfer. The club is designed primarily for advanced players.
Reasons to get the Callaway XR 16 golf wood
- Sophisticated head technology with adjustable loft
- variation of adjustments for right and left-handed players
- combinability of parameters allowing complex fitting
- especially suitable for advanced players
Reasons not to buy the Callaway XR 16 golf wood
- not suitable for beginners
- high price
TaylorMade M6 D-Type – Review
TaylorMade's M6 D-Type, in particular, can also be purchased in a higher fairway size (5). The head of the wood features a special face geometry that allows for a very accurate shot due to the limitation of lateral rotation, which is supported by speedpocket technology.
The graphite shaft with normal flexibility and the head design predestine the club especially for use by beginners and intermediate players.
Reasons to get the TaylorMade M6 D-Type golf wood
- Advanced head technology with modified face and speedpocket technology
- flexible shaft suitable for beginners and intermediates
Reasons not to get a TaylorMade M6 D-Type golf wood
- Only for players with right-handed dominance
- high price
Ping Fairway Wood G20 – Review
The Fairway Wood G20 from Ping is designed for female players. It is a wood in a lightweight and very aesthetic design with variant color solutions.
The wood is available in size 5 with lightweight shaft in flex corresponding to flex L. The club is modified for left-handed dominance.
Reasons to get the Ping Fairway Wood G20
- Lightweight design for female players
- optimal shaft design
- favorable price
Reasons not to buy the Ping Fairway Wood G20 golf wood
- designed for beginners
- suitable only for women with left-handed dominance
Callaway Mavrik Fairway Wood, Project X EvenFlow Riptide – Review
Callaway's Mavrik Fairway Wood in the 2020 model is a technologically advanced solution whose internal composition and head shaping were designed based on simulations of proper hitting with high swing speeds.
This wood is available in different variations for right- and left-handed dominance, with adjustable loft and in different flex of the shaft and is designed to fit to the player's current ability. The head design with a new concept of an embedded reinforcing grid maximizes stroke accuracy.
Reasons to get the Callaway Mavrik Fairway Wood, Project X EvenFlow Riptide
- Advanced and functional head and shaft design suitable for fitting
- designed for advanced players with good hitting technique
Reasons not to get the Callaway Mavrik Fairway Wood, Project X EvenFlow Riptide
- very high price
TaylorMade M6 – Review
A basic fairway wood from TaylorMade's M6 series with a steel head in a special finish to allow advanced hitting. This model is designed primarily for more advanced players, the head shaping with cheek reinforcement allows for optimal forgiveness of errant shots.
Reasons to buy the TaylorMade M6 golf wood
- quality design with advanced head design
- suitable for more advanced players
Reasons not to get the TaylorMade M6 golf wood
- high price