Best Fairway Woods 2019: We bring you our best fairway woods of 2019 - tried and tested as part of our biggest ever golf club equipment guide, Top Gear.
In our biggest ever equipment test we reviewed hundreds of golf clubs, and when it came to selecting the best fairway woods of 2019, these are the best on the market right now.
Review: Callaway Epic Flash fairway wood - £269
Lofts: 3+-13.5° / 3-15° / 5-18° / HW-20°/ 7-21° / 9-23° / 11-25°
Stock shafts: Project X Evenflow, Project X HZRDUS Smoke, Mitsubishi Tensei AV
Adjustable hosel: Yes (-1°/+2°)
Callaway Epic Flash fairway wood verdict:
Sit the Epic Flash alongside the Sub Zero and you see immediately how different golfers demand very different equipment. The standard Flash has a bigger, more inviting footprint whereas the Sub Zero is tiny, which should make it a no-no for some club golfers.
Different face grooves and weight set-ups meant the Flash launched shots 3° higher with 600rpm more spin than the Sub Zero, yet carry difference was just two yards (Epic Flash 243 yards; Sub Zero 245), which shows how golfers, especially when it comes to fairways and hybrids, want to flight shots very differently.
For us, the majority of club golfers will find the Epic Flash easier to live with. Two of our testers felt the crown graphics and glossy finish were a bit distracting, but that’s subjective; we all loved how there’s plenty of loft options in the family.
Review: TaylorMade M6 fairway wood - £269
Lofts: Rocket 3-14° / 3- 15° / 5- 18° / 7- 21° / 9-24°
Stock shaft: Fujikura Atmos Orange
Adjustable hosel: No
TaylorMade M6 fairway wood verdict:
TaylorMade has made fast-faced fairways since 2012, and for the first time in 2019 both the M6 and M5 come with TwistFace tech, which helps straighten high-toe and low-heel mishits for straighter, more accurate shots.
The M6’s head is a little bigger to ramp up forgiveness and our test pro said it felt extremely hot and powerful. That was before we checked our data and spotted the M6 (with a 153mph ball speed) was our fastest fairway of 2019.
Five yards covers the 10 longest fairways we tested which tells us that picking a new 2019 fairway wood (like a driver) based on ball speed or distance data alone is foolish.
Instead, think about how the fairway makes you feel. Does the shaft feel long? Is the head too big or small? Do you like the shape, sound and feel? These are just as important as data this year, and all three testers felt an M6 would earn a place in their own bag.
Review: PXG 0341 X Gen 2 fairway wood - £425
Lofts: 13° / 15° / 18° / 21°
Stock shaft: NA. PXG insist on only fitting golfers to their best option
Adjustable hosel: Yes (+/- 1.5°)
PXG 0341 X Gen 2 fairway wood verdict:
2019 is the first time we’ve tested PXG equipment as part of Top Gear and we’ve been genuinely impressed. Put aside the price tag for a moment and look at the 0341 X for what it is.
It has a lovely, compact head, without being too small and intimidating. There’s 16g of weight to position forward in the head to lower spin or out towards the extremities to improve stability and forgiveness. To make sure you get your perfect set up it’s also possible to dial in shot bias.
At address the 0341 X is very clean, with two very simple crown ridges focusing attention on the impact zone, making it the least fussiest wood you’ll see this year. Throw in the fast and long performance (it was just a yard behind our test pro’s longest fairway wood) and how it was among Simon’s and the test pro’s favourites and you realise why it fully deserves an Editor’s Choice.
Review: Ping G410 fairway wood - £275
Lofts: 3-14.5° / 5-17.5° / 7-20.5° / 9-23.5°
Stock shaft: Ping Alta CB 65 Red
Adjustable hosel: Yes ( +/- 1.5°)
Ping G410 fairway wood verdict:
Don’t be put off by Ping’s insistence that a 3-wood needs 14.5° of loft. Admittedly, the lack of loft, and Ping’s squashed fairway wood head design, aren’t the most desirable out there, but thanks to some very clever tech and a shallow head design they really do work, and are just as capable launching shots from the turf as slightly higher lofted models.
Our launch data positions the G410 among the higher launching models, which ties in perfectly with how our test pro felt shots launched high and fast, making them an excellent choice for flying hazards and getting shots to stop or for long par 3s.
Ping’s 2019 fairway line runs to three models. There’s plenty of lofts, plus a lower spinning LST model as well as a lighter, more draw biased SFT.
At a glance results
The best of the rest
Review: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero fairway wood - £269
There will be plenty of Flash Sub Zero fairways in the bags of tour pros this year, because faster swings generate spin, which needs to be controlled to maximise distance.
The Flash Sub Zero was our test pro’s longest 2019 fairway (tied with TaylorMade’s M5), thanks partly to the low and forward weighting returning more energy to the ball for extra distance. Those gains though come with a trade-off in forgiveness. Our pro saw 38 yards of drop-off between on and off centre hits, showing brilliantly how punishing the Sub Zero can be if you don’t quite middle it.
Review: TaylorMade M5 fairway wood - £369
TaylorMade M5 fairway wood verdict:
TaylorMade say by adding TwistFace to the M5 fairway they’ve narrowed the dispersion window from high-toe and low-heel impacts from 18 yards on the previous M3 to just three. That is seriously impressive when you understand it was also our test pro’s longest fairway of 2019 (245 yards, tied with the Epic Flash Sub Zero).
Whereas every other fairway we tested had a steel head, the M5’s titanium and carbon is the ultimate construction for freeing up weight to influence shot shape and forgiveness.
Review: Srixon Z F85 fairway wood - £199
Srixon Z F85 fairway wood verdict:
Srixon quite often fly under the radar when it comes to woods, but our data and feedback has them down as an excellent choice for 2019.
The Z F85’s steel and carbon fibre head is completely inoffensive, it sits really nicely at address and gives a really lively feel off the face. The HZRDUS Red shaft is excellent, and our data has it down as just two yards behind our longest, which considering the sub-£200 price tag is fantastic. Possibly the most underrated fairway of ’19.
Review: Cobra King F9 Speedback fairway wood - £219
Cobra King F9 Speedback fairway wood verdict:
We’ve loved every Cobra F9 we’ve tested this year and the fairway is no exception. It has a brilliant midsize head, which looks the business at address.
Where the King F9 driver pulled up trees in terms of ball speed and carry distance, the fairway wasn’t quite as powerful (10 yards back from our longest) but as we’ve already said you really shouldn’t pick a fairway based on numbers this year.
The adjustable hosel dials in extra lofts (and shot bias), and there’s a lovely choice of shafts, too. A fantastic all-rounder that won’t break the bank.
How they compare in data:
Review: Cobra F-Max Superlite fairway wood - £179
Cobra F-Max Superlite fairway wood verdict:
The F-Max is a brilliant option for average swing speed players. It’s the lightest fairway in Cobra’s range, and the idea is you swing at the same speed but the club travels quicker, thanks to the lighter weight.
An offset hosel and plenty of heel side weighting helps square the face at impact which should keep a slice in check, particularly at slower speeds. The low profile head, and a little extra loft, helps boost launch from the turf.
Review: Ping G410 LST fairway wood - £275
Ping G410 LST fairway wood verdict:
Designed as a driver alternative from the tee and for higher swing speed players to launch from the turf. The LST is not for everyone; it launches a degree lower with 300rpm less backspin than the standard G410 fairway.
The LST was a yard short of our test pro’s longest fairway (from the turf, not tee), which says in the right hands it will be a powerful beast. The LST will suit stronger club golfers who rely on hitting lots of woods from the tee, to ensure they find the short grass; the same player who’ll have a pop at long par 5s.