GOLD


Callaway

epic flash epic flash sub zero  

2019 Fairway Woods

Performance ★★★★★
Innovation ★★★★½
Look • Sound • Feel ★★★★★
Demand ★★★★★

VERDICT
Callaway has spent the past few years outfitting its fairway woods with driver features, including its “Jailbreak” technology for more face flex. Now Callaway borrows the artificial intelligence that fuelled its new driver face and modified it for a fairway wood: the variable-thickness face’s unique, thicker perimeter ring creates more flexing, even low on the face. Ten adjustable heads in two styles (one for low spin) with lofts into the mid-20s mean there’s a fit for everyone.

2019 Fairway Woods

COMMENTS

(L) Hard to miss it: even bad ones were good.

(M) Not sure how they pulled off forgiveness and speed, but they did.

(H) Subtle, aggressive sound. Powerful without being obnoxious.

Handicapper  (L) Low  (M) Middle  (H) High


Cobra

king f9 speedback tour    

2019 Fairway Woods

Performance ★★★★★
Innovation ★★★★½
Look • Sound • Feel ★★★★★
Demand ★★★

VERDICT
There’s flashy technology like a carbon crown, a high-strength steel face and aerodynamic trip steps, but the subtle features are just as effective. Cobra’s trademark sole rails are steeper as the lofts get higher to match the more descending swing path. A precision computer-milled face provides more consistency compared to hand polishing. That’s crucial for the face curvatures that provide higher launch on the standard version and workability on the Tour model.

2019 Fairway Woods

COMMENTS
(L) Subtle at address. The right trajectory.

(M) There’s a lot going on underneath, but they’ve done it in an understated way.

(H) I gained a lot of confidence playing with it.

Handicapper  (L) Low  (M) Middle  (H) High


Ping

g410 g410 lst g410 sft

2019 Fairway Woods

Performance ★★★★★
Innovation ★★★★½
Look • Sound • Feel ★★★★½
Demand ★★★★½

VERDICT
All three models feature a new adjustable hosel with eight settings to change loft and lie, but each style offers distinct attributes. The standard model is forgiving and provides a neutral flight. The compact LST has a lower centre of gravity for high launch with less spin compared to last year’s G400 Stretch, and the slice-fighting SFT’s larger size provides fade correction and higher launch through more heel-side weighting and 1.5-degree higher lofts.

2019 Fairway Woods

COMMENTS

(L) I could flight each model high or low and shape it left and right.

(M) A powerful sound-feel combo. Fun to hit.

(H) Beautiful sound, and exactly the flight I want from a 3-wood.

Handicapper  (L) Low  (M) Middle  (H) High


PXG

0341 x gen2

2019 Fairway Woods

Performance ★★★★½
Innovation ★★★★½
Look • Sound • Feel ★★★★★
Demand ★★½

VERDICT
A lot of fairway woods position weight in the rear for forgiveness, but here the centre of gravity is closer to the face for improved energy transfer and less spin. A raised structure also stiffens the crown for consistent speed across the face. Weight saved by a lightweight carbon-composite crown makes room for eight sole screws of varying weight for adjusting spin, launch and direction. Finally, the crown’s matte finish reduces glare at address.

2019 Fairway Woods

COMMENTS
(L) A stable club throughout the swing with consistent feedback across the face.

(M) It’s a Tesla: quiet and super fast.

(H) Powerful, penetrating ball flight.

Handicapper  (L) Low  (M) Middle  (H) High


TaylorMade

M5

2019 Fairway Woods

Performance ★★★★★
Innovation ★★★★★
Look • Sound • Feel ★★★★½
Demand ★★★★

VERDICT
When you use a compact titanium body and face and a lightweight carbon-composite crown, you have discretionary weight to play with. TaylorMade took 65 grams and added a moveable sole weight that keeps the centre of gravity low for optimal launch. The weight can be adjusted for a fade or draw. The twist-face design – in which the face is twisted like a potato chip’s contrasting curves – helps direct mis-hits back towards where you’re aiming.

2019 Fairway Woods

COMMENTS

(L) You can bomb it and still get the ball to come down soft.

(M) Muted but powerful sensation at impact.

(H) Interaction of sole and turf is spot-on.

Handicapper  (L) Low  (M) Middle  (H) High


TaylorMade

M6 • M6 D-type  

2019 Fairway Woods

Performance ★★★★★
Innovation ★★★★½
Look • Sound • Feel ★★★★★
Demand ★★★★★
 

VERDICT
A thinner and expanded carbon-composite crown gives this wood forgiveness and power. Nine grams of saved weight from the crown are relocated low and along the perimeter for a higher launch. A centre section in the sole improves turf interaction. A wider sole slot provides more flex at impact, which equals more ball speed. Finally, the face shape twists open at the toe and closed at the heel to bring off-centre shots back towards the target.

2019 Fairway Woods

COMMENTS
(L) I pounded this off the tee.

(M) It comes off hot, and I got it up in the air easily.

(H) Quiet without being weak. Hitting it low off the face still gives you acceptable results.

Handicapper  (L) Low  (M) Middle  (H) High


Titleist

TS2 • TS3    

2019 Fairway Woods

Performance ★★★★½
Innovation ★★★★½
Look • Sound • Feel ★★★★★
Demand ★★★★½

VERDICT
Similar to the TS2/TS3 drivers, these fairway woods embrace speed-enhancing features. Among them are a very thin, centre-of-gravity-lowering crown and a thinner, high-strength steel-alloy face. Completing the speed push is the sole slot, which cuts deeper into the head to create more flexing, especially on thin shots. The TS3 has a weight cylinder that dials in a draw or fade, and the more-forgiving TS2 is designed to launch the ball higher.

2019 Fairway Woods

COMMENTS

(L) So stable. The ball gets to its apex and stays there.

(M) I turned into beast mode with the TS2. I could really go after it.

(H) Great option off the fairway and tee.

Handicapper  (L) Low  (M) Middle  (H) High


Tour Edge

Exotics EXS  

2019 Fairway Woods

Performance ★★★★½
Innovation ★★★★½
Look • Sound • Feel ★★★★
Demand ★★½

VERDICT
The design features a weight-saving carbon-composite toe that keeps the centre of gravity low and forward for less ball spin. Additional weight has been pushed to the perimeter for extra off-centre-hit forgiveness. The variable-thickness face is made of a thin, high-strength steel and wraps around the crown, toe and sole to improve flex. Two moveable weights on the heel (11 grams) and rear (three grams) can toggle between a draw and neutral setting.

2019 Fairway Woods

COMMENTS
(L) Has that old-school 3-wood shape. Easy to manipulate from any lie.

(M) Does everything I asked, with oomph.

(H) Sounds like a fastball hitting a baseball catcher’s mitt.

Handicapper  (L) Low  (M) Middle  (H) High


SILVER


Bridgestone

Tour B JGR  

2019 Fairway Woods

Performance ★★★★
Innovation ★★★★
Look • Sound • Feel ★★★★
Demand ★★

VERDICT
The face offers distance with plenty of help from the body. First, the crown features thin sections in the front and rear so it can compress more at impact for additional face flex. There’s also a thin section at the leading edge, and together these work with a variable-thickness face to produce a higher, faster launch. The milling pattern on the face is twice its former depth, so the higher launch comes with limited spin.

2019 Fairway Woods

COMMENTS
(L) Clean look. Good sound and feel.

(M) The high lofts look so open and easy to hit. Ball pops off the face with consistency.

(H) The shallow face and the proportions are pleasing.

Handicapper  (L) Low  (M) Middle  (H) High


Mizuno

ST190 • ST190 TS

2019 Fairway Woods

Performance ★★★★
Innovation ★★★★
Look • Sound • Feel ★★★★½
Demand ★★½

VERDICT
Mizuno’s “wave technology” is not new, but it takes on a more aggressive pattern for additional give at impact, increasing the energy transferred to the ball. Also, a high-strength, steel-alloy face provides extra ball speed. A composite crown allows for weight to be redistributed lower in the head to help launch the ball higher with less spin. The two versions include the low-spin TS, which adjusts from 13 to 17 degrees.

2019 Fairway Woods

COMMENTS
(L) Glides through the turf, easy to hit off the tee and still workable.

(M) I fell in love at first hit.

(H) It’s quick, like a dart gun. When I put good swings on it, the club delivered the goods.

Handicapper  (L) Low  (M) Middle  (H) High


Srixon

Z F85    

2019 Fairway Woods

Performance ★★★★
Innovation ★★★★
Look • Sound • Feel ★★★★½
Demand ★★½

VERDICT
This new model adds forgiveness and speed to go along with the penetrating flight better players prefer. For speed, the stronger lofts feature a high-strength-steel wraparound cupface, and the 5-wood uses that alloy as a face insert. The stronger lofts use a carbon-composite crown to lower the centre of gravity, and all models feature a 10-percent thinner front of the crown that steps down to further increase launch and decrease spin.

2019 Fairway Woods

COMMENTS

(L) Felt like a locomotive coming off the face.

(M) It has a sleek, low profile behind the ball. Cushy feel. Big distance.

(H) Good trajectory. Mis-hits went long and on-line.

Handicapper  (L) Low  (M) Middle  (H) High