***If you’re looking for the most recent reviews for 2023 gear, we will be updating this page in the summer after we’ve had a chance to review them!
If you’re in a hurry and just want to know our top choices, here they are:
To see our other most forgiving golf clubs in 2022, check out this article: Most Forgiving Golf Clubs in 2022!
Aside from your driver, your fairway woods will be the longest clubs in your bag. Simple logic tells us that the longer a club is, the more difficult it will be to hit the sweet spot consistently. So you either have to increase the size of the sweet spot or decrease the length of the club.
That is a big reason why hitting a sand wedge is so much easier than hitting a 2 iron. As much or more than any other club in your bag, you want your fairway woods to be forgiving.
Whether it is punching out of the woods, hitting a 250 yard tee shot on a 350 yard par-4, or just throwing your driver into the lake and needing a backup off of the tee, your fairway woods can get you out of a lot of the messes that your driver creates. The following is a description and ranking of the most forgiving fairway woods in 2020. This list should help you choose the best fairway woods out there for your game and your swing.
Most Forgiving Fairway Woods in 2022 Reviewed
Tour Edge Exotics EXS 220
This club is loaded with the same technology that you find in higher end drivers which makes the Tour Edge Exotics EXS 220 a long and forgiving fairway wood. The focus of these woods is forgiveness and launch making it one of the better options in terms of ease and consistency. These woods perform very well from the turf and the tee making it also one of the more versatile fairway woods out there as well.
On top of that, the MOI of this club is extremely high so that there are very few mishits and a very straight ball flight. The diamond face technology boasts 44 different thick and thin diamond shapes or mini trampolines behind the face of the club. The ball jumps off of these diamonds quickly and they give you much better distance on off center hits. Add that distance to a high MOI that keeps the ball going straight and you have a very forgiving club.
- Diamond face technology for distance and forgiveness.
- A very high MOI means fewer mishits and straighter shots.
- The SlipStream sole features wider speed channels and better turf interaction.
- Very adjustable weighting.
- A high launch angle makes it easier to hit.
- Multiple loft options.
- The same technology found in more expensive clubs for a lower price.
- The sweet spot is basically the entire face of the club.
- Does not produce the same ball speed as some of the other clubs.
TaylorMade SIM Max D
When it comes to drivers and fairway woods, you can count on TaylorMade to be at or near the top of most lists. The SIM Max D fairway woods are forgiving, long, straight, and give you one of the highest launch angles around. The Twist Face technology is key when it comes to forgiveness. The face is created with multiple “corrective angles” that push the ball as straight on mishits as you get when you hit the sweet spot. The ultra thin and strong steel face creates explosive speed and distance.
The “V” sole interacts really well with the turf ensuring solid contact from most lies. The club is really good off of the tee too. The speed pocket also provides extra distance and more forgiveness on low face mishits. In addition to all of this, the TaylorMade SIM Max D fairway woods provide a really high launch angle and are very easy to get off of the ground.
- One of the best all-around fairway woods on the market.
- The Twist Face technology pushes the ball straight even on mishits.
- These fairway woods were created for speed and distance and they produce a lot of both.
- The ultra low center of gravity gives you a great launch angle.
- The speed pocket adds forgiveness on low face mishits and gives some added flexibility and clubhead speed.
- The club is very accurate and produces a very low spin rate.
- It looks great standing over the ball and inspires confidence for a great shot.
- Great feel and sound gives you immediate feedback on every shot.
- One of the most expensive clubs on the list.
- While it is forgiving, the features of this club are really only useful to higher skilled players.
Ping G410 SFT
The Ping G410 SFT (Straight Flight) is weighted for a high MOI and a very straight ball flight. Ping asked tour pros and normal golfers alike what they are looking for in a fairway wood, and the G410 SFT was created from that. Players wanted maximum distance, minimum spin, and a straight ball flight. Ping created that with the higher MOI to reduce mishits and greater heel-side weighting for a draw bias.
The larger profile club head is also a more forgiving one with a huge sweet spot. You can adjust the loft 1.5 degrees to add even more flexibility to the club. The result is a long and forgiving club that has very little spin so that the ball flies straight. While the first 2 clubs on the list are in a league of their own in terms of forgiveness and length, the Ping G410 is not far behind.
- A thinner crown puts the weight further back in the club for more forgiveness, a huge sweet spot, and a high launch.
- Produces very little spin for a straighter flight.
- The larger clubhead gives you a lot of MOI so that the face stays straight at impact.
- Adjustable loft that can go up or down by 1.5 degrees.
- One of the highest launch angles out there.
- Very long off of the tee and interacts with the turf well.
- The forged maraging steel face is very forgiving and produces some really high ball speed.
- A straight and penetrating ball flight.
- The club head may be a little large for some players.
- A little more difficult to shape your shot because of the low spin rate.
The Titleist TS2 is a game improvement wood that was created with maximum forgiveness in mind so that you can swing as hard as you want and get good results. The “TS” stands for Titleist Speed and it produces a lot of it. The center of gravity (CG) is in the back of the club and the club is weighted for a very high MOI so that the face stays pointing straight at impact.
The speed chassis includes a thinner crown, reduced face thickness and weight, and optimal CG to create a lot of speed, a lot of forgiveness, and very little spin. All of that adds up to a club that is easy to hit and easy to control. Even your mishits will travel straight and long. Not to mention the Titleist name that is synonymous with quality. One of the best ways to increase the distance of a club is to make it so forgiving that you can take a full swing and that is exactly what this club does.
- Some of the longest fairway woods out there.
- The TS2 was created for speed first, but forgiveness second.
- The face technology produces a lot of forgiveness and a straight ball flight.
- Adjustable weights allow you to adjust the club to your swing.
- It looks great at setup.
- One of the best performing fairway woods off of the tee.
- Interacts well with the turf so you get a high launch and good ball speed.
- A large and forgiving head.
- The speed chassis gives you great ball speed with a lot of forgiveness.
- Focus on speed at the expense of feel.
Callaway Big Bertha B21
One of the problems a lot of golfers have with fairway woods is getting a good, high ball flight. The Big Bertha B21 is one of the easiest fairway woods to hit and it was designed for a high and penetrating ball flight. The forgiveness of this club comes in the size of the hitting area and the offset head.
These features promote a very straight and very consistent ball flight even on off-center contact. The deep center of gravity adds to the launch angle and gives these clubs high MOI so that there are fewer mishits. If you are purchasing numerous fairway woods, the Big Bertha B21 comes in progressive lengths so that your 3-wood is the longest, but the higher lofts are shorter and easier to control.
- This is one of the easiest fairway woods to hit solidly.
- The launch angle is one of the highest in this market.
- Very forgiving on off-center hits.
- These clubs are perfect for players with slower swing speeds and who struggle to get the ball off of the ground.
- One of the best clubs off of the deck but is much further down the list from the tee box.
- The higher launch actually promotes more distance and more forgiveness.
- Inspires confidence at address.
- Progressive lengths as you move up in loft.
- On the expensive side.
- The high launch does not suit all players.
- More spin than most of the other clubs on the list.
Cobra King SpeedZone Big Tour
Distance is still “King” for the SpeedZone fairway woods, but they are also quite forgiving clubs. With the visible dual baffler rail technology, the club launches high, cuts through the turf, and has one of the largest sweet spots out there. The CNC milled face produces a lot of ball speed, a lot of feel, and a huge sweet spot.
The weighting in the bottom, back of the club produces a very low center of gravity and in turn a very high ball flight. These fairway woods are designed with the same technology as the SpeedZone driver, and the result is ball speed that barely stays within the rules of a legal golf club. When you couple this with the forgiveness that allows you to “swing away,” you have one of the better fairway woods on the market.
- These fairway woods produce a lot of distance.
- One of the longest fairway woods out there.
- The weight in the bottom, back of the club promotes very high and penetrating ball flight.
- Produces as much or more ball speed as any other fairway wood out there.
- The dual baffler rails cut through the turf, aid in alignment, and promote distance and forgiveness.
- The CNC milled face gives the club a soft feel and a huge sweet spot.
- A really good club for a really good price.
- It looks as good at setup as it performs.
- Lower MOI compared to others on this list can lead to an off-center strike to lose more distance and accuracy.
- Focus on speed takes away from some control aspects.
Cleveland HB Turbo
Another fairway club where the focus is on the launch. The Cleveland HB Turbo looks great at setup and is one of the easiest fairway woods to hit and are perfect for high handicappers and beginners. They also produce a lot of speed and have great feel and shot-making capability so that low and mid handicappers love these woods as well.
There is a fluidity to the club that occurs with the high end graphite shaft interacting with the larger club head, and this also gives the club a high MOI. It falls down this list a little in terms of forgiveness, but the launch angle, ball speed, and ease-of-use that this club provides make them very good fairway woods.
- The major focus is on the launch. Getting the ball as high as possible as quickly as possible and with a straight and penetrating ball flight.
- The club feels good in your hands and gives you a great deal of control for a fairway wood.
- A very straight and accurate club.
- It is setup with a draw bias to help keep your shots straight and on target.
- Inexpensive for the features offered.
- The turbocharged cup face produces a lot of ball velocity.
- Not as good off the tee.
- Not as many “forgiveness” features as some of the other clubs on the list.
Tour Edge HL4 O/S
When adjustability is not important to you and all of the specs and bells and whistles do not produce results, the Tour Edge HL4 O/S has a welcomed simplicity to it. The club has a hot face that produces high end ball speed, variable face thickness for greater performance on off-center strikes, and a rear sole weight that lowers the center of gravity and promotes a high launch.
In short, this club is very long and very forgiving. Add to it the low spin rate and you have a club that performs well at every checkpoint and at a fraction of the cost of some of the higher end clubs. There is an offset model and a standard model depending on your swing. The power channel just below the club face adds some explosive distance and great forgiveness so that you can swing hard and still hit straight.
- A lot of features that add forgiveness to the club.
- You can choose the standard or offset model.
- A very long and straight ball flight.
- With a very low center of gravity it is an easy club to launch.
- The Cup Face Technology and variable face thickness give the club both distance and forgiveness.
- It has a great and confidence inspiring look at setup.
- Easily the lowest priced option on this list.
- Lacks some of the features and bells and whistles that some of the other clubs possess.
- While it performs well for the price, it is not as forgiving or as long as many of the higher end clubs on this list.
How To Choose The Most Forgiving Fairway Woods
Choosing the most forgiving fairway woods is more than just doing some research and ordering one online. Part of the forgiveness that a club provides is in the confidence that you have to use it. Going to a local course or pro shop and taking some fairway woods for a spin is an important step in pinpointing what you need.
A club that is easy to hit and forgiving to one person may not fit someone else nearly as well. When you are testing out the club, take a few purposefully mishit shots and see where the ball ends up. You will know how forgiving your clubs when you see how straight or how off your shots are that missed the sweet spot.
Important Features To Look For in Forgiving Fairway Woods
Size. As far as forgiveness goes, a larger club head does 2 things. First, the bigger the club head, the bigger the sweet spot can be. Secondly, size usually equals weight and weight usually equals higher MOI. These are the 2 biggest factors when it comes to forgiveness.
Face Technology. TaylorMade has Twist Face technology, Tour Edge has Diamond Face technology, Cobra has CNC milling, and the list could go on and on. The bottom line is that most club designers have some type of face technology that keeps your ball going long and straight even on off-center strikes.
Center of Gravity. The center of gravity of a club usually has more to do with launch angles than forgiveness. However, forgiveness is only important if you can get the ball off of the ground to start with. If every shot skims along the ground or gets topped by the bottom of your club, the forgiveness of a fairway wood means nothing. Finding fairway woods that promote a high and penetrating ball flight is important, and that usually means the manufacturer has the weight and the center of gravity of a club in the bottom, back of the club head.
Sweet Spot. No matter how big the club head actually is, if the sweet spot is small it does not matter. Every golf club has a place, usually right in the center of the face, that, when struck, gives you optimal performance. It only stands to reason that the bigger the sweet spot, the more forgiving your fairway woods will be.
Do I Really Need Forgiving Fairway Woods?
The biggest mistake many golfers make early on is believing that they are far better golfers than they actually are and our club selection shows that. We like to buy what we see on tour or what good golfers say are the best clubs. What most of us need to do, however, is find some game improvement clubs and let them help us improve.
Fairway woods can be difficult to hit. They are the longest clubs that you will hit off of the ground consistently which means they are more difficult to hit well. They are also some of the most difficult to get up in the air well.
This list of the most forgiving fairway woods is a great place to start, but the key is to find a club that can help the flaws in your game. Golf is a lot more fun when you at least give yourself a chance to make good solid contact and keep the ball close, if not on, the fairway.
Best Overall: Tour Edge Exotics EXS 220
With a sweet spot covering the entire face and a very high MOI, these fairway woods are focused on forgiveness first. The diamond face technology adds distance and forgiveness while the adjustable weighting can set the club up perfectly for your game.
The SlipStream sole interacts with the turf very well and the clubs are great off the tee too. The face technology really gives you some extra distance when you are off center and the clubs are very straight and very accurate as well.
Most Affordable: Tour Edge HL4 O/S
While it is the most cost effective choice, the Tour Edge HL4 O/S does not give up on features in favor of price.