Best 3 Wood 2023
Bridging the distance gap between a player’s driver and the longest iron in the bag creates more scoring opportunities during a round and more distance off the tee box when the driver isn’t cooperative.
Our pick for best 3 wood is the Titleist TSi2. Named by Titleist as the “Speed at Impact” model, players of many skill levels will enjoy the increased ball speed, controllable ball flight, and fully adjustable hosel for maximum player preference and customization the TSi2 has to offer.
59% of the PGA Tour uses one fairway wood, while the other 40% opt for two fairway woods! It’s pretty clear that when appropriately fitted for a player’s game, one or multiple fairway woods can be a critical asset to shooting lower scores.
OUR TOP PICK
Ping G425 MAX Fairway Wood
Callaway Rogue ST MAX Fairway Wood
When properly fitted for a player’s swing, it makes hitting solid shots every time with no anxiety a real possibility. Having the added comfort and security of “I know I can hit the fairway here.” or “I know I can carry the danger there.” takes away some of the variables in the endlessly complicated game we all love so much.
As always, we still feel each of the other fairway woods mentioned today might also be a great addition to your golf bag, dependent on your specific swing and motion at the golf ball. If you’re on the fence about a purchase, our guidance and suggestions can help point you in the right direction.
Below is a list of the best fairway woods we’ve tested for 2023.
8 Best 3 Woods of 2023
- Titleist TSi2 (Maximum Speed and Adjustability)
- Ping G425 MAX (Incredibly Forgiving and High Tech)
- Callaway Rogue ST Max (Draw-Bias and 1st Use of Tungsten for Callaway Woods)
- TaylorMade Stealth / Stealth Plus (Incredibly Hot / Long)
- Mizuno ST-Z (Oversized Head to Inspire Confidence)
- Titleist TSi3 (“SureFit” Hosel and CG Technology)
- Cobra LTDx Max (Slice Correction, Draw Bias)
- Callaway Apex UWood (Mix of Hybrid and Fairway Wood)
Be sure to stick around to read the end of our breakdown, where we showcase our favorite features from our 2023 fairway woods list and suggest what might be the best fairway wood for your game.
1. Titleist TSi2 Fairway Wood (Maximum Speed and Adjustability)
Titleist has captured a large amount of more recent golf media attention, particularly in the later parts of the 2022 professional golfing season, by having the ‘ProV1’ golf ball claim victory in all four of the Majors this year, AND their non-publicly released ‘TSR’ lineup of drivers and fairway woods claiming multiple victories on tour since its secret release in early June.
The Titleist “Speed at Impact” or “TSi” lineup of fairway woods is built for any player. From the weekend-average golfer to the low handicap golfers, all the way to the real high-level players, each swing and swing speed will be able to find a fairway wood compatible with their game.
Titleist has put together an excellent package of stock shafts they’re using for the TSi2, and they have partnered with “Graphite Design” to release a set of 3 premium shafts for the TSi2 fairway woods. Titleist offers the ‘GolfPride Tour 360’ grip as standard and the ‘GolfPride Z Cord’ grip on their premium shafts as standard.
Titleist has designed the TSi2 for players looking for maximum ball speeds and distance across the entirety of the face. Thanks to their “Fixed Adjustable SwingWeight” located in the center rear of the club, players are provided with a very high MOI making it a very forgiving fairway wood, a high launch angle, and low spin rates for more distance.
The club is nearly entirely blacked out, looking extremely sharp at address, and white and black lines on the face of the TSi2 frame the ball beautifully. The “bag appeal” and general aesthetic of the Titleist TSi fairway woods is really special and, in our opinion, definitely boosts its already sharp features.
Being an all-metal club with no Carbon, the TSi fairway woods provide play, feel, and sound like you’d expect from their other previous metal fairway woods. While Carbon will tend to deaden vibration, all-metal construction will tend to resonate more, giving vibration and audio feedback to players.
Like we’ve seen in many models of woods and drivers in the past, Titleist has redesigned their “Active Recoil Channel” slot underneath and behind the face to lighten overall mass. This design can redistribute some mass into more useful places and provide shots hit lower on the club face more launch than previous models. This repositioning of mass and technological advancements within the TSi lineup allows higher launch, less spin, and extra distance across the club face.
Lastly, Titleist is continuing with their proven “SureFit Hosel System” that allows players to independently change loft and lie to best fit a player’s individual swing.
For a customizable, forgiving fairway wood that you can’t go wrong using, consider the Titleist TSi2.
2. Ping G425 MAX Fairway Wood (Incredibly Forgiving and High Tech)
Billed as “Ping’s best fairway metal to date…,” the Ping G425 Max fairway woods are truly remarkable.
Offered as stock shaft standards are the Alta ‘CB 65 Slate’ and ‘Distanza 40’ graphite shafts, but Ping goes above and beyond by offering for no up-charge multiple other shafts rather than a stock shaft selection.
Arccos proprietary information gathering technology gives players more advanced data regarding swing speeds and distances. With the purchase of the G425 Max is the option to use ‘Arccos Caddie Smart Grips’ in a ‘Tour Velvet 360’ to give you more advanced statistics regarding your swing. The grips weigh slightly more than standard grips due to their integrated technology, but Arccos is confident players can adjust near-instantly without hesitation.
The G425 MAX is designed for players looking for maximum forgiveness and a consistent and mostly straight ball flight. Another option from Ping is the G425 LST, a lower spinning version of the G425 MAX built to be incredibly forgiving, have a lower ball flight, and reduced spin for more roll out. Lastly, Ping offers a G425 SFT option for players who struggle with the “big right miss” (or to the left for left-handed players).
Ping decided to remove the flutes from the crown that adorn the top of the head of the G425 drivers. Ping kept the flat matte black color the same but added a 3-Dot Alignment System to help players feel confident they’re aligning the ball properly.
Ping, a new technology, is implementing “Face-Wrap” Technology. While most commonly, the face of a fairway wood is attached to the club through welding, the Ping G425 fairway woods have a face that is fully attached to a portion of the crown and sole to allow more flex in the face to create more ball speeds and more distance.
Through a new curvature design on the face and bottom of the club’s head, users will notice increased forgiveness on strikes across the face vertically as well as horizontally.
The G425 fairway woods are built with multiple materials. A 17-4 Stainless Steel body and Tungsten sole-weight will create very high forgiveness putting the G425 in the “maximum forgiving fairway wood” category.
A lightweight Aluminum / Thermoplastic Adjustable Hosel allows players to finely tune their G425 to their specific loft and lie preferences.
If a Ping G425 MAX fairway wood or one of the other fairway metals within the lineup sounds like it could improve your game, please consider it for your 2023 golfing season.
3. Callaway Rogue ST MAX Fairway Wood (Draw-Bias and 1st Use of Tungsten for Callaway Woods)
The Callaway Rogue ST Max was released as part of the “Rogue” family of fairway woods in 2022 and will fit a wide range of players who want forgiveness, speed, and a slight draw bias.
The unique part of the Rogue ST Max fairway woods is the “Tungsten Speed Cartridge” Callaway has placed low and upfront, right underneath the face of the woods, to lower the center of gravity. This allows off-center strikes to have a higher launch.
The up to 27 grams of Tungsten immediately stand out as the primary accented gold color on the bottom of the club head, a first for Callaway fairway woods.
Each “Flash Face SS22″ is ‘AI Optimized” for each model with added “JailBreak Bat Wings” on the rear of the club head to increase club head speed for users naturally.
For players who prefer using their fairway woods off the tee or are looking for lower spin rates in a fairway wood. The Rogue ST MAX is what you are looking for and is a part of a family of Rogue woods, including a ‘Rogue ST MAX D’ built for helping players needing a slightly larger draw bias than the normal MAX and a ‘Rogue ST LS.’
While not as customizable after purchase as other options in our lineup, the Callaway Rogue ST MAX fairway woods are still some of the most forgiving fairway woods on the market today. They come stock with a premium Mitsubishi TENSEI AV Blue 65 Graphite shaft and a Tour Velvet 360 Grey Cap Golf Pride grip.
If any of that sounds like it could help your game, please consider the Callaway Rogue ST MAX or one of the other Callaway Rogue’s in the family for your next fairway wood purchase.
4. TaylorMade Stealth / Stealth Plus Fairway Wood (Incredibly Hot / Long)
Interestingly, the standard TaylorMade Stealth fairway woods aren’t adjustable whatsoever. The shaft is directly affixed to the head, meaning customization after purchase isn’t a possibility. To accommodate players wanting more customizability, TaylorMade offers the Stealth fairway wood in a “TaylorMade Stealth Plus” option that has adjustability in the hosel.
As are nearly all TaylorMade products that hit the shelves these days, the Stealth fairway woods are overflowing with technology aimed to help you improve your game.
TaylorMade uses the ‘Fujikura Ventus Red shaft as the stock shaft with purchase and the ‘Lamkin Crossline grip as the standard grip with purchase.
The Stealth fairway wood looks solid at address, and its turf interaction is truly remarkable. If you’re someone that likes to take a fairway wood out of the thick stuff from time to time, the TaylorMade Stealth will most definitely be a great tool for your golf bag.
A ‘3D Carbon Fiber Crown’ wraps all the way around the toe of the Stealth’s head, removing mass from high in the toe and allowing TaylorMade engineers to reposition the mass towards the rear of the club for optimal forgiveness and maximum playability. This advice was also flushed through rounds of PGA professional testing to ensure correct decisions were being made for the game’s best players.
TaylorMade is implementing a new laser-etched alignment aid to help players line up to their target more accurately. No longer will a player have to question if they’re aligned to the center of their club face or their club face is towards the target, thanks to the laser-etched top line that perfectly accents the club face and head color.
The “V-Steel Sole” design enhances forgiveness while increasing launch angles on all strikes and improves turf interaction.
TaylorMade’s “Twist Face” technology uses corrective face angles on the toe and heel of the club to help produce straighter shots that hit off your mishits.
The “Thru-Slot” speed pocket on the sole of the fairway wood heads has shown to slightly increase club head and ball speed in users through extensive testing.
If you’re looking to increase your distance and produce fast ball speeds, the TaylorMade Stealth fairway wood may be a perfect fit for your bag.
5. Mizuno ST-Z Fairway Wood (Oversized Head to Inspire Confidence)
While Mizuno is often more regarded as a “premier forged iron company,” their ST-Z fairway woods are built to be a unique blend of high-MOI, low spin, and pure performance.
The Mizuno ST-Z fairway wood is adjustable up or down two degrees from its standard specifications. It is offered with many shafts for no up-charge from the standard price, unlike many competitors.
Mizuno uses the Lamkin ST+2 Hybrid grip as the standard grip, offering a tackier feel to the lower hand and a more stable feel to the leading hand.
With the ST-Z’s deeper and lower CG, its true intention is to be a stable, confident-inspiring fairway wood. With high MOI and fairway woods, players often expect increased spin, but the contrary is true with the Mizuno ST-Z. Players would experience lower spin and more roll-out if they decided to put it in play, thanks to the nature of the ST-Z’s design.
At address, users will notice the Mizuno ST-Z has a slightly oversized fairway wood head (while still conforming to a traditional shape) to inspire a little more confidence in players before making a swing.
While having a Carbon crown, the Mizuno ST-Z is still very responsive and slightly “clicky” sounding at impact. An effort was made to reduce some Carbon crown fairway woods’ muted nature.
With the ST-Z fairway wood, Mizuno has reintroduced the “QuickFit Hosel” design to help players create an ideal trajectory and shot shape they are looking for. With included tools, players can adjust their loft and lie anywhere they feel necessary.
The Carbon Fiber crown design mentioned before saves a lot of weight, allowing Mizuno engineers to place the weight lower and deeper into the club to give the ST-Z a higher MOI for more stable shots, even on off-center hits.
Lastly, the Mizuno ST-Z features a ‘MAS1C Maraging Steel Face’, which is said to give players higher ball speed relative to players club head speed, but across the entirety of the face, meaning speed won’t be lost on poorly hit shots.
Many new fairway woods promise a lot, but the Mizuno ST-Z actually delivers on those promises. Described as “potentially the easiest fairway wood to hit,” please consider the Mizuno ST-Z.
6. Titleist TSi3 Fairway Wood ("SureFit" Hosel and CG Technology)
The Titleist TSi3 fairway wood is designed for players looking for a great tool off the tee and hit the ball consistently enough that they have the need to fine-tune their CG location for optimal launch and strike conditions.
The looks are just as stunning as the highest ranking on our list, Titleist TSi2 fairway woods but designed in a more compact shape that’s much more round than the TSi2. It’s still a quite large and forgiving-looking fairway wood head, but still slightly smaller and more “player” looking than its TSi2 counterpart.
Users have noted that the impact sound on the Titleist TSi3 fairway metals is remarkably quiet but still feels incredibly hot and fast. Titleist boasts about the sound of their TSi family, and through our own testing, we’ve noticed that even poor strikes sound very similar to hitting an absolute nuke.
A ‘SureFit’ hosel with 16 independent loft and lie settings, plus head-weight adjustability, makes the TSi3 arguably the most adjustable fairway wood on the market.
Titleist has put together a package of 5 “featured shafts,” with three of the shafts offering “Straight Flight Technology,” or weight added to the butt end of the shaft to reduce the dreaded “big right miss” many right-handed players deal with. (Big Left Miss for you Lefties)
At address, Titleist really doesn’t miss. Their sharp and glossy black teardrop head shape not only has an insane amount of bag appeal but also inspires confidence when used. It almost gives off a very “pro” like feel, as dorky as that is to say.
The “Active Recoil Channel” technology Titleist implements behind the face of the TSi3 allows the face to flex to increase ball speed while also making shots hit lower on the face have a high launch.
Lastly, the “SureFit CG Tracking Design” allows players to adjust their CG in 5 different positions to perfect how they want their TSi3 fairway wood to perform.
If you’re looking for a great fairway wood with incredible bag appeal and adjustability, consider the Titleist TSi3 fairway wood.
7. Cobra LTDx Max Fairway Wood (Slice Correction, Draw Bias)
One of the best fairway woods 2023 has to offer is the Cobra LTDx MAX. The LTDx MAX is designed for players who want incredible distance with a high launch but with helpful added slice correction. If you’re like 90% of golfers who struggle with a slice, you’ll love the draw bias aspect of the design.
Cobra is offering the ‘Project X Hazardous Smoke IM10 60’ as the stock shaft, and a Lamkin Stockline 60 grip comes standard. Like the Standard LTDx, the LTDx MAX fairway wood has a low and wide profile while still interacting with the turf incredibly smoothly in all situations.
Users have noted an increase of up to 6 mph of clubhead speed, meaning more distance for new users is nearly guaranteed.
The LTDx MAX features an incredible amount of technology, including “PWR-COR Technology,” a weighting system that positions mass lower and forward in the club head that combines to form lower spin and better distance. Additional technology includes “Hot-Face Technology,” which is AI-designed multi-thickness face construction to create 15 different hot zones, essentially making the sweet spot much larger.
There is a 12-gram and 3-gram weights that are interchangeable to promote more or less draw bias, and a lightweight Carbon Crown makes this possible by saving mass at the beginning of construction. By saving weight in the beginning stages of the design process, Cobra engineers were able to position weight to improve CG and MOI, improving forgiveness.
If high-performance fairway woods with enhanced slice correction sounds like they could help your game, please consider the Cobra LTDx MAX fairway woods.
8. Callaway Apex UW Fairway Wood (Mix of Hybrid and Fairway Wood)
Lastly, one of the most interesting fairway woods 2023 has created the Callaway Apex UW Fairway Wood.
It’s a cross between a hybrid and a fairway wood but still meant for use off the tee with quite a long head shape, including a very generous amount of club face real estate. The design inspires confidence in all settings, including rough, fairway, and tee-box making it an all-situation club.
The looks were influenced by the input of Phil Mickelson, and the length is set between a hybrid and a fairway wood. The profile at address is slightly smaller looking than a fairway woods traditional shape. The glossy black head accents the silver face color beautifully at address as well.
A large Tungsten weight at the sole of the fairway wood helps players push the ball higher in the air, and Callaway’s ‘FlashFace Technology’ helps keep ball speed high across the entirety of the face.
The club face also features “JailBreak Technology” to improve vertical stiffness in the face, resulting in top-to-bottom speed consistency even on miss-struck shots.
The Callaway Apex UW Fairway Woods is a perfect in-between club for players who like to work the ball in different directions, like to shape shots from different types of turf and lies, and likes to have an added weapon off the tee when needed. If any of that sounds like it could help your golf game, please consider the Callaway Apex UW fairway wood for your toolbox.
Final Thoughts with @ScramblingTom
If you’re above a 10 HDCP and are looking for as much forgiveness and playability as possible, my suggestion would be to test the TaylorMade Stealth / TaylorMade Stealth Plus, the Cobra LTDx MAX, or the Callaway Rogue ST MAX. With their head shapes and added speed features, players should find the increased distance, a slight draw bias/slice correction, and lower spin for more roll once their ball hits the ground.
If you’re below a 10 HDCP but are still looking for some helpful forgiveness and features, a great place to start would be trying the Titleist TSi2, the Ping G425 MAX, or the Mizuno ST-Z. While not suited for beginner / lower level golfers, these fairway woods (particularly the slightly oversized ST-Z heads) inspire confidence and boost that confidence with their incredibly forgiving face designs. Errant hit shots will no longer instantly collide with the hazards, saving strokes instantaneously.
Lastly, if you’re a skilled player looking for an upgrade to their fairway wood, please consider the Titleist TSi3 or the Callaway Apex UW Wood. These clubs are designed for players who find the center of the face often and like a little more workability and control of their fairway metals.
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