For most golfers, the 3 wood is one of the most underrated clubs in their bag. Everyone wants the biggest driver, the most expensive putter, and that flashy set of irons. Rarely does the thought of having the right 3 wood for their game enter their mind.
The truth is, 3 woods are situational but essential for getting the ball in play off the tee and advancing shots down the fairway. If you’re faced with a narrow tee shot, the 3 wood will get you in play. Can’t reach the green with an iron on your second shot? Your 3 wood is your best friend.
If you’re in the market for a new 3 wood but aren’t quite sure how to choose the right one, we are here to help. We’ve done the research and compiled our list of the best 3 woods on the market today.
We’ve also answered some of the most common questions golfers have when trying to choose the best club for their game.
What is the best 3 wood?
Each year, the top golf manufacturers come out with new fairway woods. In their marketing efforts, they use catchy lingo to espouse their club’s technological advantages, playability, and performance.
While the technology in most 3 woods is cutting-edge, some clubs are better for certain players than others. Check out our review of the best 3 woods on the market today.
Best All-Around 3 Wood
If you’ve played golf for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with the Callaway brand. They’ve long been known as a premier manufacturer of drivers and fairway woods. The Callaway Mavrik 3 wood is no exception.
The Mavrik 3 wood is designed to have low spin off the face and provide maximum forgiveness on mishits. This is accomplished through Flash Face Technology that’s forged from C300 Maraging Steel.
Jail Break Technology incorporates two titanium bars behind the face that connect the sole to the crown. The result is more efficient energy transfer between the clubface and ball at impact for greater ball speed and more distance.
Callaway understands that 3 woods aren’t a one size fits all club. That’s why they’ve made the Mavrik 3 wood in 16 different lofts and customized the head design accordingly.
For example, a 13.5 degree 3 wood might be better for players who don’t have trouble getting the ball in the air and are looking for more distance.
Conversely, a 15.5 degree 3 wood is an excellent choice for players looking for a higher shot trajectory and greater accuracy.
Callaway has been a top producer of 3 woods and fairway woods for years, and the Mavrik sits alone as the best all-around 3 wood on the market for that reason.
- Exceptional forgiveness makes club playable from a variety of different lies.
- Simple design gives you confidence at address.
- Hot face increases ball speed and distance.
- Head is larger than other 3 wood heads and may be too bulky for some players.
Best 3 Wood For Good Players
Titleist has long been known as a premium player’s brand. Their drivers and fairway are noted for their classic shape and head design.
The TS2 and TS3 3 woods feature a thin crown, which allows more weight to be distributed to the bottom of the club. The result is a low center of gravity and a higher launch.
The face is one of the thinnest Titleist fairway wood it has ever made and creates more flex at impact for increased ball speed and distance.
A deep channel cut through the sole also helps with energy transfer between the clubface and the ball to create shots that come off hot and travel far.
If you’re a better player looking for a classic 3 wood that incorporates the latest and greatest technology, check out the Titleist TS2 or TS3.
- Provides faster ball speed than the previous 917 model.
- Adjustability makes fitting and customization easy.
- Price point might be too high for some golfers.
- Lack of a prominent site line can make alignment difficult.
Best 3 Wood For Your Budget
Whether it’s irons, woods, or drivers, Tour Edge consistently ranks as one of the best manufacturers for players who are on a budget. Just because their clubs cost a little less than those from other manufacturers, doesn’t mean they don’t perform.
The EXS 220 3 wood from Tour Edge Exotics has a face that’s crosshatched on the backside with 44 thick and thin diamond-shaped sections. Each section is precision-cut to increase ball speed across the entire face for more distance.
The design also reduces the weight of the head by 14 percent allowing players to swing the club faster.
Panels made from carbon fiber in the heel and toe position weight in the rear of the club, lowering the center of gravity. This design creates a higher launch and increases the moment of inertia for greater forgiveness.
If you’re looking for a 3 wood that doesn’t break the bank, the EXS 220 is a great option.
- Affordable price point yet, little to no sacrifice in performance.
- Traditional head design instills confidence at address.
- Some golfers have complained about stock shaft options not fitting with the club.
Best 3 Wood For Women
A lot was made about Callaway’s line of Epic drivers in 2019. The same technology used in those drivers can be found in the Epic Flash 3 wood for women.
Flash Face Technology increases ball speed and forgiveness compared to previous models of fairway woods.
Jailbreak Technology features two titanium bars behind the face that connect the sole and crown of the club. This design stabilizes the clubhead and stiffens the face creating explosive ball speeds for more distance.
The new OptiFit Hostel is shorter and lighter, making the club easy to swing for women with slower swing speeds. The weight that’s saved allows the center of gravity to be repositioned low and further back in the head to aid with higher launch and longer carry.
The Callaway Epic Flash 3 wood is perfect for any woman golfer looking to hit the ball higher and farther.
- One of the most stable 3 wood heads through impact.
- Low center of gravity promotes higher launch for ladies that have trouble getting the ball in the air.
- Cost may be prohibitive for some players.
Which 3 wood is the easiest to hit?
The 3 wood can be a tough club for beginning and higher handicap players to hit consistently. The club designers at TaylorMade knew this and designed the SIM Max and Max D 3 wood to be one of the most forgiving and easiest 3 woods on the market.
The V-shaped sole on the club creates a leading edge that’s more rounded than other traditional 3 woods. This limits the interaction the club has with turf through impact and allows for more consistent contact.
The face’s asymmetrical design keeps mishits off the toe and heel online.
The head on both the SIM Max and Max D 3 woods is one of the largest out there. This allows for ample perimeter weighting, which provides maximum forgiveness.
If you struggle slicing the ball, the design of the SIM Max D helps you hit straighter shots.
There’s no better choice for players that struggle hitting their 3 wood consistently than the TaylorMade SIM Max and MAX D 3 wood.
- Players report forgiveness and added length from the tee.
- Head design limits interaction with turf through impact.
- Some players say the shot dispersion is not as tight as other 3 woods.
Best 3 Wood For Seniors
As golfers get older, we lose swing speed. It’s not something we like to talk about, but the reality is, it happens. That’s why Cobra King designed the F7 3 wood for seniors.
A key feature of the F7 3 wood is its ability to adjust the center of gravity either back or forward in the clubhead with adjustable weights. This allows players to optimize their launch angle for maximum carry and distance.
The face is made from 475 stainless steel and creates faster ball speed for longer shots.
Cobra’s patented Baffler Dual Rail System reduces friction through the grass, allowing for maximum clubhead speed through impact.
For seniors that need help getting the ball in the air and want a 3 wood that’s forgiving, the F7 from Cobra King is worth a try.
- Baffler rails limit turf interaction and make the club playable from tough lies.
- Adjustability allows players to find the perfect center of gravity for their swing.
- Shots don’t travel as far as some other 3 woods.
Frequently Asked Questions
The technology in modern golf clubs is so advanced, it can make your head spin. The reality is that most golfers haven’t the slightest clue what center of gravity, moment of inertia, or smash factor actually mean.
This can make buying the right club for your game a confusing prospect at best. This is especially true with 3 woods. Below, we address some of the most common questions golfers have about fairway 3 woods and choosing the best one.
Q; How do I find the best 3 wood for my game?
A: Think about buying a 3 wood, or any golf club for that matter, like buying a new car. Before you pull the trigger, you’re going to want to do plenty of research and take it for a test drive.
An excellent place to start is the Internet. Countless resources provide the latest information on club technology, consumer reviews, and a wealth of other information.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a few 3 woods you’re interested in trying out, schedule a fitting with your local PGA Professional.
During the fitting, your PGA Pro will have a launch monitor, like Track Man or Flight Scope, to measure your shots for numbers like launch angle, ball speed, swing speed, carry distance, and spin rate, to name a few.
Once you’ve hit a few shots with different clubs, the two of you will have a conversation to determine which 3 wood is best for your game.
Q: What Should I Look for in a 3 wood?
A: The short answer is that there’s a lot to consider.
Performance is the first key. Performance can mean different things for different players. For example, if you’re a higher handicap that has trouble consistently making solid contact with your 3 wood, you should look for a club that gives you maximum forgiveness.
That can be the TaylorMade SIM Max or Max D. On the other hand, if distance is more important to you, go with the 3 wood you hit the farthest.
Regardless of how a particular club performs, you need to be comfortable with it in your hands. Some clubs are going to look and feel better than others.
You need a 3 wood that gives you confidence when you stand over the ball and can hit consistently.
Another factor to consider is your budget. Golf clubs aren’t cheap, and their prices can range widely. Unless you’re prepared to spend hundreds of dollars on a top-of-line 3 wood, consider some less expensive options like the Tour Edge Exotics EXS 220.
Just because a particular club is a little cheaper than some of its competitors, doesn’t mean it won’t perform.
Q: What loft should my 3 wood be?
A: Again, there’s no one size fits all answer here. The standard loft on most 3 woods is 15 degrees. However, many come with adjustable lofts. The right loft for your swing is one that hits the ball high enough and gives you the desired distance.
If you hit your 3 wood the same distance as your driver, you probably need more loft. If the distance gap between your driver and 3 wood is too wide, you might want to consider going with less loft.
Q: What is the right length for my 3 wood?
A: One of the ways club manufacturers deliver on their promise of more ball speed and distance is, increasing the length of the shaft. There’s no denying that it works, but clubs with longer shafts are more challenging to hit consistently than those with shorter shafts.
The length of the shaft in your 3 wood should allow you to do two things. First, set up to the golf ball comfortably. You shouldn’t have to bend too far over, nor should you feel like you have to stand up straight and stiff.
Second, the length of the shaft should allow you to make solid contact consistently.
Q: Is adjustable better than non-adjustable?
A: This depends on what you’re looking for in your 3 wood. After going through a proper fitting, you might find that the perfect 3 wood for you isn’t adjustable.
If this is the case, there’s nothing wrong with putting a non-adjustable 3 wood in your bag.
However, if being able to tailor your club to different courses and conditions is a priority, having an adjustable 3 wood makes it easy.
Q: Is distance or accuracy more important in a 3 wood?
A: In a perfect world, your 3 wood would allow you to maximize distance and hit shots straight at your target every time. Unfortunately, golf is a game that’s far perfect.
If you’re a player that tends to hit the ball straight, it makes sense that you’d want a fairway wood that gives you maximum distance.
If you tend to be a little erratic with your longer clubs, you might benefit from a 3 wood that allows you to keep the ball in the fairway.
What fairway 3 wood should I buy?
Most golfers overlook the importance of their 3 wood. However, it’s a vital piece of equipment from both the tee box and the fairway.
Having a 3 wood that’s tailored to your specific needs can go a long way in helping you shoot lower scores and play more consistently.
With so many options to choose from, you need to do the research to find the one that’s right for you. If you’re a player looking for the very best in both distance and forgiveness, it’s hard to argue with the Callaway Mavrik 3 wood.
If you’re concerned about spending too much money but don’t want to sacrifice quality and performance, the Tour Edge Exotics EXS 220 is an excellent option.
No matter what 3 wood you decide to buy, it should be a fairway wood that delivers the results you’re looking for and gives you confidence when it’s in your hands.