5 Best Fairway Woods For High Handicappers In 2023

Golfer hitting a shot from the fairway

If you’re a high handicapper (or any golfer, for that matter), fairway woods can be a perfect substitute for a driver, a great approach shot on a par 5, or a way to save yourself after a poor drive. Having at least one reliable and high-quality fairway wood in the bag is essential for long-term success.

So many golfers think of the driver as being the most important club in the bag. Although I would agree that the driver plays a vital role, it’s really the combination of clubs and equipment that makes the entire game work.

I have put together some of the best fairway woods for high handicappers in 2023; there is an option on this list for all budgets. 

Best Fairway Woods For High Handicappers: Our Top Picks

Best Overall: TaylorMade SiM 2 Max Draw Fairway Wood
Best Value: Cleveland HB Turbo Fairway Wood
Best For Distance: Callaway Epic Max Fairway Wood
Best For Forgiveness: Callaway Big Bertha B21 Fairway Wood
Best For Adjustability: Cobra King Radspeed Fairway Wood

Related: Check out our other buyer’s guides for the best golf clubs for beginners & high handicappers, including best driversbest hybrid golf clubsbest golf balls, best irons, and best wedges.

TaylorMade SiM 2 Max Draw Fairway Wood

Best Overall
TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Draw Fairway Wood
  • New V steel design for better turf interaction 
  • High strength steel face for improved ball speed
  • Draw bias to help the high handicapper that slices the ball 
  • Lower center of gravity 
  • Higher priced golf club because of multi-material construction and newer technology 
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When it comes to speed and distance, you will not find a better fairway wood than the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Draw Fairway. The SIM 2 Max Draw was designed to get players maximum ball speed and incredible distance off the tee. For golfers that tend to slice the ball, the SIM 2 Max helps straighten things out with the draw bias technology. 

The SIM2 Max features the same Speed Pocket technology that TaylorMade has been using in its fairway woods for the last few years. The Speed Pocket gives golfers face flexibility, which is like that trampoline effect for when the ball jumps off the clubface. 

In addition, the draw bias design is done with the strategic placement of weight in the heel. This means that golfers can take their typical swing and get a shot that travels from the right side of the fairway and makes a turn to the left. Overall the performance of the club is exactly what a high handicapper needs. 

Cleveland HB Turbo Fairway Wood

Best Value
Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Fairway Wood

  • Custom made shaft developed specifically for this fairway wood
  • High launch conditions
  • Extreme forgiveness
  • Very fair pricing 
  • Not always known for having the best feel and workability 
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02/24/2024 05:42 am GMT

The Cleveland fairway woods are always made to be very high-performing yet simple in their technology. Where you will see other companies add in adjustability and tracking, the Cleveland clubs focus on performance and reliability. The Cleveland HB Turbo is a very easy fairway wood to hit, regardless of if your golf ball is in the rough or the fairway. 

One of the significant reasons golfers like their Cleveland HB Turbo fairway woods is that they have a very low center of gravity. Golf clubs with a lower center of gravity tend to have higher launch and better forgiveness. So if you have been looking for a fairway wood that provides performance from the tee and the fairway, the Cleveland HB Turbo is a great choice. 

Another factor that high handicappers need to consider in a fairway wood is the shaft. The Cleveland HB Turbo comes with a Miyazaki C. Kuma shaft that is counterbalanced to give a higher MOI. 

Callaway Epic Max Fairway Wood

Best For Distance
Callaway Epic Max Fairway Wood
  • Adjustable weights
  • High ball speed technology
  • Spin consistency 
  • Not the latest model
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If you are a high handicapper who values technology and stays ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest and most excellent options on the market, the Callaway Epic Max is the best fairway wood to choose. Everything about this new model is designed to improve ball speed, distance, and overall performance. 

Callaway is continuing with their artificial intelligence technology in each of their golf club options. Using AI, the center of gravity in the Epic Max fairway was perfectly positioned to offer the player the greatest benefit. In addition, the new Jailbreak Velocity Blades increase the speed coming off the C300 Steel face. 

Another great thing about the Epic Max is that there are adjustable weights to customize the performance of the fairway wood. If you want to decrease spin, or increase forgiveness, then there are ways to place the weights to achieve that performance. 

Callaway Big Bertha B21 Fairway Wood

Best For Forgiveness
Callaway Big Bertha B21 Fairway Wood
  • Easy to launch
  • Good turf interaction
  • Can help promote a draw
  • Good choice for slower swing speed players
  • Ball speeds are not quite as high as other models
  • Not optimal for lower handicappers
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The Callaway Big Bertha B21 Fairway wood is one of the most forgiving options on the market for high handicappers. Most high handicappers will struggle with some consistency in their fairway woods; the B21 can help to ensure shots are still launching high and long, even on a miss-hit. 

The entire like of B21 clubs from Callaway was designed to help the higher handicap golfers. Using artificial intelligence, Callaway was able to install jailbreak bars and a high-performing crown to increase the performance of the fairway woods. 

The new RCH shaft is also very lightweight and has higher launching capabilities than other golf shafts. So if you’re frustrated with hitting fairway wood shots that roll along the ground, give the B21 a shot and see if it can change the results that you get. 

Cobra King Radspeed Fairway Wood

Best For Adjustability
Cobra King Radspeed Fairway Wood
  • Carbon crown wrap 
  • Hollow split rail technology 
  • Radial weighting technology for a lower center of gravity 
  • Can be difficult to find the proper setting 
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High handicappers will benefit from a golf club that has some adjustability. An adjustable club head can be turned into something that is a custom fit from one round of golf to the next. Players that use adjustable golf equipment will always have a club in their hand that makes them feel confident and ready to attack a hole. 

The Cobra Golf Radpseed Fairway is the best fairway wood for adjustability for high handicappers. With the Radspeed in play, golfers can adjust the club to feel exactly as they need it to be. 

In addition to the adjustability, the new infinity-edge face design ensures that golfers have a huge clubhead area to work with. The large clubface means that hitting the ball anywhere around the center of the club will result in a great shot. If you have ever played with a Cobra Baffler club and benefited from the turf interaction, the new Radspeed will certainly help you perform. 

What To Consider When Choosing A Fairway Wood For A High Handicapper? 

High handicappers should have at least one fairway wood in their golf bag. However, many high handicappers find having two or three fairway woods is a great option. Not all fairway woods on the market are a good fit for a higher handicapper. You must ensure that the club has certain specifications that make it a good fit. 


The higher the loft of the fairway wood, the easier it is to hit. Higher handicappers may want to stay away from the 13 and 14 degree three woods as they are tough to launch. It makes much more sense to play with a fairway that is forgiving enough to give the performance that you need to succeed. With a great strike, the distance will come.  


A golf club with offset technology can help to straighten out the slice. For example, when you hit a fairway wood and the club has no offset, you may have difficulty getting the ball to head straight down the target line. However, the offset technology straightens everything out for players who are late in turning over the clubhead. 

Sweet Spot Size

The sweet spot size on the fairway wood should be pretty large for the higher handicap golfers. When the sweet spot is large, players can miss the center of the clubface but still hit a great golf shot. 

When a golf club has a large sweet spot, you can get more distance and accuracy, even if your golf swing is not perfect. The great news is that as you improve, this sweet spot won’t be relied on as often, but it can’t hurt you. 


High handicappers need to be very careful that they are using a golf club shaft that is the right fit for their swing speed and ability. All fairway woods will have a graphite shaft, but the flex and kick point will make a difference in the performance. If you have very fast club head speed, the stiff shaft may make the most sense. For a slower club head speed, the regular or senior is the better choice. 

Golfer hitting a shot from the fairway
Golfer hitting a shot from the fairway.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about the best fairway woods for high handicappers in 2023. Of course, the most important thing about choosing a fairway wood is ensuring that it is a club you will love and use on the golf course. 

What is the most forgiving fairway wood? 

The most forgiving fairway wood is the Callaway Big Bertha B21. The club has a huge sweet spot, offset technology, and an extreme amount of ball speed. The most forgiving fairway woods on the market will help players hit shots that stay straight and can go a very long distance. 

The Big Bertha B21 was created with the high handicapper in mind. Everything about the club promotes forgiveness and performance. 

What woods should a high handicapper carry? 

The best fairway wood for a high handicapper to carry is a 5 wood. The 5 wood has the perfect combination of distance technology, loft, and forgiveness. Those who use a 5 wood will be able to launch it relatively high yet still get the yardage they need. 

For high handicappers to perfect hitting a 3 wood, it takes quite a bit more effort and work, and it can be tricky. The 7 wood is another excellent fairway wood for the high handicapper to consider using. 

Should high handicappers use fairway woods? 

High handicappers should have at least one fairway wood in their golf bag. Although fairway woods are not always the easiest club to hit, they have some critical technology. High handicappers can use fairway woods from both the tee and the rough. 

In addition, if a high handicap golfer is struggling to hit their driver, the fairway wood can be the perfect solution to consider. Hitting a straight fairway wood off the tee is certainly better than hitting a wild driver. 

Should a high handicapper use a 3 wood? 

A high handicapper should only use a 3 wood if they have quite a bit of clubhead speed. Slower club head speeds make it difficult for golfers to get the ball flight and distance that they are looking for in their golf shots. The slower golf swing speed players need to consider the 5 wood or the 7 wood. 

The 3 wood can be a great alternative off the tee for players who struggle with the driver. The real issue that golfers start to see with the 3 wood is when used from the fairway. Hitting 3 wood fairway shots is difficult. However, when the ball is put on a little tee, things become much more manageable. 


Hopefully, you now feel as though you can choose a fairway wood with confidence. There are so many great options for high handicappers you may need to test a few before making your final decision.

In the end, it is crucial to keep in mind that forgiveness, higher loft, and a lightweight and high-performing shaft are key features to look for in the best fairway woods for high handicappers. This is a club that can make a real difference in the scoring of your next round. So take advantage of the technology on the market. 

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Joe Morelli

Joe Morelli is the founder of TopRankGolf, a passionate golfer with decades of experience playing this amazing sport. He's dedicated to helping golfers learn, improve and enjoy the game of golf.