Editor’s Picks: 11 high-lofted fairway woods that could change your game

The Callaway Epic Speed fairway wood.

Andrew Tursky

Most golfers carry at least one fairway wood, whether it’s a three-wood (13-16 degrees) or a five-wood (18-19 degrees). Then they’ll fill out the rest of the top end of their bags with either hybrids or long irons.

Did you know there’s another option that could help transform your game, though?

On the PGA and LPGA tours, professionals have been switching in droves to higher-lofted fairway wood options (21-degree seven woods, 23/24-degree nine woods, and even nine woods or eleven woods) to replace long irons and hybrids. While long irons (3-5 iron) and even hybrids can be difficult to hit because of their small heads, high-lofted fairway offer higher launch, spin and forgiveness to help hit the ball longer and straighter.

The biggest benefit of high-lofted fairway woods is that they help create significantly more height to help hold the green on an approach shot. That can be very helpful when trying to hit and hold the green on a par 3, long par 4 or a par 5.

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By: Andrew Tursky

Some golfers believe there’s a stigma behind high-lofted fairways, thinking they’re “old people clubs.” Well, golfers such as Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Tommy Fleetwood and Max Homa rely on them, so there’s nothing at all to be embarrassed about.

If you tend to hit the ball too low or offline, with your current long iron or hybrid setup, I highly recommend trying one of the 11 high-lofted fairway options listed below. For those who suffer particularly from a slice, check out the draw options below (Cobra Radspeed Draw and TaylorMade SIM Max D). They’re specifically designed to help reduce your slice.

Callaway Big Bertha B21 (21 and 24 degrees)

All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy a linked product, GOLF.COM may earn a fee. Pricing may vary.

Callaway Big Bertha B21 Fairway Wood

$299.99
OUR TAKE: Testers found it easy to work the ball in both directions with the Big Bertha B21. “I’m hitting a draw on command,” said a respondent. “I can’t tell you when I was able to even consider the other side of the course with a fairway wood.” The visible carbon fiber section on the crown was another plus for many testers who claimed it gave the club a premium look. THE DETAILS: Like the Big Bertha B21 driver, the fairway woods are also made to reduce a slice, with additional technology included to help high-handicap golfers get the ball off the turf more easily. To achieve this, Callaway gave the B-21 fairway woods shallower faces, increased offset and large heads that promote high launch, draw spin and distance. Callaway’s Flash Face SS21 and internal Jailbreak technology ensure you’ll generate more than enough speed with this slice-busting fairway wood. Check out 150+ reviews from our gear experts in the ClubTest 2021 collection
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Callaway Epic Speed (21 degrees)

Callaway Epic Speed Fairway Wood

$299.99
Our take: It’s good to have options. With Callaway’s new-look Epic Max and Epic Speed, testers found two equally appealing packages: one geared for those who need a bit more forgiveness and another for the better player craving a penetrating launch. “I could put both in the bag,” said a tester. “Both were fantastic on misses, and the flatter flight of the Speed was very consistent. I could totally see myself throwing in a strong-lofted Speed and Max 5-wood to launch it high. That sounds really appealing.” Don’t be surprised if other golfers follow suit.  The details: The fairways feature Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades that are spread wider apart to stiffen the structure for improved face flex. The forward CG location on Epic Speed, combined with a new leading-edge design, promotes a strong ball-flight. An oversize head and shallow face make Epic Max an ideal option for a wider handicap range. Launch and spin can be altered depending on where two sole weights are positioned. Check out 150+ club reviews from our gear experts from ClubTest 2021. 
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Callaway Epic Max (20, 21, 23 and 25 degrees)

Callaway Epic MAX Fairway Wood

$299.99
Our take: It’s good to have options. With Callaway’s new-look Epic Max and Epic Speed, testers found two equally appealing packages: one geared for those who need a bit more forgiveness and another for the better player craving a penetrating launch. “I could put both in the bag,” said a tester. “Both were fantastic on misses, and the flatter flight of the Speed was very consistent. I could totally see myself throwing in a strong-lofted Speed and Max 5-wood to launch it high. That sounds really appealing.” Don’t be surprised if other golfers follow suit.  The details: The fairways feature Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades that are spread wider apart to stiffen the structure for improved face flex. The forward CG location on Epic Speed, combined with a new leading-edge design, promotes a strong ball-flight. An oversize head and shallow face make Epic Max an ideal option for a wider handicap range. Launch and spin can be altered depending on where two sole weights are positioned.  Check out 150+ club reviews from our gear experts from ClubTest 2021. 
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Cobra Radspeed (7 wood)

Cobra Radspeed Fairway Wood

$279.99
OUR TAKE: With a hammer-like sound and impressive feel, RadSpeed delivered in a big way during GOLF’s ClubTest. As one tester raved, “I love the aesthetic. There’s some slight carbon fiber you can see in the back, and you can’t go wrong with matte black. Feels great, looks great.” This was the general consensus with Cobra’s latest big stick. In addition to noticing lower spin and a more penetrating flight — thanks to a reimagined adjustable sole weighting system — the eye-catching CNC milled face offered sneaky alignment assistance, framing the ball at address. It’s easy to see why this neon yellow and black beauty is Bryson’s driver of choice.  THE DETAILS: Cobra is known to push boundaries with its technologies. This year is no different. Building upon standout designs, such as the new-age CNC infinity milled face and carbon fiber crown, Cobra has also reimagined its sole weighting system. The OEM used tenants from a popular engineering formula, called the Radius of Gyration (“Rad” stands for “radius”), to spread the weights in the soles of the drivers further to the front and the back of the head for desired performance enhancements throughout the lineup. The RadSpeed standard head is lower spinning and lower flying, the RadSpeed XB (“Xtreme Back” weight) is higher launching and more forgiving, and the RadSpeed XD (“Xtreme Draw”) has heavy heel weighting to encourage a draw shot shape.  NOTABLE USERS: Rickie Fowler, Lexi Thompson Check out 150+ reviews from our gear experts in the ClubTest 2021 collection
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Cobra Radspeed Draw (7 wood)

Cobra Radspeed Draw Fairway Wood

$279.99
OUR TAKE: Club designers know they have a winner when golfers are raving about the head shape. “The head shape is amazing,” said one tester. “I’m obsessed with the clean look,” said another. You get the point. If a fairway wood looks clunky, it’s going to get the Heisman. In this case, testers couldn’t get enough of RadSpeed’s sleek profile. Praise was also heaped on Cobra’s Baffler Hollow Split Rail sole design, which is made to keep the club from digging into the turf at impact.  THE DETAILS: The radial weighting system found on the RadSpeed driver is prominently positioned on the fairway wood as well — with a twist. The weights were placed in smart locations on all three models to produce different ball flights, shot shapes and spin rates. With 16 grams of weight near the face and 7 grams situated in the back, RadSpeed is geared for low spin and a high launch. The oversized Big Tour (designed to be used off the tee) and compact Tour feature 23 grams near the face to reduce spin and flatten launch. And the draw-biased Draw product lives up to its name with 16 grams situated in the heel, along with 7 grams in the back, to launch it high and get rid of that pesky slice. 
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Wilson Staff D9 fairway wood (21 degrees)

Wilson Staff D9 Fairway Wood

$219.99
OUR TAKE:  Sophisticated clubs with a beautifully simple look. That was the consensus among our testers, who singled out the D9s for their “clean top” and “good neutral acoustics.” Performance wasn’t shabby, either. The clubs produced long and penetrating shots, thanks in part to its PKR face technology, an innovative, computer-generated design that creates hot spots across the entire face. THE DETAILS: High, low. Heel, toe. Not to worry. In a first for Wilson, D9 fairway woods feature “variable face technology,” a fancy way of saying that they’re highly forgiving, producing the best possible results no matter where the ball contacts the club. The design is fortified by a steel insert behind the face, which allows for a thinner, springier and sturdier surface. It all adds up to greater feel and distance, even when you don’t catch it flush. Check out 150+ reviews from our gear experts in the ClubTest 2021 collection.
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Srixon ZX fairway wood (21 degrees)

Srixon ZX Fairway Wood

$269.99
OUR TAKE: The ZX Fairway Woods are made to be just as at home off the tee as they are the fairway as it touts big distance and forgiveness. According to our testers, “These woods have a great pop sound and make it easy to get the ball airborne. The ball jumps of the face in a hurry.” The stepped crown may take some getting used too if you prefer sleekly shaped woods, but you’ll soon dismiss it when you see the ball fly long and straight. THE DETAILS: Like the driver bearing the same namesake, the ZX Fairway Wood shave a carbon crown and Rebound Frame for both added power and a raised MOI for more forgiveness. That said, these woods are designed to be workable off the tee and fairway, hence the low-spin, penetrating launch angle. Underneath, the Cannon Sole has a forward-facing weight pad, further enhancing launch conditions and bolstering ballspeed. Check out 150+ reviews from our gear experts in the ClubTest 2021 collection.
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Titleist TSi2 (21 degrees)

Titleist TSi2 Fairway Wood

$299.99
OUR TAKE: Today’s fairway wood models are so long and forgiving, it’s not surprising for us to see them used more often from off the tee. Said one of our surprised testers of the new Titleist TSi2 fairways, “The TSi2 woods have a creamy feel and are easier to hit than some other models we’ve tried.” Speaking of the TSi3, “Miss-hits weren’t as penal as I expected from such a traditional headshape. It felt money and promoted a solid ballflight. It’s the best-looking head in the bunch.”  THE DETAILS: There are two models in the TSi line—the TSi2 is designed for added distance and forgiveness, and comes with hosel adjustability, a revamped Active Recoil Channel, variable face thickness, and optimized weighting for a high launch/low spin ballflight. The TSi3 comes with an adjustable hosel, a SureFit CG track for CG adjustability, a revamped Active Recoil Channel, variable face thickness and optimized weighting for a mid-launch/low spin ballflight. Check out 150+ reviews from our gear experts in the ClubTest 2021 collection.
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XXIO Eleven (20 and 23 degrees)

XXIO Eleven Fairway Wood

$399.99
OUR TAKE: Blue is considered a cool, calming and soothing color, and on XXIO’s Eleven fairway woods it looks fantastic. But we aren’t fooled—these woods are red hot, making it easy to hit bombs from the fairway and for the matter, from the tee as well. They’re particularly useful for golfers with moderate swingspeeds who want to add some extra clubhead simply by switching to a lighter club.   THE DETAILS: The Cup Face design helps make shots hit off the center more forgiving, while the Cannon Sole comes with a weight pad low and behind the face. This weighting scheme boosts speed and distance, again for higher, longer flying shots with ample spin. It’s a surefire luxury club for a player who wants more distance in a beautiful, no frills design. Check out 150+ reviews from our gear experts in the ClubTest 2021 collection.
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TaylorMade SIM2 Max (21 and 24 degrees)

TaylorMade SIM2 Max Fairway Wood

$299.99
OUR TAKE: “I love the high launch.” With that simple statement, one of our testers summed up exactly what TaylorMade was striving for with its new SIM2 fairways. While the overall look of the SIM2 fairways is comparable to the original SIM heads, our GOLF testers repeatedly commented on the higher trajectories they were seeing. “Even my mishits are towering, the ball just flies,” another tester said. “It feels lively and easy to hit off the ground.” THE DETAILS: It’s no accident our testers saw noticeable height increases with the SIM2 fairway woods. That was by design. While continuing to evolve its versatile V-Steel soles of last year, TaylorMade has redesigned the SIM2 heads to move weight lower to the ground for higher launch and more forgiveness. TaylorMade’s smaller and more workable SIM2 Titanium heads utilize 80-gram sole plates and a ZATECH Titanium Faces, whereas the SIM2 Max fairways are designed with C300 steel faces and have bigger heads for increased accuracy and distance Check out 150+ reviews from our gear experts in the ClubTest 2021 collection.
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TaylorMade SIM2 Max D (Draw Biased; 22 degrees)

TaylorMade SIM2 Max D Fairway Wood

$299.99
OUR TAKE: “I love the high launch.” With that simple statement, one of our testers summed up exactly what TaylorMade was striving for with its new SIM2 fairways. While the overall look of the SIM2 fairways is comparable to the original SIM heads, our GOLF testers repeatedly commented on the higher trajectories they were seeing. “Even my mishits are towering, the ball just flies,” another tester said. “It feels lively and easy to hit off the ground.” THE DETAILS: It’s no accident our testers saw noticeable height increases with the SIM2 fairway woods. That was by design. While continuing to evolve its versatile V-Steel soles of last year, TaylorMade has redesigned the SIM2 heads to move weight lower to the ground for higher launch and more forgiveness. TaylorMade’s smaller and more workable SIM2 Titanium heads utilize 80-gram sole plates and a ZATECH Titanium Faces, whereas the SIM2 Max fairways are designed with C300 steel faces and have bigger heads for increased accuracy and distance Check out 150+ reviews from our gear experts in the ClubTest 2021 collection.
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Andrew Tursky

Golf.com Editor

Andrew Tursky is the Senior Equipment Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com.