Jump to content

The elusive Fairway Wood Unicorn


Hoyoymac
 Share

Recommended Posts

A month or so ago I was sitting on the back porch of the clubhouse with some members of the Men’s Group sharing a post round libation and solving the world’s problems when the conversation turned to finding the elusive perfect fairway wood.

The conversation started with this question: Is there a more difficult club to find than a Fairway Wood that is accurate, long and straight off the tee and also easy to get in the air when hitting off of the deck?

The conversation was heated at times.  Opinions varied.  Generally though the participants agreed that if you looked into most golfer’s bags that the oldest club in the bag would either be a fairway wood, a hybrid or a putter.

Universally however there was a common refrain about “the one that got away.”  As in, “I had this club once and I should never have gotten rid of it.”  It seemed especially true of Fairway woods.

The consensus among the group was that the 7 wood is the easiest of the fairway woods to hit off of the deck but it just isn’t quite long enough. The 4 & 5 wood had their fans and most people felt they were easier to hit off the tee and off the deck than a 3 wood and just as long in most cases, but still not as easy to hit off the fairway than the 7 wood.  The 3 wood was almost universally scorned as hard to hit off of the deck.

For a little while now I’ve been playing with a Tour Edge EX 10 16.5 degree 4 wood and a Tour Edge XCG7 21 degree 7 wood.  Both have the Fujikura Fuel Red 60g stiff shaft in them.  Over the last year I have gotten a little stronger and my swing speed has increased and the shaft in the 4 wood has started to feel a little soft and I’ve been fighting the hooks with it off the tee.  The 7 wood being a little shorter seems stiffer and doesn’t hook.

So once again I’ve embarked on the Fairway wood Unicorn hunt.

As a result of an epic clean out the garage episode, I traded in a bunch of old clubs recently and through the combination of trade-in bonus offers and some of the clubs being still in demand I found myself with quite a bit of store credit to use to underwrite the hunt.

First I got a great deal on a new old stock Tour Edge CBX 119 16.5 degree 4 wood with a Project X Evenflow Blue 65 g 5.5 shaft.  Loved the way it looks, feels and sounds.  Unfortunately high hooks again.  Should have gotten a stiffer shaft.  Not returnable.  Damn!

Then I took a risk and picked up a Mint condition demo club, also at a great deal, a Taylormade Sim Ti 19 degree 5 wood with the Diamana Limited 75 gram stiff shaft.  Great early results, but not really a fan of the way it looks, feels and sounds. Launches low spin bombs off the tee and with the adjustable hosel allows lots of turn ability.  It is in the bag at the moment.

The next contender is a brand new Tour Edge EXS Pro 18 degree 5 wood with the Tensei Orange CK 75 gram Stiff shaft.  It doesn’t seem to be as long off the tee as the Taylormade and feels heavier and harder to load the shaft.  Just feels like more work to swing, but it doesn’t hook either.  Will give it another chance and it comes with a 90 day playability guarantee.

I picked up a Diamana Limited 75 gram stiff shaft off of Ebay for about $50, removed the Taylormade adapter, pulled the Fujikura Fuel Red shaft out of the EX 10 4 wood and created a golf club love child.  Hard to part with this trusty 4 wood even if it is beat up a bit and trying to give it a new life.  Testing has just begun.

Lastly, a new Tour Edge EXS Ti 22 degree 4 utility iron has joined the party.  Sporting a jaunty look and a super hot face, the ball jumps off of it and has already proven in a few short outings on the course to be a nifty rescue club.  But it is not as long as my 7 wood and just a bit longer than my 5 hybrid.  Going to keep it for windy days, dry and firm conditions and links style courses.  It will become my official 15th club in the bag, pinch hitting as needed.

The hunt has been joined!  

Stay tuned.

What Unicorn club are you looking for?

  

 

 

 

  • Like 5

Ping G410 LST 10.5

Tour Edge EX 10 - 16.5

Tour Edge XCG7 - 21

Titleist 818 H1 - 25

Titleist AP3 6-48

Corey Paul Functional Art 52, 56 & 60

Odyssey O Works Black #7 with Stability Shaft

Bridgestone Tour BRX

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Between the “right” fairway wood, like a 3/4/5/7, and a hybrid, they seem to be the toughest to find. For me, I come out of a fitting with one that works great, then when I get it, and take it to the course, all of a sudden it’s crap! Good luck!

  • Like 3

Driver: :cobra-small: King F9 Speedback/:callaway-small:Epic Max LS, Xphlexxx Busa 2 Liquid, XX stiff, 45”

Fwy:  :callaway-small: Epic Speed 4w, MMT 80X

Hybrid: :callaway-small: X2 Hot Pro, 20*, Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 105X

Irons: :honma:TR20 Tour P 4-10, :Nippon: Modus 130 stiff, +1”

Wedges: :edel-golf-1: SMS 50D/54V/58D:Nippon:Modus 130 stiff, +1”

Putter:  :edel-golf-1: EAS 1.0

All but putter have Lamkin ST+2 Hybrid Calibrate midsize built to oversize +1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My unicorns are my current 3w and hybrid.  I can hit both off the tee and off the deck.  The 3W is just so perfect for me it's not even funny.  I have never ever had as much confidence in a 3W as i do with my g410 lst.

Same can be said with my hybrid.  I have never had a hybrid that I feel like I can hit just about any shot with.  Bomber draw.  High fade.  Low cut.  Just supreme confidence.  

  • Like 4

:ping-small: G410 LST 9* VA Nemesys 65X

:ping-small: G425 LST 14.5* Tour AD DI 7X

:titelist-small: 818 H2 20* Tour AD DI 85X

:mizuno-small: MP20 HMB 4 - Tour AD 95X

:mizuno-small: JPX 919 Tour 5-PW OBAN CT 115X(-)

:titelist-small: Vokey SM7 50F - 54S - 60D

:EVNROLL: ER1v #CustomER

:titelist-small: ProV1

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think my answer for my unicorn club will ring true of many. I have a stock Fuji shafted Cobra F7 3/4 wood. I do have it in a 7 wood back in Canada too. Since the day I picked it up new it has been a go to club. I have used it for my best rounds ever and overall the club is just magic. I know there are several others out there with the same club and for many Cobra got this club perfect. Brought back the rails, great shape and some colors with a awesome feel. 

  • Like 4

 ⛳🛄 as of Sept 24, 2020

SuperSpeed 2020 from 100-112 and climbing!

Driver:   :callaway-small: Epic Sub Zero - Set at 10* with Aldila Rogue Max 65 gram 

Wood:    :cobra-small: F7 3 wood 14.5* w/ weight back

               :ping-small: G410 Crossover - 2 and 4 iron

Irons:     :ping-small: i210 5-U w/ Nippon Modus 105 stiff (2018 Tester)

Wedge:  :ping-small: Glide 2.0 54* 58* w/ Nippon Modus 105 Stiff

Putter:   :odyssey-small: Stroke Lab 7 35* and oversized grip (2019 Tester)

Balls:      :srixon-small: Z Star

Other:     :Arccos: 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have found that if a new fairway wood is giving me problems, I reach for the lead tape. More often than not, new fairway wood swing weights are too light for a lot of people. Yes, a higher lofted FW will always be more forgiving due to physics. However, being able to confidently hit bombs off the tee and the deck with a 3 or 4 wood can easily shave a stroke or two off a round. I personally think one of the hardest things to do in golf is hit a solid 3W off the deck with too light of a swing weight.

I know everyone is different but a while back my dad kept eschewing his new woods and was always going back to his old Taylormade System 2 (1990s club) 5 wood and I eventually figured out why. The swing weight of the old TM was way higher around D6 or D7. So in my search for a better 3 wood (mine was atrocious), I decided to stop and throw on some lead tape to get my existing 3 wood up to a D5 SW. It took more tape than I expected but on my first swing on the range after, it was amazing. It was the first time in years I felt confident to aggressively go after the ball. I could finally feel the shaft loading and felt confident that I would strike the ball solidly. Was the solution perfect? No. The whole club was a little too light and all the tape on the head made the shaft not behave perfectly but it miles better than it was before. I eventually got a new three wood last year with a heavier shaft and yes, I still had to put some extra lead tape on the head to get close to D5 but the club is an absolute joy to hit now. 

TL;DR - Experiment with some lead tape on the bottom of you club head to up the swing weight. If it doesn't work you can always remove it and say you tried. 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the lead tape tip.  I will try it.

Ping G410 LST 10.5

Tour Edge EX 10 - 16.5

Tour Edge XCG7 - 21

Titleist 818 H1 - 25

Titleist AP3 6-48

Corey Paul Functional Art 52, 56 & 60

Odyssey O Works Black #7 with Stability Shaft

Bridgestone Tour BRX

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I resemble this thread. 🙂

Ping G410 5 wood, 7 wood for me and I hit them both fine off the tee or turf. For that matter I have a 9 wood as well. 
 

I do have 3 wood in the bag but almost never hit it - did on Sunday because we were playing a 2 man scramble and I could set up a great lie in the rough. Still not sure that I hit it any farther than I would have hit 5 wood, though. 

  • Like 3

Taylor Made Sim2  10.5 (Opened 1 click) Ventus Blue 5  R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

Edison Wedges 54 and 59 KBS Tour Graphite 80's

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After recently replacing my generic wedges the longest standing club in my bag is a Srixon F85 5 wood. It has been there for over 2 years with no chance of replacing until it cracks. I hit it as far as a 3 wood and it is stupid easy to hit from the fairway. 

  • Like 3
  • Love 1

 

 

 

What is in my Bag Boy Revolver

Driver:    PXG Gen2 0811x 10.5* set to small + with a VA Composites Nemesys 55s @ 44.75"

Fairway:  :srixon-small: F85 5 wood with a UST Elements Chrome 7F5 @ 41.5"

Irons: Testing the Titleist T200 irons 4-W2 with Project X LZ 5.5 shaft -1/2" and 1* Up

Wedge: Titleist SM7 56* with Project X LZ 5.0 shaft

Putter:  :scotty-cameron-1: Custom Futura X5 flow neck with a UST Frequency Filtered shaft -1" with a SS wristlock grip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gotta love the after round talk lol.

My unicorn is my 3 wood for sure. Had always swapped in and out woods that matched the driver and failed.

took a flyer last year on the sim 3W just because and like @jlukesstruck gold. Ridiculous how good this club is in the bag. I hit it out of the thick rough the other day and while I lost some Yards the thing cleared and flew like it always does. It’s staying! Good luck in the hunt

  • Like 3

Check out my reviews:

 :ping-small: G710 Irons Official Review

:Fuji: MC Shaft & :EVNROLL: V Series Putter Official Review

WITB:

:ping-small:  Traverse is filled with all this shiny metal and tracked by :Arccos::

:cobra-small: RadSpeed 8* - MotoreX F1 6X I :taylormade-small: SIM 3W - Project X HZRDUS Green 

:taylormade-small: 2019 P790 4-PW - Project X 6.5 LZ I :titelist-small: 48 (SM8), 52, 56, 60 (SM7) - Nippon Modus 125 S 

:EVNROLL: ER2VI :titelist-small: PROV1X #19 

🇺🇸Thank you to all those that have served/are serving and God Bless America 🇺🇸

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All Hail the Cobra 5-wood!  

Honestly though, before that I had a Ping G30 5-wood which I thought I might be buried with.  Turns out the Cobra is even better.  THere’s something to the bottom rails that make it so easy even out of light rough and it’s a bomber off the tee.  You owe it to yourself to try one out if still trying out different clubs in that slot of your bag.

For me the winning combination came with a heavy shaft.  I play a Ventus Blue 8S in mine.  I think the uncut weight is around 86 grams?  I was playing the Ping tour 80s in the G30.  Keeps me smooth with good spin off the tee and still enough to hit a playable shot into long par 5s.  

 

  • Like 3

#COBRACONNECT CHALLENGE 4 ALUMNUS

:callaway-small: Epic Max LS 10.5 - Motore X F3 6x | :cobra-small: Speedzone 5-wood - Ventus Blue 8s | :titelist-small: TSi3 20* Hybrid - KBS Proto 85s

:cobra-small: KING Forged Tec 5-GW - Nippon Modus 120x | :cobra-small: KING MIM Black 52.12C, 56.10V, 60.04W - Nippon Modus 125 Wedge

:EVNROLL: ER2B | :titelist-small: Pro V1x | :918457628_PrecisionPro: NX9 Slope

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am in trouble if my SLDR TS “3 wood” ever goes down.  It’s the longest tenured club in my bag by a week… and it is my favorite club in my bag.  I should probably buy a backup.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The SIM2 3 wood with a Ventus Blue 7-X changed my life...That's all.  This club is the bomb diggity.

  • Like 3
  • TaylorMade SIM2 8* Mitsubishi Tensei 1K White 60X
  • TaylorMade SIM2 3 wood Fujilkura Ventus Blue 7-X
  • Mizuno HMB MP20 3i Nippon Modus 3 120S
  • Ben Hogan PTx Combo Nippon Modus 3 120S
  • Vokey SM8 50 Nippon Modus 3 120s
  • TaylorMade MG2 TW 56 & 60 Nippon Modus 3 120S
  • Scotty Cameron Phantom X 11.5
  • TaylorMade TP5

 

Western, NY

5.7 Index

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My SonarTec 3W is the longest tenured club in my bag, at approx. 11 years.  It was given to me by my brother-in-law, who said it was his favorite club ever, but he stepped in a hole that he didn't see and used this 3W to catch his fall...snapping the shaft in half.  So, all I had to do was put a new shaft in it.  There have been many times that I've thought about upgrading this club, but every time I go to test other 3Ws, they just don't perform as well.  Oh and my brother-in-law had put lead tape on the back, from the middle stretching to the heel, and I've just never removed it.  I've recently thought about going with a more weighted shaft as I feel this one is too light for me now, but I just don't want to mess anything up.

Good luck finding the right one for you!

  • Like 4
  • In my :mizuno-small: BR-D4 6-way
  • :cobra-small: King F9 set to 9*, Tour length Hzrdus Smoke Black 6.0 S-flex, with GolfPride MCC +4 mid-size
  • image.png.27e1496834233542c5d124bf8b9e3352.png3W - 13*, UST Mamiya 65 Gold S-flex, with GolfPride Tour Wrap 2G
  • :taylormade-small: SIM UDI 2-iron - 18*, Mitsubishi Diamana Thump 100 X-flex, with GolfPride MCC Align
  • :srixon-small: ZX5 4-5 & ZX7 6-PW, :Nippon: Modus3 120 Tour S-flex, +1/2", with GolfPride Tour Wrap 2G
  • :titelist-small: :vokey-small: - SM8 Tour Chrome, 50.08F - 54.10S - 58.12D, DG Wedge Flex, with GolfPride Tour Wrap 2G
  • :EVNROLL: Custom Fit 35" ER6 Red at 68 degree lie angle and 4 degrees of loft
  • :Snell: MTB-X            :918457628_PrecisionPro: NX7 Pro Slope             Tracked by :Arccos:         #WPS 🐗
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a TaylorMade M1 HL 3 wood with a stock shaft in my bag but struggled with it. About a year and a half ago PXG offered their Gen 1 fairway woods with a Project X EvenFlow Blue shaft for $95. The price was too good to pass up, so I purchased it. It is the best 3 wood I’ve ever owned. I have it set to 16 degrees and when I put a good swing on it, it just performs for me. The next best 3 wood I’ve ever had was the Taylor V Steel. When I was struggling with the M1, I wish I still had the V Steel. 

  • Like 2

 

TaylorMade Supreme Hybrid Stand Bag

Ping G400 Max 10.5° w/HZRDUS Smoke Black

PXG 0341 3 wood 15° w/Project X Even Flow Blue

Ping G30 Hybrid 3 19° w/Ping TFC 419H

Ping G410 Crossover 4 23° w/Mitsubishi Tensei Blue

PXG 0211 5 - G w/True Temper Elevate 95

Callaway Mack Daddy CB 54° W-Grind w/KBS HI-REV 2.0 105

Callaway MD3 58° W-Grind w/True Temper Dynamic Gold

Evnroll ER7 34”

Snell MTB-Black 

Mileseey PF210 Laser Rangefinder

Clicgear 3.5+

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/14/2021 at 6:44 AM, PMookie said:

Between the “right” fairway wood, like a 3/4/5/7, and a hybrid, they seem to be the toughest to find. For me, I come out of a fitting with one that works great, then when I get it, and take it to the course, all of a sudden it’s crap! Good luck!

That was not a "fitting"!  That was a demo!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I switched from to a 17 loft Callaway XR a few years ago and it won't go away.  A few months ago I found a Ping G5 7 wood with a Grafalloy Pro Launch Blue Stiff and it has knocked the 4 hybrid out of the bag.  If I could find a 9 wood, the other hybrid would probably go into retirement as well.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 wood off the deck is by far the hardest shot, unless you like Tom Watson or some of the current ladies and  swing your driver off the fairway on par 5.  I still like my 2011 vintage Adams Speedline low profile (LP) with the wave tech speed slot on a blue Matrix Ozik reg flex.  The low profile and the fairly wide flat bottom works for me from fairway or good lie in the light ruff.  But a deep face club would give more confidence off a tee.  The Ozik shaft seems to fit my swing like a glove.

 

Having said that, I bot a used TM Burner Superfast 3.0 on Ozik M (mature) shaft, have not had oppty to use it yet except some range practice and the shaft again seems made for me.  And last week, Callaway Pre-Owned poked me in the ribs with a one day sale on unused 2017 Steelhead XRs, so I sprung for a 3 wood on the standard Tensei CK blue 55 gram lite flex.  I'll try to report back after my latest injury goes away.

 

As your experience shows, the shaft is the answer.  I don't think there is much difference between heads that have the same basic design goal of swing speed and launch angle/spin design.   

  • Like 1

Driver  Callaway Epic on Recoil F2 (senior) flex

Three wood is TM Burner Superfast 3.0 on M (mature) flex

3H Old Adams A3OS red boxster on stock Graffaloy Platinum reg shaft

3 MP 18 MMC and 4 GFF hybrid Mizuno irons

5 Mizu hybrid Fli-hi

6 - W Ping I 500 irons on Recoil F3 reg flex shafts

Wedges:  Mizuno blue 52 09, 60 06, and old original Hogan Sure-out 56 14 sand

Chipper (yep I carry a chipper) old Don Martin Up n In bronze 

Putter Musty wood mallet, sometimes switch with my Scotty Cameron Futura X counter weight face balanced

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't want to be that guy, but I've always been able to strike a fairway wood. Doesn't everyone utilize the practice range? 😇

I will admit to a love-hate relationship with my five wood. I'll punish it from time to time by benching it for a driving iron.

But when things are tight at the end of a good round / tournament round and I need to hit the fairway off the tee or I'm trying to hit a green from over 230, I'm pulling a fairway wood. 

My only mental thoughts are "sweep" and "smooth." I also recommend gripping "up" on fairway woods. Shortening the length of the club by even half an inch makes the club feel easier to hit. 

And like I said, I strike my fairway woods on the range two dozen times a week.  

  • Like 1

Titleist TSi 2 - 10.5

Cobra King Speedzone - 14.5 & 18.5

JPX 900 4i-GAP

Ping Glide 3.0 - 52 & 58

Evnroll ER2B

Titleist Pro V1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My unicorn is a Cobra LTD 3 wood. That head has worked for me with more active tip section shafts (Aldila DVS, RIP Beta Gamma, GD YS Nano Reloaded) in the 70g range. It’s a BANGER.

My only issue with it is my best shots off the deck or off the tee are right on the heels of driver. Solved that problem by adding the LTD 5 wood at 19*, only to find that it also goes too far… so now I’m auditioning a Cleveland Halo 19* hybrid to slot between the 3w and my 22 4 hybrid!

  • Like 1

“He’s a Cinderella story. A former assistant groundskeeper about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac… It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!” — Carl Spackler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, bens197 said:

The SIM2 3 wood with a Ventus Blue 7-X changed my life...That's all.  This club is the bomb diggity.

 

5 hours ago, Shankster said:

I am in trouble if my SLDR TS “3 wood” ever goes down.  It’s the longest tenured club in my bag by a week… and it is my favorite club in my bag.  I should probably buy a backup.

Lots of Taylormades in this thread! hmmmmmmm......................

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
  • Hmmm 1

Check out my reviews:

 :ping-small: G710 Irons Official Review

:Fuji: MC Shaft & :EVNROLL: V Series Putter Official Review

WITB:

:ping-small:  Traverse is filled with all this shiny metal and tracked by :Arccos::

:cobra-small: RadSpeed 8* - MotoreX F1 6X I :taylormade-small: SIM 3W - Project X HZRDUS Green 

:taylormade-small: 2019 P790 4-PW - Project X 6.5 LZ I :titelist-small: 48 (SM8), 52, 56, 60 (SM7) - Nippon Modus 125 S 

:EVNROLL: ER2VI :titelist-small: PROV1X #19 

🇺🇸Thank you to all those that have served/are serving and God Bless America 🇺🇸

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...