Updated on June 28th, 2022 at 08:55 am

A 3 wood is an essential club for a high handicapper. Although the 3 wood can be tough to hit from the fairway, it can be a lifesaver hitting from the tee box. For beginners and high handicappers who have not learned how to straighten out their drives, the 3 wood is a perfect way to learn and eventually work your way up to a driver.

Beginners and high handicappers need their 3 wood to have high launch angles and be long and forgiving. We have put together our top five favorites across a few different categories.

Callaway Steelhead Fairway Wood

Callaway Steelhead Fairway

Best Value

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Taylormade M6

TaylorMade M6

Best Overall

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Cobra F9 Speedback

Cobra F9 Speedback

Best Feel

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Best Value

Best Overall

Best Feel

Best 3 Wood for High Handicappers

TaylorMade M6

Best Overall

TaylorMade M6
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The TaylorMade M6 fairway is not the latest release from TaylorMade, but it has some of the best technology for the higher handicap golfer. The M6 comes with lots of potential for distance and extreme forgiveness regardless of your swing speed.

One of the things we love the most about the M6 is the speed pocket technology. You can get a faster ball speed with this club regardless of your swing speed. Many people think that higher handicap players swing slower, but this is not always the case. Regardless of how hard you go after the ball, the M6 can accommodate you.

The multi-material construction of these 3 woods allows golfers a lightweight and consistent touch with a great feel. The twist face technology includes a face curvature that has a corrective face angle on off-center hits. The curvature is created to reduce side spin rate and make straighter shots in a golf game. The pricing on the TaylorMade M6 has dropped considerably since its release, making now the best time to add one of these to your golf equipment bag.

Pros

  • Great turf interaction
  • Easy to hit
  • Lots of distance
  • Has three loft options to choose from

Cons

  • Sound was improved with the new SIM Max fairwa
  • It’s pricey

Callaway Steelhead Fairway Wood

Best Value

Callaway Steelhead Fairway Wood
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The Callaway Steelhead Fairway is the best value of 3 wood for higher handicappers. This club is built for slower swing speeds, and it is designed for ultimate forgiveness. With a 3 wood in your hand, you are going to want some extra forgiveness. Especially when hitting a fairway wood off the fairway, there is very little room for error.

The Steelhead is a classic Callaway shape, and it has the Hawkeye Sole design. This translates to it being one of the best fairway woods when it comes to launch. Making contact with a 3 wood from the fairway is great but having the three-wood fly at the proper trajectory takes a lot more skill; the Steelhead XR will help with that.

The Steelhead features a J-36 Carbon Crown and a shorter hosel than you will see from other fairway wood options on the market. This is not an adjustable 3-wood, so you will notice that the overall weight of the club will be a bit lower. the lightweight nature is also due to the graphite shafts used.

Pros

  • Offered at a great price
  • Forgiving technology
  • Classic shaping
  • Easy to launch

Cons

  • Not the longest fairway wood by Callaway

Cobra F9 Speedback

Best Feel

Cobra F9 Speedback
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Many high handicap players know the Cobra F9 Speedback as being the best fairway wood to take you from high handicapper to mid handicapper. The Cobra Baffler technology was continued with this fairway wood, making them some of the easier to hit options on the market. Even though we don’t always recommend hitting a 3 wood from the rough, the F9 will be your best chance at it.

The CNC Precision Milled Face is what helps lead to the fantastic feel on these golf clubs. The average golfers wants to be rewarded when they hit a great shot, and the F9 Speedback allows for that. We love this club both from the tee and from the fairway as well.

The F9 is also incredibly adjustable. If a three wood in your bag is a bit of stretch for you, you can increase the loft to make this a better match for your golf swing. Finally, with it’s low center of gravity, it’s easier to get the golf ball airborne and has a faster clubhead speed.

Pros

  • Cobra-connect technology
  • Baffler rail technology helps increase forgiveness
  • Lots of distance
  • Highly adjustable
  • Lightweight Carbon fiber crown for a higher launch

Cons

  • Smaller profile club head, some golfers like the more extensive profile for confidence

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo

Best For Forgiveness

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo
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The Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo has the new turbocharged cup face technology and a very low center of gravity. The low center of gravity will allow beginners and high handicappers to launch the ball much higher and land this club softly when needed as an approach into the green.

The Cleveland HB 3 wood is designed with the Hi-Bore Crown, making this a lightweight and easy to hit fairway wood for the high handicapper. The only real problem with the Cleveland Launcher is that it focuses more on offering excellent forgiveness than on distance.

If you are serious about getting the most distance possible out of a fairway wood, this is not the club for you. If you want a reliable fairway wood that stays straight and keeps the ball in the fairway, then the HB Turbo could be an excellent choice for you. Another positive is that Cleveland always remains relatively fair about the pricing on their fairway wood.

Pros

  • Hi bore technology for a low center of gravity
  • Very forgiving fairway wood
  • Great for slower swingers

Cons

  • Not the best fairway wood for distance

TaylorMade SIM Max D Fairway

Best For Distance

TaylorMade SIM Max D Fairway
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With the Cleveland Launcher Turbo, we talked about how it is a great fairway wood for forgiveness but not the greatest for extra distance. If you want to make sure that your 3 wood travels a long way, the SIM Max D is the way to go. Besides being one of the best fairway woods for maximum distance with a large, sweet spot, this TaylorMade club is also draw-bias to help with the left to right ball flight many beginners and high handicappers see with their three wood.

The SIM Max D is a newer release from TaylorMade. It was truly built with the average player in mind. The V Steel sole has been improved and updated, and you will have no issues getting this fairway wood to perform off the tee, out of the rough, and from the fairway as well.

Having a club like the SIM MAX D will make a tremendous difference when it comes to keeping you in the game and performing from the tee as far as distance is concerned.

Pros

  • One of the longest fairway woods ever made
  • Most forgiving option
  • Twist Face and Speed Pocket technology
  • V Steel Sole

Cons

  • Expensive

The Best 3 Wood For a High Handicapper is…

TaylorMade M6

TaylorMade M6

Hopefully, our guide pinpointing the best fairway woods for high handicappers has helped you narrow down a choice that could work for your game. Pay very close attention to the loft and the shaft that you purchase in your fairway wood. If you are working on improving your game and you are not sure where you may end up, choose an adjustable fairway wood.

The TaylorMade M6 sits at the top of our list because of the pricing, performance, and consistency. This is a fairway wood that appeals to a wide range of players, and it will continually deliver some fantastic results.

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Buyers Guide

A 3 wood is an essential club for the high handicap golfer. The distance from the 3 wood could be what makes or breaks a round where the driver does not want to cooperate. Here are a few helpful hints to ensure that you end up with the proper fairway wood in your bag.

Should High Handicappers Use Fairway Woods?

High handicappers should use fairway woods because they really are golf improvement clubs. When golfers start trying to hit a three wood out of US Open style rough where they can barely see the golf ball, this is where problems begin.

If a high handicapper is smart about where and when they use their fairway wood, then they will see positive results in their game because of this club.

A high handicap golfer will see good distance off the tee with their three wood because of the low center of gravity, and larger sweet spot.  You will be able to get the ball in the air easier than with a driver. Most of the fairway woods for beginners are catered to high handicap golfers that struggle to hit the ball consistently. High handicappers and beginner golfers usually have slow swing speeds, ball speed, and need fairway woods that can be used on tee shots, from the fair way, and lighter rough.

Why Is The 3 Wood So Hard to Hit?

The 3 fairway wood is difficult to hit because it does not have that much loft. Golf clubs with high lofts are easier to hit and generally more forgiving. You have to think that the standard 3 wood is going to be around fifteen degrees. Many drivers are not much less than 12 degrees of loft.

If you compare hitting a fairway wood from the fairway or a driver from the fairway, you will see there is not much difference in the loft. The best fairway woods have gotten much easier to hit in the last few years. They offer lower centers of gravity and plenty of launch.

How Many Fairway Woods Should High Handicappers Carry?

There is no magic answer to this question, but anywhere from 1 to 3 fairway wood is the standard. Having one as an alternative for a driver is essential. If you have more than one, it would be because you are finding success with the fairway woods in your game. Many beginners and high handicappers find that the hybrids are easier to use than the fairway woods, and they prefer to put an extra hybrid in the bag.

Conclusion

Hopefully, our guide pinpointing the best fairway woods for high handicappers has helped you narrow down a choice that could work for your game. Pay very close attention to the loft and the shaft that you purchase in your fairway wood.

If you are working on improving your game and you are not sure where you may end up, choose an adjustable fairway wood. The TaylorMade M6 sits at the top of our list because of the pricing, performance, and consistency. This is a fairway wood that appeals to a wide range of players, and it will continually deliver some fantastic results.