TaylorMade SLDR Fairway WoodTaylorMade SLDR Fairway Wood

The complete guide to buying a second-hand fairway wood

Choosing the right clubs to accompany you on the golf course can be an agonising decision, and there’s a lot of trial and error involved - along with a fair amount of luck - in getting it right. From drivers and woods through to irons and putters, and with only 14 clubs allowed in a golf bag, the sheer choice available on the market can be overwhelming.

Once you’ve decided on the best driver to suit your game, the next decision to be made within the wood category is your fairway wood/s. (The irons are the clubs with smaller and thinner heads and are usually made from steel).

In this guide, we’ll talk you through the features of a fairway wood and help you decide on the right specification for your particular needs. We’ll also look at some of the leading fairway woods that the PGA Tour players favour in their golf bags, and we’ll also consider the range of lofts, shafts and materials that fairway woods are available in.

Whether you’re buying used golf clubs online for the first time, or you’re looking to upgrade your current fairway wood, check out our extensive range of second hand fairway woods for an unrivalled selection of top-quality preloved golf clubs. And how about treating yourself to a new-to-you golf bag while you’re at it!

Playing off the fairway or the rough

Fairway woods are great for playing long shots off the fairway or the rough thanks to the position of the sweet spot of the clubface. They’re also a good choice when you want to gain distance along the fairway, or to get your ball off uneven ground. Fairway woods are a good choice if you need to clear low obstacles such as hills, too, because the loft is higher than that of a driver. In fact, a 3-wood is often used instead of a driver for tee shots, especially by beginners. The versatility that fairway woods bring means that it’s a useful addition to any golfer’s bag.

Looking for a new fairway wood? Browse our latest stock below.

How many fairway woods should I carry?

Golf courses can vary considerably, so it’s a good idea to do your research and find out what other players use when they’re playing a particular course. It’s sensible to always have a 3-wood to hand for tee shots and par-5s, but also have a 5-wood to hand. Many players choose to add a hybrid club into their set - a combination of iron and fairway wood - to cover every eventuality.

Fairway woods - the basics

You can tell a fairway wood by its clubhead - it looks similar to a driver but it’s slightly smaller, has a shorter shaft and it has a round head, unlike irons. While a driver’s clubhead would typically be 440cc or more, fairway woods are smaller at 140-180cc with a shallower face to keep the centre of gravity lower. Usually made of steel or titanium and coated with paint, the fairway wood can be played off the tee or on the fairway (as the name would suggest!), and they’re typically used for your first stroke on a short par-4 or long par-3, and your second stroke on a par-5 or long par-4.

Callaway X2 Hot Fairway Wood

Types of fairway woods

Many types of fairway woods are available and here we’ll take you through the most common ones. The rule of thumb to remember when deciding on the best fairway wood to add to your golf club set is - the higher the wood number, the higher the loft.

Higher-lofted fairway woods

Anything over a 5-wood (e.g. a 7, 9, 11 etc.) can also be referred to as ‘utility woods’. 7-woods aren’t a common choice for most golfers, but they can still be used as an effective fairway wood with a loft of 20-24 degrees. Even though the loft is similar to that of a 5-wood, the advantage here is that they’re more versatile thanks to their smaller heads.


The 3-wood is a staple club in every golfer’s bag as it’s useful for so many different scenarios. It will be the longest fairway in your bag and has a loft between 13-18 degrees. When deciding on the right loft for you, consider your swing spread - the faster it is, the less loft you’ll need to get the ball nice and high. If your swing speed is below 100mph you’ll need 15-17 degrees of loft, and if your speed is over 100mph then you might look at a 3-wood with a loft of around 13-15 degrees for optimal distance.


Your 5-wood will have a loft of between 18-22 degrees. If you choose to add a 5-wood to your golf bag, make sure it’s no more than 3-4 degrees higher than your 3-wood. With a higher loft, it’ll carry a slightly shorter distance - players with an average swing speed should expect to achieve a shot of around 190-210 yards.

When should I upgrade my fairway wood?

As with all your clubs, it’s important to keep an eye on the condition of your fairway wood to ensure it’s in an optimal state for your upcoming games. Largely speaking, you can expect your fairway wood to last at least 3-6 years with standard usage, but shaft wear might be a consideration if you’re using it on a lot of shots.

By maintaining your clubs and keeping them in tip-top condition, you can extend the life of them considerably. And if you’re saving money on your clubs, think of all the extra rounds of golf you can justifiably squeeze in! Read our guide to looking after your golf clubs here.

How much does a good used fairway wood cost?

Brand-new fairway woods can come with an eye-watering price tag attached, but one of the many advantages of buying second hand golf clubs online is that you’ll bag yourself a bargain that’s still got plenty of years’ play left in it. You can expect to pay anything between £50-£250 for a good quality used fairway wood, and as long as you keep it in great condition you can expect it to last for many years to come.

Buying second hand golf clubs also comes with the added advantage that you’re helping the planet when you support the preloved market, and doing your bit to reduce unnecessary wastage.

What material is a fairway wood made from, and how is it made?

Most of the fairway woods that you’ll come across have a head that’s been made from steel (because it’s not needed to be as large as a driver head). Steel is strong and forgiving, and because it’s relatively inexpensive it’s an affordable option for most golfers.

Some fairway woods are made from titanium, which is a lightweight material that lends itself well to clubface applications. Titanium is becoming an increasingly popular material for fairway clubs, although because it’s more expensive than steel, the price of titanium clubs is generally higher.

Lastly, you’ll find the odd composite fairway wood on the market, where a lighter material like carbon is used on the crown or the back of the clubhead. This allows the manufacturers to reduce the weight, producing a forgiving club that costs less than a titanium equivalent. Occasionally you might come across a fairway club that uses a heavier material like tungsten - this also helps distribute the weight to improve forgiveness.

Is there such a thing as a hybrid fairway?

There certainly is! More than half of professional golfers like to include a hybrid or utility club in their bag. As a mixture of woods and irons, hybrids outperform fairways when it comes to distance and accuracy, so a hybrid is a really handy club to have to hand for a number of different types of shots.

When deciding on whether to use fairway woods or hybrids, consider what you want to achieve. The fairway woods will be more forgiving thanks to their larger heads, so you’ll gain a higher shot and more backspin - they tend to be favoured when it comes to shots off the tee and the fairway. If you’re wanting to get out of the rough then the smaller head of the hybrid might be a better choice. Bear in mind that a 19-degree fairway will achieve longer distances than a 19-degree hybrid because the shaft is usually longer and the head will generate more speed.

How do I hit a fairway wood?

Using a fairway wood requires a similar stance to the driver, but you may want to take a slightly wider stance so that you have a stable foundation for your swing. Use a wide backswing to position the ball a little forward, and ensure your wrists don’t hinge too early.

Fairway woods are great for certain shots off the tee, but don’t forget to lower the tee first !

Adjusting the tee height for a fairway wood & shafts

The main thing to remember when hitting a ball off the tee with a fairway wood instead of a driver is that you’ll need to adjust the tee height to take into account the flatter clubface. Lowering the tee by a centimetre or two will mean that the fairway will hit the ball squarely off the tee because the sweet spot is closer to the ground. If you forget to lower the tee, you’ll find that the ball is sent high up into the air, compromising the length of shot you’ll achieve.

Let’s look at the standard 3-wood first, which is the longest fairway wood. A men’s steel shaft for a 3-wood is usually around 42.5 inches in length, and women’s are 41.5 inches. The 5-wood is slightly shorter, and the 7-wood is slightly shorter again. When deciding on the right fairway wood shaft length for you, go for something with a little more weight than the driver you use, and a slightly softer tip.

The flex of your fairway wood is another important consideration. A good rule of thumb to follow is the faster your clubhead speed, the stiffer your flex needs to be. Shafts are available in a range of different flexes for ladies and men, from light and regular through to stiff.

Callaway Ai Smoke Fairway Wood

Which brand of fairway wood should I choose?

All the leading brands offer a choice of fairway woods covering most specifications, so it is largely down to personal choice. If you’re not sure then it's a good idea to try out a range of different brands and models to see which feels most comfortable for you.

At golfclubs4cash we tend to find that customers like fairway woods from TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist, and Cleveland. If there’s a certain brand of fairway wood that you’re lusting after let us know - if we haven’t already got it in stock there’s a good chance we can source it for you.


You’ll be able to adjust the loft of your fairway wood, typically increasing or decreasing it by up to 4-5 degrees, by using an adjustable hosel, removing a screw from the heel, connecting the shaft back to the clubhead and changing the setting.

This will also change the lie which will impact the horizontal ball flight (the lie is the angle of the shaft to the ground at the point you hit the ball). Bear this in mind if you’re thinking about buying an adjustable fairway wood.

fairway wood loft adjustability

It’s not as common to find moveable weights or weight screws in fairway woods as you might find in drivers, but some manufacturers include them so that you can manipulate the position of the weight in the clubhead to suit your swing and the conditions you’re playing in. Usually, these weights can only be adjusted as part of a custom fit, so make sure that this fine-tuning is available if you choose this option.

Which fairways do the top players love?

A recent survey noted that 40% of the top 100 PGA Tour players were using two fairway woods, and 59% played using only one. One player used no fairway woods at all - Wyndham Clark. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, 96% of these top players used a 3-wood. And when you break down the 3-woods that are being used by brand, Titleist’s TS2 and TS3, and PING’s G425 Max came out ahead (9 of the top 100 PGA Tour players used one of these).

Buying second hand clubs online with confidence

Buying second hand golf fairways online is easy with golfclubs4cash. We offer worldwide delivery and a full returns policy, meaning you can buy all your used golf clubs online with 100% confidence. And because opting for a preloved golf club market means helping the planet too, you can shop safely in the knowledge that you’re helping to keep perfectly good clubs out of landfill.

And for the real bargain-hunters among you, keep an eye on our bargain basement, which is regularly updated with new items at a fraction of the price you’d pay for a new golf club.

All our second hand golf clubs are 100% authentic and genuine, and have had their condition appraised by an experienced golf club expert.

Local customers can visit our Edinburgh or Warrington golf store to try out our range and benefit from custom fits. Our pros are on hand whether in-person or by phone, and they’ll use their years of experience to help you find the perfect used fairway wood for you.

We’re proud to be Europe’s largest supplier of second hand golf clubs and equipment, and with over 24,000 clubs in stock at any given time, we’re the go-to online store for players of all abilities looking to find the best golf clubs at bargain prices.

Browse our extensive range of second hand golf fairways from the brands you love, and check out our 35,000+ 5* reviews on Trustpilot from happy customers!

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