Callaway, Ping and TaylorMade are behind the best drivers currently on the market, but how would their fairway offerings stack up?
Fairway woods are often overshadowed by their driver big brothers but finding the right one or two for you can be a genuine game-changer. Whether it’s hitting more fairways without giving up too much distance off the tee or enabling you to hit and hold the greens on par 5s and long par 4s, the shots an effective fairway can add to your arsenal can really improve your scoring. While most fairways share technologies with their equivalent drivers, the application of these in a smaller head and the different range of shots you need to hit with the more lofted sibling mean finding the best club for you isn’t as simple as replicating the same head, shaft and set-up you have for the driver. You should treat buying your fairway woods as individually as you would your irons or wedges.
Before you hit any clubs and decide which is
right for you, you need to identify what you want the club to do. Are you looking for a powerful secondary driving club off the tee or something that’s going to launch easily off the fairway and stop on a green – or a combination of the two? Callaway, Ping and TaylorMade have dominated the woods market in performance and sales in recent years so we wanted to compare each manufacturer’s most popular current model – the Rogue, G400 and M4 respectively. A quartet of testers – former World and European Clubfitter of the Year Derek Murray, PGA pro Luther Blacklock, Golf World editor Nick Wright and equipment editor Kit Alexander – took the three clubs and the Trackman 4 launch monitor to La Reserva de Sotogrande in Spain. This is what they discovered.
August 2018 Golf World 93