Best Woods on the Market

When it comes to getting the best woods on the market, the problem is never one of scarcity. Almost every club-maker worth the name has a brand new wood or set of woods to sell you, and the claims for them will range from exceptional performance to life-changing experience.

No, the problem with trying to find the best woods on the market is there are so many that it can quickly become a baffling choice. Bigger sweet spots versus more slice correction. More distance versus tighter direction. Where does the truth lie in a forest of woods, most of which will actually be as excellent as they claim to be – in the areas in which they choose to specialize?

The truth is, if every wood or set of woods on the market does what they claim to do – and most of them do – is to identify the ones that do the most that’s of use to you.

That’s always going to be a highly individual choice, but we can help narrow down the field for you.

Grab your golf bag and come with us – we’ve collected five of the very best woods on the market right now. We think there’ll be something in this collection for everyone.

In a hurry? Here’s our top pick.

OUR TOP PICK

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EDITORS CHOICE

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BEST VALUE

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OUR TOP PICK

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In a sense, there’s something reassuringly traditional about the TaylorMade RBZ 5-wood. Certainly in the sense that it’s a straightforward, honest-to-goodness Heavens-to-Betsy 5-wood in an age where hybrids are increasingly the go-to choice for shorter ‘wood’ distances, it has that solidity of tradition, without ever feeling remotely old-fashioned.

It will deliver you a shot with good height for a start, and a much better than average launch. It’s made with a shallow profile and a low center of gravity too, which means it’s been engineered to give you a much longer maximum distance than you might be expecting to get with a standard 5-wood. So, whether you’re choosing to use it as a fairway wood, or off the tee, it delivers a performance that’s surprising, matched with a feel that’s reassuringly traditional.

If you’re looking for the point at which the RBZ excels enough to make the top of our list, it has to be in the club’s low profile. If you go askew and end up in the rough, you might normally go with an iron or even a wedge to be sure of getting the loft to put yourself right. But the low profile of the RBZ means it gets under the ball, giving you the loft you need to not only get clear but still deliver the yards of progress of a hardcore 5-wood.

Add that to the consistency of its shot and a decent sweet spot, and the RBZ earns a place in your golf bag. Add to that a more than decent price point, and it becomes the kind of 5-wood you can’t ignore.

Pros:

  • This is a traditional-feeling 5-wood that gives you both distance and loft
  • It’s a handy club for thicker grass, lifting your ball clear
  • The price makes it more attractive than many 5-woods

Cons:

  • You might well get similar performance from a more versatile hybrid

EDITORS CHOICE

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Ok, so sue us, we’re sticking with TaylorMade for a moment. In our defence, the TaylorMade Sim Max clubs have been carving themselves a name in golfing history for a few years, and when it comes to fairway woods, they may be the very definition of ‘the bomb.’

Most especially, if you’re looking to increase your distance and the interaction you get with the turf, the Sim Max probably has your name on it. Having trouble making a good solid contact with your fairway shots when you’re in a tight lie? Grab your Sim Max fairway woods.

That’s the real point about the Sim Max woods. They’re engineered to give you superlative distance, thanks to the TaylorMade Twist Face technology which boosts ball speed and applies as much correction as your shot needs. That correction gives you both a better, fuller, confidence-boosting sound on connection, and a better feel at the Moment of Inertia (and subsequently in the follow-through). If you feel like you’ve been missing out on that fluidity of stroke through the connection point, the Sim Max woods are there precisely to give you a taste of what you’ve been missing.

Coming in a range of options to suit every type of golfer, the Sim Max woods come with different shafts for different levels of handicap, so you can choose the type of Sim Max woods that work best for you, like the Ventus Blue shaft for those in the mid-handicap range, and the more precise and heavier Diamana shaft for those who have already made it to low-handicap status.

The combination of materials used in the Sim Max woods, from the V Steel and titanium face and the composite carbon top are enough to keep the techno-club junkie satisfied for years, but it’s all deployed to a purpose – getting more distance out of the fairway woods, adding more ball speed through the Twist Face technology, giving you a surge of loft through the titanium face – all of it honing the performance of the Sim Max woods so they outshine the M6, and the expectations for the putative, as yet non-existent M7 too.

Supremely capable, the Sim Max woods are our pick for a set of woods, rather than an individual wood – and that surprises us as much as it does you, because we naturally assumed the Callaway Mavrik woods would take the glory there.

They nearly do, but the Sim Max woods beat them by a hair in terms of their all-round capability and their sheer versatility and range of options.  

Pros:

  • There is a version of the Sim Max woods for every kind – and every level – of golfer
  • Supremely versatile, they come with a range of shafts to suit your gameplay
  • If you’ve been missing out on a fluid shot and connection with the fairway, they’re unsurpassable at reminding you what that feels like

Cons:

  • You could argue that the Sim Max woods are like a 4-page breakfast menu – lots of options you have to consider when all you want is to get down to business

BEST VALUE

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We told you they nearly made it into the top spot for groups of woods.

And it would be perfectly understandable if the Callaway Mavrik woods had taken the glory – on any other day, they might have done.

Supposedly Callaway’s longest wood to date, the company goes further, claiming the Mavrik fairway woods are anyone’s longest woods to date. That’s a heck of a claim, given that Callaway itself has been stretching the distance you can get out of woods recently, in clubs and sets like the Epic Flash and the Rogue series.

Still, the Callaway Mavriks were created using Artificial Intelligence precisely to maximize the length achievable with them – and to offer a range of other benefits too. Available in three models, the Mavrik Max, the Mavrik Sub Zero, and the standard Mavrik, they offer options to golfers at every level and with every complex issue.

Like the TaylorMade Sim Max, they have a carbon crown and a low center of gravity to boost swing speed and maximize loft. Where TaylorMade uses its Twist Face technology to increase ball speed and minimize wobble and slice, Callaway uses its own proprietary technology, the Face Cup. Different technology, same problem, remarkably similar results.

As we’ve said, there’s barely a hair’s breadth between the Mavriks and the Sim Max – they’re just two different manufacturers’ approaches to solving very similar issues for a wide range of golfers. If you’re looking for a set of woods with allegedly unparalleled potential for distance, but with enough forgiveness to make them user-friendly for every golfer, it’s worth taking the Mavriks of your choice out for a spin. It’s a fair certainty that if you’ve been using anything from an earlier generation of woods, you’ll notice significant improvement.

Pros:

  • Allegedly, these are the longest woods ever made to date
  • They use Face Cup technology to increase ball speed and reduce slice
  • They come in three versions, to serve the needs of all levels of golfer

Cons:

  • The claim to be the longest woods has not yet been universally acknowledged

RUNNER UP

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People loved the F9 Speedback fairway woods. You probably loved them yourself, didn’t you?

Take a look at the update.

The Speedzone Fairway sees Cobra join Callaway and TaylorMade in a bid for the longest, most user-friendly range of fairway woods on the market. With the same three-model… erm… model as the other two leading wood-wizards, Cobra’s Speedzone woods are available in the Speedzone Fairway, the Speedzone Tour Fairway, and the Speedzone Big Tour Fairway, versions, one for each level of golfer. If your handicap is anywhere from 0-25, there’s a set of Speedzone Fairway woods that will suit you.

Veering away from the other two club-makers though, Cobra is the go-to choice of every golfer who’s not keen on inserts. A more recognizable, traditional clubhead with a CNC milled face, if you need a lot of launch and very low spin, Cobra’s got you covered.

If you’re lucky enough to have a handicap between 0-10, you’ll get better use out of the Speedzone Tour Fairway woods, which are lower launch, lower spin versions of the standard Speedzone, while the Speedzone Big Tour Fairway model gives you a bigger profile, but all the good things from the Speedzone and the Tour in a single club. This one you can productively use all the way from a 0-handicap up to a 25.

Oh, and all three models come with adjustable loft, so the 3-woods adjust between 13-16 degrees, the 5-woods from 17-20, and the 7-woods from 21-24 degrees.

Still relatively new to the market, the Speedzones are attractively priced too, so if you want some match-crushing woods and you’re not a fan of face inserts to boost ball speed, the Speedzones might just be your new best friends.

Pros:

  • There are no inserts to boost ball speed, just a traditional clubhead and a milled face
  • Adjustable loft in all the clubs makes for a bespoke-feeling set of woods
  • Launched at an attractive piece, they’re a no-brainer if you’re not a fan of inserts 

Cons:

  • The overlap between clubs and performance statistics can cause confusion when buying

RUNNER UP

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The Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo is an interesting move. Usually, Cleveland is better known for its solid work with high-handicappers, and with senior golfers. This is Cleveland’s reach-around to the mid-handicap market.

While it won’t compete on bare statistics with the likes of the Callaway Mavrik, the TaylorMade Sim Max, or even the Cobra Speedzone, it does have one or two things going for it, at least one of which has been slightly sacrificed by the bigger players.

Simplicity.

While with the likes of the Cobra Speedzone, it can feel like you need a college degree just to set the club up right for each shot, Cleveland has focused on simplicity, distance, and forgiveness.

That will appeal not only to its usual base with a higher handicap, but to mid-handicappers too.

Job #1 for the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo was to increase the distance you can get with a Cleveland wood.

Job done. Next?

Well, next is an intriguing bonus – you get a custom-produced Miyazaki shaft with the HB Turbo. It’s a counterbalanced design that shifts the center of gravity up towards the grip.

So what? So that means you get more mass in the clubhead and a higher Moment of Inertia.

A higher MOI means more power, more ball speed, less wobble and slice. And usually more distance.

While the other clubs featured on our list may well be technically better, and give you more actual distance out of your fairway woods, there’s something about the designed-in cleverness of this that feels more golfer-friendly than the others. The Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo has had its cleverness engineered in, so you don’t need to worry about being a genius and working out how to use it when you’re out on the fairway and it looks like rain.

Pros:

  • Simplicity of design makes for a grab-and-go fairway wood and fewer headaches
  • A counterbalanced shaft allows for a higher MOI and more distance
  • The heavier clubhead means more forgiveness and less slice

Cons:

  • The HB Turbo lacks some of the bells and whistles which give you the uber-distance of some other clubs

Best Woods on the Market Buying Guide

If you’re looking for the best woods on the market, it pays to remember a few things.

Buy according to your ability

Woods with less loft and less spin might technically be ‘better’ in terms of distance, but you need to be able to handle them to get the benefits they offer. Always choose woods that are within your current handicap-bracket, because they will help you today.

Buy according to your need

If you have a vicious slice problem, you’re going to need extra forgiveness and more correction in your woods. You’re not going to need uber-distance clubs as a first priority. Buy woods that help your ordinary shots get further and more on target first, rather than over-focusing on distance.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.    What’s the best wood on the market right now?

That depends on what you’re buying for. For distance, maybe the Callaway Mavrik. For forgiveness, maybe the TaylorMade Sim Max. Each of the clubs we’ve listed is ‘best’ at something, but best overall depends on what you’re buying a wood to deliver to your game.

2.    Which wood gives the furthest distance?

Callaway claims its Mavrik gives the longest distance of any wood to date. Keep watching though – that will undoubtedly change in the next round of developments.

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