Do I Need Fairway Woods?


No, but the golfer will want to either use a fairway wood, hybrid or driving iron for the longer shots that they may face during a round of golf.  Having a golf club for every 10-15 yard gap from somewhere around 230 yards and less is ideal.

In today’s golf world, golfers have plenty of options when it comes to a variety of clubs.

A golfer gets to carry 14 total clubs and the goal is rather simple when picking out the right clubs for your game.

A high percentage of golfers will carry a driver, a putter, some wedges, some irons and a combination of fairway woods or hybrids.

Ultimately, the average amateur golfer should work on selecting a club for their bag for every 10-15 yards from around 230 yards and in.

For example, if the golfer hits his or her driver 250 yards, they will more than likely want a club for every 10-15 from around 230 yards and in.

Do I Need Fairway Woods?

Each golfer will ultimately need to build a shot chart and consider the options for the 180-230 yard distances in their game. The options outside of fairway woods are quality options and should be explored.

Some golfers will love their fairway woods and might carry a 3, 5 and 7 fairway wood, while the next golfer might love hybrids and choose to carry a 3, 5 and 7 hybrid.  Others might be really good ith long irons or driving irons and carry 0-1 fairway woods. 

The decision will ultimately come down to what best suits your game based on your swing speed, the ability to hit the different options and what type of course you are playing.

Some golfers will own 14-18 golf clubs and rotate numerous wedges, fairway woods, long irons or even putters in and out of the bag.

Most golfers will want a fairway wood if they play a course with long par 5s.

Below, we will dive into the following topics:

  • Advantages of Fairway Woods
  • Cons of Fairway Woods
  • The importance of a distance chart and how to build one.
  • Fairway Woods vs Hybrids vs Long Irons
  • What Is Best For Your Game?

Advantages of Fairway Woods

Fairway woods provide a quality option for golfers that want to have an excellent club to hit tee shots or shots from he fairway or rough. The length of the shaft and the design of the club head make it easy to hit the ball far with quality distance. The clubs are designed to send the ball a far distance and help you cover distances on the 2nd shot on par 5s. Some golfers with slow swing speeds might find themselves hitting approach shots with fairway woods and get good at hitting it on the target line.

Cons of Fairway Woods

Some golfers will struggle to hit fairway woods from tight lies in the fairway. While the clubs are designed to fly far, some struggle with the length of the shaft or the visual created out of the fairway. These golfers will often turn to the hybrid clubs that are easier to launch, but might not quite get the same distances. The golfer has to decide what is more important for his her game!

Recommendation: Build A Distance Chart

Here is an example of a shot distance chart that a golfer might use:

ClubCarry Distance (100%)90%80%
Driver250
3 Wood230
2 Utility Iron210
4 iron190
5 iron181
6 iron171
7 iron163
8 iron153
9 iron143
P Club130123115
Pitching Wedge118110102
SW Club1059791
LW Club908274
The Skytrak is an impressive device that is versatile and is a game changer!

How To Build A Club Distance Chart 

Best Option: I would highly recommend a launch monitor!

These portable devices can be used at the driving range, golf course or set up in your home net or golf simulator.  These devices are game changers not only on being able to map your bag and know your distances, but they also provide quality feedback after on every shot and provide the following information:

  • Carry Distance
  • Spin Rate
  • Launch Angle
  • Spin Axis
  • Total Distance
  • Ball Speed

This information will help you map your bag, decide on which clubs are best for your game, develop a stock shot and much more.  I love using my SkyTrak 365 days a year in my golf simulator setup.

The process for mapping your bag can looking something like this:

  • Hit 5 shots with each club in your bag.
  • Log the carry distance and total distance for each shot.
  • Eliminate any outlier numbers (poor hits or low spin rates).
  • Take the average and create a map of your bag.

If you visit any PGA Tour event you will see plenty of golfers utilizing their launch monitors.  While most can’t afford a Trackman, there are some very affordable options in the 500-2000 dollar range.  I own the SkyTrak and think the world of it.  

Here are the top 3 options to check out:

Fairway Woods vs Hybrids vs Long Irons

Many senior golfers, women golfers, junior golfers or golfers will slow swing speeds seem to really hit the fairway woods or hybrids really well and often rely on these shots on those longer par 3s and 4s.  

While the more advanced golfer with a higher swing speed will often prefer the long irons or driving irons as they provide an additional level of precision.  While there isn’t as much room for error or the ability to launch it as high, the long irons provide accuracy and precision with distances that the elite golfer is ultimately seeking.

Even the elite players will often carry at a minimum a 3 wood to hit on long par 5s on the 2nd shot or to ensure they hit a fairway on a narrow par 4.  Keeping the ball in play for a 2nd shot is really important to playing your best golf.

The 3 wood is great off the tee and is the club that is often easiest to hit the furthest for any club outside of the driver.

The hybrid has been a great addition to the game of golf and can often replace long or mid irons.  I know several senior golfers that have replaced from 3 iron through 6 iron with a variety of hybrids.  They find the hybrids easy to hit high and far and can keep it pretty straight with the hybrids.  They are a combination or in between from the fairway wood and iron and provide a great option for all golfers.  More PGA Tour players are carrying hybrids every year as they continue to improve.

The driving irons are built to help you launch a ball high and far!

What Clubs Are Best For Your Game?

The only way to really tell is to get out and test out clubs with a launch monitor.  I own the Skytrak and use it to not only play simulator golf and chart my distance, but to test out golf clubs.  I get the following data after every shot:

  • Carry and Total Distance
  • Ball and Club Speed
  • Spin Axis
  • Spin Rate
  • Launch Angle
  • Swing Path Angle

This data is helpful to measure what club I am hitting the best and what I want to carry for my next round of golf.  

Every golfer is going to have a slightly different golf swing that impacts swing speed, angle of attack, spin rate and spin axis which impacts that clubs are going to be best for your game.

Helpful Resources Related to Fairway Woods

If you decide on fairway wood, check out this post below:

What fairway woods should I carry?

Need help with fairway wood consistency, check out this post below:

How to hit fairway woods consistently (5 Tips)

Best time to use a fairway wood cause your struggles? Check out this post below:

When to hit fairway woods

Can’t decide between fairway wood or hybrid? Check out this post below”

5 wood vs 3 hybrid: which one should I carry?

Have you ever considered a driving iron? My favorite club I have added to my bag in the past 12 months!  Check out this post below!

Why use a driving iron? (5 Reasons)

My Secret To Golf Improvement

Let’s face it, in order to get really good at golf, we must practice frequently.  About four years ago, I made the leap and invested in a golf simulator build for my garage.  I went with a SkyTrak Launch Monitor and the TGC software and can now play over 100,000 courses including Augusta, Pebble Beach, Bethpage Black, Whistling Straits. St. Andrews and many other of the top 100 courses in the world.

This golf simulator setup, which is more affordable that you might imagine, has been a game changer.  I can now play golf everyday of the year regardless of rain, snow, cold weather or time of day.  I can practice or play rounds of golf.  I can stand in the 11th fairway at Augusta and with the auto-rewind feature I am able to practice my approach shots from various differences.

It is worth checking out through Rain or Shine Golf as they offer some incredible packages along with financing offers that are difficult to beat.

Some direct links to Rain or Shine Golf for pricing and financing:

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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