However, that was then. Now, although we still use the term ‘’ woods to describe these clubs, they are actually made from metals, and they are evolving into a cross between the characteristics of both ‘woods’ and irons.
Despite these changes, the role of the fairway wood is still the same. For most golfers this means being able to hit a 200+-yard shot, from the less than ideal lie you can get in the fairway. It can prove to be as valuable to scoring well as any club in the bag.
Perhaps more importantly is that fairway ‘’ woods are easier to hit than 2, 3 or even 4 irons. Most golfers have much more confidence in a fairway wood than either their driver or a long iron.
So what do you need to look for when considering a new set of fairway woods?
First of all, this choice now involves the thought of replacing a 2 and 3-iron, maybe even your 4-iron too. Why? New materials are providing new choices. More and more golfers are using these ‘’ woods as reliable substitutes for the corresponding irons.
The technical and material's advances include:
Lighter, Stronger Metals
New-age steels and titanium has been used to provide new advantages in recent years. Because they are lighter and stronger, these materials allow the club designer to maintain the strength of the club head and place more weight on the sole, the toe, the heel and the back, for greater stability upon impact.
Lighter Stronger Lofts
The ‘new’ fairway woods provide added distance through a stronger loft made possible by a lower center of gravity.
Low Center of Gravity
An increased sweet spot is the result of being able to concentrate the weight in the sole and the outside of the club head.
You might want to consider making one of your fairway ‘woods’ a ‘trouble/hybrid’ club. These usually have a rounded sole to help ensure solid contact from a less than perfect lie.