Should I consider a fairway wood with a high launch angle for better carry distance

Should I Consider a Fairway Wood with a High Launch Angle for Better Carry Distance?

Golfers are always on the lookout for ways to improve their game and maximize their distance off the tee. One club that often gets overlooked in this quest for distance is the fairway wood. While most golfers understand that choosing the right driver is important, the fairway wood can also play a crucial role in achieving longer carry distances. One factor to consider when choosing a fairway wood is the launch angle.

The Importance of Launch Angle

The launch angle refers to the angle at which the ball leaves the clubface at impact. It is a key determinant of the ball's trajectory and distance. The launch angle can vary based on factors such as clubhead speed, loft, and the golfer's swing mechanics. To maximize distance, it is generally recommended to achieve a higher launch angle for better carry distance.

The Benefits of a High Launch Angle

When a fairway wood is struck with a high launch angle, the ball is given more time to reach its peak height before descending. This allows the ball to stay in the air for a longer duration, resulting in increased carry distance. Additionally, a higher launch angle can help golfers generate more spin on the ball, creating added lift and potential for further carry. It is important to note that achieving a high launch angle requires adequate loft on the clubface.

Finding the Right Fairway Wood

When selecting a fairway wood with a high launch angle, it is essential to consider its loft. The loft refers to the angle of the clubface that directly affects the launch angle. Generally, fairway woods with higher lofts, such as a 3-wood or 5-wood, tend to generate higher launch angles. These clubs typically have lofts ranging from 15-18 degrees for a 3-wood and 21-24 degrees for a 5-wood.

It is worth mentioning that while a higher loft generally contributes to a higher launch angle, the golfer's swing mechanics also play a role. Golfers with a steeper swing may naturally generate a higher launch angle, making it important to consider individual swing characteristics when choosing a fairway wood.

Factors to Consider

While a high launch angle can lead to better carry distance, it is important to consider other factors such as ball speed, spin, and accuracy. Launch angle alone does not guarantee optimal distance if the other variables are not properly optimized.

Additionally, a higher launch angle may not be suitable for certain playing conditions. In windy conditions, a lower launch angle may be preferred to help keep the ball from getting caught in the wind and losing distance.


Considering a fairway wood with a high launch angle can potentially help golfers achieve better carry distance. The right fairway wood with an appropriate loft can maximize the launch angle, allowing the ball to stay in the air longer and travel a greater distance. However, it is crucial to consider individual swing mechanics, playing conditions, and other variables to ensure optimal performance. Consulting with a professional club fitter or instructor can provide valuable insights into choosing the right fairway wood for your game.