What is the effect of fairway wood face material on ball speed and feel

The Effect of Fairway Wood Face Material on Ball Speed and Feel

Golfers have a multitude of club options when it comes to hitting shots from the fairway. One of these options includes fairway woods, which are designed to provide distance and control. When it comes to fairway woods, the material used for the club face plays a significant role in determining ball speed and feel.

1. Steel Face:

  • Steel is a common material used for fairway wood faces. It is known for its durability and affordability.
  • A fairway wood with a steel face tends to produce a solid feel, with minimal vibration upon impact.
  • However, the ball speed generated by steel-faced fairway woods may be slightly lower compared to clubs with other face materials.

2. Titanium Face:

  • Titanium is a lightweight material that is often used for drivers due to its ability to generate high ball speeds.
  • When used for fairway wood faces, titanium can also contribute to increased ball speed off the clubface.
  • Fairway woods with a titanium face may provide a more explosive feel and sound upon impact, which can be preferred by some golfers.
  • However, titanium is more expensive compared to steel, resulting in higher club costs.

3. Composite Face:

  • Composite materials, such as carbon fiber, are becoming increasingly popular in golf club manufacturing.
  • When used in fairway wood faces, composites can provide a combination of the benefits offered by steel and titanium faces.
  • They can produce a solid feel similar to steel, while also contributing to higher ball speeds like titanium.
  • Additionally, composite faces can help manufacturers distribute weight more effectively, resulting in better clubhead stability and forgiveness.

4. Face Inserts:

  • In addition to the face material, some fairway woods feature face inserts made from materials such as rubber or thermoplastic urethane (TPU).
  • These inserts are designed to enhance feel and provide additional ball speed consistency across the face.
  • Face inserts can also help dampen vibrations, resulting in a smoother feel upon impact.


The choice of fairway wood face material can significantly impact both ball speed and feel. Steel-faced fairway woods offer durability and a solid feel, albeit with slightly lower ball speeds. Titanium-faced fairway woods provide increased ball speeds, a more explosive feel, and sound but come with a higher price tag. Composite faces offer a combination of the benefits of steel and titanium, providing a solid feel and higher ball speeds. Finally, face inserts can further enhance feel and improve consistency across the face. Ultimately, the choice of fairway wood face material depends on individual preferences and performance requirements.