For many golfers, there are few golf shots tougher than hitting a 3-wood from a tightly cropped fairway. After all, it typically involves using a large clubhead with little loft. How is anyone supposed to get the ball airborne? That’s why many of us have resorted to higher-lofted, smaller-headed fairway woods and hybrids — to help negotiate those far-reaching shots from both the fairway and rough.

And club manufacturers have taken notice in recent years, making these clubs with better weighting schemes, shallower profiles and more confidence-inducing aesthetics — all in an effort to help ease the process of hitting the long ball. If you haven’t tried some of the latest models, you may be blown away at how easy they are to hit. Here are some just hitting the market:

Cobra’s super game-improvement KING OS hybrid ($249/club) is designed for high, forgiving shots. Its large sweet spot revs up ball speed and distance — even on mis-hits. The three standard lofts available are each adjustable by three degrees, making the large-and-wide club extra versatile. Its carbon fiber crown is also featherweight, allowing for internal and heavier tungsten weight usage that gets the CG low and deep.
Callaway’s Steelhead XR fairway woods ($230) have improved shaping that increases versatility and smoothes out turf interaction from every lie — so you get clean contact with the ball. A lightweight carbon crown combines with the proprietary Hyper Speed Face Cup, to help get the ball easily up in the air with plenty of velocity.
Yes they’re pricey, but Miura’s Hayate titanium fairway woods ($539) aim to be very versatile. The shallow clubface and low center of gravity collectively promote a high launch with loads of forgiveness. Variable toe and heel adjustable weights enable lets you dial in a draw or fade bias, and the sole shaping allows for optimized turf interaction and consistent shots.

By Scott Kramer

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