ClubTest 2019: 28 new hybrids and fairway woods to transform your long game

February 28, 2019
New fairway woods and hybrids reviewed for 2019

For this installment of ClubTest 2019, we thoroughly tested 28 new hybrids and fairway woods to create the ultimate guide of the best long clubs out there.

Below you’ll find the resulting reviews of all those new hybrids and fairway woods, which will help you navigate the offerings and find the best clubs for you. We also tasked some professional clubfitters to offer up their words of wisdom on each model.

And remember, to truly maximize your performance on the course, a custom club fitting is essential. Even if you don’t invest in a fully customized set, spending time with an experienced fitter will help you better understand your swing and the gear that optimizes it. It’s the smartest money you’ll spend on your game.

FAIRWAY WOOD REVIEWS

 

Bridgestone Tour B JGR

Price: $230
Lofts: 15˚, 18˚
Shafts: Wide variety of premium models

Bridgestone Tour B JGR fairway wood.
Courtesy of Bridgestone

The JGR fairways eschew titanium for stainless steel, yet are built on the same principles as the JGR driver, offering the same flexible crown, stiff sole, and variable face thickness. The milling pattern on the face is designed to limit spin on mis-hits. Another noteworthy addition is a power slit in the bottom of the clubface that works in conjunction with the power slit in the crown to increase COR and ball speed for players of all ability levels.

Fitter comments: Ideal for mid- to high-handicappers who want balanced performance from the fairway and tee.

Callaway Epic Flash

Price: $300
Lofts: 13.5˚, 15˚, 18˚, 20˚, 21˚, 23˚, 25˚
Stock shafts: Project X Even Flow Green 50 and 60, Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 70 and 80, Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 70

Callaway Epic Flash fairway wood.
Courtesy of Callaway

Epic Flash fairway woods boast the same Flash Face tech as the drivers, but are built with forged Carpenter steel inserts that, when combined with Face Cup technology, produce more speed and more forgiveness. Jailbreak technology is also featured—internal bars behind the face stiffen the body for more face flex. Rounding out the club’s assets are a new OptiFit hosel to fine-tune loft and face angle.

Fitter comments: Just about any level of player can benefit from the Epic Flash, although faster swingers should look at the Sub Zero.

Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero

Price: $300
Lofts: 13.5˚, 15˚, 18˚
Stock Shafts: Project X Even Flow Green 40 and 60, Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 70 and 80, Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 60 and 70

Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero fairway wood.
Courtesy of Callaway

This model delivers Flash Face and Sub Zero benefits for players who require slightly lower spin rates for optimum performance. The lower-spinning Sub Zero also features adjustable sole weights (16g and 2g) that can further adjust performance: placing the heavier weight closer to the clubface lowers launch angle and spin rate, while placing it in the rear position increases launch angle and spin rate. This model is aimed at stronger players, and is likely to deliver slightly less forgiveness on off-center hits.

Fitter comments: Provides super-high ball speeds for faster swingers and those who need to reduce spin.

Cleveland Launcher HB

Price: $219
Lofts: 15˚, 18˚
Stock shaft: Miyazaki C. Kua

Cleveland Launcher HB fairway wood.
Courtesy of Cleveland

The Cleveland Launcher HB Fairway woods borrow heavily from the Launcher HB driver, making it a solid choice for golfers who want maximum distance and forgiveness from the fairway (or off the tee, for that matter). Virtually every one of the clubhead’s features—such as the Flex-Fins, HiBore crown, and ultra-lightweight hosel—are designed to promote one thing: a low and deep center of gravity (CG) for a higher launch angle and added forgiveness. Speaking of the HiBore crown—aesthetically, it makes the clubhead look slimmer, and the dual-tone paint makes aligning your shots even easier.

Fitter comments: Can work for mid-and high-handicap players who want max forgiveness and launch from all lies.

Cobra King F9

Price: $269
Lofts: 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 (adjustable heads)
Stock shafts: UST Helium 60, Fujikura Atmos Blue 7

Cobra King F9 fairway wood.
Courtesy of Cobra

The carbon fiber crown of the F9 Fairway helps lower the CG, while the CNC-milled face helps increase ball speed—but it’s the Baffler technology that really has us pumped. Baffler technology has been around for decades, helping to keep the clubhead stable and resist twisting, especially when played from the rough or uneven surfaces. For the uninitiated, Baffler tech refers to the twin rails on the sole. Other sweet features in the F9 include adjustable weights, a MYFLY adjustable hosel, a CNC-milled face and an optional Cobra Connect grip. A Tour model for greater workability is also available.

Fitter comments: Like the driver, the F9 fairway is aimed at the full spectrum of players who desire max ball speed with extra forgiveness.

Ping G410

Price: $310
Lofts: 14.5˚, 17.5˚, 20.5˚, 23.5˚
Stock shafts: PING Alta CB Red 65 and Tour 65/75

Ping G410 fairway wood.
Courtesy of Ping

For players who don’t spin the ball like crazy or need major all-around performance, the standard G410 fairway wood is a rock-solid option. Featuring a similar low and deep CG location as the previous G400 for impressive stability and forgiveness, the new fairway wood has a bit more zip due to a slightly more forward weight concentration in the lower-profile clubhead. Like the driver, the G410 fairway is also fitted with a lighter, more aerodynamic hosel sleeve that offers eight fitting positions for customized trajectory through on-the-fly loft and lie adjustment. The G410 is also available in a slice-busting SFT model and low-spin LST version.

Fitter comments: Like the driver (right), the G410 fairway wood can work for a wide variety of players looking for exceptional stability, enhanced ball speeds and easy launch in a handsome overall package.

Srixon Z F85

Price: $249
Lofts: 13.5˚, 15˚, 18˚
Stock shaft: Project X HZRDUS Red 65

Srixon Z F85 fairway wood.
Courtesy of Srixon

Golfers who want a fairway wood that enables them to both shape shots from the fairway and hit controlled drives from the tee generally seek a model that combines both a penetrating trajectory with a touch of forgiveness. Which is exactly what you get in Srixon’s Z F85 fairway wood. The Crown Step geometry lowers the steel chassis’ center of gravity for more distance, and the lightweight carbon crown improves the club’s MOI, making it more forgiving on off-center hits. These woods are a great choice if you like to put English on the ball from either the fairway or tee but still require plenty of forgiveness across more points on the clubface. The Crown Step design on the crown and the visible carbon fiber looks great—and we love how it matches the head cover.

Fitter comments: Solid choice for any player looking for exceptional sound, feel and looks with very good ball speeds and ample forgiveness.

TaylorMade M5

Price: $399
Lofts: 14˚ (Rocket), 15˚, 19˚
Stock shafts: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 65 and 75

TaylorMade M5 fairway wood.
Courtesy of TaylorMade

Featuring a multimaterial design with a titanium body, carbon composite crown and 65g moveable steel sole weight, the M5 fairway is also the first of its kind to incorporate TwistFace technology for increased forgiveness on high-toe and low-heel hits. The combination of lightweight titanium and carbon composite allows for the extra large sole weight, which accounts for more than 30 percent of the total weight of the clubhead, creating the desired low CG location for easy launch and forgiveness. The M5 fairway can be customized for shot shape by simply sliding it toward the heel or toe, or by adjusting the 12-position loft sleeve in the hosel by two degrees in either direction.

Fitter comments: Innovative design that can work for almost any player, but best for low- and mid handicappers who are looking for custom-tuning options and tons of distance.

TaylorMade M6

Price: $299
Lofts: 14˚ (Rocket), 15˚, 18˚, 21˚, 24˚
Stock shafts: Fujikura Atmos Orange 5 Fairway and 6 Fairway

TaylorMade M6 fairway wood.
Courtesy of TaylorMade

The new M6 fairway woods also represent a significant improvement over previous M models, featuring not only TwistFace technology but also a new Speed Pocket in the sole to enhance both ball speed and turf interaction at impact. Like its namesake driver, the M6 fairway wood is constructed with a larger carbon composite crown that allows for a lower CG location and more stability on off-center hits. An M6 D-Type model that provides up to 15 yards of slice correction is also available.

Fitter comments: Tour players and high-handicappers alike can fit into the M6. Expect max distance with enhanced feel.

Titleist TS2

Price: $299
Lofts: 13.5˚, 15˚, 16.5˚, 18˚, 21˚
Stock shafts: KuroKage Black Dual Core 55, Tensei AV Blue 65, HZRDUS Smoke Black 70, Even Flow White 75

Titleist TS2 fairway wood
Courtesy of Titleist

The TS2 Fairway borrows much of the same technology found in the TS2 driver, including an ultra-thin titanium crown, a Speed Chassis, a SureFit hosel and variable face thickness. In addition, these woods have an adjustable swingweight and an improved Active Recoil Channel for greater flex at impact and more distance and forgiveness—especially on shots hit lower on the face (where most people miss). Its modern shape looks easy to handle at address, inspiring golfers to swing away with loads of confidence.

Fitter comments: Excellent combination of distance and forgiveness that can work for the full spectrum of players who use fairway woods from both the fairway and the tee.

Titleist TS3

Price: $299
Lofts: 13.5˚, 15˚, 16.5˚, 18˚
Stock shafts: KuroKage Black Dual Core 55, Tensei AV Blue 65, HZRDUS Smoke Black 70, Even Flow White 75

Titleist TS3 fairway wood.
Courtesy of Titleist

Designed for advanced players seeking a traditionally shaped fairway wood for added shotmaking capabilities, the TS3 fairway woods include Titleist’s redesigned Speed Chassis, Active Recoil Channel 3.0, SureFit hosel and SureFit CG weighting system, and more. Tech aside, what matters most to competitive golfers is how the club performs. The TS line doesn’t disappoint, yielding a customized ball flight thanks to a very maneuverable mid-launch, low-spin trajectory. In other words, it’s the kind of fairway wood that makes for an accurate driver alternative off the tee, but that still has plenty of maneuverability from the fairway.

Fitter comments: Best for better players who want an all-around performer with enhanced control and custom tuning options.

Tour Edge Exotics EXS

Price: $229
Lofts: 13˚, 15˚, 17˚, 18˚, 21˚
Stock shafts: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 2G 50, 60, 70

Tour Edge Exotics EXS fairway wood.
Courtesy of Tour Edge

Fairway woods carry a lot of responsibility these days: they’re asked to be versatile from the fairway and long off the tee. The Exotics EXS meets the demands nicely, thanks to a variety of technologies including a new, high-strength Carpenter steel Cup Face, hexagonal variable face thickness, carbon fiber sections and adjustable weights. Also, a wavy SlipStream Sole for less turf friction through impact. It’s a long and forgiving fairway wood sure to please mid- to low-handicappers who want a penetrating flight that doesn’t balloon in the wind.

Fitter comments: Very good ball speeds with ample forgiveness and turf interaction.

Wilson Staff D7

Price: $199
Lofts: 15˚, 18˚, 21˚
Stock shaft: UST Mamiya Helium

Wilson Staff D7 fairway wood.
Courtesy of Wilson

Taking a page from the driver, Wilson’s D7 fairway woods were created with a lightweight design and materials that make it easier to get the club through the hitting area with a bit more pop. The thin 455 stainless steel face insert mitigates ball-speed loss on shots that don’t catch the center of the face. And while it isn’t visible at address, Wilson designers tweaked the crown design with four “thin cast pockets”—thinned-out sections in the crown—that offer structure while minimizing the overall weight typically found in most conventional fairway woods. Three lofts (15, 18 and 21 degrees) are available, but with non-adjustable hosels.

Fitter comments: The light overall weight is best for mid- and high-handicappers who need more speed and forgiveness. Great for moderate swingers.

XXIO X

Price: $400
Lofts: 15˚, 18˚, 20˚, 23
Stock shaft: MP1000 lightweight

XXIO X fairway wood.
Courtesy of XXIO

Just like the X driver, the fairway woods are designed with True-Focus Technology to optimize swing speed and contact for moderate swingers. The lighter overall weight and low swing MOI take stress off the body during the motion, allowing not only faster swings but a lot more of them with less effort. In addition, a high-strength rolled cup face design improves ball speeds and distance across a larger area of the clubface. Slower swingers rejoice!

Fitter Comments: A top-notch lightweight option that can work for anyone with moderate speed who desires max-game-improving performance.

HYBRID REVIEWS

 

Bridgestone Tour B JGR

Price: $219
Lofts: 19˚, 22˚, 25˚
Shafts: Wide variety of premium models

Bridgestone Tour B JGR hybrid.
Courtesy of Bridgestone

Consistent with the fairway woods, the JGR hybrids are built with multiple power slits in the lower portion of the clubface and in the crown for a higher COR and distance. The crown itself is designed to flex at impact for improved launch from either the tee, fairway or rough. Users will enjoy more speed and less spin, especially on mis-hits, thanks to the JGR’s unique milling pattern.

Fitter comments: A versatile player in the hybrid segment that delivers the enhanced launch and speed it promises.

Callaway Big Bertha

Price: $270
Lofts: 18˚, 21˚, 24˚, 27˚, 30˚, 33˚
Stock shafts: UST Mamiya Recoil ZT9, ESX 460

Callaway Big Bertha hybrid.
Courtesy of Callaway

Big Bertha hybrids are all about ease, high-launch and distance, and the technologies used to build the clubs reflect the goal nicely. Callaway’s Jailbreak Technology, which features internal bars that create a stiffer clubhead, promotes more face flex, COR and ball speed. In addition, an extremely thin Carpenter steel clubface and Callaway’s Hyper Speed Face Cup design increase ball speeds across a larger area of the face, not only yielding longer shots on solid strikes, but also on those hit away from the sweet spot. The new Big Bertha hybrids are also the first to feature both Jailbreak and an adjustable hosel. Your reward: customized launch angles and spin rates.

Fitter comments: This hybrid is aimed at golfers who want to launch the ball high and straight with max forgiveness. Moderate speed swingers should give them a try.

Callaway Apex

Price: $270
Lofts: 18˚, 20˚, 23˚, 26˚
Stock shafts: Project X Catalyst 70 and 80

Callaway Apex hybrid.
Courtesy of Callaway

Aimed at better players who desire the control, workability and spin rates of a long iron with the playability of a hybrid, the new Apex hybrid is a serious stick. More traditional shaping hides Callaway’s innovative Jailbreak Technology, which creates a stiffer body, more face flex at impact and faster ball speeds. A forged Carpenter steel face cup also enhances distance across the clubface, with added flexibility away from the sweet spot.

Fitter comments: Definitely for more authoritative ballstrikers and faster swingers who want the ability to control longer-distance shots.

Cleveland Launcher HB

Price: $199
Lofts: 19˚, 22˚, 25˚
Stock shaft: Miyazaki C. Kua

Cleveland Launcher HB hybrid.
Courtesy of Cleveland

No matter what lie you’re faced with, most hybrids are designed to help you shoot the ball up and away as fast as possible. The Launcher HB model does just that, with CG locations that are the lowest and deepest possible. The HiBore crown, Flex-Fins and ultra-lightweight hosel combine for a high-launch, high-spin trajectory, resulting in shots that soar to provide plenty of stopping power on the greens.

Fitter comments: Can launch the ball high and straight—works well for mid- and higher-handicaps.

Cobra King F9

Price: $219
Lofts: 17˚, 19˚, 22˚, 24˚
Stock shaft: Fujikura Atmos

Cobra King F9 hybrid.
Courtesy of Cobra

The new F9 Hybrid has the most to gain from Cobra’s new spin on its Baffler Technology. The two rails help the clubhead glide through the turf with minimal speed loss, helping golfers of any skill hit longer, more accurate shots from anywhere on the course. The 455 stainless steel face insert increases flex for greater distance. Also distinguishable is the lowered toe and square leading edge, which make this hybrid a cinch to align. The F9 is also 10 percent bigger than the previous F8 for—you guessed it—more distance and forgiveness. It also comes in a one-length option for all you Bryson DeChambeau admirers.

Fitter comments: One of the better all-around hybrids, with the added benefit of sole rails.

Ping G410

Price: $270
Lofts: 17˚, 19˚, 22˚, 26˚, 30˚
Stock shafts: PING Alta CB Red 70, others

Ping G410 hybrid.
Courtesy of Ping

The G410 is PING’s first-ever adjustable hybrid that allows trajectory and spin rates to be customized eight different ways through different loft (plus or minus 1.5 degrees) and lie combinations. The maraging steel face was also thinned out to make it more flexible at impact to generate higher launch angles and more speed and distance than the previous G400. The profile of the new clubhead was made a bit taller as well to give it a more playable look at address—something that should appeal to mid- and high-handicappers who need a little more confidence when standing over the ball. True to PING’s design philosophy, a larger high-density backweight increases stability and forgiveness on off-center hits.

Fitter comments: One of the best all-around hybrids available for stability and forgiveness with enhanced launch and ball speeds. Works for all level of handicaps.

Srixon Z H85

Price: $229
Lofts: 16˚, 19˚, 22˚
Stock shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 85

Srixon Z H85 hybrid.
Courtesy of Srixon

The Z H85 hybrids have a unique Crown Step crown design that lowers the CG for added forgiveness and helps promote a higher trajectory—the two things most desired in a hybrid club. Better players will appreciate how this hybrid allows for some shotmaking versatility, but still retains a larger profile for added forgiveness on off-center hits. It’s all-black matte-gloss finish is one of the prettiest you can find.

Fitter comments: Can work for most players, particularly those discerning low and mid-handicappers who appreciate workability with enhanced launch and distance.

TaylorMade Rescue

Price: $249
Lofts: 19˚, 22˚, 25˚, 28˚, 31˚
Stock shaft: Fujikura Atmos Orange

TaylorMade Rescue hybrid.
Courtesy of TaylorMade

Rounding out the M6 family of woods is the M6 Rescue, a superb hybrid that carries on the rich tradition of TaylorMade Rescue clubs. Features include TaylorMade’s innovative TwistFace technology—never before applied to a Rescue club—and a low CG for improved launch from a variety of lies. For added ball speed and distance, even on mis-hits, TaylorMade engineers designed a more flexible Speed Pocket in the sole for a bigger COR area.

Fitter comments: The most advanced Rescue yet is aimed at the full spectrum of players or any golfer who values easy launch and distance.

TaylorMade GAPR LO

Price: $250
Lofts: 17˚, 19˚, 22˚
Stock shaft: KBS Hybrid graphite

TaylorMade GAPR LO.
Courtesy of TaylorMade

The GAPR line was created to bridge the gap between your shortest fairway wood and longest iron. The LO is the most iron-like and produces the most boring trajectory, a boon for better players. The low and forward CG location is the key to the driving ball flight. A loft sleeve allows for adjustability, while a hollow construction with SpeedFoam promotes better sound, feel and speed.

Fitter comments: The LO model is clearly best for faster swingers.

TaylorMade GAPR MID

Price: $250
Lofts: 19˚, 21˚, 24˚
Stock shaft: KBS Hybrid graphite

TaylorMade GAPR MID.
Courtesy of TaylorMade

The MID model of the GAPR line is most likely the one that will appeal to the widest variety of players—it features a CG that’s very low, a bit deeper and forward, producing a mid-high flight that can work for any number of people. The sole of the MID is also medium-wide for greater playability and less dig than the LO model, while the clubface shape is fairly iron-like. The same loft sleeve for adjustability found in the LO is here as well, as is the hollow construction, SpeedFoam filler and speed pocket in the sole.

Fitter comments: The MID can fit a wide variety of players—it promotes a medium-high trajectory and very good ball speeds and forgiveness.

TaylorMade GAPR HI

Price: $250
Lofts: 19˚, 22˚, 25˚, 28˚
Stock shaft: KBS Hybrid graphite

TaylorMade GAPR HI.
Courtesy of TaylorMade

Of all the GAPRs, the HI is easily the most forgiving. It’s the one that most resembles a wood, and it has the largest clubhead profile. The low and deep CG placement also delivers the highest shot trajectory among the group. A wider sole allows for a steeper angle of attack, improved turf interaction, and forgiveness on mis-hits. Other GAPR tech (SpeedFoam, loft sleeve, speed pocket, etc.) is also included.

Fitter comments: Mid- and high-handicappers can’t miss with the HI.

Tour Edge Exotics EXS

Price: $199
Lofts: 17˚, 19˚, 22˚, 25˚, 28˚
Stock shafts: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 60, 70, 80

Tour Edge Exotics EXS hybrid.
Courtesy of Tour Edge

This is the kind of utility club that better players will love. It’s easier to hit than a long iron but provides an iron-like ball flight, which means you can shape shots with the EXS without ballooning. The Cup Face tech with hexagonal variable face thickness adds forgiveness on off-center hits; the SlipStream Sole glides through turf with ease; and the Flight Tuning System makes it easy to fine tune swingweight and ball flight. The aesthetics are top-notch, too.

Fitter comments: Best for low- and mid-handicappers.

Wilson Staff D7

Price: $179
Lofts: 17˚, 19˚, 22˚, 25˚, 28˚, 31˚
Stock shaft: UST Mamiya Recoil 460

Wilson Staff D7 hybrid.
Courtesy of Wilson

Outside of the smaller head shape, the D7 hybrids share many design traits with the D7 woods—both strive to achieve a lighter overall weight to increase speed. Four sections of the crown were thinned out to reduce bulk while maintaining the structural integrity of the design. We like the 455 stainless steel face insert—just thin enough to produce a rebound effect across the face.

Fitter comments: Mid- and high-handicappers take note: an all-around performer.

XXIO X

Price: $300
Lofts: 18˚, 20˚, 23˚, 26˚
Stock shaft: MP1000 lightweight

XXIO X hybrid.
Courtesy of XXIO

You guessed it: the XXIO X hybrid features the same low swing MOI and lightweight overall design as the driver and fairways, making it one of the easiest-to-swing hybrids available today. Distance is also increased by variable clubhead and clubface thicknesses, as well as a rolled cup face that maximizes rebound at impact. A friendly sole design adds to the package, making the X playable from a wide range of lies in addition to the tee.

Fitter comments: Best fits moderate swingers looking for all-around performance in a lighter overall package.