HOT LIST

Fairway Woods

FAIRWAY WOODS

 The challenge with designing fairway woods and hybrids is balancing the need for driver-like speed and forgiveness with the ability to cut through turf and land shots on the green as easily as 7-irons.

An impossible set of engineering goals, right? Consider that the latest metalwoods are plenty hot up front. With their use of heat-treated steels (even titanium) and elements that replace heavier materials with lighter ones (and vice versa), these clubs produce shots that launch faster and with less spin for more efficient trajectories. Down in the undercarriage, soles use angled shapes, rails and smoother recessed curves to reduce contact points with the ground.

A cleaner ride gets the club to the ball faster so that the hotter face can do its work. Even better, fairway woods and hybrids continue to take cues from advancements in driver technology.

Just as drivers are moving away from the idea of one-size-fits-all, many of our top picks here include multiple versions, adjustable hosels or a vast lineup of lofts. Whether you are looking for a backup driver or ditching a long iron, these new fairway woods and hybrids have the answers.