As a category fairway woods are not the most glamorous, rarely stealing the headlines away from bombed drives and holed putts. However, for many, they're the critical link between your driver and irons, providing security off the tee or executing ambition on par fives; and Callaway makes some of the best in the business.
Before we start, one of the most famous Callaway fairway woods of all time is the Diablo Tour as used by Henrik Stenson since it's launch over a decade ago! This club has been his go-to off the tee season after season and could not be replaced in his bag with the latest model, much to Callaway's annoyance I'm sure!
In terms of technology, fairway woods tend to follow the headline driver. Sometimes a year behind due to the technical difficulties of getting the technology to work in a small club. Take Callaway's Jailbreak technology as an example. First featured in the EPIC driver but not the matching fairway wood. Fast forward to the Rogue fairway family launch (a year later) and the engineers had managed to get this working for both the driver and fairway woods, and subsequently even hybrids too! Jailbreak Technology is two steel bars which stiffen the body, placing more impact load on the face to promote increased ball speed and distance.
Like their bigger brothers in the driver category, each fairway wood at the premium level features a few different options. When you're browsing second-hand Callaway fairway woods, look out for a few keywords. Any model with 'Sub Zero' or 'Pro' in the model name is aimed at the better player. These clubs will have a smaller footprint and the centre of gravity forward towards the face. These will reduce forgiveness and MOI to shape the ball as required.
Another model and one unique to Callaway is the 'Heavenwood' which is essentially a 3-wood with more loft - around 20-degrees. This special option will give you the distance gains from a longer shaft with a tighter dispersion thanks to the increased loft and forgiveness. Together they're the perfect combination if you struggle with your fairway woods or want a safety net off the tee.
A final keyword to look out for is 'Deep'. These models are designed to be used off the tee as a genuine alternative to a driver. The deeper face will make it difficult to get the ball in the air off the ground but with these negatives come huge positives when hitting from a tee peg. The bigger head gives Callaway engineers more space and mass to play with to begin to bridge the forgiveness and distance gaps between traditional fairway woods and drivers. If you struggle off the tee, 'Deep' fairway woods are a real alternative to transform your game.
All other Callaway fairway wood will be standard in design and deliver what you'd be expecting. High launch and forgiveness for some of the most difficult to hit clubs in your bag.
For the better player, Callaway makes their fairway woods with an adjustable hosel. This allows you to change the loft (up 2-degrees, down 1-degree) to make sure your fairway woods go the distance they're supposed too as well as altering the draw bias. This feature is only available in Callaway's premium line, and a nice feature is the independent nature of the cog system keeps your grip aligned regardless of the setting you need. If you're looking at their stand models, don't worry as they come loads of lofts from 3+ to 9, or even 11-woods!
Like most of their club line up, Callaway fairway woods are used by some of the best players in the world. Major champions like Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, and Francesco Molinari all use Callaway fairway woods on the PGA Tour and European Tour.