A 5 wood is one of those clubs that should be in most bags, and as it’s such a popular club, it does mean there are a number of options available on the market. So, let’s check out some of the best 5 woods out there while also explaining why this club is so important.
1. Best Premium Brand - TaylorMade SIM Max
Available in different degrees of loft
Has steel body and carbon crown
V Steel sole design to glide through the surface
Contains Twist Face technology to keep club straighter
Steel face for more speed at contact
First up, we have the TaylorMade SIM Max, and this could be a club that you have already heard a lot about as it’s undoubtedly one of the best on the market.
This club contains so much technology designed to make the ball easier to hit, and also travel greater distances, that it’s no surprise that it’s so popular.
So, it comes with the option of buying it in different degrees of loft, and that helps you to make the correct club selection when adding it to your bag. Remember, the higher the loft, the greater the height, so think about where you struggle with your woods, and buy the loft accordingly.
Next, there’s the design. The head comes in at 185cc, which is impressive. The weight in the head is pushed low to change the COG, and this does then deliver greater speed and power at the point of impact. Also, spin is reduced in this club, so you have better control over your shots as well.
Then, there’s the V Steel sole design, and this is a great idea. Its aim is to provide you with better turf interaction and to remove that friction that slows the club down just before impact. This alone can add a few yards onto your shot.
Hitting the ball square on is also made easier with this club. The Twist Face technology provides you with a massive sweet spot that will correct those mishits, and it will lead to straighter shots as well.
There’s no doubt that this club by TaylorMade is amazing. It will change your game and increase your confidence in your shots once you get used to everything that it’s going to do for you.
However, we do remove half a mark for a couple of reasons. It is more expensive than a number of others, and even though the technology helps your shots, it does end up being too complex for those players just starting out in the game.
2. Best Budget Premium Brand - TaylorMade RBZ Fairway Wood
Contains Speed Pocket technology for faster speeds
Strategic mass pad for better launch, sound, and feel
Lightweight shaft for increased speed
The TaylorMade RBZ fairway wood is clearly from a premium brand, but TaylorMade has reduced the price making this more of a bargain 5 wood compared to others on the market.
However, the best part is that they have not really compromised on various aspects of the technology contained within the club itself.
This wood still comes with various technological advances that means it flies through the air and generates more speed, and that means more energy, than most of the others out there on the market. Basically, the ball should travel greater distances as a result.
It does also include a more strategically placed mass pad. That’s going to improve the sound and feel of the club, and it’s amazing how those two things can change your perspective of your shot.
Also, they have pushed the COG down low in the club, and that will help to get the ball up off the ground and into the air. Oh, and this should also increase the carry as well since it’s coupled with the increased power aspect as well.
But the main thing about this club is the way in which it focuses on speed. It’s going to make a real difference to those that have a naturally lower swing speed as this club should counteract that with ease.
If you do struggle with your swing speed, then this could be the 5 wood that sorts that out for you. There’s no doubt that the club is capable of boosting speeds thanks to the way in which it is so lightweight, but don’t think you will lose control as that’s not the case.
Overall, this club does exceptionally well, and the only way you won’t enjoy the club is if your swing speed is already on the higher end. However, if you have a slow swing speed, it can get a bit confusing with the technology, so it loses half a mark.
3. Best to Correct Slice - Callaway Mavrik Max
Contains their Flash Face technology for optimum ball speed
Leading edge geometry for optimum launch
18 degrees loft available
Different weighting options allows customization
Callaway is well known for producing high-quality clubs, and this Mavrik Max is no exception. It contains more than enough technology in the club to make a huge difference to the shot, and the average player should be able to pick up on the improvements that the club makes.
The Flash Face SS20 is a key component here. It opens up the face and with forged materials means the ball is going to fly off the face and achieve greater distances. But that’s not all.
The fact that the face is so open also means it delivers a larger sweet spot for you, and this club is seriously forgiving. That gives you the confidence to open up with your shot knowing that the club is going to be there to help you along the way.
The low COG also makes a difference with the speed component. It means you get the ball up off the ground faster, but it does this without losing so much energy in the process.
Another cool feature is that this club comes with the ability to move the weight around the perimeter of the club head. That’s going to counteract any slice you produce helping you to keep the shot on the straight and narrow.
If you tend to struggle with slicing your shots, then this club is going to be the perfect solution to your problems. It is seriously forgiving, and it will certainly work hard at pulling your shots back on line and getting you down that fairway.
However, we are going to cut half a point simply because people relatively new to the game will struggle with the weight options. But if you are a more experienced golfer, then this won’t be such a problem, and this club by Callaway would probably score top marks for you.
4. Best for Low Handicap - Cobra 2020 SpeedZone
Available in 3 different degrees of loft
Power-zone milled face included
Hollowed split rails for higher launch
Baffler rails for greater stability
Low and deep COG
The Cobra SpeedZone Fairway is a stunning 5 wood for your bag. It does everything in its power to not only increase speed, but to also provide you with an improved sense of control over your shot.
The CNC milled face pushes things right up to the legal limit, and that does mean you have a greater transference of power and energy from the swing, to the club, to the ball. As a result, the ball is going to reach improved distances.
But with improved speed, you need improved accuracy, and that’s where the hollowed split rails come into their own. Thanks to their flex, they provide a larger hot spot for you to strike, so you have less chance of a mishit as a result.
Basically, you can let rip with your swing feeling confident that the club is there to help should you be slightly off the middle with your connection.
However, speed also needs stability, and this wood has you covered there as well.
The dual baffler rails is where you get stability from. They help the club head to glide through the turf without being held up by the grass. This results in a smoother connection that is also effortless. This lack of friction means the club stays true to form, and it won’t twist the same through the shot.
Finally, Cobra has alsomade sure that they have lowered the center of gravity. This bolsters the launch angle and helps you get the ball up off the ground.
This club delivers high performance while it does also look the part. It’s going to push your normal 5 wood shot to new lengths, and the inclusion of those buffer rails is a lovely addition. Overall, it’s a quality club that’s going to change how you look at these types of shots.
But we are going to lower things by half a point as does restrict itself to low handicap players.
5. Outdoor Research Lightstorm Bucket Hat
Comes in with 18 degrees of loft
Easy launch system due to design
Next-Generation face technology for faster speed
Seriously forgiving as a club
Premium shaft included
Here we have another wood designed by Callaway, but they are quick to point out that this version is aimed more at the beginner, and that’s a brilliant thing.
The reason why you can say it’s aimed at the beginner is because they have gone big on not only the speed that’s generated, but also their Easy Launch system is included as well.
What this system does is it incorporates a specific sole design mixed in with the overall shape of the club head to produce something that’s going to get the ball up off the ground as quickly as possible. Considering this is a problem for people starting out, that means the club is an amazing help.
Also, they have included both their next-generation technology with their Speed Step Technology on the club face. That means the club head is going to have greater speed meaning more energy, and that ball will reach new distances.
But one other major problem for people starting out is the chance of a mishit. However, the Steelhead XR is very forgiving. The sweet spot is massive, and it seeks to correct your shots whenever possible. That allows you to relax into your shot with the knowledge that the club will help.
If you are new to the game of golf, then this is the sort of 5 wood you should add to your bag. It helps with launch and speed while providing you with a huge sweet spot. It covers the basics to stop you stressing about it yourself, and that’s a great thing when trying to learn the game.
As it helps the beginner, this club gets full marks as it does deliver on what it promises with this helping you to get to grips with your game.
What to Look for in a 5 Wood
With a 5 wood, you are really looking for a club that’s going to provide you distance while still offering a great degree of control. Considering the distances that you would be using a 5 wood from, these are two key components that cannot be overlooked.
You want a 5 wood that feels balanced and offers you an impressive sweet spot. It’s going to allow you to let rip with your swing while still knowing that the balance of the club means it’s not going to turn in your hands and change your shot.
Also, a 5 wood is a club you will tend to use quite a lot if you have an issue with distance. That’s also why the swing speed, and the weight of the club head is key. It helps push the distance out while still offering you a certain sense of control over your shot.
However, what about some specifics?
The Loft Angle
The loft angle is going to define how easy it is to get the ball up off the ground. In general, you are looking at something in the region of 18 degrees with a 5 wood.
The reason why the loft angle on a 5 wood is higher than a 3 wood is because of the types of shots you will be playing with the club. You are looking at trying to achieve greater control on the shot since you will primarily be hitting the green with a 5 wood.
By being able to incorporate more spin, it’s going to be easier to get the ball to stop on the green rather than it bounding on through. That’s something that will be more likely to happen with the likes of a 3 wood, and it’s all because a 3 wood delivers less spin on a ball, and the spin is what grips the ball to the ground.
So, when buying a 5 wood, just do a quick double-check on the loft. If it’s sitting just below 18 degrees, then you are fine, but don’t go too low or you are sitting in the realm of a 3 wood but only able to achieve 5 wood distances. That is only going to have a majorly negative impact on your game.
Also, if you are starting out, then stick with the 18 degrees. It’s going to simplify everything, and then you have the option of starting to play around with weight distribution and how the club reacts when you have become more of an established player.
But as of right now, a novice player should really allow the loft and launch of the club to do the hard work for them when trying to get that ball up off the ground.
The shaft is another important component. As the shaft is going to allow you to get the absolute maximum from your swing speed, you need to make sure that it’s in line with your swing. If you don’t know your swing speed, then get it checked by your local club pro.
The good thing is that a number of the 5 woods will come with different shaft flex options. This level of customization can result in the club working exceptionally well for you, so it’s best to learn as much as possible about your own game to get this club to really work for you.
People will often overlook the shaft and flex with them simply going with the one that comes with the club itself. Do take the time to learn more about them as they will prove to be far more important than most people will realize.
Should You Buy a Tour Level, or a Standard Level?
When checking out the different 5 wood options, you will find yourself coming across tour level options as well as standard level options. So, which one would you choose?
This all comes down to your own ability. If you are a high handicapper, then scrap the idea of a tour level club. It’s going to contain too much technology, and make things very complicated for you, and that’s not a good thing.
In that instance, you want to stick with a standard level wood. It focuses on the key things you are most concerned with such as swing speed and getting the ball up off the ground.
However, if you are an individual with a single digit handicap, then consider the tour level option. It gives you more ways to control the ball, and to really take control of your game.
How Much Should You Spend?
This is a big question, and the various 5 woods out there on the market do come in at a wide range of different prices. Of course, tour level woods are going to command a higher price tag, but if you are starting out, then that’s not a concern to you.
The key is actually in finding a club that fits in with your game, as well as where you are struggling. If the club is capable of boosting your game, then the price attached to it is also less of a worry.
But in general, you need to think so much about your own game before buying any sort of club. You want to feel that this 5 wood is capable of enhancing things rather than making no difference whatsoever.
Out of the different woods that have been covered here, the winner has to be the Callaway Steelhead XR, and the reason for this is the way in which it does make a huge difference for those individuals starting out.
This club has everything that a new player is going to both want and need from a 5 wood. It gets the ball off the ground, gives you enough spin on the ball to get it to stop better on the green, and it generates enough speed to add distance.
However, there’s also a worthwhile mention to the Taylormade SIM Max. It’s a tour level 5 wood, and it’s going to provide you with a high performance level. It may not be suitable for those starting out, but if you are a more experienced golfer looking to take things to a new level, then this could be the perfect wood for you.