Choosing your fairway woods is an important task for any golfer and when it comes to thinking about which ones you should be adding to your bag it is always interesting to look at what fairway woods the pros use.
So we decided to take a detailed look at the top 100 players on the PGA Tour and see which woods some of the top pros in the world consider to be the best.
TaylorMade are the most used fairway woods by the top 100 PGA Tour pros with the Stealth Plus model the most popular. 33% of the woods chosen by these pros are TaylorMade with Titleist and PING models making up 28% and 21% respectively. A 3-wood and 5-wood is the most common wood set up chosen by 35 pros in this group.
That summary does not however tell the full story when it comes to the fairway woods being used on the PGA Tour.
Our in-depth analysis of the top pros’ fairway wood choices also revealed insights into the amount of times they altered the lofts of their woods to different degrees as well as the shafts they favour.
And not only that we were also able to see what had changed since the last time we carried out this analysis a couple of years ago.
What is the Most Used 3-Wood on Tour?
When it comes to the breakdown of the fairway woods used by the top pros on the PGA Tour it is clear that the 3-wood is the mainstay of the group.
96% of the top 100 PGA Tour pros carry a 3-wood. TaylorMade’s Stealth Plus is the most popular 3-wood used by 12 pros. PING’s G430 Max is the next most used with 8 pros choosing it. Titleist’s TSI2 and TS3 3-wood models are played by 7 and 6 pros while Callaway’s most popular model used by 5 pros is the Paradym Triple Diamond.
When it comes to overall numbers of 3-woods used across their full range of models TaylorMade and Titleist continue to dominate with 60 of the pros using one of these brands.
This number is 5 more than we found when we last did this analysis two years ago.
When it comes to analyzing the lofts of the 3-woods used by the top 100 players on Tour what is again noticeable is the variance in choices.
The ‘standard’ loft of a 3-wood is 15 degrees but less than 50% (43 out of 96) stick with this standard.
12 of the players opt for a strong 3-wood with a loft of between 13 and 13.5 degrees while 12 choose a much higher launch 3-wood version with a loft of 16.5 degrees.
Indeed some would argue that having a 16.5º loft on a 3-wood almost makes it a 4-wood and it is interesting to note that Maverick McNealy does class his Callaway Mavrik 16.5º fairway wood as a 4-wood.
With Bryson DeChambeau now playing on the LIV Tour though this time we didn’t find any outliers carrying a 10.5º “3-wood” with 13º being the strongest lofted 3-wood choice we came across used by players including Rory McIlroy.
In 2023 our analysis also highlighted the best 100 pros on Tour use 12 different lofts of 3-wood varying from 13º up to 16.5º, with some even choosing lofts with a precision of up to .1 of a degree.
Jon Rahm’s Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond T high launch 3-wood model for example is bent from its original 16º setting to an incredibly precise 15.1º loft.
Further we also discovered some pros such as Andrew Putnam carrying two 3-wood options around on Tour with them – a standard 15º Srixon ZX Mk II together with a much stronger 13º Cleveland Launcher DST option – clearly for use in different conditions.
Such attention to detail clearly shows how much time the pros spend choosing a 3-wood that is absolutely tailor-made to their specific requirements
As such it is important to bear in mind that the 3-wood we see in the shops may be a fair distance from what the pro you are watching on TV may actually be playing with.
[Note – To find out what shafts the top pros on Tour are using in their fairway woods check out our detailed analysis of what they are choosing here.]
|BRAND OF 3-WOOD||NO. OF TOP 100 PGA TOUR PLAYERS USING BRAND||MOST USED 3-WOOD MODEL|
(inc. Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Viktor Hovland, Collin Morikawa, Shane Lowry, Adam Scott)
(inc. Cameron Young, Patrick Cantlay, Justin Thomas, Billy Horschel, Jordan Speith, Will Zalatoris, Max Homa, Billy Horschel)
View at PGA Tour Superstore
(inc. Matt Fitzpatrick, Corey Conners, Seamus Power, Tyrell Hatton, Lucas Glover, Joel Dahmen)
(inc. Xander Schaufelle, Sam Burns, Tony Finau, Jon Rahm, Adam Hadwin)
|Paradym Triple Diamond|
View at PGA Superstore
(Gary Woodland, Chez Reavie)
(Andrew Putnam, Matthew NeSmith)
|ZX Mk II|
The Most Used 5-Wood and 7-Wood on the PGA Tour?
When it comes to fairway woods used on the PGA Tour we have already seen that the 3-wood is a mainstay of the professional’s bag.
But are there many of them using a 5-wood or even 7-wood in addition or in preference?
TaylorMade’s Stealth Plus model is the most popular 5-wood among the top 100 PGA Tour pros with 5 of the 36 pros using a 5-wood choosing it, including Rory McIlroy. Only 18% use a 7-wood with PING’s G425 Max being the most used model and again chosen by 5 pros.
Tommy Fleetwood was also seen using a 24º TaylorMade Stealth 9-wood at the Players Championship at the especially firm playing Sawgrass this year.
He has since packed it back away however returning to his 3-iron or 7-wood to fill the gap between his 4-iron and 5-wood distances.
“[The 9-wood] is like hitting a wedge onto the green; it goes up and drops straight down. It’s not a club you’re going to drill and get more out of it, it’s just going to go up in the air and come straight down. It won’t be coming out in Scotland!”Tommy Fleetwood
Maverick McNealy was also the only pro we found to be using a 4-wood albeit at a 16.5º loft which many of the other pros classed as a 3-wood.
And the point about lofts is a key one when it comes the fairways woods used by the top pros on Tour.
What one player lists as a 7-wood may have the same loft of the 5-wood carried by another player.
For example Patrick Cantlay and Max Homa both list their 21º TS2 and TSR2 fairway woods as a 5-wood.
Sepp Straka meanwhile has a 7-wood marking on his wood of the same 21º of loft.
But what happens on many occasions with the pros is that they alter the lofts of higher numbered fairway woods.
In 2023 British Open champion Brian Harman’s case for example the number on his Titleist TS2 fairway wood does say 5 but he has had his club makers reduce the loft to 16.5º which is much stronger than a more ‘traditional’ 18 to 19 degree 5-wood.
The ‘traditional’ loft of a 7-wood is around 21 degrees but less than half of the seventeen 7-woods used amongst the top 100 players on Tour are set up with that loft.
The majority have stronger lofts varying from as low as 18º – the ‘traditional’ loft of a 5-wood – all the way up to 21º.
It is very noticeable therefore how many of the top pros use fairway woods with lofts and numbers which don’t correspond to what we would expect to see based on ‘standard’ lofts.
So although many of the pros do indeed use fairway woods as high as a 7-wood it is always worth bearing in mind the lofts on these clubs may not correspond with what you may expect and can be quite far from the ‘off the shelf’ loft of a standard 4, 5 or 7-wood.
When it comes to makes and models of the 5 and 7-woods used by the top 100 PGA Tour pros Titleist, TaylorMade and PING once again dominate.
Of the fifty-four 5-woods and 7-woods being used this elite group of players 87% are made by one of those manufacturers.
TaylorMade’s Stealth Plus is the most popular 5-wood in play while PING’s G425 Max is the most played 7-wood.
But across all these 54 different fairway woods, 27 different models produced by 6 different manufacturers, are being used showing no one model dominates across all the pros.
A complete list of the models of 5 and 7-woods used by the top 100 on Tour is listed below:
|BRAND OF 5-WOOD||NO. OF TOP 100 PGA TOUR PLAYERS USING BRAND||MOST USED 5-WOOD MODEL|
(inc. Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Shane Lowry, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar)
(inc. Patrick Cantlay, Justin Thomas, Cameron Young, Max Homa, Billy Horschel, Brian Harman)
View at PGA Tour Superstore
(inc. Sahith Theegala, Seamus Power, Lucas Glover)
(inc. Jon Rahm, JJ Spaun, Si Woo Kim)
|Paradym Triple Diamond|
View at PGA Superstore
(Hideki Matsuyama, Gary Woodland)
|King Radspeed Tour|
|BRAND OF 7-WOOD||NO. OF TOP 100 PGA TOUR PLAYERS USING BRAND||MOST USED 7-WOOD MODEL|
(inc. Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrell Hatton, Taylor Moore, MacKenzie Hughes)
(inc. Sepp Straka, Adam Scott, Kurt Kitayama)
View at PGA Superstore
(inc. Scott Stallings, Kieth Mitchell, Cameron Smith)
What’s the Preferred Fairway Wood Combination on Tour?
Different golfers clearly have different preferences when it comes to fairway woods.
And when it comes to looking at the woods used by the top 100 players on the PGA Tour the unique requirements of individual players are again in evidence.
While the choice of a 3-wood is clearly predominant amongst almost all of the top 100 over half of this elite group – 54 in total – carry an additional wood whether that be a 5-wood or 7-wood.
When we last did this analysis a couple of years back Wyndham Clark’s decision not to use any fairway woods and opt for PXG’s 0317 GEN1 hybrid instead was clearly an exception amongst his fellow pros.
However by this year the 2023 US Open champion opted to put a 15º TaylorMade Stealth 2 3-wood in his bag meaning we found all of the top 100 to be using at least one fairway wood.
Overall our in-depth analysis highlighted it very much to be worth checking the loft on the club rather than just the number as this will frequently give you a better indication of the types of fairway woods they are using on tour.
Players changing the loft of their fairway woods to a specific number for them is a common thing and something to be paid attention to.
So too is the frequency with which the pros will use a different combination of fairway woods, hybrids and driving irons depending on the set up of the course they are playing that week.
Whilst they do not change the make-up of the longest clubs in their bag all the time the pros will frequently carry a full bag of 15-17 clubs and swap out their fairway woods for other clubs as and when the course set up warrants it.
As we have already noted TaylorMade, Titlist and PING dominate the fairway woods being used by the top pros on the PGA Tour with over 80% of the 151 fairway woods we found being from one of those 3 manufacturers.
Callaways share was a surprisingly small 13% with Cobra, Srixon/Cleveland and Wilson accounting for the remaining 5% of woods being used by this elite group.
Before you go ….
It is always interesting to know what the best pros are using when it comes to the fairway woods.
But what is equally noteworthy is how far they hit them and the distance gaps they have between the longest clubs they choose to put into the bag
Read our next article to find out how far on average the pros hit their 3-woods, 5-woods and 7-woods and how that compares to the other club types many of them often choose in preference – hybrids.
[Note – Just so you know, and we are upfront as an affiliate program participant, Golfing Focus earns from qualifying purchases made through links on this page.]
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