2011 Buyer's Guide Woods

Woods and hybrids are a breeze to hit

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Key Feature: Its streamlined square shape adds more aerodynamics and pushes weight toward the corners for ample forgiveness and a high MOI. It's also easy to align behind the golf ball.
What We Like: It may be a holdover from last year, but there's good reason for it. This club is easy to hit high and far. The square shape is a plus when it comes to alignment. It's almost as though it's easy to aim with it behind the ball.
Who It's For: Mid- to higher-handicappers.
Specs: Comes in four lofts (15°, 17°, 19°, 21°) with a UST Mamiya Proforce AXIVCore graphite shaft. L-hand available in 15° and 19°.
nikegolf.com | $239
VR Pro
Key Feature: Like the driver with the same name, the VR Pro fairway woods utilize a variable-compression channel that runs along the sole behind the face. This adds more distance across more points on the clubface.
What We Like: This club was designed for the better player, with a flat profile and low leading edges, both of which make this not only a solid fairway wood, but a shotmaker's tool, as well.
Who It's For: Better players.
Specs: Comes in four lofts (13°, 15°, 17°, 19°) with Project X graphite shafts in a variety of flexes. L-hand available in 15° and 19°.
nikegolf.com | $229
Editors' PickKey Feature: A weighting scheme that actually has a fade bias. This is so better players can more easily manipulate their shots.
What We Like: It's both forgiving and really responsive to our shot-calling. We aren't pros, but hitting high, low, fade or draw shots was easy to do with this shotmaker.
Who It's For: Better players who not only want to shape their shots, but also want forgiveness in a sleek, all-stainless-steel design.
Specs: Comes in three lofts (14°, 15.5°, 18.5°) with PING TFC 700F or UST Mamiya AXIVCore shafts (all flexes). L-hand available in all lofts.
ping.com | $229
Editors' PickKey Feature: Straight Flight Technology (mass toward the heel) helps golfers better square the clubhead at impact for both straighter and longer shots from the tee or fairway.
What We Like: The oversized construction helps push the CG way back and deep into the clubhead, which for us, launched the ball up and out of harm's way in a hurry. The ball also lands really softly, which is what you want from a mega-forgiving fairway wood.
Who It's For: Mid- to high-handicappers.
Specs: Comes in three lofts (16°, 19°, 22°) with PING TFC 149F graphite shafts. L-hand available.
ping.com | $199
Air Force One
Key Feature: Like the driver, these woods have pressurized nitrogen (up to 150 psi) in the clubhead for added strength without the need for extra weight.
What We Like: The nitrogen must be working. These fairway woods, although not new this year, are still a favorite of ours, because they're so easy to hit. The ball launches up and far—two things we want from a fairway wood.
Who It's For: Golfers who want some woods that have a lot of pop and firepower.
Specs: Comes in three lofts (15°, 19°, 21°) with Powerized graphite shafts (various flexes).
powerbilt.com | $199
Editors' PickKey Feature: The hosel is adjustable for up to 12 different clubface angle/lie configurations for a true, custom fit on the fly.
What We Like: Stellar looks and classic shaping. The Starburst face technology really makes these fairway woods pop with a lot of distance, even off the sweet spot. It's also made of titanium, meaning it has driver-like feel.
Who It's For: Better players who want to manipulate the configuration of this sexy, new fairway wood.
Specs: Comes in two lofts (15° and 18°) with Miyazaki Dromos graphite shafts (various flexes).
srixon.com | $249


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