2012 Buyer's Guide Woods

Are the new fairway woods as long as your driver?

Labels: EquipmentWoods
This Article Features Photo Zoom


TEE IT DOWN!
By Brad Sherfy, PGA

Teeing your ball the right height with your metalwoods and hybrids determines what kind of contact you make.

With drivers, you want to tee the ball up so you catch it high on the clubface and take advantage of the clubface's trampoline effect. However, with a fairway wood or hybrid, teeing it low is the way to go.

Consider the two photos you see at left. The top photo shows the correct height. The ball barely sits above the ground, because when struck, you want to take advantage of the club's natural loft. (Note how angled my clubface is.) Now look at the bottom photo. If my club were to bottom out, I'd barely catch the top of the face. At best, I'd hit a knuckle ball, which wouldn't go very far; at worst, I'd "sky it" and damage my club's crown.

THIS YEAR MARKS THE FIRST YEAR that we've seen fairway woods truly marketed as driver alternatives. 2012's models promise huge distance and forgiveness, almost to the point where you may think twice as to whether you need both a 3-wood and a driver. Look for new geometric features that push the boundaries of fairway and hybrid designs, each promising more power and forgiveness. And speaking of hybrids, they, too, remain popular for serving as long-iron replacements. If you still don't have one, we have our favorites right here.

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Golf Tips Legend

WOODS
Adams
Speedline Fast 12
Key Feature: The Velocity Slot on the Fast 12 is visible from the crown and the sole, and when combined, enables the ball to compress against the face much as it does off a driver. This means more power in what Adams considers the longest fairway ever made by Adams Golf. And hey, we love the retro satin finish, too. It has power and style.
Who It's For: Gluttons for reaching par-5s in two and also those who want a viable driver alternative.
Specs: 3+, 3-, 5-wood models, as well as draw and women's. Stock shaft is Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue graphite.
adamsgolf.com | $249
Adams
Speedline Super XTD
Key Feature: A titanium build with Velocity Slot Technology? This is as close as you can get to a driver without being one. The club is even designed to hit the ball high and with little spin, just like a driver is supposed to. Really, this is all the power anyone needs from the fairway. Heck, who said you need a driver anymore? Not us...
Who It's For: Golfers looking to hit some real bombs not only from the tee, but from 275 yards out in the fairway.
Specs: Comes in three strong lofts (13°, 14.5°, 18°) with Fubuki AX graphite shafts. (LH available)
adamsgolf.com | $349
Boccieri Golf
Heavy Fairway
Key Feature: Like the Heavy Driver, the Heavy Fairway has a unique backweighting system. The 50g weight beneath the grip offsets the added mass in the clubhead, resulting in a balanced club that promotes better rhythm, tempo and control. By the way, the Heavy Fairway actually produced hits that flew longer and farther than we expected!
Who It's For: Golfers who want to make a smooth swing from the fairway and want a shorter shaft in their woods.
Specs: Comes in two lofts (15°, 19°) with Aldila NVS graphite shafts.
boccierigolf.com | $199



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