2012 Buyer's Guide Woods
Are the new fairway woods as long as your driver?
Power PlayKey Feature: Designed to be a 3-wood that's as easy to hit as a 5-wood, the X2 Raw Power has a shorter shaft and a heavier headweight that makes hitting shots from the fairway a simpler task. And in case you're wondering, the strategy works. Expect long, consistent hits with this awesome club. We couldn't have been more pleased.
Caiman X2 Raw Power
Who It's For: Golfers who want an easy-to-hit fairway wood that, again, is one of golf's best club bargains.
Specs: Comes only in a 3-wood with a stock graphite shaft. Custom options are always available.
hirekogolf.com | $55
TaylormadeKey Feature: The classically shaped fairway woods feature an adjustable sole plate and boast improved sound, an optimized CG and a 1.5° FCT sleeve that allows golfers to make an adjustment range of 3° of lie and 3° loft/6° face angle. Holy adjustability, Batman!
Who It's For: Tinkerers and golfers who want the kind of adjustability normally reserved for Tour players. There are 24 different settings here, so have at it!
Specs: Five lofts, Aldila RIP Phenom 70 shaft. Comes in a TP version, too. (LH available)
taylormadegolf.com | $249/$349
TaylormadeKey Feature: Wait a minute, did TM just build a driver replacement…in a 3-wood? The company claims you can add 17 yards to your shots. How? A speed pocket moved the CG forward and below the center axis of the clubface, resulting in explosive, game-changing power.
Who It's For: Golfers who want the distance of a 3+ wood and the accuracy of a fairway metal. Dustin Johnson hit one over 330 yards. Yowza. We bombed 'em, too.
Specs: Comes in five lofts (15°, 17°, 19°, 21° and 24°) and a stock Matrix Ozik XCon-5 50g shaft. (TP and LH available)
taylormadegolf.com | $329/$329
TitleistKey Feature: No big change from Titleist this year except a loft and shaft addition. Its SureFit Tour technology yields dual-angle hosel technology for a custom, precise loft and lie angle fitting. We love the classic shaping, and no doubt some Tour professionals feel the same way.
Who It's For: Low- to middle handicappers. There's also a 910Fd model with a deep face design that will appeal to golfers who want a more penetrating ballflight.
Specs: Five lofts (13.5°, 15°, 17°, 19°, 21°) in three shafts, including a new, lightweight Bassara from Mitsubishi.
titleist.com | $279
Tour EdgeKey Feature: A titanium cupface and crown and special beta-titanium face insert that, when added up, equal a huge distance gain. (The heavy tungsten sole plate weighs a healthy 151 grams.) To optimize the CG location and enhance the feel of the face, the cupface and sole are combo-brazed, and the insert is plasma-welded.
Who It's For: People who want to bomb it but can't control their driver. You may never need your driver again.
Specs: Six lofts (including a 3+ at 11.5°) and three standard shafts. Comes in ultra light and super ultra light versions.
touredge.com | $299
Key Feature: The compact CB4 Tour was designed to allow better players the opportunity to hit a variety of golf shots, all the while, retaining the power and forgiveness you'd expect from an Exotics fairway wood. The higher CG means a more penetrating ballflight.
Wilson StaffKey Feature: A blend of fairway wood and hybrid technology, these woods progressively look more like woods in lower lofts, and more like hybrids in the higher lofts. The Rocker sole makes it easy to hit from a variety of lies and the low and deep CG gets the ball airborne in a jiffy. They're exceptionally forgiving, too.
Who It's For: Those who want to make the transition from woods to hybrids a piece of cake. Nice price, too.
Specs: Comes in seven models ranging from 3W to 6H with UST Mamiya graphite shafts.
wilsonstaff.com | $129
YonexKey Feature: Boasting a compact head constructed from SUS630 stainless steel and a deep 435 maraging-steel face that produces shots that fly on a lower trajectory with less spin.
Ezone Type ST
Who It's For: Designed for better players who desire a flatter, more controlled trajectory with both increased feel and greater workability.
Specs: Comes in four lofts and clubheads that range in size from 143cc to 168cc. Four shafts available, too, including a NANOPREME 50EX.
yonexusa.com | $259
Zero FrictionKey Feature: 17/4 stainless steel with a PVD tungsten-chromium-nitride subfinish sealed with a catalyzed clear top coat create a sleek performance look to these new clubs. We love that these high-performance clubs are affordable as well as really long and forgiving.
Who It's For: Value-minded golfers of all skill levels who are looking for a premium performance product at an affordable price.
Specs: Comes in 15° loft with ZF High Modulus Low Resin Graphite Shafts and ZFAdvantage Premium Grips
zerofriction.com | $149