2015 Buyer’s Guide Woods

Some of the best woods/hybrids we saw at the PGA show

Bobby Jones

Black | $219
bobbyjones.com

Key Features:A CH-1 maraging-steel cupface design for more distance while reducing the spin rate creates a more piercing ballflight.
Wow Factor:Cool, right? The innovative brazing process saves 3 to 4 grams over welding, allowing for the relocation of that weight from the face of the club to a more desirable location in the sole. Translation? These woods are easy to hit and they perform as good as they look. Trust us. Jesse Ortiz has done it again.
Specs:Comes in two lofts (15°, 17°), with a Graphite Design G-Series graphite shaft.

Bridgestone Golf

J15F | $199
bridgestonegolf.com

Key Features: The clean, simple profile of the steel J15F fairway woods borrows much of the technology from the J715 drivers. The crown is designed to flex at impact for more distance, and the clubface is reinforced for maximum energy transfer. It also comes with an adjustable weight for trajectory/spin customization.
Wow Factor: When Bridgestone makes golf clubs, you can trust that they're made with stringent quality-control standards. When it comes to exact lies and loft angles, as well as build quality, Bridgestones exhibit some of the most true-to-spec woods we've seen. Oh, yeah, they're a better player's dream to hit.
Specs:Comes in three lofts (13.5°, 15°, 18°), with MRC Fubuki graphite shafts.

Callaway Golf

Big Bertha Alpha 815 | $299
callawaygolf.com

Key Features: Two adjustable weights for customized spinnerets and Opti-Fit hosel tech for dialing in the right trajectory. It also comes with a forged Hyper Speed cupface design and a head shape that's rather compact—exactly how better players want it.
Wow Factor: The adjustability goes a long way in helping you dial in the right flight for whatever type of course or course conditions you face. It's also crazy-long and surprisingly easy to hit. We'll take two, please.
Specs:Comes in three lofts (14°, 16°, 18°) in a variety of high-end shaft configurations.

Big Bertha AlphaV Series | $239
callawaygolf.com

Key Features:A modern take on the classic Warbird soleplate makes the BB V Series easy to use from a wide variety of lies. Also, the head shape is designed to be as aerodynamic as possible, helping you to eke out as much distance as you can muster.
Wow Factor: Expect a high launch no matter what loft you choose. Also, don't overlook the Heavenwood model. It's a 43-inch, 20.5° loft club that's probably the most versatile and fun-to-hit fairway wood on the market. It's like a 4-wood in length, but has the loft of a 6-wood, if you will. The result? The most fun 5-wood we've ever hit. The ball flies so high, we can almost run out and catch it (not really) .
Specs:Comes in five lofts (15.5°, 19°, 20.5° Heavenwood, 22°, 25°), with MRC Bassara graphite shafts.


Cleveland Golf

CG Black | $199
clevelandgolf.com

Key Features:A lowered MOI and CG promote a very high launch angle, perfect for golfers who need an extra boost of airtime with their fairway woods.
Wow Factor:Women and seniors who have slower than average swing speeds will see an immediate improvement, but that doesn't mean these woods aren't right for golfers with average swing speeds. In actuality, hitting it higher usually means hitting it straighter, too, which, as far as we can see, can help a lot of golfers shoot lower scores. Expect a high launch with the spin you need to land the ball softly.
Specs:Comes in five lofts (15°, 16.5°, 18°, 20°, 23°), with graphite shafts.

Cobra Golf

Fly-Z XL | $199
cobragolf.com

Key Features: Like the Fly-Z driver line, these woods have a Speed Channel Face (a cutout along the perimeter of the clubface) for added distance and forgiveness. Also, the hosel sports an offset design for more slice-fighting control. Lastly, the backweighting promotes a sky-high trajectory.
Wow Factor:The Speed Channel Face is a neat feature, but the offset has our attention the most. They feel impossible to slice.
Specs:Comes in three lofts (16°, 19°, 22°), with Fly-Z graphite shafts.

Mizuno

JPX-850 | $249
mizunousa.com

Key Features:
The electric blue crown design covers one of the most unique sole designs we've seen. The Shockwave sole looks almost accordion-like, allowing added flex at impact, resulting in more power into the golf ball. The low and deep center of gravity yields a high ballflight with optimal spin.
Wow Factor:The Shockwave sole is one of our favorite design features this year. We also like the 4° adjustability of the hosel, making it easy to fine-tune the launch just how you want it.
Specs: Comes in three base models (15°, 17°, 19°), with Fujikura Motore graphite shafts.

Nike Golf

Vapor Sprrd & Flex | $199-$249
nikegolf.com

Key Features: A FlyBeam-reinforced Covert Cavity Back design (whew!), Compression Channel and NexCOR face combine for a ridiculous amount of technology in a fairway wood that lends a high launch angle without unnecessary spin. The Flex version is essentially the same, but with FlexLoft 2 adjustability with 15 different settings.
Wow Factor: By far, the best woods Nike has made, and that's saying a lot (we really liked last year's woods). Look for them to be in several bags on the PGA Tour in 2015, including Rory's.
Specs:Speed comes in two lofts (15°, 19°), with MRC Fubuki shafts; Flex comes in two adjustable lofts (13°-17°, 17°-21°), with MRC Diamana shafts.

Ping

G30 | $249
ping.com

Key Features:
The turbulators found in the G30 driver made their way into the woods bearing the same name for increased aerodynamics. These woods also come with a stronger and taller Carpenter steel face, a rear weight plug for a deep CG and five-way hosel adjustability.
Wow Factor: They're probably our most favorite-looking woods, especially at address behind the ball. They're so easy to hit, too, it's almost like cheating (don't worry, they're perfectly legal).
Specs: Comes in two lofts (9°, 10.5°), with a PING TFC 419D shaft.

i25 | $199
ping.com

Key Features: A sleek, compact design made of stainless steel, the i25 is ideal for players who want shotmaking capability without sacrificing forgiveness and distance. The low and deep weight makes it easy to hit any which way you want.
Wow Factor: The muted stripes on the crown make it easy to align the face, and the compact shape inspires you to take a gamble and shape some shots. The simple loft-adjusting via the hosel is a breeze to use and works surprisingly well.
Specs: Comes in three lofts (14°, 15°, 18°), with PING PWR graphite shafts.


Taylormade

AeroBurner | $229
taylormadegolf.com

Key Features: A huge Speed Pocket behind the face allows the face to flex more at impact, and the aerodynamic hosel and crown combine for one thing: maximum distance. Oh, yeah, it's also extra-forgiving, too.
Wow Factor:It's not easy to improve on the wildly popular RocketBallz and the subtle RocketBallz 2 woods. The AeroBurners are, in our opinion, a lot easier to hit and don't require quite as much lofting up. In fact, you can't—they're not adjustable (a welcome reprieve). Nonetheless, they're among our favorite new woods. Comes in TP versions, too.
Specs:Comes in five lofts (15°, 16.5°, 18°, 21°, 23°), with Matrix graphite shafts.

R15 | $279
taylormadegolf.com

Key Features: Much like the driver, the R15 fairway woods have a Front Track sliding weight system (one weight, not two, like the driver) that allows for trajectory and ballflight customization.
Wow Factor: Remember how popular the RocketBallz woods were? The R15 is, in our opinion, even better, and the movable weight makes a huge difference in terms of accentuating a fade or draw, or reducing a slice or hook. There's a TP option, as well, with a spiffier shaft.
Specs:Comes in four lofts (15°, 16.5°, 19°, 20.5°), with Fujikura Speeder 67 Evolution shafts.

Titleist

915 Series | $299
titleist.com

Key Features:
Available in two versions—the 915F, for a mid-high ballflight, and the 915Fd, which is more compact and delivers a mid-low ballflight. Both models are designed for players who don't want any draw-bias and like to work the ball off the tee and the fairway. The Active Recoil Channel behind the face on the sole lends serious distance across more area of the clubface.
Wow Factor: The lack of draw-bias makes these woods a cinch to hit fades with—a trait we love when it comes to woods because fades fly higher and land softer. Also, the adjustable hosel on both models allows for a perfectly tuned fit. What's not to like about that?
Specs: 915F comes in five lofts (13.5°, 15°, 16.5°, 18°, 21°) and 915Fd comes in two lofts (13.5°, 15°), with Aldila or Mitsubishi stock shafts.

Tour Edge

Hot Launch | $119
touredge.com

Key Features:A deep and low center of gravity promotes a very high launch angle, and the variable face thickness provides maximum distance.
Wow Factor:The no-nonsense design of the Hot Launch proves you don't have to be flashy to be effective. Also, we really appreciate the more affordable price. Don't tell, but we'd spend even more on it. It's that good. We also really like the Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue shaft.
Specs:Comes in four lofts (15°, 17°, 19°, 22°), with Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue shafts.

Exotics E8 | $249
touredge.com

Key Features:The 475 Carpenter steel face (it's really rigid steel, folks) is combo-brazed with a hyper-steel body for extreme distance. An adjustable sole weight affords custom trajectory and spin.
Wow Factor: The E8 fairway woods promote a towering ballflight—so much that it's comparable to the trajectory and distance you'd expect from a driver (especially, the lower-lofted models). It's really that long. The E8 also comes in a Beta version that's more compact and maneuverable for the player who wants versatility.
Specs:Comes in five lofts (12°, 13°, 15°, 16.5°, 18°), with Aldila Rogue graphite shafts.

Wilson Staff

D200 | $299
wilsonstaff.com

Key Features:A Carpenter Custom 455 maraging steel face insert for serious power off the tee and turf. The D200 series epitomizes raw power and, so far, they live up to expectations. These woods are crazy-long.
Wow Factor: Always nice to see power come in such clean lines and smooth shapes. The Right Light Technology makes the club lighter for increased swing speed—all without lifting a single weight in the gym. What's not to like about that?
Specs:Comes in three lofts (15°, 18°, 21°), with a UST Elements graphite shaft.


2015 HYBRIDS

Adams Golf

Tight Lies | $179
adamsgolf.com

Key Features: A low-profile body and Tri-Sole design make the Tight Lies a cinch to hit—from practically anywhere. The Ghost Slot behind the face adds some extra pop for greater distance.
Wow Factor: Remember the O.G. Tight Lies? We do, and this is a lot like it—only better, with a healthy dose of modern technology. It's ideal for golfers who want a hybrid that makes it really easy to get the ball up in the air.
Specs: Comes in five lofts (17°, 19°, 22°, 25°, 26°), with an MRC Kuro Kage graphite shaft.

Bridgestone Golf

J15HY | $199
bridgestonegolf.com

Key Features: A simple, no-nonsense hybrid that's built to very high tolerances as far as quality is concerned. Better players will appreciate the versatility of the reduced heel profile, making it easier to use from the rough.
Wow Factor: Clean looks and simple shapes make the J15HY easy on the eyes. The adjustable weight allows for custom-tuning of the trajectory. We like that it's just one screw, too—less sometimes really is more. So is the case with these beauties.
Specs: Comes in four lofts (17°, 19°, 21°, 23°), with MRC Fubuki graphite shafts.

Callaway Golf

Big Bertha Alpha 815 | $299
callawaygolf.com

Key Features: A Hyper Speed cupface design lends a more consistent ballflight across the clubface. Also, the lowCG launches the ball exceptionally high—something we want to see in hybrids. They're supposed to do that!
Wow Factor: The hybrids are long and high-hitting, and better yet, if they launch too high (or low, for that matter), the hosel is adjustable for a precision launch. Cool by us. We also love the UST Recoil shafts.
Specs: Comes in five lofts (19°, 22°, 25°, 28°, 31°), with UST Recoil graphite shafts.

Apex Utility | $229
callawaygolf.com Key Features: A Carpenter 455 steel cupface design allows for a higher ball speed across more points on the clubface. It also has a hollow-body design, which, despite the shotmaking maneuverability that comes from an iron-like design, is still remarkably forgiving.
Wow Factor: Better players will love the iron-shaping, but as mentioned, don't be fooled. The hollow-body design makes them much more easy to hit than a comparable solid-body iron. They're way long, too.
Specs: Comes in three lofts (18°, 21°, 24°), with UST Recoil graphite shafts or KBS V-Spec steel shafts.

Cleveland Golf

CG Black | $169
clevelandgolf.com

Key Features: A low CG and lower swing MOI combine to produce an exceptionally high launch angle—perfect for golfers with slow swing speeds. It also has variable face technology, which means the face is thicker in the middle and thinner around the edges. This makes the face hotter for more distance.
Wow Factor: We love seeing a set of hybrids catering specifically to a type of golfer. In this case, players who want a hybrid that will help them get the ball higher into the air. That's good stuff.
Specs: Comes in five lofts (17°, 19°, 21°, 24°, 27°), with graphite shafts; also comes in Ladies models.

Cobra Golf

Fly-Z XL | $169
cobragolf.com

Key Features: The same Speed Channel groove around the perimeter of the face (that you can find on the driver and fairway woods) is here for added distance. The offset face angle puts slices at bay, and the low and deep CG lifts the ball with ease.
Wow Factor: The offset is ideal for players who struggle with slicing, but it also helps those who need to get the ball in the air a little easier.
Specs: Comes in five lofts (19°, 22°, 25°, 28°, 31°), with Fly-Z XL graphite shafts.

Mizuno

JPX-850 | $199
mizunousa.com

Key Features: A Shock Wave sole enables the face to flex at impact, meaning the ball launches with extra distance. The CG is positioned low for a high launch and optimal spin.
Wow Factor: The Shock Wave sole and the electric blue color of the JPX 850 woods and hybrids are our favorite features, but you can't ignore the performance, either. They're really easy to hit and versatile from a variety of lies.
Specs: Comes in four lofts (16°, 19°, 22°, 25°), with Fujikura Motore graphite shafts.


Ping

G30 | $249
ping.com

Key Features: These hybrids feature heel-toe weighting for a high MOI, a fancy way for saying they're designed not only to be long, but straight, too. The weight is low and back for a CG that shoots the ball into the air with plenty of spin. Speaking of which, the CG is lower in the low-lofted models for more spin and more forward in the higher-lofted irons for less spin.
Wow Factor: They look and feel the way we want when it comes to hybrids. Also, they feel the way we like 'em. Did we mention that we like these hybrids? We do. A lot.
Specs: Comes in five lofts (17°, 19°, 22°, 26°, 30°), with PING TFC 419H or Tour 90 graphite shafts.

Taylormade

AeroBurner Rescue | $199
taylormadegolf.com

Key Features: The turbulators found in the G30 driver made their way into the woods bearing the same name for increased aerodynamics. These woods also come with a stronger and taller Key Features: A huge Speed Pocket behind the face on the sole is designed to help the clubface flex against the rest of the clubhead at impact with the ball. This means greater ball speed and distance.
Wow Factor: White is definitely back, and the AeroBurner Rescue picks up where the RocketBallz left off. Long and easy to hit. Not much to add to that, folks.
Specs: Comes in four lofts (19°, 22°, 25°, 28°), with Matrix Speed Rul-Z shafts; TP comes in two lofts (19°, 22°), with Matrix Ozik White Tie shafts.

R15 | $219
taylormadegolf.com

Key Features: A smaller, Tour-inspired head shape allows the better player more versatility from more places on the golf course. The hosel is adjustable for a custom-tuned trajectory.
Wow Factor: A no-frills design and mid-launch trajectory make these hybrids more powerful, not only from the fairway, but from the tee, too. It wouldn't surprise us to see a TM Tour player hit one of these Rescues 300 yards.
Specs: Comes in four lofts (17°, 19°, 21°, 24°), with Fujikura Speeder Evolution shafts; TP version comes in three lofts (17°, 19°, 21°).

Titleist

915 Series | $269
titleist.com

Key Features: There are two models for the discerning player: The 915H, which is long and forgiving, yields a high launch; the 915Hd, which has a more compact shape, yields a mid-high trajectory. Both models come with an adjustable hosel for a custom launch.
Wow Factor: The 915H is the most player-friendly hybrid Titleist has ever made. The 915Hd is almost as powerful as a fairway wood. It's incredibly long and a viable driver alternative. Spendy, but very powerful hybrids.
Specs: 915H comes in four lofts (18°, 21°, 24°, 27°) and the 915Hd comes in three lofts (17.5°, 20.5°, 23.5°), both in Aldila Rogue or Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana graphite shafts.

Wilson Staff

D200 | $169
wilsonstaff.com

Key Features: With a 455 maraging stainless-steel face insert for more distance (even when you slightly mis-hit), the D200 also features a bigger face area toward the toe—where, coincidentally, most golfers miss.
Wow Factor: Awesome looks and, again, the Right Light tech increases distance automatically.
Specs: Comes in six lofts (17°, 19°, 22°, 25°, 28°, 31°), with a UST Elements graphite shaft.

Yonex

EZONE XP | $199
yonexusa.com/sports/golf

Key Features: A composite crown and an 8g tungsten screw push the CG way down low and deep, helping to make it a cinch to get the ball airborne. The adjustable hosel allows for a custom launch.
Wow Factor: It probably could be considered a key feature, but it wowed us—the grip has tungsten powder in the cap region, adding 20g of counterbalancing weight! This allows the club to be heavier (more weight = more mass = more momentum) but, because of the counterweight, it still feels as light as a feather.
Specs: Comes in three lofts (19°, 22°, 25°), with Yonex EX300 graphite shafts.

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