By Rob Sauerhaft
Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Crank up your tee game with innovations like composite tops, moveable weights and unconventional head shapes.

Big companies are not always the leaders in innovation (although Kraft did invent Cheez Whiz). Three smaller players--Adams, Bobby Jones and Yonex--are pushing the boundaries of club technology and making noise in a crowded market place. Now if only they could invent a nacho chip that stays fresh as long as our jar of Cheez Whiz. That would be genius!

Adams Redline RPM 460 Dual

Adams established its rep with low-profile steel fairway woods. How times have changed! This Redline is the game's first 460 cc titanium driver to boast a composite crown and adjustable weighting. It's an intriguing package. There's built-in forgiveness due to the massive head, with the customization of removable weights. Two chambers in the rear let you dial in your best launch conditions. The RPM's internal face structure--sculpted to increase ball speed on center and off-center hits--is hidden, but plays a critical role in the club's overall performance.
$349 (graphite); 800-622-0609 or adamsgolf.com

Bobby Jones Players Series for Women

Don't be misled by the girlie name. The Players Series for Women can aid and abet your slower-swinging (75 mph or less) guy friends, too (but not you, of course). The driver has 35 grams more in the back heel than traditional titanium sticks. So what? So you'll smack fewer banana balls since heel-weight helps close the face. The club's angled crown also moves mass heel-side. A 14-degree driver can be purchased individually, or as the cornerstone to a chic nine-club set (3-wood, 5-wood, 7-wood, 9-wood, 11-wood, 8/9-iron, pitching wedge and sand wedge).
$250 (driver only), $1,300 (full set); 866-858-5522 or bobbyjonesshop.com

Yonex Cyberstar CT

Yonex was a trailblazer at the time of the first composite-crown titanium drivers. The firm continues to reach for the stars with Cyberstar CT (stands for carbon and titanium). At 460 cc, it's a bigger, beefier version of the Cyberstar PowerBrid that packed a wallop in its own right. The CT's key attributes are the large composite crown--15 grams lighter than a comparable one made of titanium--and the bigger (by 13 percent) head. The benefit is additional mass along the club's perimeter to better control your misses. Plus, the crown is designed to flex at impact. This movement jump-starts ball speed, reduces spin and helps to achieve higher takeoffs.
$450 (graphite); 800-44-Yonex or yonex.com

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