If your long game can only be described as “long and wrong,” prepare to find some new phrases. We suggest “dart-throwing,” “laser-like” and “money.”) A new trio of fairway wood models from Adams, Ben Hogan and Sonartec aims to make the game easier for the everyman. (That means you.) Each sports a refined shape with plenty of sole-weighting for easy takeoff.
On the lower portion of this page you’ll find a subset to the hybrid category also ready to take off–driving irons. Though not as forgiving as more wood-like hybrids, they offer more shotmaking versatility and are easier to use than traditional long irons off both tee and turf.
Adams Redline RPM Stainless Steel
The steel head sports a composite crown, which allows more weight to go into the sole. The payoff: a 10-gram tungsten sole weight that helps create higher trajectory and soft-landing shots. $250 (graphite); 800-622-0609 or adamsgolf.com
Ben Hogan Big Ben C455
Hogan’s first fairway wood since 1996 offers feel, forgiveness and traditional looks. The steel head has a curving “Speed Slot” design along the toe to improve aerodynamics for faster swing speed, added distance and better overall stability. $225 (graphite); 866-834-6532 or benhogan.com
Sonartec SS-2.5 Mid-Face
A new stainless steel called ST 385 used for the face adds distance. Weight shifted back and toward the heel and toe offers forgiveness and a loftier launch; the cavity in the sole produces a penetrating ball flight. $285 (graphite); 877-237-1190 or sonartec.com
Nike Pro Combo Utility Iron
Seventy grams of tungsten low and deep make these clubs more forgiving than the long irons they replace. The counterweights: A thin forged face and the lightweight True Temper Speed Step shaft. $189 (steel); 888-799-6453 or nikegolf.com
Cleveland Launcher Driving Iron
When company tour reps brought the LDI to last year’s PGA Championship, David Toms and the five other pros put one in their bags–they loved the piercing trajectory. $142 (steel), $ 191 (graphite); 800-999-6263 or clevelandgolf.com
Bridgestone J33 AirMuscle
Precept’s parent company has come out with a new line of clubs and balls for ’05. The J33 AirMuscle sports just 2mm of offset for maximum workability and a .09″ thick forged steel face for soft feel. $199 (graphite); 800-999-6263 or bridgestonegolf.com