Fairway woods in 2009 GOLF Magazine Buyer’s Guide, golf equipment

1 of 12 Schecter Lee
$179, graphite adamsgolf.com It's for: Average Joes Tim Reed, VP of R&D: "Our goal is to take the best attributes from our previous Hybrid fairway woods and develop a club that provides more playability from all types of lies and conditions. We achieve this by optimizing the mass properties and utilizing a more cambered sole that helps to cut through turf." How it works: The premise is to combine hybrid-like versatility with fairway-wood distance under one roof. The club's "hybrid-like" head properties improve MOI and create lower spin for increased distance. (The "Boxer" head shape delivers 12 percent higher MOI than standard fairway woods.) The aerodynamic design enables you to swing faster, too. Added sole camber (heel to toe) makes it playable from almost any lie. The Speedline Draw Hybrid-fairway wood starts with the same basic principles. "Then we increase inertia around the hosel for better stability and move the CG farther back to get the ball in the air," adds Reed. Buy and Compare This Fairway Wood
2 of 12 Schecter Lee
$199, graphite titleistgolf.com It's for: Primarily 0- to 9-handicappers but playable to 15 Dan Stone, VP of R&D: "Players have different performance needs and expectations from the turf and tee with fairway woods. We have two distinct models to fit those who want something easy to launch and to control trajectory." How it works: 909 F2 is larger than the 909 F3 but has a shallower face. F2 is handy from fairway lies due to internal weighting that creates higher launch and mid-spin. The steel head has a springy Carpenter steel face insert to augment ball speed. The "multi-relief" sole limits bouncing or skipping. A swingweight screw in the sole pulls the club's CG rearward and is used to match head and shaft weights. F2 lofts are 0.5° weaker (13.5°, 15.5°, 18.5°) for higher flight. The deep-face, compact 909 F3 targets low-handicappers. It produces a flatter flight (mid launch, low spin). Buy and Compare This Fairway Wood
3 of 12 Schecter Lee
$229, graphite taylormadegolf.com It's for: All skill levels Dr. Benoit Vincent, Chief Technical Officer: "We set out to create the most compact design of our 'adjustability' system that could survive the harsh conditions of the clubhead going through the turf. The result is a durable, compact mechanism that's fully integrated in a classically shaped fairway wood and that offers launch conditions covering the width of the fairway." How it works: R9 is the first fairway wood to offer real clubhead adjustability. It boasts the firm's new "flight control technology" (FCT) but does not feature "movable weight" technology (MCT). FCT gives you the ability to choose from eight settings to change clubface angle (2° closed to 2° open), loft and lie angle for different trajectories. This translates to 36 yards of left-to-right flight variability. R9 fairway woods have the same sleeve system as in the R9 driver. In theory, you could use your driver shaft in the fairway wood or vice versa. Buy and Compare This Fairway Wood
4 of 12 Schecter Lee
$249, graphite pinggolf.com It's for: All skill levels Marty Jertson, senior design engineer: "We applied the results of a rigorous R&D project where we studied the effects of loft and CG location on trajectory. In our final design, we've increased loft for each wood by 2 degrees over the previous Rapture, and added a 4-wood." How it works: The stainless steel head has a 61-gram tungsten plate (gray outline) that accounts for one-third of the club's total weight. This piece helps to shift mass lower and more rearward. Company testing reveals that shots launch 11 percent higher with 9 percent less spin than the original Rapture. The large, shallow face further contributes to higher trajectory. A machined face is plasma-welded to the steel body to increase ball speed (and distance) on off-center hits. The clubhead is 26 percent smaller than the original Rapture yet 17 percent larger than in the G10. Comes in 3 (16°), 4 (17.5°), 5 (19°) and 7 (22°).
5 of 12 Schecter Lee
$299, graphite nikegolf.com It's for: All skill levels Andrew Oldknow, senior product designer: "This design enhances the square shape for maximum straight-shot performance. The address profile should give you confidence when aligning the club to the target. We design the 'quad keel' sole to power through the ground, similar to the way a boat keel slashes through water." How it works: The term "Dymo" is short for dynamic moment of inertia. In other words, this square head is meant to produce straight shots. Extra rear weighting in the heel and toe pulls the center of gravity back to increase launch and lower spin. Four separate quadrants on the sole (hence, the "quad keel") allow the head to glide through turf for clean contact so shots get airborne easier. A lightweight "widebody" shaft—wider diameter from the grip to six inches above the clubhead—is designed to maintain stiffness as you swing faster. (You may find that some ultra lightweight shafts are more flexible than the flex label suggests.) Nike believes a more stable shaft leads to more aggressive swings. Buy and Compare This Fairway Wood
6 of 12 Schecter Lee
$149, graphite nickentgolf.com It's for: All skill levels John B. Hoeflich, COO: "This is a perfect high- MOI companion to the 3DX RC driver. It is an easy-to-hit, forgiving and powerful club. The simple design allows players of all skill levels to perform well." How it works: The firm's highest-MOI fairway wood (3,545 g x cm2) delivers top-notch forgiveness. The 3DX RC can be played by anyone, really. But it's best suited for higher-handicappers, seniors and those who battle a slice. Weaker than normal lofts help you to get the ball airborne on a high trajectory. It's no surprise that it launches higher shots with more backspin than 4DX fairway woods. The triangular shape combines with a tungsten-polymer back weight to help close the face through impact. Buy and Compare This Fairway Wood
7 of 12 Schecter Lee
$299, graphite mizunousa.com It's for: All skill levels Chris Voshall, club engineer: "Our goal is to utilize exotic face materials and design elements to achieve COR values that approach today's drivers. In other words, this clubface is extremely hot. You'll be amazed on the very first shot." How it works: A strong, thin steel face (dubbed "hot metal") is plasma welded to the 17-4 stainless steel body. The lively face increases the high-COR zone, for faster ball speed and, ultimately, longer shots. Having a lightweight face enables Voshall et al to redistribute extra grams lower and more rearward, to help launch conditions.
8 of 12 Schecter Lee
S9-1 F or S9-1 M: $179, graphite/S9-1 Pro: $199, graphite cobragolf.com It's for: All skill levels Doug Roberts, Principal Design Engineer: "We take an unorthodox approach here by developing fairway woods to perform well on the fairway but also away from the fairway. We want the S9-1 to inspire confidence through a classically styled, highly modern appearance that sports a larger 'footprint.' The result: You can assertively hit S9-1 from the tee, tight lies, rough or fairway and know that it's forgiving and stable." How it works: S9-1 has a large, shallow face that kicks the center of gravity lower and farther rearward. You should expect high-launching shots (and good carry). The S9-1 Pro (pictured) has a smaller head, square-to-open clubface and heavier shaft. It's meant for faster swingers who want a more "workable" design with a bit less built-in forgiveness. Buy and Compare This Fairway Wood
9 of 12 Schecter Lee
$179, graphite clevelandgolf.com It's for: All skill levels Steve Chien, VP of R&D: "We wanted to create a classic-looking wood and still provide forgiveness. The large face provides more hitting area while 'horseshoe' perimeter weighting means better stability and accuracy. We're proud to say this is our highest-MOI fairway wood." How it works: Launcher is ultra-stable through the hitting zone (MOI is 3,000 g x cm2), so mis-hits don't kill you. Having a larger face area (by 11 percent) than previous Launchers means steady output across more of the face. The horseshoe-shaped rear weight—3-wood (11 grams), 5-wood (8 grams) or 7-wood (5 grams)—should improve launch conditions and distance. A beveled leading edge allows it to skim across the turf rather than dig in. Choose your 3-wood ball flight from the 13° loft (low trajectory), 15° (standard) or 17° (high) plus two shafts (Fujikura Gold for standard trajectory) or Fujikura Red (Tour-like flight). Buy and Compare This Fariway Wood
10 of 12 Schecter Lee
$179, steel; $199, graphite callawaygolf.com It's for: All skill levels Dr. Alan Hocknell, VP of Innovation and Advanced Design: "Our new 'Edge' technology helps players close the face at impact, which transfers maximum power to the ball." How it works: The aforementioned "Edge" technology moves mass more to the perimeter, or edge, of the clubhead. This means higher MOI for increased stability through the hitting zone. Translation: Straighter, more forgiving shots. Diablo fairway woods come in Neutral (smaller size, neutral weight placement) or Draw (added mass toward the heel) to match your shot-shape requirements. Lastly, varying the face thickness should increase efficiency with misses. Buy and Compare This Fariway Wood
11 of 12 Scheceter Lee
$219, graphite bobbyjonesgolf.com It's for: Low and mid-handicappers Jesse Ortiz, COO and chief designer: I've always believed that a shallow fairway wood design instills confidence and offers the most playability options from all turf conditions. The magnesium [crown] is much lighter than aluminum or titanium, and allows me the freedom to load weight [in the sole and rear] where it can be most effective for you. My reputation is built on innovative, multi-material fairway woods, and this is the next generation." How it works: Workshop Edition woods have a classic pear shape. The shallow clubface sets up dead-on square in the address position. The face is made of Carpenter 465 stainless steel (to buoy ball speed). The aforementioned traits carry over from previous Jesse Ortiz-designed fairway woods (such as Orlimar Trimetal woods). Updates include a lightweight hosel and magnesium crown that contribute to the club's low center of gravity. The effect should be added pop, and forgiveness, on off-center hits.
12 of 12 Schecter Lee
$369 to $389, graphite touredge.com It's for: All skill levels David Glod, President and founder: "The question I ask myself with each new model is: 'How do we outdo ourselves?' It was hard to improve on our last model but I knew we could do it by utilizing more titanium. A larger clubhead and v-shaped titanium cup face allow us to improve ball speed, especially on off-center hits. The XCG-V fairway wood is a rocket no matter where you catch it on the face." How it works: As Glod states, the heads are bigger (e.g., the 3-wood is 11 percent larger). A light titanium hosel (saves 30 grams) and cup face (25 percent bigger) means that 50 percent more mass gets distributed to the heavy steel sole. Consider this: Sixty percent of the head's total weight is packed into the sole. The by-product is lower CG, less spin, more head stability and faster ball speed across the face.