ClubTest review of fairway woods from Bobby Jones, Callaway, Nike and TaylorMade.

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How We Did It Our research partner, Hot Stix Golf, captured data using the Trackman launch monitor. ClubTesters evaluated clubs on the driving range and course. They played shots from the fairway, rough and off the tee. For a more detailed description of the methodology, visit our website at Where We Did it The Hot Stix Performance Center at Legend Trail G.C. in Scottsdale, Arizona Rating System How it works: Testers vote on Look, Feel, Playability, Forgiveness and Distance. The winning model (the one that receives the most points) is awarded GOLF Magazine/ClubTest 5-star status. 5 Stars — Excellent 4 Stars — Very Good 3 Stars — Good 2 Stars — Average 1 Star — Poor
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Bobby Jones Players Series $199, graphite WE TESTED: 13°, 15°, 17° and 19° in Graphite Design JS-6 and JS-7 graphite shaft COMPANY LINE: "Constructed of a 17-4 stainless steel body, a super-thin forged maraging crown, and strong, thin Carpenter 465 face. Weight is relocated from the hosel, crown and face to the rear sole area, to increase trajectory and accentuate gear effect." Our Test Panel Says: • Pros: Small head makes it extremely nimble from rough; consistently longer than testers' current woods; long on mis-hits; more effective from the rough and fairway than the tee; natural, conventional look a favorite of traditionalists; penetrating ball flight; very good from tight and otherwise poor lies. • Cons: Not as forgiving directionally as others tested; stock stiff shaft may not be stiff enough for fast swingers. "If you want to smash one out of the schmaltz, this is your club." — Peter Kraus (20)
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Callaway FT-i Squareway $299, graphite WE TESTED: 15°, 18° in Fujikura Fit-On M graphite shaft COMPANY LINE: "The stainless steel face and body combine with a composite crown to produce fairway woods with the highest inertia and lowest CG in our line. Its MOI approaches that of our best-selling drivers." Our Test Panel Says: • Pros: Crisp, powerful feel; very accurate from rough; a great club for those who typically slice; does what you'd expect, it kills sidespin; hot face means good distance forgiveness on mis-hits; fine balance, like other Callaway woods; corrects errors direction-wise; a fairway-seeker from the tee; square head makes alignment a snap; most approve of draw-bias head. • Cons: Big head and face can make it difficult to hit consistently well from fairway; its head shape won't appeal to the masses. "Better from rough than the fairway — a penetrating trajectory when the ball sits in light rough." — Jim Esther (20)
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TaylorMade r7 CGB Max $299, graphite WE TESTED: 3 (15°) in REAX 45 graphite shaft COMPANY LINE: "The triangular head incorporates an exceptionally far-back CG, which makes it easy to launch the ball high and deep. 'SuperFast Technology' reduces total club weight and promotes faster swing speed for added distance." Our Test Panel Says: • Pros: Very good overall performer; hot face gets the ball out in a hurry; great driving club, strong, accurate and forgiving; fine combination of playability and forgiveness; high "ping" as ball flies from face; difficult to pull, almost impossible to hook; stable at impact, little to no twisting; strong feel and feedback; weighting promotes a high ball flight that straightens out. • Cons: Triangular design and dynamic color scheme has naysayers; some find it too similar to r5 model in feel and distance. "Any longer off the tee and I'd put my driver head cover on it." — Jack Record (12)
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Nike SasQuatch Sumo2 $229, graphite WE TESTED: 15° in Mitsubishi Diamana graphite shaft COMPANY LINE: "Square shape distributes weight to the farthest corners of the head, promoting forgivingly straight shots from any lie. A 'monorail' sole makes it easier to hit from all types of lies. The Cryo Steel face provides a large, responsive sweet spot." Our Test Panel Says: • Pros: A master at keeping it in play; most accurate of the test group; easiest of the four to hit consistently well; very little sidespin equals great accuracy; square head reduces twisting on impact; superior feel on off-center shots; high ball flight limits roll but means soft landings; very good head stability; confidence booster for long par-3s; easyswinging fairway finder; dense head encourages aggressive swings. • Cons: Can get caught up in long rough; small faint triangle on top isn't much of an alignment aid. The voting was quite close but the Nike SQ Sumo2 outslugged the competition. Its overall accuracy and forgiveness pushed Sumo2 over the top. "Superb forgiveness on off-center shots." — Jack Record (12) "An explosive feel. One of the strongest, smoothest woods that I've tried." — Dave Lucarelli (15)
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Launch Monitor Testing Data by HOT STIX GOLF Straight-hitting woods let you swing away with confidence WHAT WE DID Our 12 testers hit hundreds of balls with the 3-wood of each model from fairway lies. Hooked up to a launch monitor, the testers hit clubs in varying order. Well-struck shots were then recorded, and we averaged their totals. Here's how the clubs faired.
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DISPERSION CHART The size and location of each bubble in the lower chart on the left is the average of the standard deviations for each player for a given club. Measurements are in yards. WHAT WE LEARNED • Distance: These are bunched tightly in carry distance, falling within three yards of one another. Three of the four models are within one yard of each other for total distance. • Trajectory: The TaylorMade r7 CGB Max has the highest ball flight, followed by the Nike SQ Sumo2. The Callaway FT-i Squareway flies lowest. • Control: The Nike SQ Sumo2, followed closely by Callaway FT-i Squareway, provides the most directional forgiveness. The TaylorMade and Bobby Jones woods offer a good deal of help, too.