In The Mail: Cobra F-Max Superlite Fairway Metal
In The Mail: Cobra F-Max Superlite Fairway Metal In the mail for testing this … Read more.
Survey Results – What’s In YOUR Bag (Drivers and Fairway Woods)
A few weeks ago we asked you to tell us about the equipment in your bag. We already know what the pros play (because the brands they rep bombard us with press releases weekly), but what about the average golfer…or at least the average MyGolfSpy reader?
Golf equipment is a business, we get that. Certainly most of us would play just about anything if we were compensated for our trouble. We’re not, which is why we think it’s much more interesting to hear about the equipment you’ve spent your hard-earned money on.
It’s pay to play vs. paid to play.
Before we get to the first round of results, there are a few things to keep in the back of your minds. By the letter, the average MyGolfSpy reader does not fully represent the average golfer.
We believe our readers are more likely to:
So with all of that out of the way, let’s get to the results.
Not surprisingly, TaylorMade leads our field with a 25.06% share. PING, Titleist, and Callaway are reasonably tightly grouped between 15.43% and 18.53%. After the 4 at the top, it’s a pretty steep drop-off to Cobra at 9.85% and another steep slide to to Nike at 5.48%.
We’re showing you only those companies with at least a 1% share of your bags. Excluding the Other option, the sum total of the remaining brands is 3.25%. That places Other between Adams (2.72%) and Nike.
Notables listed under Other: KZG, Nakshima, Nickent, Bobby Jones, Sinister, Bombtech, Geek, and I don’t carry a driver.
On average, golfers replace their drivers once every 3.7 years. I’d wager the average MyGolfSpy reader replaces his driver at a measurably higher rate.
39.81% of you are gaming drivers that are less than 1 year old, while 68.53% of you are playing drivers 2 years old or less.
On the other end of the spectrum, 8.30% of you are playing a driver that’s 4-years old or older.
I’d be curious to know why those guys haven’t upgraded. Are you comfortable with what you have? Is it cost? Is it the perception that USGA limits mean drivers can’t get any better?
Two observations here. 1) According to the previous chart, somebody is lying. Either that or 2) a bunch of you have already bought new drivers this year. Essentially, 40% of you either will or might buy a new driver this year. That’s a sizable chunk (huge actually), and no doubt some manufacturers believe an even newer model may provide all the enticement you need to pull the trigger.
Of little surprise, only the order of Top 5 changes. TaylorMade remains on top, but likely off the strength of the X(2) Hot, Callaway (21.85%) leaps ahead of both Ping(14.98%) and Titleist (16.56%). Two companies reasonably well-known for their fairway woods, Adams (9.19%) and Tour Edge (6.11%), pull ahead of Nike (5.16%).
It may be interesting to some that while Nike’s percent share is similar between drivers and fairways, it falls from 6 to 8 by rank.
Companies not shown account for a sum total of 1.95% of fairways in your bag. That number fits between Wishon (1.22%) and Wilson (1.67%)
Notables listed under Other: Dynacraft, Orlimar, Sonartec, XXIO, Yamaha, Harvey Penick, and I don’t carry one.
Compare this chart with the same chart for the driver category. The number of you with new fairway woods in your bag (21.79%) is nearly half as few as those with new drivers in the bag. Not surprisingly, the percentage of fairway woods older than 4 years (18.62%) is significantly higher than it is in the driver category.
While we don’t have the exact numbers, we know that golfers buy new fairway woods with less frequency than they do new drivers. Your responses suggest that a healthy percentage of you bought at least one new fairway wood within the last 1 to 3 years. That more or less brings us to the edge of the RocketBallz/XHot era when, for a brief window, fairway woods were sexy again.
Also of note, 3.42% of you don’t carry a fairway wood at all.
A full 64% of you report that you have no plans to buy a new fairway wood these. Obviously plans are subject to change (especially if you break something or what you have now stops working), but what you’ve told us suggests that consumer purchase cycles for fairway woods may be leveling off, or perhaps even returning to pre-RBZ levels.
Fairway woods aren’t the it club anymore, and could be on the verge of regaining their status as a barely-necessary evil, particularly among average to high handicap golfers.
On a more positive note, 9.42% of you told us you are planning to buy a new fairway wood this season, while 26.58 say you might.
I suppose we shouldn’t find this surprising given what we know about our readership, but nevertheless, I do.
At a club with roughly 300 members I can count on one hand the number of guys I’ve played with who have something other than stock in their drivers. Even among the best players, the percentages are almost certainly lower in the real world than they are with gearheads such as ourselves.
More than 45% (46.53%) of you told us that you play an aftermarket shaft in your driver. Even here, I would have guessed 30%…tops.
It would interesting to better understand the split between those of you who were fit (and stick to a single shaft), and those of you who are compulsive dabblers.
It can be argued that when golf companies run out of ideas, they simply re-invent old ones. That which was once called the 2-wood has evolved into the Mini Driver.
TaylorMade introduced the first of the new breed last year with the SLDR S Mini. That was followed by this season’s AeroBurner Mini, which will soon be followed by Callaway’s Big Bertha Mini, and eventually, I suspect, other Mini-like clubs.
As of this moment, more than 55% of you are telling us you are not interested in the category, while another 5.69% of you told us you’re unfamiliar with the category entirely. I’d be willing to wager that both of those numbers will have changed substantially by this time next year.
TaylorMade hasn’t done any significant marketing around either of its Mini products (it’s little more than a word of mouth club at this point), but I suspect once competition hits shelves we’ll hear quite a bit more about the benefits of the various Minis, and that should pique curiosity.
We’ll be posting your responses in the hybrid, iron, wedge, and putter categories in the coming weeks.
Cobra Fly Z Plus Fairway Wood
Cobra Fly-Z+ Fairway Wood The Fly-Z+ is Cobra’s tour-style fairway wood. The compact head…
Six of You Are About to Test a Prototype Fairway Wood
The opportunity to test a true pre-release prototype golf club doesn’t come along every day. Think about it, how often do average golfers actually get to contribute to the development of a yet to be released club? Consumer testing a golf club well before it’s ready for market…that sort of thing never happens.
Considering how unique of an opportunity this is, we are truly excited to select 6 readers to test a prototype PowerBilt fairway wood.
These 6 guys will be asked to test the Air Foil and provide PowerBilt with feedback that will directly shape the further development of this yet to be released club.
The lucky readers are:
We’ll be reaching out shortly to confirm specs and go over the testing plan.
We are working on proving you with more opportunities to test new gear and contribute to the design of new releases. There is definitely more to come.
In the meantime, if you haven’t done so already, sign up for our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss out on these future opportunities.
Community Review – Bobby Jones Black Driver, Fairway, and Hybrid
by GolfSpy WD
As mentioned in this forum post, we look for testers who are forum members in good standing, who have contributed quality posts in the past, and who are able to take the time it takes to write one of our rigorous community reviews. We keep a list of our active forum members and encourage everyone to post without fear of censorship and we do read everything.
From our pool we selected members wbealsd, mudfish, and txstcatman because of their history contributing to the forums, and because each fits into the Bobby Jones target market. As a quick aside, our community reviews test clubs within the intended market segment for the club. We’re not looking to put blades in the hands of a 36 capper or send someone clubs history shows they won’t like. Beyond that though, our community testers are asked to speak their mind and write exactly what they think of the clubs after careful testing over a four week period.
After we selected our testers and sent their specs to the Bobby Jones rep, Jesse Ortiz, the lead designer for Bobby Jones, contacted us saying he wanted to make sure our testers were properly fit and worked with Graphite Designs to fit each of our testers the best they could via email.
As is the case with all MyGolfSpy Community Member Testing, the selected golfers are provided with a review template and some general guidelines for testing. Depending on the access of each individual, testing may or may not involve the use of a launch monitor. The procedures and protocols used to collect and analyze data differ significantly from those used in MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Testing. As such, the opinions and views expressed in this review are those of the author and may not reflect the opinions or views of MyGolfspy and its staff.
Written by: Txstcatman
Photos By: wbealsd, mudfish, and txstcatman
Letter from Jesse Ortiz
Since I use Graphite Design shafts for all of my offerings, I sent your specs to Bill McPherson at GDI for his recommendations for you. Looking at what you currently are using, he came up with:
Tour AD MT7 – for the driver
GT8 – for the fairway wood
AD Di-85 – for the hybrid
I didn’t have Pure Grips, so I went with Tour Velvets figuring you could change them out. The driver is loud but that is common with cup-face design drivers. Put aside the sound and focus on performance. The drivers & fairway woods are FACE ANGLE adjustable. The hybrid is LIE ANGLE adjustable.
Please feel free to call me with any questions. My cell is xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thanks for your time to test these.
So my unboxing post had a bit of the child-like wonder and awe associated with being selected for such an opportunity. Afterwards, I started to think about what exactly I knew about the Bobby Jones golf brand. Aside from watching a movie or two about the man, my only knowledge was from some infomercials about wedges that were on TV a long time ago. I could tell you that I knew about the little copper medallion used in marking the clubs produced by Bobby Jones Golf, but that is about all I knew.
Thanks to this chance to review a driver, fairway, and hybrid, I am more likely to pay attention to the direction of this brand. Bobby Jones isn’t a big player in the big box stores, but I don’t think you necessarily have to be in order to be successful.
As a set, I’ve been very comfortable putting these clubs in play. From the very beginning, I liked the gaps in lofts, and went with the three as my non-iron setup in the bag. I feel that the fairway and hybrid travel through the turf especially well, even in thick rough. It’s easy to make contact with the ball in most lies. The driver is a club I’ve always struggled with for consistency, yet I finally think I have a tool in the bag that can allow for consistency.
I love the shape of the fairway and hybrid clubs. The driver looks a bit odd at first, reminding me of the 2009 TM Burner when looking down at it. The odd curvature behind the toe is funky, but easy to get used to. The graphics on the crown and sole of the clubs are simple, understated, and pretty pleasing given the latest trends of having words and stripes on available clubs. I really liked the “power button” alignment aid as I am a bit geeky about computers. The matte black and red graphics look really good to my eye, and the sole graphics being simple make the club look very streamlined.
After a half dozen rounds and several range sessions, I’d say these clubs wear just as well as any other black faced club on the market. The driver still looks like new, while the fairway and hybrid have shown more wear due to ground contact.
Compared to other brands’ offerings in these club categories, I’d have to say that Bobby Jones Golf is definitely on the right track to providing quality products. The use of Graphite Design shafts is a huge plus, and instills a sense of confidence when putting the clubs in play. I’d definitely say that these clubs are on par, if not better, than others available now in terms of looks. You should definitely take a look at them if the opportunity presents itself.
Both the fairway and hybrid clubs provide a nice, muted “tink” sound that I really enjoy hearing upon impact. The driver, however, took a little while to get used to. The best way I could describe it is a comparison to the Nike SQ Sumo drivers.
The Bobby Jones model doesn’t sound nearly as loud as its yellow predecessor, but it still gives me flashbacks to playing little league baseball with metal bats. I definitely saw heads turn my way on the range and even had playing partners comment on the sound during the rounds I played. It passes after a few swings, especially when you catch one really good and just smile when you get to your second shot AFTER everyone else.
The sound really translates to how the ball feels coming off the face. The cup face design provides a lot of spring that can be felt on impact. I will say that shots on different parts of the face of all three clubs sounds pretty consistent, with only the driver providing a really discernible difference in contact areas.
If the driver could sound more like the fairway and hybrid, we’d have the best sounding clubs I’d ever experienced.
I would definitely consider a purchase of the hybrid in this set. Being a poor fairway club player, I have a hard time with most 3 and 5 woods. However, if Bobby Jones offered a stronger lofted hybrid I’d consider it in an instant. The driver would be a strong consideration compared to other clubs I’ve tried, only because I’ve experienced how, when set up correctly, it can provide consistent performance.
I love the way these clubs look, sound, and feel. Looking at them almost makes me forget that I don’t hit fairways well, or that I struggle with driver consistency. The clubs look the way clubs should, simple in design and graphics, and with the right colors. The fairway and hybrid sound amazing enough to forgive that of the driver, making it easy to put all three clubs into play in the bag.
As an avid golfer who doesn’t take lessons, doesn’t put any stock into what the wannabe teaching pro hitting balls at the range has to say, and tinkers more than he practices, I finally feel like I’ve received the “golden ticket” to getting my metal play on track. I have enjoyed my time with the clubs thus far, and look forward to their continued use on the course. I think I’m on the right track, and look forward to seeing improved scoring chances with them. I am already used to the sound of the driver, and I suggest to anyone who has a chance to try these clubs to look past that particular aspect of performance, just as Jesse asked us to do.
For more information visit the Bobby Jones Golf Website.
SPY PICS! – PING G30 Driver and G30 Fairway
The first pics of PING’s apparently upcoming G30 Driver and Fairway are hitting the virtual airwaves, and damn…this one has an unusual design feature that’s certainly to get you guys talking.
PING doesn’t do gimmicks right? That’s their rep, and yet it would appear they’re about to release a driver with spikey, horn things on the leading edge of the crown. That’s odd, right? Who ever thought PING would be the first to offer the Rhino driver?
Aignment aid? Who needs ‘em…not when you’ve got Turbulators?
I really can’t say how these Turbulator things came to be, but I can tell you that, according to Wikipedia anyway, horned lizards are indigenous to Arizona so I suppose it’s entirely possible that Marty Jertson and the rest of the PING design crew saw one of those lizards basking on a rock behind their R&D facility, and maybe pulled some inspiration from it.
It’s hot in Phoenix, and strange things happen to the mind when it overheats.
Is that actually where the Turbulators came from? I doubt it, but it’s what I can give you right now.
Did I mention the Turbulators?
Not unlike the Team at Titleist, Team PING won’t have word one too say until the G30 becomes officially official, but I’m absolutely certain that if this driver had a TaylorMade logo on it some of you would be screaming BULLSHIT! at the top of your lungs without taking a moment’s breath to find out if there’s an actual and legitimate performance story behind this Turbulator thing.
But this is PING, so I’m cautiously optimistic you’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, at least until they’re ready to explain it.
In reality, PING is no stranger to unconventional designs. They’ve basically succeeded through outside-the-box thinking and a Function-First approach to design. If that means the end product is a little different, then so be it. Once upon a time there was nothing like the PING Anser putter. Eye 2 irons with perimeter weighting…What about the PING ZING 2 irons? Odd at best, right?
The Doc series putters are bizarre by any conventional standard, and the K15 series of metalwoods is about as far off the beaten path as a mainstream manufacturer is likely going to venture. At least that was the case before the G30 series and this whole Turbulator thing.
You also can’t totally discount the target market either. While Turbulators might not fly on the i-series, the G-series crowd is likely more receptive to a less than traditional approach to product design.
Short story…the G-series crowd won’t care that G30 looks a little different if it performs as well or better than the G25.
While the pics don’t provide details, it would appear that PING has stepped up its ajustability game. Degree increments aren’t labeled (just plus signs and rectangles), but there are more of them than on previous PING hosels, so it looks like PING may be catching up to the rest of the industry.
Actual details not withstanding, what do you think of the new G30 series? More to the point, would you consider playing a driver with Turbulators or would you discount it immediately because of that feature alone? What’s your read on this…disinterested, mildly curious, or totally excited?
First Look! – Tour Edge Exotics Limited Edition CB Pro Fairway Wood
Written By: Tony Covey
Just yesterday we heard grumblings about what’s perceived as a near total lack of actual innovation coming out of the big golf companies. Apparently those big OEM guys are coasting by on gimmicks, and haven’t actually come up with anything impactful in decades.
Well today we’ve got something that might just get some of you to settle down for a little while; at least those of you who don’t immediately assume this is yet another golf company gimmick.
The story we heard is that Tour Edge’s upcoming CB Pro is really making waves on the range at the MBW Championship.
A couple of days ago we received pictures of an upcoming Limited Edition fairway wood from TourEdge Golf. The new CB Pro (Limited Edition) is the latest iteration of the CB Line (clubs generally designed for better players), and is constructed with the same seamless (no-weld) combo-brazed, titanium cupped face hyper steel body as previous CB fairway iterations.
While it has been a while since Tour Edge has updated the Exotics CB Line, the clubs remain popular with lower handicap golfers (and the occasional wanna-be), in part due to their mostly traditional appearance, but more so their performance, which more the a few golfers will tell you still rivals anything on the market today.
That’s all well and good, and a new Exotics CB Fairway would almost certainly garner plenty of attention on its own, but what’s certainly going to have people talking (and other golf companies looking very closely at the design) is what TourEdge is calling the Slip Stream sole.
The story behind the Slip Stream design is that it “dramatically minimizes turf contact”, which allows the club to glide through the turf with minimal impact -regardless of how steep of a swing you happen to put on it.
Steep or flat, Tour Edge says CB Pro will work for you.
Visually, Slip Steam looks like a collection of 9 linguine noodles spaced and bent (they’re wavy) in such that you basically couldn’t rest anything across the sole of the club and still maintain 100% surface contact with it.
Lots of companies talk about minimizing turf interaction, but this is one of those rare occasions where you can actually see how it’s done.
We’ve seen similar designs in the past, but none made it past prototype phase, and none came from a company with the type of fairway wood chops that TourEdge has. Past experience suggests that CB Pro will be a solid performer, even if Slip Stream is proven to be just another gimmick (which incidentally, I don’t think is going to happen).
It goes without saying that we’re anxious to check this one out for ourselves.
So I guess the Fujikura Speeder Shaft thing (661 and new 757) qualifies as a good thing. That’s a pretty solid upgrade, but expensive…that may not begin to cover it.
Suggested retail price for the Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro Fairway is $499.99.
One more time for those who think I just made another in a long line of famous typos:
Suggested retail price for the Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro Fairway is $499.99.
Yup…Tour Edge is releasing a $500 Fairway Wood. I love the ambition, but besting any other titanium faced fairway on the market by $200…it’s going to be a tough sell.
As much as I find the constant (and often misinformed) “they stole x from y” stuff we hear almost anytime something new comes out tiresome (and painfully unoriginal), it is true that golf companies do very often find inspiration in each other’s work.
It’s going to be exceptionally interesting to see if and how the Tour Edge design is coopted by other manufacturers into their own fairways, and probably hybrids too.
Look for the TourEdge CB Pro Fairway Wood to hit stores this November.
TaylorMade R11S Fairway Wood $150 Off
Three Legged Alligator Crosses Fairway At Zurich Classic
The Fairway Wood is Dead
The fairway wood isn’t dead yet…but it sure as hell looks like it’s dying.
Yes, I’ve heard of RocketBallz, but in this case, Stage 2 means terminal. Never mind Speedline, Adams should call their next fairway wood the Flatline. Why call them fairway woods at all? Calling them panda woods seems more appropriate. Extinction is all but certain.
I suppose TaylorMade, and Callaway, and Nike, and just about everyone else with a new for 2013 fairway wood would disagree, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.
There’s a strange phenomenon that sometimes happens as terminally ill patients near the end. In the hours before they flatline they experience a surge of energy. They are renewed, they are vital, and then they are gone.
And yes…I first learned about the surge while (not) watching Grey’s Anatomy. Personally, I hate the show, and basically watch it by accident when my wife watches it, but I definitely don’t like it. It totally sucks. That is my official story. And I’m absolutely sticking to it.
Where fairway woods are concerned, after barely breathing for the better part of a decade, The Surge happened last season. With the release of RocketBallz TaylorMade reinvigorated a market segment golfers had largely stopped caring about. Lured by the promise of 17 MORE YARDS, golfer suddenly found themselves energized to do something they hadn’t considered in years; buy new fairway woods.
And they did…by the truckloads. Lots and lots of truckloads. For its efforts TaylorMade raked in something in the neighborhood of a gozillion dollars, and set record sales numbers…again.
This season, the beeps aren’t what they were a year ago. Sales, like the heartbeat of the fairway wood, are slowing. We’re inching closer to the end.
Beep…Beep…Beeeeeeeeep_____________________ (pulls the plug so we can all mourn in silence).
You can say what you want about TaylorMade…hell, I’ve said lots of things about TaylorMade, but you’ll never hear me call them stupid. They must have known that the momentum from the original RocketBallz wasn’t wholly sustainable. You just gave me 17 more yards (actually in my case it was 37 yards), I don’t really need 10 more…not from hardest to hit club in the bag, and not from a club I just replaced last year (unless it’s the driver…in which case…sure, 10 more yards sounds fantastic).
Callaway for its part must have believed the same with the XHot fairway. Maybe there’s a little noise to be made. Give Callaway some credit for reviving, the 7, 9, and even the 11 wood, but a full-on lighting strike isn’t happening two years in a row. Not with a fairway wood.
Even the most promiscuous of club hos doesn’t replace his fairway woods every season.
The point is, even if nobody expects to sell a freighter full of fairway woods, you still have to put something on the shelves. Their presence alone shouldn’t suggest that the consumer actually wants them.
When I picked up the game, a 3 wood and a 5 wood were practically mandatory for every golfer on the course. Those days are over. The 7, 9, and 11 woods are bordering on extinction (Callaway’s XHot could prove to be the last of the species), and even the 5 wood is just barely clinging to life. Some golfers (including your’s truly more often than not) have abandoned the fairway wood altogether, and an increasing majority rely on just a single fairway wood to get them through their rounds.
Ideally they never have to use it.
More often than not it’s a 3 wood. For some it’s a 4 wood. Beyond that…well…there’s probably nothing beyond that.
Fairway woods are an evil of dwindling necessity.
So how did we reach a point in time where the once mighty fairway wood is slowly going the way of the jigger? The way I see it, you can’t point the finger 3 places; neglect, hybrids, and the PGA Tour.
Blame the golf companies. While perhaps not for lack of trying, for the better part of a decade engineers and designers conjured up what basically amounts to zero innovation on the fairway wood front. At the beginning of last season when I spoke to Benoit Vincent, TaylorMade’s Chief Technology Officer, he told me that revolutionizing the fairway wood has been on his to-do list for 10 years, and RocketBallz was the first time in a decade his team had achieved the goal.
10 years. That’s a long time to without any significant technological breakthroughs (real or imagined), and TaylorMade certainly wasn’t alone. The golf companies inadvertently conditioned golfers to believe that fairway woods were the ultimate equipment commodity. They’re all they same. They haven’t changed in years.
We’ll make your drives go farther. We’ll make you a better iron player. Have you tried the new hybrid? Check out the grooves on these wedges.
The fairway wood…don’t bother. What’ s the point?
In a decade we can give you 15 drivers each better than the one that came before it, but a fairway wood…meh…stick with what you got.
And that’s exactly what most guys did…it’s what most still do. I can’t count the number of times a reader has told me that nothing on today’s market can touch the Titleist he’s had for the last decade.
About the same time that fairway wood futility was setting in, hybrids/rescues began to emerge as viable alternatives to long irons. As golfers became more and more comfortable with the idea of no longer bagging difficult to hit 3 and 4 (and in some cases 5, 6, and 7) irons, many started to wonder if it might be possible to replace those even more difficult to hit fairway woods with lower lofted hybrids.
Questions flooded forums, “Can I replace my 5 wood with a 2 hybrid?”, and as golfers experimented many learned that what little they lost in distance by switching to a hybrid, they more than made up for in accuracy. There’s always something to be said for swinging on plane and hitting the ball with the center of the face. Who needs this 5 wood?
Keeping up with growing consumer demand, manufacturers focused more of their attention on the emerging hybrid space. In many cases, higher lofted 3 and 4 iron replacements were accompanied by 19°, and then 18°, and then 16°, and now 15° hybrids. Hybrids are no longer designed just to replace irons. Hybrids are being designed to replace fairway woods, and with 15° offerings, one could argue they’re being designed to render the 3-wood obsolete.
Given the distance increases companies are achieving with rescue clubs, we could be one well-designed 13° hybrid away from the extinction of the 3-wood.
Now if I’m being completely objective, it’s impossible not to notice that today’s modern long hybrid aren’t much different from yesterday’s fairway woods. Only a few CCs and ½” or so separates the modern 15° hybrid from the 3 wood of a decade ago.
You can call them whatever you want, but the clubs themselves simply aren’t that different, but hybrids have the benefit of reputation. They’re easier to hit. Fairway woods…they’re hard to hit. Scrap ‘em if you can.
THE PGA TOUR
Whether you define the shape of influence as a pyramid or a sphere, the single greatest retail influencer remains the the PGA Tour. And those tour guys, they’ve done a piss-poor lousy job of selling the consumer on new fairway wood technology.
It’s not that Callaway’s XHot marketing has been totally ineffective, or that TaylorMade hasn’t gotten some attention with their #IER campaign (Johnson Wagner saying “Mustache-IER” is funny), it’s that despite supposed advancements in technology, guys…lots of guys on the PGA Tour continue to win with what the manufacturers would have the rest of us believe is obsolete technology.
Looking back from this year’s WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral to last season’s Masters, no fewer than 15 wins (and that doesn’t include multiple winners like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy) are credited to guys carrying something other than the latest fairway wood technology. And we’re not talking about guys who are just a little slow transitioning from last year’s model to this year’s model. We’re talking about some seriously old, antiquated, find-it-for-thirty-bucks-or-less-on-eBay gear.
Those winner’s bags include such classics as Titleist’s 980F and 906F2, TaylorMade’s Burner, Nike’s SQ Sumo, and Callaway’s famed FT-i.
And then there’s Cleveland staffer Charlie Beljan. He won without a single fairway wood in the bag (he carried 15° and 20° hybrids).
If the best players in the world – guys for whom a single shot can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars – aren’t finding the performance gains to justify an upgrade, why should the average joe drop upwards of $300 on a club he can’t hit straight anyway?
I’ve been predicting the end of fairway woods for years, and yet they keep limping along. Truthfully, I probably got a little ahead of myself (what can I say, I’m a visionary) and TaylorMade’s success with the RBZ last season admittedly forced me to bump my time table back a bit. I’ll begrudgingly accept that it’s probably not time to pull the plug on the 3 wood just yet. It’s not going away any time soon (if ever), but the 5 wood is on a life support, and most everything else…let’s just say they might not outlive the Javan Rhino.
As long as the tour guys keep playing something of the 3 wood variety, I suspect golfers will continue to occasionally buy new 3 woods, but despite best efforts from Callaway, TaylorMade, and anyone else who thinks they’ve got the next IT fairway, we’re unlikely to see another year like last year any time soon. Golfers will revert to their old habits, and that means fairway woods will only get replaced when it’s absolutely necessary. It’s probably better that way.
They’re all the same right? You stick with what you got, and I’ll keep not watching Grey’s Anatomy.
We want to know (share with us in the comments section):