Best New Fairway Woods 2018

Golf Digest editors E. Michael Johnson and Ashley Mayo discuss how the trickle down of driver technology has transformed fairway woods.

Released on 1/30/2018

Transcript

00:00
So how have we seen driver technology
00:02
trickle down to fairway woods?
00:04
Easy answer is all the good things
00:06
that you're trying to do with a driver,
00:08
make the face more flexible, save weight
00:11
and redistribute around the perimeter for forgiveness,
00:13
those things are happening in fairway woods.
00:18
Obviously it's a smaller package,
00:20
you have less of a trampoline,
00:21
so you've gotta do things with special heat treatments
00:25
and special steels that are gonna be more flexible.
00:28
I think what's exciting is you're getting fairway woods
00:32
in terms of their faces flexing, they're flexing
00:36
at the same rate that is at the legal limit.
00:38
Wow.
00:39
As far as USGA goes.
00:40
So, in a sense, fairway woods are the same
00:43
as drivers in terms of ball speed.
00:44
But the big difference obviously
00:46
is that driver you hit off a tee
00:48
and a wood you hit off the ground.
00:50
So what are the adjustments that
00:52
have to be made in terms of design?
00:54
The sole is a crucial element
00:56
in all of this in fairway wood design.
00:59
The one thing that soles do is contribute
01:03
to the way the lower part of the face flexes.
01:05
So you see channels and soles and slots
01:07
all things like that to help the face flex
01:11
on those low-face impacts because
01:12
we're hitting it off the ground.
01:14
But you've also gotta make the sole
01:16
smoothly go through the ground so we're seeing
01:19
the return of rails on the sole,
01:22
and reduced contact area on the sole,
01:25
and you think 'well okay that makes sense,
01:27
but what difference does that make?'
01:29
Well we're talking about really increasing
01:31
club head speed because the club's not slowed down
01:34
by going through the ground and all the sudden
01:36
more club head speed automatically leads to more distance.
01:39
They're thinking not just we're gonna hit it
01:43
in the center of the face all the time
01:44
and that spring-like effect is gonna
01:46
be the source of distance, we're thinking
01:49
how can we make the club move faster
01:50
to get more distance too?
01:52
[Ashley] And so I have just one wood, a four wood.
01:55
Do I need more?
01:56
How many woods do golfers really need?
01:58
Again I think it's one of those things
02:00
that's tied to personal preference
02:02
but also tied to club head speed.
02:04
Michelle Wie has four fairway woods in her bag,
02:07
Dustin Johnson has one.
02:08
I'd say the universe needs to be leaning
02:12
a little bit more towards Michelle Wie
02:14
than Dustin Johnson in a lot of respects.
02:16
So yeah you have to think about your club head speed
02:19
in terms of how you're approaching these longer shots.
02:23
Are you trying to advance the ball
02:25
or are you trying to attack the green?
02:27
And that's gonna sort of determine
02:29
how many more higher-lofted fairway woods
02:31
you put in the bag.
02:32
So those are two great, basic questions
02:34
to kinda figure out how many woods you need.
02:37
Personally though, I wanted be a little more like Michelle,
02:39
so I'm gonna go out now and buy
02:42
maybe one or maybe two woods.
02:44
I think I wanna be more like Michelle too.
02:51
(instrumental music )
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