Best New Fairway Woods
Golf Digest equipment editors Mike Stachura and E. Michael Johnson discuss the new line of fairway woods on this year's Hot List.
Released on 2/2/2016
I think fairway woods, without a question,
are the hardest clubs for today's designers to work on.
Because they have a lot of tools at their disposal,
but the problem is, you've got, sort of,
an off-the-tee set of tools that you want to use,
and then you've got an off-the-fairway set of tools
that you want to use,
in terms of designing the club properly.
But you've kind of got to meet in the middle
or lean one way and sacrifice the other way
and I think that's the struggle with fairway woods.
I think the hard part is,
most three woods today
are designed more as the second driver
than they are off the deck, which is why, as you know,
I'm a big proponent of a four wood, a 17 degree,
call it what you will, that's what I have in my bag,
and you'll remember we ran that test a couple years ago,
where— using everyday players, forget the robot,
the robot's going to hit the three wood further,
but with everyday players, they hit the four wood further
both off the deck
and off the tee.
And the reason for that obviously is,
you can see a little bit more of the face,
and they get more confidence with it.
You can't see the face, you don't have a lot of confidence,
you tend to come in steep and squirrel it off to the right.
Right, we talked about the tools before,
but there's a lot of horsepower in fairway woods today,
they've done things with thinning the crown to—
there are several companies that have the thinnest crown
they've ever had on a fairway wood this year.
There's lot more work being done inside the club head
to push the center of gravity lower,
so you get the benefit of a center of gravity
that's going to help you launch it higher, and help you
launch with less spin. Well how about faces
that are coming up on the COR limit, they're right there,
they're just like drivers, and we talked about how
driver design has trickeled down, well yeah,
if you're trying to make a second driver essentially,
that's what you do,
and the faces have gotten to the point where
there's as much rebound there
on the center hit almost as much as there is in a driver.
But the cool thing now is, unlike the old days,
where you used to buy woods in a set,
you know, driver, three, four,
you can pick and choose what you need.