Adams Golf has created an identity in recent years by christening drivers and fairway woods with names that could belong to airplanes – F11 and Fast 12 being the two most recent.
These names make sense for Adams, which has spent considerable time promoting clubhead aerodynamics in its driver and fairway woods. Adams has developed a knack for describing metalwoods as if they were airplanes.
A new generation of high-COR fairway woods is making an appearance from the company whose foundation rested for years on its Tight Lies fairway woods. Adams soon will introduce its Speedline Fast 12 fairway woods and drivers, and as good as the drivers might be, the fairway woods are the subject of most of the pre-release conversation.
High-COR refers to increased rebound effect off the face. Fairway woods are governed by the same limitations as drivers – that is, .830 COR (coefficient of restitution) or 257 CT (characteristic time) – and suddenly 3-woods are approaching that threshold.
“We’re excited about fairway woods in general for 2012,” said Kerry Kabase, vice president of purchasing and inventory for retailer Edwin Watts. “We think Adams, TaylorMade and other companies have made tremendous advancements. Fairway woods are going to be longer than ever, and we’re going to see some golfers put their hybrids in the closet and go back to fairway woods.”
Adams and TaylorMade are attracting attention because both cite dramatic distance increases in their advertising campaigns (a double-digit boost in carry distance with a 3-wood). Both companies will use touring pros to call attention to the new fairway woods. The implication, though, will be that amateurs, too, can achieve significant yardage gains.
Nike actually started this trend in 2010 when club designer Tom Stites placed a rounded channel in the sole, running parallel to the face. For 2011, Adams introduced a U-shaped slot in both the sole and crown of its F11. The slot was positioned just behind the face.
The overall theory is that the face provides more compression because of the channel or slot. Essentially the face is able to flex more freely. The result, manufacturers say, is additional ball speed and a higher trajectory.
Adams calls its Speedline Fast 12 “the longest and most forgiving fairway wood ever.” It credits this to Velocity Slot Technology.
“By adding slots to the crown and sole of the golf club, we are able to create a thinner face and more flexible structure,” explained Tim Reed, vice president of R & D for Adams. “This allows the clubface to have a spring-like effect that we have only seen before in drivers providing higher ball speed and higher launch angle without increasing spin. Upon further study, we found that the slots also increased forgiveness on off-center shots, making these clubs easier to hit for all golfers.”
The faces on the Fast 12 fairway woods are shallower than those on the Rocketballz fairway woods, which are designed to be taller. The Fast 12 fairway woods are available in standard and draw versions. Lofts for the standard fairway woods (with neutral faces) are 13.5, 15 and 18 degrees. Lofts for the draw version are 15, 18 and 20 degrees.
The stock shaft is an old favorite with a new update — the Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue with Speed Coat Technology. The ProLaunch Blue has been touted as an excellent shaft for fairway woods because it helps produce a high trajectory with enhanced carry distance. Speed Coat Technology focuses on aerodynamics, and True Temper (owner of Grafalloy) will join Adams in talking about improved swing speed.
Cost of the Fast 12 fairway woods is $199.99. They are scheduled to be in retail stores Jan. 26.
Two new drivers will accompany the fairway woods. One is called Fast 12, the other Fast 12 LS. The LS is adjustable for loft, lie, face angle, length and weight. Available lofts are 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5 degrees. All three lofts can be adjusted as much as one degree up or one degree down.
Adjustable length allows a golfer to choose 45 or 45.5 inches as the overall length. At 45.5 inches, a removeable weight in the back of the head can be removed to maintain the stock D3 swingweight.
Aerodynamics are at the heart of the Fast 12 driver. Adams will spend a lot of time talking about airfoils on the crown, sole and skirt. Fast 12 lofts are 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5 degrees for the standard version and 9.5, 10.5 and 12.5 for the draw version.
Standard length of the Fast 12 is 46 inches. The stock shaft for the Fast 12 and Fast 12 LS is the same as the fairway woods, the Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue with Speed Coat Technology.
These two drivers do not feature the Velocity Slot. Because drivers have much larger faces than fairway woods and thus more flex, designers don’t necessarily need channels or slots. (For continuity, Nike has chosen to use a channel in its VR Pro and VR Pro Limited drivers. Like Adams, TaylorMade has bypassed slots in drivers.)
The cost of Fast 12 driver will be $299.99, while the Fast 12 LS driver will sell for $399.99. They will be available Jan. 26.