Adams Tight Lies fairway woods
Adams Golf plans to revive the Tight Lies family of fairway woods, with several modern upgrades and design features, starting Aug. 15.
"The fairway wood industry has changed over the last two years," said Mike Fox, Adams' director of global product marketing. "The marketplace is filled with 43 1/2-inch, 176cc fairway woods with super-deep faces. We're in a world again where no one can hit their fairway woods. We hear all the time that players don't hit their fairway woods off the deck any more, they hit them off the tee. So this is the perfect time to re-launch Tight Lies."
The original Tight Lies fairway woods were a hit in the late 1990s because they were confidence-inspiring for amateur golfers and made getting the ball airborne much easier. According to Justin Honea, senior director of research and development for Adams Golf, the goal with the new Tight Lies, which is cast 17-04 stainless steel, was to make something very similar – the easiest fairway woods to hit. Period.
To make that happen, Adams developed the new 42 1/2-inch Tight Lies – which will retail for $199 – with a stock Mitsubishi Bassara shaft and a lower profile than most new fairway woods. The Tight Lies measures 1.18 inches from the bottom of the leading edge to the crown, which is 19 percent shorter than the TaylorMade RocketBallz. The head has a 26 percent smaller volume than the average fairway wood, measuring only 133 cubic centimeters.
The smaller volume creates a sound at impact that closely resembles a hybrid. To give the club adequate pop, Adams built the Tight Lies clubhead with channels that have been cut into the crown and sole. The company calls the channels "Velocity Slots;" although they are covered by a polymer, they allow the entire face of the club to flex at impact more effectively. According to Honea, the newly-designed channels, which slope under the crown instead of going straight down, are almost 10 percent more effective than their predecessors. The company says these channels help to maximize ball speed across a larger area of the clubface.
Characteristic time (CT) is used to measure the springiness of a clubface, and according to Honea, the Tight Lies has a CT value of 220, which is just below the larger-headed Adams Super S that was released late in 2012. Drivers typically have a CT value of 230-235, and the USGA limits CT at 237.
"We're going after distance in a different way than a lot of other fairway woods," he said. "I'm not going to say that it's going to win a driving contest, but it's going to win a contest off the fairway for guys who need help getting the ball airborne, who don't create enough spin and who want to land it on the green."
Aside from the channels in the sole and crown, golfers also will instantly notice that the bottom of the club is wider than the crown, with angular areas in the toe and heel sections. Adams says this upside-down tri-sole drives down the center of gravity. In fact, Honea says that the new Tight Lies has the lowest CG of any stainless-steel fairway wood available.
"It's also going to give you the best ability to hit the ball off the fairway, and it glides through the rough because it has so much less turf interaction," Honea said. "You can really get the ball out of some nasty lies."
For players who like the concept of the Tight Lies fairway woods but want slightly less spin and a slightly lower ball flight, Adams has also created the Tight Lies Tour. It will cost $229 and come standard with an Aldila Tour Blue shaft
"The biggest difference is that the Tour is going to give you a deeper face," Honea said. However, in early testing with PGA and Champions Tour players, including Tom Watson and Kenny Perry, the standard version has been the favorite.
At the end of the day, Fox said, the Tight Lies is designed to fill a hole that he says too many players have in their bag.
"Most golfers are looking for a club that they can hit about 200 yards, because that's what most of us have into greens on par 5s," he said. "If you can find a club that can go 200 yards off the fairway, out of the rough and out of fairway bunkers, that's a club that everyone wants and is searching for."
In August, the Tight Lies fairway wood will only be available in a 16-degree model, but 14-, 19- and 22-degree versions will become available starting in November. The Tight Lies Tour will be available in a 14.5-degree model in August, with more loft options becoming available in the fall.