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Adams Super S and LS Fairways: Editor Review
Summary: It's pricey ($230), but the titanium-constructed LS might be the longest fairway wood on the market.
Pros: The slots on crown and sole of Adams’ new Super S and LS fairway woods create a higher launch that sends the ball soaring. They also help create more spring-like effect for more distance, and boost performance on off-center hits. The Super LS model has a 2-degree range of adjustability, and its titanium crown and face creates an insane amount of ball speed.
Cons: The high price of the Super LS ($230) will be a deterrent for many golfers. The Super S isn’t adjustable, and during testing I found it to be more prone to balooning than the Super S driver and hybrid.
The Bottom Line: Fairway woods are trending toward more ball speed, higher flight and more forgiveness, and the Adams Super S and LS are no exception. If you want more distance, try the LS. If you want more forgiveness or need a higher ball flight, try the S.
The principal difference between the Adams Super LS and S fairway woods is their construction. The Super LS was designed with a titanium face and crown, which are welded to a stainless steel sole. The titanium gives the the LS an extremely hot face — Adams says it has a spring-like effect that is near the USGA’s legal limit an an extremely low center of gravity that Adams says launches the ball 20 percent higher than previous models.
The Super S has an all-stainless-steel construction that has slightly less spring-like effect. But it’s larger and easier to hit than the Super LS, and also launches the ball about 20 percent higher.
Both models have Adams’ Velocity Slot Technology — slots on the crown and sole that act as springs to enhance the distance and forgiveness on off-center hits. They’re thinner, longer and deeper than the slots on previous models, which give the clubs a cleaner look.
The standard shaft for the Super S fairway metal is a Matrix Radix S-60 (A, R, S and X flexes), and comes in lofts of 13.5, 15 and 18 degrees. It sells for around $150.
The Super LS is outfitted with a heavier, stiffer Mitsubishi Kuro Kage shaft that weights 70 grams (R, S and X flexes) and is available in lofts of 13, 15 and 18 degrees. It sells for around $230.
Below: Photos of the Super LS
Whether you use your metals off the tee, to lay up on par 5′s or to go for the green, height is as critical as distance when it comes to fairway metals. And the Adams Super S and LS fairway woods have plenty of it.
But it’s more than just height that makes the fairway woods extremely playable. The ball comes off the face extremely well on shots hit across the face.
Below: Photos of the Super S
The Super LS is the less forgiving fairway wood, but that is to be expected because of its target audience — better golfers looking for the ultimate fairway wood. Because of the LS’ titanium face and crown, it offers the quickest ball speeds and the lowest spin, which may be in fact too low for some players.
But that’s were the Super S comes in. It’s much more forgiving and offers more spin. That makes the club more workable for better players, and more playable for golfers who struggle with carry distance.
The S is not adjustable, but the LS gives golfers the option of increasing or decreasing the loft as much as 1 degree in 0.5-degree increments. Changing the loft also changes the lie and face angle, however, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the player.
Also included with the LS is a 0.5-inch spacer that allows the length of the club to be extended, and a lighter swing weight screw that can be swapped out with the stock weight to keep the swing weight consistent after the length adjustment.
We’re not sure how many golfers want to play their 13-degree 3 wood at 44 inches, which is what the club measures if it’s extended 0.5 inches, but at least golfers will have the option.
Looks and Feel
The Super S has a rounder back end, giving it more of the traditional pear-shaped head. The Super LS appears thinner from face to butt, giving it a sleeker, faster look. The matte finish to the crown of both clubs ensures that no unsettling deflection of light will ever intrude during the swing.
If money is of no concern and your test drives give you similar results, your decision might come down to the aesthetic lines of one model over the other. The LS’s graphics are a subdued grey and white, while the S’s graphics are more aggressive, with the word “Speedline” written in larger font and outlined in red.
Another factor is the sound of the ball coming off the club face, as golfers invariably connect sound to feel. There is nothing metallic about the contact sound of a square hit with either model, nor is the sound the slightest bit hollow; it is a full and satisfying sound and the subsequent view of a ball launched toward the sky completes the paradigm.
Adams never skimps on the minor details. The company outfits all clubs with its Tour Elite grip. The shaft decorations are always cool, perhaps even thought-provoking, but never a distraction of vibrant proportion. The head covers slide on easily; trust me, this is no oversight. Hit a bad shot and struggle with your head cover and you’ll get even more enervated. Hit a solid shot and struggle, you’ll disrupt the mojo. Adams gets the “it” right in this category.
Until you put that first fairway metal in your hand that takes off like a jet and flies forever, you cannot understand how far they’ve come. The first great fairway club I hit was a Toney Penna, back in the early 1980s. Since then, I’ve had varied success with a series of clubs, but none until this Adams Super LS and S series woods simply disappeared into flight.