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Adams Speedline FAST12 Fairway Wood: Featured Review

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By TCMP

Reviewed: Adams Speedline FAST 12 15º 3 wood, Pro Launch Blue Stiff Shaft

A little bit about myself and my game: I’ve been playing for about 9 years now with the first five years playing just 15-20 times per year. I didn’t take lessonsfor the first five years, just beat balls and asked my friends to help. For the last 4 years I have been working pretty hard on my game. I’ve taken lessonsfrom my local PGA professional, and played over 100 rounds per year. Four years ago, I was a 12-13 handicap. As I sit here today writing this review, my handicap index is 3. Just about all of last year I hovered around a 3-4 handicap. Fairway woods have always been hard for me to hit off the deck – so this is a great test. If I was to compare my swing to a tour pro, it would be most like Zach Johnson. I don’t have a lot of lag and I keep the shaft and my right arm in a straight line all the way above my head on the follow through (like he does). This makes for consistent ball striking, but not too much distance. I’m an average length driver of the ball with a swing speed in the 103-105mph range and a carry distance of around 240 yards or so. My 7 iron goes 160 (in the summer months).


Click here to see more pics and read discussion in the forums

First impressions:
Wow, this silver headed sleek-but-meaty club really looks nice. The silver crown with the black face really frames the ball nicely. The velocity slot on the crown serves as a nice alignment device for me. It doesn’t look bad in the least. The head shape is very traditional and looks to be dead square. Looking at the Pro Launch Blue shaft (in stiff) it has a rough texture and is supposed to be more aerodynamic. I have my doubts about this actually helping the golfer in some way.

Performance:
After grabbing a large bucket of balls, I hit the range (which is natural grass) to see how this thing performed. The wind was blowing right to left at a steady 10-15mph as I lined up my first shot. I fluffed up the ball on a good lie and let it rip. First shot, dead straight on a medium trajectory. Wow….now that surprised me. It usually takes me a while to warm up to 3 woods as they are pretty darn difficult to hit off the deck. Next shot, nice high fade. Hmmmm, this shaft feels a little whippy, maybe I’ll choke down on the next one to make it feel a little stiffer. Next shot, dead frozen rope straight and medium to high trajectory. Wow, ok, I can live with this. I have been playing Tour Edge Exotics XCG-4 Fairway woods since the start of last season. A 15º and 18º with Aldila NV-85 stiff shafts. They have been extraordinarily long and fun to hit.

After hitting this Fast 12, I can say that distances were a bit shorter than the titanium headed Exotics. About 7-8 yards for me. The launch was higher with the Fast 12 and it certainly stopped better coming into par 5’s with more spin and higher trajectory. The Exotics have a more boring flight with less spin, but the likely contributor is the shaft difference. The NV is a tip stiff heavy shaft. The Pro Launch blue is a tip soft 65g shaft. These two shafts couldn’t be more different.

Saturday and Sunday I had a golf outing with my old college buddies. We played two courses that were pretty challenging for us and have a little money on the matches. I took the exotics out of the bag and played the Fast 12 exclusively all weekend. On Saturday it became my go-to club as my driver was very sketchy to say the least. My playing partners definitely noticed the consistency and distance of the Fast 12. I consistently was last to play my second shot using this club.


Click here to see more pics and read discussion in the forums

Sound/Feel:
Feel is very subjective. I for one like the feel of the Fast 12. It has a different sound than I am used to. Kind of a hollowed out and slightly deeper and more powerful “ping” than the Old Big Bertha fairways of yester-year. The Pro Launch Blue shaft in this fairway has a soft tip and an overall soft profile. I think if I was to get the most out of this fairway, I would require an “X” flex Pro Launch, if it is available. Of course, it is most definitely softer than the NV-85 I play in the Exotics fairways. On several swings I felt like the shaft wasn’t keeping up and caused a high right shot.

The factory swingweight is spec’d at D2, which is about what I prefer in my woods. I love to tinker, so a while ago I bought a swingweight scale to setup all my clubs with the right weight for me. So, I threw this stick up on the swingweight scale and it read “D2”. Ok, perfect. Good job Adams!

Off the face, the ball really rockets. Toe, heel, it doesn’t matter. If you hit the face it will go – and go far! This thing is crazy forgiving. I hit it all over the face with great results. Even shots my playing partners thought I would lose to the right, held their line quite nicely and ended up on the fringe of the green. Surprised the heck out of me! This stick is more forgiving on off center strikes than the XCG-4’s I game. No doubt about it. Shots just stay on line better.

Overall:
I am definitely a fan of the new Fast 12 fairways. The weight, balance, feel and distance are all excellent. The silver crown is actually quite nice and frames the ball beautifully at address. The velocity slot looks cool and acts as a nicealignment device for me. The Pro Launch Blue shaft didn’t quite fit my swing, but it worked fine and I was able to shoot some great scores over the weekend with it. If I was to do it over, I would have gone with the X flex shaft.

Price/Value:
2 Thumbs up! The Exotics Fairways are $299 which is pretty steep, so it is refreshing to see this much performance for $199. Without a doubt, this is a contender with the Titanium big dogs!


Click here to see more pics and read discussion in the forums

I would give Adams 2 thumbs upon this new Fairway!

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Rob is a golf junkie that has been involved with GolfWRX since its inception in 2005. From designing headcovers, to creating logos to authoring articles to social media management to sales and marketing, Rob has done it all. Born and bred in NJ. Favorite golfers: Phil, Freddie. Favorite club: Driver.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Provisional

    Apr 24, 2012 at 6:40 am

    I read this review with much interest as I struggle with hitting my old TM 200 Steel 3 wood with any consistancy and was v. curious about the new Adams club. It was what I’d like to see with all club reviews. Everyone else should follow this approach to give meaningful reviews.

  2. Pingback: Adams Speedline FAST12 Fairway Wood: Featured Review | Augusta Blog

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Equipment

What GolfWRXers are saying about the best “5-woods under $125”

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@golfexchangeapp

In our forums, our members have been discussing 5-woods, with WRXer ‘gary3aces’ looking for a 5-wood for between $100 and $125. He’s looking to replace his current “M2 5 wood with something a little easier to hit”, and our members have been discussing the best options in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • C6 Snowboarder: “Take a look at a used Callaway Heavenwood in the Epic Flash model = pretty Friggen sweet. It is Heaven!”
  • Golf64: “Bang for the buck, hard to beat Cobra, but find Ping one of the easiest to hit off the deck. Since you are limited in the funds dept., maybe an older model Ping 5W would do the trick?!”
  • tilasan1: “G400 7 wood turned down or just use it as is.”
  • jbandalo: “Fusion fairways. Highly underrated, cheap, easy to hit and go for miles.”
  • RyanBarathWRX: “PING G fairway would be hard to beat and easily in price range:
  • Nelson.br.1515: “Another vote for the Callaway Big Bertha Fusion. Great stick!”

Entire Thread: Best 5-woods under $125″

 

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What GolfWRXers are saying about “blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

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In our forums, WRXer ‘ballywho27’ has asked for thoughts on combining his current Ping i500 irons with the brand’s Blueprint irons. ‘Ballywho27’ is considering going “i500 in 3-4 iron and blueprint 5-W” and has asked for fellow member’s thoughts on the idea – who have been sharing their takes in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • jblough99: “I had a combo set for a minute, 3-5 I500 and 6-PW Blueprint. I could not get used to the transition, HUGE difference in looks at address. If I had it to do over I would just go 4-PW Blueprint and maybe a 3 I500 with graphite shaft as a driving, iron.”
  • animalgolfs: “iBlade{5i} – BP{6i-pw}. That’s my combo.”
  • Chunky: “I have i500 4-5 and Blueprints 6-PW. As mentioned above, there is a significantly different look at address. More importantly for me, the i500s are 1/2 to 1 club longer than the BPs (they fly much higher, too). Make sure you account for that added i500 distance when blending lofts or you’ll have a large gap.”
  • howeber: “I’ve done that exact set — 3 and 4 i500 and 5-PW Blueprint. It’s perfect for me since the 3 and 4 are more like a traditional 2 and 3.5. 4 is usually the longest iron I carry, so I like a little extra oomph out of it. At the end of the day though, when I finally tested them vs my MP4s, the Blueprints performed identically, while the i500 launched a little higher (same specs same shafts). Mizzys are still in the bag.”

Entire Thread: “Blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

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GolfWRX Vault: Avoid these 5 club building disasters

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It’s never too late to go back to basics, especially when it comes to club building.

Even with modern new club release cycles the do’s and don’ts of building clubs haven’t changed much in the last few decades except for clubs with adapter sleeves and greater amounts of multi-materials incorporated into the design.

With that in mind its time to revisit an article from the GolfWRX Vault from June 2016.

——————

I’ve been fitting and building golf clubs for more than 15 years, and in that time I’ve seen a lot of really poor workmanship—stuff that would make most GolfWRXers cringe. But like anyone who ever did anything new, I didn’t start being naturally good at putting together clubs. It took a lot of time, ruined components, and trial and error to get where I am today.

I believe my attention to detail now stems from the fact that my dad was a machinist by trade, and anytime we ever worked on something together his attitude was to take your time and do it right the first time. My dad’s approach always had an impact on me, because I feel that if you do something right — even when it takes a bit longer — the job is not only more satisfying but also makes things work better and last longer.

The goal with this article is to help WRXers avoid the most common mistakes and assumptions in club building that lead to broken or ruined clubs, as well as real danger.

Over-prepping a graphite shaft

The shaft on the left has been prepped properly. The one of the right, which has noticeable taper, shows signs that layers of graphite have been removed.

This happens far more than it should, and can ruin an expensive new shaft purchase. To prepare a shaft properly for installation, you only need to remove enough of the paint to make sure that the epoxy adheres to the graphite. This is also true for the inside of the hosel.

Be careful to remove residual epoxy, dirt or rust (common with forged carbon steel club heads that have been sitting around for a while), or some type or solvent like the one used to put on grips, as it can cause of bond to break down very quickly. A proper reaming tool, a wire brush and some compressed air (either a small can or a large air compressor) can make cleaning simple, and prevent a golf club from falling apart.

UPDATE: Over prepping specifically applies to shafts that are designed to go into parallel heads and is especially important for 335 shafts with less material at the tip going into drivers and fairway woods. For information on how to properly taper a shaft to go into a tapered head, check out the video below:

Overheating a Shaft When Pulling it

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated.

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated, and the resin holding the graphite sheets together breaks down. It’s not always as noticeable, but if the shaft starts to fray it means the bonds have been compromised and it’s more likely to fail. 

Overheating a shaft when pulling it is another common mistake that can result in ruining a golf shaft. It also highly increases the chance of breakage. There are quite a few methods I’ve learned over the years to remove a shaft from a club head, from heat guns to large propane torches, but personally I find that using a small butane torch with a regulator for graphite offers the best results. It allows a club builder to easily control and focus the heat only where it’s needed. Bigger torches are fine for iron heads, as long as you don’t damage any plastic badges in the cavity or materials in slots around the head.

One of the best advances in club technology has been the invention and mass adoption of adjustable hosels. They not only help golfers adjust the loft, lie and face angle of club heads, but have also greatly decreased the need to pull shafts. So as long as a golfer is staying with the same metal wood manufacturer, they can usually test several different clubs heads with the same shaft, or vice versa — several different shafts with the same clubhead.

That being said, one of the most important tools that any hobbyist club builder should have or have access to is a high-quality shaft puller. It’s a necessary tool for anyone who wants to do repairs and helps prevent damage to a shaft while pulling it. The more linear pressure that can be applied to the clubhead, and the less heat used to break down the epoxy, the better. It makes sure both the shaft and the head are reusable in the future. For steel shafts, you can use a bit more heat, and twisting isn’t a problem. Again, with increased heat, be careful not to damage any of the badging, or permanently discolor an iron head.

Botching a Grip Installation

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

This one seems simple, but when really getting down to professional level detail, it is quite important. We ALL have a preference and different opinion of what feels good in a golf grip, as well as different sensitivities. For example, we all have the ability to figure out what apple is bigger, even if blindfolded because over time we all develop brain function to understand shapes and sizes. This also applies to grips. If you use the same grips on your 13 clubs, you could potentially have 4-5 different final sizes depending on how many different types of shafts you use, because many shafts have different butt diameters.

Some shafts have larger butt diameters, while others taper faster than others. That’s why it’s very important to own a quality set of vernier calipers, and know how to properly use them. It’s also the same for putters, since many putter shafts are smaller in diameter. I have lost count of how many times I’ve had people bring me, putters, where the bottom half of the grip is twisting and turning because the installer never paid attention to the interior diameter of the grip, the exterior diameter of the shaft, and how it changed from top to bottom.

Using epoxy that’s doomed to fail

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

I’m a bit of a physics nerd and garage engineer, so this is one of those topics that goes beyond just the physical aspects of club building and into the realm of chemistry.

Here comes my nerd-out moment: In the simplest of explanations for a 0.335-inch driver hosel with an insertion depth of 1.25 inches, the amount of calculated surface area the epoxy can bond between the shaft and the head using the internal dimensions of the head is 1.49 square inches. That’s not a whole lot of area when you consider the centrifugal force being applied to a driver head traveling at 100 mph, and then the forces of torque that also come into play when a shot is struck.

In a PERFECT world, almost zero torque is applied to a shaft when a shot is hit on the center of gravity (CG) of the club head, perfectly aligned with the center mass of the ball, while traveling in the intended direction. This is vectors 101 of physics. Unfortunately, almost every single shot is NOT hit like that, and this is where the epoxy bond is put under the most amount of stress. Lap shear strength of epoxy goes beyond me, but it proves that building a golf club is not just cut and glue after all.

Note: For those of you curious, the most popular epoxies are rated for 4500 psi. 

As far are actually working with epoxy, first things first. Always check to see if the epoxy has a best-before date (yep, just like milk). Also, never store epoxy in direct sunlight. If you are using epoxy from a tube in a dispensing gun, you are using what is an almost foolproof method. Plunge out the necessary amount, mix for about a minute (mix! don’t whip), and remember, the less air that gets into the epoxy the better. If air gets in and the epoxy cures with bubbles in it, then you end up with a club that will often “creak.”

For those using two parts in larger bottles, the best way to ensure proper ratios is to pay attention to the weight ratio rather than volume. This isn’t arts and crafts; it’s chemistry, so by using the weight to calculate the ratio you will get the right amount of each part every time, and help decrease the risk of failure down the road. If you have mixed a larger batch and plan on building quite a few clubs at a time, you really have to pay attention to the consistency and viscosity as time goes on. You don’t want to glue a club head with epoxy that has started to set.

Turning an Extension into a Shank

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

This is one of those subjects I don’t even like to talk about. I very much dislike using extensions when building clubs, especially clubs with graphite shafts. Going back to my “do-it-right-the-first-time” mentality, extensions are a Band-Aid fix to a problem that requires surgery. They also counter-balance the club, and by their very nature create a weak point because of the small wall thickness at the butt end of a shaft. The only clubs I don’t mind extending on a regular basis are putters since they are never put under the same level of stress as a club being swung at full speed. I also never extend a club more than 1 inch, because I have been witness to horror stories of clubs that have been overextended that not only break but rip through the grip and cut people’s hands very badly.

If you are going to extend a club, it’s important to make sure the fit is very snug and doesn’t cause the extension to lean in any direction. It’s also best to have the epoxied extension cure with the club on its side to avoid an excess epoxy from running down the shaft and breaking off and causing a rattle.

 

 

 

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