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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I would give Adams 2 thumbs upon this new Fairway!