Pros: The XTD Ti fairway woods are built to be companions to the XTD driver. As a result, their faces are hot. Very hot. And like their big brother, they come standard with a high-quality Matrix shaft and Iomic grips. They’re also adjustable, which is nice.
Cons: Because of the smaller size of the head, the slot on the crown is more prominent and, potentially for some, distracting. The price point of about $300 also puts them toward the high end.
Bottom Line: A solid fairway wood that relates nicely to the driver. If you like the big stick in the XTD line, you’ll enjoy hitting its minions.
Adams has gained market share among the public and greater visibility on Tour of late. It helps to have the likes of Ernie Els and a strong stable of female pro golfers in their stable, all empowered to “Own The Second Shot.” Their excellent XTD driver sets up a lot of nice second shots and their XTD Forged irons are well equipped to bring those shots home to the green. And if you face a long par four or a reachable par five, the XTD Ti fairway woods are more than equal to the task as well.
What makes the driver a winner makes the woods good as well: an explosive titanium face, progressive face thickness and the praiseworthy Cut-Thru Slot and Velocity Slot features. Those terms, respectively, refer to channels cut into both the crown and sole of the club, which compress the area where energy is transferred from club to ball. Narrowing that field is meant to intensify that transfer and produce more potent contact, even off the center of the face. Adams reports average ball speed increases of up to 29 percent on off-center hits. That means you’ll have a better chance of carrying that front bunker even if you toe it a little.
As with the XTD driver, the XTD Ti fairway woods come standard with high-quality Iomic grips and a Matrix 7Q3 “Red Tie” shaft in R, S and X flexes (a 6Q3 is also available in senior flex). Additionally, the XTD Ti fairway woods have the same adjustable hosel as the driver, which has a dozen settings that can increase or decrease loft by 1.5 degrees or change the lie angle by up to 3 degrees. It is its own fitting cart, essentially, coming in lofts of 13.5, 15 and 18 degrees.
Given an XTD Ti 5 wood, I set about putting it through its paces. My main data-gathering took place at my local PGA Tour Superstore in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on one of their indoor launch monitors. Here are the average numbers I saw against my PING G10 5-wood:
Club Ball speed / launch angle / spin rate
PING G10 141 mph / 11.9 deg / 3,636 rpm
Adams XTD Ti 145 mph / 11.0 deg / 4,163 rpm
I perceived a decidedly greater amount of “pop” with the XTD Ti wood, which is borne out by the increased ball speed. The good launch (for me, a relatively low-ball hitter) combined with the increased spin provided nice shot-shaping possibilities, which is something I value greatly in all clubs, especially fairway woods.
In addition, the opportunity to adjust the loft and lie of the club enabled me to play around until I found the most natural setting. Because I tend to lose shots to the left, I closed the face by about a degree, which gave me a little bit better height and some tighter shot dispersion without moving the pattern too far to the pull side.
To get a compare to the XTD Ti’s performance, I also tested a Tight Lies Tour fairway wood. Compared to the XTD Ti’s titanium face, the Tight Lies’ steel face is still plenty hot. Well-struck shots go plenty far, but not quite as far as those hit with their titanium cousins. Also, the Tight Lies Tour fairway woods do not have adjustable hosels, and the heads sit a bit open. Not a bad thing, but I would have loved the opportunity to close the face up a touch.
Shape-wise, they Tight Lies Tour resembles its pear-shaped ancestor, while the XTD Ti is rounder-looking and has a deeper face. That makes the XTD Ti a more forgiving option from the tee, but it’s not so deep as to be a problem from the fairway, either.
Looks and Feel
Even more so than the driver, the Cut-Thru Slot immediately drew my eye the first time I soled this club. The slot is about the same size as the one on the driver, which means it takes up a bit more real estate on the crown than it does on the driver. But it’s relatively easy to get used to it on the driver, and just takes a little longer to grow comfortable with the at-address look of the fairway wood.
Feel of the XTD Ti was again analogous to that of the driver, which is to say it is very nice. Whereas some clubs, even on flush contact, feel a little sharp and make your fingers tingle, I felt solid contact more in my palms and it felt a little bigger and wider. The feel was, again, reflected in the sound, which had less of the titanium “TING” than I would have imagined. Not that I minded.
Golf equipment is a more crowded field than ever, with most every company producing all types of clubs that are worthy of consideration. Adams is part of the reason—a company long regarded as a second-tier option clearly playing at the same level as the historical “big boys.” The XTD Ti fairway woods are a nice complement to Adams’ monstrously good driver, with the advantages being their well-articulated embrace of technology and their high-quality construction. All that comes at a slightly higher price tag, but if you try them out, you may very well find them a worthy investment for your game.