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Forum Thread of the Day: “Best fairway woods of 2019?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from pollock21, who opens the discussion concerning what are the best fairway woods of the latest releases. On the lookout for a new fairway wood, pollock21 asks for fellow members feedback on the new editions, and our members provide it in spades.

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.

  • chadly643: “I did some initial testing of all the main available options last weekend. They are all very close in terms of performance. Ballspeeds were all identical. Ping was definitely the highest flight. I disliked the Ping shape, however. Srixon was the best looking option and felt really good. The winner for me, however, was f9. Those rails really do offer something useful that the others don’t have. In all honesty, all the big manufacturers have a great option this year. You can’t make a mistake with any of them. It comes down purely to preference on looks and feel.”
  • JustinM: “The epic flash SZ fairways are great. I replaced my PXGs for these both 15 and 18 degrees. The head is small, and the face is tall if that makes sense. I’ve tested them all and a clear winner.”
  • Sh00terMcGavin: “I’m going to go with TEE CBX for best fairway. I will say that the Epic Flash sz does look mighty appealing to hit. Guys on TXG were raving about the ballspeeds it was producing for a fairway wood.”
  • Honman: “I’ve hit most of this year’s fairways, flash sub zero was by far the best on ball speed, and I like the feel. PXG was a good number two. G410 felt the most forgiving by a long way, but I couldn’t control the spin, and they didn’t have the LST to try. I think that would be a good head for me. In a separate session, I’ve hit the ST190 and was putting a good flight on that, dialled down to 14 and really liked the feel. The TaylorMade fairways both want to go really high this year.”

Entire Thread: “Best fairway woods of 2019”

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Tom54

    Mar 18, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    Don’t know about most of the readers but the 3 wood is probably my least important club in my bag. Rarely hit it off the tee, cause if I need 3 wood distance I’ll choke down on a driver. Will try to reach par 5s if the distance is just right otherwise I’m laying up with an iron or a hybrid which are so much easier to hit than a 3 wood. Have a older model M2 3 wood which suits me just fine.

    • Jack Nash

      Mar 20, 2019 at 4:05 pm

      Got rid of my 3W and started using a 4W. Works out great. Easier to hit and same distant. More workable too.

  2. John C.

    Mar 18, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    I tried all the big guys, Titleist, Callaway, Ping, TaylorMade, Cobra, and PXG. It wasn’t even close, Callaway’s EpicFlashSZ fairway woods are crazy long. I was able to hit them high off the deck as well.

  3. HDTVMAN

    Mar 18, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    I am so sick of “spin” it drives me crazy. Players, most have never had a sub 80 round, come into our store and hit ball after ball, standing there looking at the spin! Spin has it’s place, but it’s mostly created with your swing & ball contact, and it changes on every shot! When I was visiting a major manufacturer and learning about their new products in Carlsbad, their master fitter, who fits many of the pros, said just be concerned with distance and dispersion. “Don’t worry about spin”.

    • Timmer9

      Mar 18, 2019 at 1:31 pm

      When I got fitted last year, the spin numbers went in one ear and out the other. As a low ball hitter I wanted a higher trajectory and hopefully a little more distance. Mission accomplished!

  4. Brad

    Mar 17, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    The Cobra F9 fairway wood is the best I’ve tested in a long, long time. Very impressive performance with fantastic sound and feel a well.

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Optimal bag setup for a high handicapper?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from rkillian who has opened up a discussion on the optimal bag setup for high handicappers. Here’s a look at rkillian’s current set-up: 

“Driver 9 degree head turned up to 2 to 11 degrees. I get my most consistent ball flight and distance from this setting. The 9 gave me the best numbers that day in the store but up 2 degrees works much better for me on the course – Total average is about 270 set like this”

“HL 3 Wood at 16.5 Degrees – total average is 235 off the tee, but I have hit some into the 250s. But I can’t hit it off the deck whatsoever. I get lucky sometimes when I try and hit it off a mat at the range but never off actual turf.

3 Hybrid 19 degrees – a well-struck shot will go nearly that same distance as my 3 wood maybe 220. But a well-struck shot with this club is the anomaly here.

4 Hybrid 22 degrees – I can hit this club pretty consistently 200 yards plus if I don’t chunk it and up to 220 total or more on the right hole from a tee.

5i-PW at 45 Degrees – I don’t hit my 5 iron consistently, but I am “ok” with my irons. My 8 iron is my 150-yard club when well struck.

Gw at 52 – This almost never gets used. It is about a 110-yard full swing, and I have found that I am never really at that yardage.

Sw at 56 – about 90-95 yards on a full swing but it can balloon on my and fall short. I am finding I don’t use it on full swings often though. Pretty much use it 80 yards and in.

and of course the 3-putt machine.”

Our members have been sharing their thoughts in our forums, with a range of interesting ideas suggested.

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.

  • jvincent: “You don’t talk about how long the various clubs are or what shafts are in them, so this is somewhat a guess based on what you have said above. Definitely drop the 3W in favour of a 4W or 5W. Since it looks like the driver is working for you, try to get the same model of shaft, but in a heavier version. Make sure that the length of the fairway wood you end up with is no longer than 42.5″. I’d recommend 42″. You don’t say if the current hybrids are the same brand or not, but if not, try to get a 3 that matches your 4. Again, shaft weight and length are important. A long hybrid that you can’t hit aren’t any good to you. I’d keep the 5i. I would add back the 52* wedge. At your skill level, not having to manufacture a partial swing is going to be better in the long run. Again, if it doesn’t match your irons at least try to get the same shaft weight and make sure it is the correct length.”
  • ChipNRun: “Two main observations: FW Shaft. Your 3W/HL may have a common problem with TaylorMade FWs: the shaft is too long. The 3W/HL has the same shaft length as a 3W, not a 4W. If you trimmed shaft back to 42.5″, this might help get you the better control of a 4W. (assuming swing weight does not get too light – you could have fitter tip-weight it if it feels too feathery.) Work with a fitter to see if a shorter shaft might help. Lessons!! Since you shoot about 96, you need to tweak your golf swing before you tweak your bag mix. Get a swing tune-up lesson, and see if the pro can figure out adjustments you can make to hit the ball better. A lesson or two can take you farther in a month than you can get on your own in a full season. It appears you are stuck in the mud: find a pro who can help pull you out. Then, practice what the pro tells you – and play some holes if weather permits – before your next lesson.”
  • mkuether: “Very interesting topic! Like many others who have already posted, I think we have a lot in common. My distances are very similar to yours, and your scores are similar to where I was about ten years ago. I also struggled with my longer irons, hybrids, and especially fairway woods. The good news is that I was able to find a set that worked for me and improve significantly. I am sure you can do the same. First, the #1 thing that has helped me has been to simply get clubs I was comfortable with. It took me a while to find a hybrid that really suited me, but once I did, it made a huge difference in my confidence. I ended up dropping my 5-wood entirely because I was just never confident with it, but a 19-degree hybrid was much better (for me). I also stopped trying to hit a 3-wood off the deck (I was terrible at it) and reserved it for the occasional shot off the tee where I felt driver was too much. My 3-wood doesn’t get a lot of use since in my case I’m simply more confident with my 460cc driver, and I can usually throttle back and hit that shorter when needed. Anyway, I’m not sure why I’m so much more confident with my hybrids now (who knows, maybe they just suit my eye), but the confidence really helps. I also avoid playing clubs with longer than average shafts (e.g. my driver is 44.5″) and I find that really helps my confidence and consistency. If you’re already having trouble with fairway woods, longer shafts are only going to make it worse. I would also try and learn to hit your shorter irons as distance clubs on full swings, that has helped me a lot too. Knowing that I have a consistent, full-swing shot that I can hit a consistent distance (or pretty close) down to about 80 yards has definitely helped my scores. You seem to play an incredibly short course for your overall distance so I can’t imagine that you’re getting that much use out of your longer clubs anyway. Just curious, do you enjoy playing a course that short? I find it more fun to play a slightly longer course where I have a variety of shorts in the greens, seems like you would be hitting driver/wedge on every hole unless you’re teeing off with shorter clubs on purpose. In any case, a golfer of your skill level (or mine) is going to be missing the green on most approaches with a wood or hybrid, so it probably makes more sense to work on optimizing the bottom half of your bag since you’ll need to get up and down a lot. Anyway, good luck improving. I’m sure a little experimentation with different clubs will go a long way towards feeling more confident and playing better.”
  • CapnSwagga: “I don’t write much here I’m not a writer its easy to have something profound to say but to be able to eloquently write it I have not these skills, but I’ll try to make my point, I myself played the same game constantly trapped in trying to figure out what equipment was for me. A close friend and golf professional helped me tremendously after a few rounds, and it wasn’t any advice on my swing or what my equipment should be it was simply: stop. Stop thinking, stop worrying, stop analyzing (although it is very important to analyze post swing). We get a wrapped up in the idea of what’s supposed to be right or work or what we see on TV and in reality the one simple principle “hit the ball” gets shrouded over. People will go on and on who makes the best clubs or ball or what shaft is going to work the best for you, but any golfer could pick up any piece of crap and knock it out there…off grass, turf, mats, tees or even a strippers **** it’s the confidence to do what is required without any additional thought. I don’t disagree with suggestions others made above and gapping your bag is also very vital, so I’m sorry if my comment goes slightly off your topic I think having a solid practice regime and dedication are truly the tools to become better at golf. Thanks for the read.”

Entire Thread: “Optimal bag set-up for a high handicapper?”

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Puma reveal the patriotic golf shoes Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland, Bryson DeChambeau and Ernie Els will be wearing at the 2019 Presidents Cup

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Puma Golf has unveiled what its brand ambassadors, Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland and Bryson DeChambeau will be wearing this week at the Presidents Cup, as well as the shoes the International Captain, Ernie Els, will be sporting at Royal Melbourne.

Woodland and DeChambeau will both don the brand’s new patriotic Pwradapt Star-Spangled shoes which feature an Old Glory inspired red, white and blue colorway incorporating stars and stripes throughout the design.

Puma Presidents Cup PWRADAPT Star Spangled

Puma Presidents Cup PWRADAPT Star Spangled

The shoes also contain a full-length Ignite foam midsole, designed to provide unparalleled comfort and energy return, and are available to purchase at PumaGolf.com and at retail.

Puma Presidents Cup PWRADAPT Star Spangled

Fowler will be debuting an exclusive-to-him, custom pair of Proadapts, which as you might expect, also showcase a red white and blue colorway.

Puma Rickie Fowler Presidents Cup PROADAPTS

Puma Rickie Fowler Presidents Cup PROADAPTS

For The Big Easy, Els will strut the grounds of Royal Melbourne as captain of the International side in Puma’s new limited-edition Ignite Nxt Presidents Cup shoes. The new additions feature design elements from the new International team logo, with a mostly black upper accented with gold hits, while a gold speckled midsole represents the gold trophy.

Puma Presidents Cup IGNITE NXT Presidents Cup

Puma Presidents Cup IGNITE NXT Presidents Cup

The Ignite Nxt Presidents Cup shoes also feature the International team logo on the tongue pull tabs, the outsole, and sockliner, while Els’ signature logo can be seen on the heel pull tab and inside of the tongue pull tab. These shoes are available to purchase now at PumaGolf.com and at retail.

Puma Presidents Cup IGNITE NXT Presidents Cup

Puma Presidents Cup IGNITE NXT Presidents Cup

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Equipment

2020 Wilson Golf Launch Pad woods, fairway woods, irons

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Wilson Staff has been helping golfers improve for more than 100 years, and they are going to be helping more golfers in 2020 with the introduction of the Launch Pad Family of woods and irons, along with a reimagining of an old favorite from the Wilson brand—the FY Club.

3, 2, 1 liftoff!

As much as we love watching professional golfers mash drivers and stop long irons like wedges, more than 80 percent of golfers in “the real world” will never break 100, but if you are in that category, Wilson Staff is here to help with the Launch Pad family. If the name gives anything away about the new Launch Pad series from Wilson Staff, it’s that they are meant to get up, and quickly! The entire line from the driver to the irons are targeted at the majority of regular golfers (10-plus handicaps) that struggle with creating height and gaining extra distance.

The idea behind helping golfers gain speed, height, and distance isn’t new, in fact it’s what most equipment companies are trying to achieve with each and every release—the reason being that most golfers still need help. If you don’t think that’s true because of the people you generally play golf with, go to a public driving range on a nice sunny day in July, and you’ll soon see that most golfers should probably try a set of clubs like this.

Here’s where Wilson gets is right when many don’t. New technology isn’t useful if A) it’s not affordable to the target market B) it’s not appealing to the eye. The Launch Pad series was designed from the top down to inspire confidence for higher handicap golfers by incorporating technologies that both work and are visually subtle. All of  these features together deliver the best possible shot-helping performance for the super game-improvement player.

2020 Wilson Launch Pad Driver and Fairway Woods

Say what you want about your own game, but most golfers really do struggle with trying to fix a slice.
The new Launch Pad Driver takes a modern approach to helping golfers by offering a discrete amount of offset hidden in the hosel of the club, 13 grams of mass positioned closer to the hosel near the heel to help with rate of rotation (closing the clubface), and, finally, a more upright lie angle. The lie angle is one of the biggest helpers since, just like with an iron, lie angle is one of the biggest contributors to initial launch direction (a launch monitor parameter): the more left you you start the ball, the less likely that ball can go right.

Another thing to note about the Wilson Launch Pad Driver is that at only 272 grams, it’s one of the lightest drivers on the market, regardless of price point. Lighter total weight translates into the opportunity for golfers to increase clubhead speed. Here’s the funny thing about clubhead speed: the more you have, the further the ball goes—physics!

The last piece of the Launch Pad driver puzzle is the new Variable Face Technology, which helps keep ball speeds higher on mishits. Just like with hitting a slice, every once in a while, you just might miss the sweet spot too.

The Launch Pad fairway woods, like the driver, are designed with a small amount of hosel offset and heel weighting to help golfers gain control and hit higher, straighter shots more often. The face of the Launch Pad fairway woods is built with a 455 carpenter stainless steel insert to make it thinner while retaining strength. This thinner hot face, increases feel and distance for the fairway woods, all while keeping a similar shape profile that carries from the driver.

Wilson Launch Pad Irons

Billy Joel said it best with the song “All about Sole”…or maybe it was soul? I’m not quite sure, but either way.  The most impactful design element of the new Launch Pad irons from Wilson is the Launch Pad Sole that runs throughout the entire set.

This sole is designed to hopefully eliminate “chunked” from the golfer’s vocabulary, while also helping improve launch at the same time. The short irons of the set feature traditional game-improvement-style widths that smoothly transition into wider, more forgiving soles as you go up in the set towards the longer irons. This wider deeper sole pushes mass lower in the head and further away from the face. This pushing of mass lower makes the ball go higher—physics, again!

There is one more thing about this sole that is it vital to its performance: increased bounce and camber. The Launch Pad irons have more bounce and a smooth camber from the leading to the trailing edge to help keep the leading edge above the dirt longer and help prevent the club from digging. The effectiveness of the bounce can be seen in the address position in how it keeps the leading edge up and helps “float” the face.

Like the Launch Pad woods, the irons are lightweight, which makes it easier to generate faster clubhead speed leading to longer higher flying shots. The irons also come stock with midsize grips to provide comfort and enhanced feel for greater confidence with every swing.

The FY Club

If the Wilson Staff FY Club sounds familiar, it should. Wilson introduced the original FY(brid) in the 2007/08 during the i7 era (Pi7, Ci7, Di7) as a middle club between a fairway wood and a hybrid. Technology has come along way since 2007, but just like with the classic Wilson R90 wedge, the Launch Pad FY Club proves that a good idea has staying power.

Wilson Labs testing showed a club with a 41” shaft matched with 19.5° of loft was the easiest-to-hit combination of loft and length for golfers that hold a handicap over 10, when looking at average swing speeds in the category, a single FY Club replaced the need for 3-irons, 3-hybrids and 7-woods all at the same time.

The FY club fits into a BIG problem spot for most golfers between the shortest fairway wood and the longest iron and helps reduce shot dispersion. Just like the fairway woods, the FY Club technology is face focused with the Carpenter Custom 455 Stainless Steel face insert to create ball speed.

“The process of creating the Launch Pad Driver, Fairway Woods and FY Club started with researching the swings of self-described slicers,” said Jon Pergande, Global Innovation Manager at Wilson Golf.

“Our goal is to help players stay in play more often than not and the visually subtle technologies in our Launch Pad Driver and Woods like the offset hosel and weight in the heel have done just that.”

Wilson Launch Pad Family: Specs and Availability

DRIVER

The Launch Pad Driver is available in both men’s and women’s options for only $299.99. It comes stock with the new UST-Mamiya Helium Series, and the Wilson Staff MicroLite Lamkin grip, which maintains the traditional feel in a super lightweight construction.

FAIRWAY WOODS

The Launch Pad Fairway Woods will be sold for $199.99 and are available in two loft options in both right and left-handed (15 and 18 degrees) with the same UST-Mamiya Helium Series shaft and Wilson Staff MicroLite Lamkin grip used on the driver.

The fairway woods will also be available as women’s clubs at a price of $199.99. The Launch Pad Fairway Woods for women will be available in two loft options (16 and 19 degrees) with the UST-Mamiya Helium Series shaft and Wilson Staff MicroLite Lamkin grip used on the Launch Pad Driver.

IRONS

The Launch Pad Irons will be offered with a lightweight KBS Tour 80 steel shaft or UST-Mamiya Recoil 460 graphite shaft, with both options featuring the traditional Wilson Staff 2 Crossline Midsized grip. The steel set is $699.99 while the graphite set starts at $799.99.

FY Club

The Launch Pad FY Club is available for $179.99 in right and left-hand options at 19.5-degree loft with the UST-Mamiya shaft and Wilson Staff Microlite grip. The FY Club will also be available for women in a RH option with 20.5-degree loft.

The entire Launch Pad family will be available for pre-order on Wilson.com starting December 17th and will be available at retail on Monday, January 13th.

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