TOP GEAR 2018: What we learned during our fairway testing
|Ben Frost||245 yards (TaylorMade M4)|
|Chris Jones||228 yards (TaylorMade M4)|
212 yards (TaylorMade M4)
Fairway Woods that created the most ball speed for our Test Pro
➤ 150mph TaylorMade M4
➤ 149mph Cobra King F8
➤ 148mph Callaway Rogue, Srixon Z F65
1: A poor fitting driver shaft could be your best fairway fit
All three testers switched out of the M4 driver’s standard stock option shaft (Fujikura Atmos) because it span quite a bit. But the case was very different when it came to fairways. The Atmos was a revelation for all three testers (as M4 posted all three testers’ longest fairway wood numbers), suiting our pro just as well as the amateurs.
2: Fairway woods can now eliminate your hybrids
We hear golfers regularly say they’re not keen on hybrids. If that’s you, the three biggest-selling fairway woods of 2018 are available in lofts up to 24-25 degrees, which could comfortably replace a 6-iron. If you don’t like hybrids, but are a fan of fairways, why not go straight from your driver to 6- or 7-iron in fairways?
3: The beauty of glued hosel fairways
Whereas a few years ago a club’s credentials were measured on how much visible tech it showcased, irrespective of the influence on performance, it speaks volumes that two of the three best-selling fairways of 2018 (TaylorMade M4, Callaway Rogue and Ping G400) have glued hosels. Glued hosels (and carbon crowns) on the M4 and Rogue fairways ensure every ounce of weight is positioned to maximise ball speed protection and forgiveness. Ping has a legitimate reason for including an adjustable hosel as, unlike TaylorMade or Callaway, they only make one fairway model, so adjustability increases the G400’s versatility.
4: Modern fairways are pretty expensive…
It wasn’t that long ago £200 bought you a very good driver. Today, that’s about the bare minimum you need to spend to bag yourself a premium fairway wood. We reckon it means golfers need to pick a model really carefully, get fitted and buy with the intention of keeping your purchase for a good few years.
5…But they are every bit as techy as drivers
Fast alloy face tech, speed pockets, carbon crowns, sliding sole weights and adjustable hosels are now just as much a piece of fairway wood design as they are a drivers. Our data supports how the latest technology pays dividends when it comes to maximising ball speed and distance.