Life, as we all know, is often about trade-offs. It is even that way in golf club design, and Tim Reed has long recognized that in his job as vice president of research and development at Adams Golf. In fact, trade-offs became a particularly difficult issue when the Plano, Tex., equipment maker first began building Speedline drivers.
“Face and forgiveness were a trade-off early on,” he says about a club line now in its fifth generation. “The larger the driver footprint, or head size, the greater the forgiveness it provided on off-center hits. But those bigger drivers produced greater drag, which meant we could not successfully increase clubhead speed, which leads to increased distance, if we also wanted to improve forgiveness.”
But that was then. Now, Reed says, Adams can give drivers with larger footprints better forgiveness attributes as well as the ability to generate faster clubhead speed. The key is the addition of Velocity Slot Technology, and that is the big story behind the new Speedline F11. The advance comes in the form of three visible channels precisely located on the sole and crown to keep airflow attached to the clubhead longer than ever before. The result is 35-percent less drag on swings, Reed says, and that results in six more yards of carry on average.
“Ours is still an aerodynamics story, and we have continually pursued the goal of lower drag as we tried to reduce the amounts of trade-offs we had to make between forgiveness and speed,” Reed explains. “The creation of the Velocity Slots, which we developed in part through the use of wind tunnels, was a way to do that.”
While the addition of those slots is the biggest technology advance in this latest iteration of Speedline, it is by no means the only one. Adams also moved the center of gravity lower and deeper to produce an even higher launch angle with a lower spin rate. It also expanded the hitting area as it enhanced the moment of inertia.
The Speedline F11 will be available February 1. Golfers may choose from a pair of high-performance shafts: the high-launch Aldila Voodoo VS or the mid-launch Matrix Ozik XCON. A women’s version comes standard with lightweight Grafalloy graphite. Lofts range from 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12.5 in right-handed models for men, and 9.5 and 10.5 for lefties. A draw bias version is offered in 9.5 and 10.5, right-handed only, while the women’s model is available in 12.5 and HL (High Launch) for righties, and 12.5 for southpaws.