Fairway metals have undergone plenty of changes in looks and performance over the past decade or so, but one thing that has never really wavered is their Coefficient of Restitution, or COR.
That number has long hovered around .780, in large part because equipment makers could not figure out how to get driver-like trampoline effect (.830, which is the maximum allowed under USGA and R&A rules) with metals made with much smaller faces. They could get those only so thin before the faces would break. As a result, club companies have not been able to do much in the way of increasing distance in that category.
Enter the Adams F11 fairway. Engineers at the Plano, Tex., company have figured out a way to bring COR up as high as .810 on steel-face models and .830 on those made of titanium, and that has enabled them to achieve those long elusive improvements in distance.
The key, according to Scott Burnett, director of advance product development for Adams, is a channel on both the crown and sole that employs what the company dubs Velocity Slot Technology. Those channels act as a leaf spring to increase deflection and reduce stress on the clubface, thereby expanding COR on both on-center and off-center hits. The face can compress more, which mean the company can increase COR. That increases ball speed, which increases distance.
“The result is a dramatically easy-to-hit fairway metal with a 21 percent improvement in forgiveness across the entire face, better ball speeds and up to 12 yards of added distance,” Burnett says.
“Historically, fairway woods had relatively low COR values due to the fact that their head and face sizes had to remain smaller for playability purposes,” he adds. “And we had pushed the distances they could be hit to the limits. But, by developing Velocity Slot Technology and applying it to the Speedline F11 fairways, we’ve been able to expand the COR across the entire face without adversely impacting size or durability.”
Both the stainless steel F11 fairways and the titanium version are available with either a high-launch Voodoo VS or mid-launch Matrix Ozik XCON shaft, and both versions come in 3-plus, 3 and 5 for right-handed players, and 3 and 5 for lefties. A women’s model features lightweight Grafalloy graphite shafts and is available in 3, 5 and 7 for righties, and 3 and 5 for left-handed players.