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|The Adams Tight Lies fairway woods have been reinvigorated with features that make it even more powerful. (Courtesy of Adams Golf)|
Recall, if you will, the mid-1990s. The economy was booming, the nation was racking up a budget surplus, and the golf industry was more robust than it had ever been. Golf courses were opening all across the nation faster than Starbucks, and players were flocking back to the game.
One of the driving forces behind golf's resurgence was a revolutionary generation of equipment, rife with engineering innovations made possible by computer-assisted design and a cornucopia of new materials, including titanium.
A major player in the paradigm shift in golf equipment was Adams Golf, under the direction of Barney Adams.
With the introduction of the Adams Tight Lies fairway woods, Adams Golf shot to the forefront of new, nimble, and forward-thinking companies focusing on finding ways to make it easier for recreational golfers to hit the ball solidly and, consequently, have more fun.
What made the Adams Tight Lies so ground-breaking? Primarily, it was the use of weighting and geometry. This allowed Adams Golf to make a concerted effort to lower the center of gravity and place it directly behind and beneath the ball. The "upside-down" shaped head delivered the majority of the club's mass to a spot just below the equator of the ball, and, at the same time, reduced the surface area of the sole. Thus the club was ideal both for picking the ball off tight fairways and for sliding through rough. The result: fewer worm-burners.
Fast-forward to 2013: The budget surplus was turned into a deficit within a couple years of the turn of the century, and the economy is still struggling to recover. Golf courses have closed from New England to southern California, and golfers have drifted steadily away from the game.
Enter once again the Adams Tight Lies. Adams Golf is now owned by TaylorMade-Adidas, but the flagship fairway wood has been re-introduced and reinvigorated with features that make it even more powerful.
What's new in the reincarnated Adams Tight Lies? To be honest, there is only one major addition to the proven design: Velocity Slot Technology. These refined cut-thru slots are essentially little troughs on the crown and sole of the club behind the face that increase ball-speed.
The result of this melding of a classic, revolutionary design with the new cut-through slot feature is impressive. The TV commercials for the new Tight Lies spotlight several Adams Golf touring pros hitting balls with the clubs and acting all gob-smacked at the distance and feel. And, after hitting a 16-degree Tight Lies on the range and on the course myself, I tend to think the pros are being sincere.
When the Tight Lies strikes the ball, it feels like you're pounding it with a hammer, and the ball rockets off the face. The compact size of the head makes it easy to work in all directions, with the only downside being that if you do want to hit it from the tee, it's easy to accidentally tee the ball a smidge too high and pop it up.
The new Adams Golf Tight Lies fairway woods ($200; $230 for Tour model) are even better than the original. Ample power, ample playability, and ample everything that made the original Tight Lies a game-changer. The matte black finish looks pretty cool, too.
The Tight Lies comes in 14, 16, 19, and 22 degrees (RH; 16 and 19 degrees LH), to provide several options if you're looking for fairway woods you can actually hit off the fairway, unlike many of today's deep-faced fairway woods.
For more information, visit adamsgolf.com.
September 9, 2013
Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Illinois. Read his golf blog here.
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