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Adams Golf revives and redesigns the iconic Tight Lies fairway woods

Kiel ChristiansonBy Kiel Christianson,
Senior Writer
Tight Lies fairway wood by Adams Golf
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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.

Playing the Adams Golf Tight Lies fairway wood

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.

Adams Golf Tight Lies: The verdict

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.

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Adams Golf - Tight Lies fairway wood

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, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Tight Lies Fairway Woods

    Paul Folla wrote on: May 4, 2014

    16 & 19 deg., these were game changers for me. Try them you will be surprised, ball gets airborn from less than good lies and flies where you point it!


  • Tight Lies

    Stephen Ross wrote on: Nov 29, 2013

    3 Wood at 16 degrees gets ball in the air. The regular shaft has lower kick point but I find it to be too light and too much flex. Almost plays like a real senior shaft. With a little bit more weight and a bit higher kick point this wood is a winner. I am a 11 handicapper and require a shaft that offers better control and distance than the stock shaft


  • New Adams tight lie, (shaft flex)

    Jack Burns wrote on: Oct 11, 2013

    Please what is the shaft flex.? is it a mid launch kick or lower?
    a senior needs to know? what is the loft for a five wood. how many grams.
    best regards Jack


      • RE: New Adams tight lie, (shaft flex)

        Kiel Christianson wrote on: Oct 14, 2013

        There are several different options. If I were you, I'd visit the Adams Golf website and read through the product specs: http://www.adamsgolf.com/products/woods/tightlies.php