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|The easy-to-hit Idea irons and i-Woods by Adams Golf. ()|
CALGARY, Alberta - When you've got 215 to the pin, the green tucked behind a glistening pond, the wind slightly in your face and the match on the line, you've only got one option. Grab your 2-iron, clench your teeth, and swat at it for dear life.
Such was the way that we handled these situations for decades, and some still do.
But, thanks to the new hybrid clubs, it doesn't have to be this way. Ever since the emergence of these game-transforming clubs, golfers from all over the world have taken their 2, 3, 4, even their 5-irons, and tossed them into the proverbial garbage can.
This new replacement for the long irons has been a long time coming and, not surprisingly, has sent equipment manufacturers into a frenzy. For club manufacturers it's a new opportunity to make millions.
But the new stampede into this market is founded on a simple truth, these clubs work really, really well.
For the past couple of years I've been staying pat with my long irons. Too much pride, I guess. But the other day, still smouldering with anger from another smothered 3-iron, I ventured to the store to "investigate" the hybrids.
Part iron and part wood, the Adams Idea i-Woods are the top choice for clubs in this category. In fact, it was the folks at Adams Golf who spawned this mini-revolution. Of course, many other companies have followed suit, offering hybrids to replace 2, 3, 4, and 5 irons.
With a 27 percent higher MOI (Moment of Inertia) and a lower Center of Gravity (CG), Adams Idea i-Woods are more forgiving, easier to get airborne, and longer than traditional long irons. Also, Adams' patented upside down clubhead design and internal heel and toe weighting add to the club's appeal and functionality.
My first experience with the i-Woods was on the driving range where I found it relatively easy to hit high-flying 200-yard shots. But the magic moment was when I tried them on the course. Here are a few highlights that must be passed along:
• I was able to knock it onto a par-5 in two (I've never come close to hitting this green before) that features a small plateau green with no bail out. I simply have never had a club that I could play that shot with before. Needless to say, I got the warm fuzzies going.
• The i-Wood seemed to be the perfect club off the tee on two particular par-4s where I needed to be certain to carry the ball 190-yards but, ideally, not hit it further than 230 yards.
• I chose the i-Wood on a 225-yard par-3 that was playing slightly downwind. The green was guarded in front by a huge bunker. Previously, I would not have had a club to pull off the shot. A 3-wood could have carried the bunker but never would have stayed on the green. A long iron would not have carried the sand. The i-Wood turned out perfect, landing softly on the front of the green and rolling to the middle-back of the dance floor.
So who should play the i-Woods? They fit all types of players. Short hitters will enjoy the ease of getting the ball airborne. Long hitters will enjoy the extra carry and have more confidence when faced with a long second to a guarded par-5.
The specs are as follows: The 3 i-Wood is 17 degree and 40.5 inches. The 4 i-Wood is 21 degree and 39.75 inches. The 5 i-Wood is 25 degree and 39 inches. All clubs have a D0 swingweight. The stock graphite shaft is the SuperShaft High Launch by Aldila. Flex options include senior's, women's, regular and stiff. Stock grips are the Golf Pride Tour Velvet and the Winn grip.
So the next time you're facing a 215-yard shot to a green with trouble in front give the new i-Woods a try.
July 31, 2004
Andrew Penner is a longtime member of the Canadian PGA. Author of "One Flew Over the Caddyshack," he also writes for a number of magazines throughout Canada and the U.S.
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