Modern fairway metals

Just wondering if anyone has had good luck with modern fairway metals. I’ve always liked what sonartec produces by I have never found one that doesn’t have a built in hook bias due to the lie angle. It’s funny that even when I was a teenager and didn’t really understand the importance of lie angles I knew that these fairway woods were way too upright. So anyways has anyone come across some nice smaller modern woods that might not sit so upright?

I’ve had a Cleveland Hi-Bore XLS with a high launch, high spin shaft in it since mid-2009. Hadn’t hit it well since some swing changes in last January. Now I hit it very well. Only problem is that probably 1 out of every 10 shots is a bad push cut. But I nuked one 310 yards off the tee with a 30 mph tailwind this weekend and can’t hit it about 250-260 off the deck.

I think that you may want to look at what shaft you use over the head. I used a low launch, low spin shaft in my driver and hit it quite well, but with the 3-wood it seems like the high launch-high spin shaft works better there for me.


i haven’t found any modern fairway metals with flatter lies but i have been messing around with the shafts in my TM R9 woods. I dropped in a DG S300 shaft into both the 3 and 5 wood and its 10x better - the woods feel much more stable and the dispersion is much tighter. if you see any flatter modern metals, let us know.

How exactly would a shaft affect the spin rate? You can change the kickpoint to affect the launch angle, sure but spin rate?? And I have never ever understood exotic shafts in fairway woods anyway. Drivers sure and maybe hybrids if one uses those sad ridiculous non-golf clubs but not a 3 or 4 wood. Those are all about control and shot placement so why put a light distance oriented shaft in them?

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I don’t know exactly how a shaft is designed to be high spin or low spin, but they certainly design them that way. You can go on any shafts mfg’s Web site and they’ll tell you the launch and the spin. I’m guessing it’s all related to the kick point of the shaft. I used to have a high launch, high spin shaft in a driver as well and then switched to a low spin, low launch shaft. Difference is extremely noticeable. I’m not a fan of the high launch, high spin shafts in the driver because it makes it too easy to get the ball in the air and I don’t get the feedback I need so I can tell if I’m swinging well or not.

I own a hybrid, but it has a steel shaft in it. I did some statistical research for the past 5 seasons on the PGA Tour and to see who were the best long approach players (175-225 yards) from a statistical perspective as to how close to the hole they hit it on average. I then took a look at the clubs they used. The top players all used either a 5-wood or a 2-hybrid (18* loft) or a 2-iron (really, just Tiger and Ernie and Tiger alternates with a 5-wood and EE alternates with a 2-hybrid). But the typical setup for the top guys was:

2-hybrid or 5-wood

What I found interesting was that not many players on Tour used a more than 3 wedges (PW, SW, LW). So not a lot of Gap Wedges or extra lob wedges. I also found that almost nobody used a 2-hybrid with a steel shaft and I think Tiger was the only one to use a 5-wood with a steel shaft.

I also broke down the top players from long approaches by clubhead speed with the driver. The guys with more than 113 mph of clubhead speed were more likely to use a 5-wood instead of a hybrid. The guys with less than 113 mph, all used hybrids. As far as the graphite shafts go in those clubs, I assume it’s because they are looking to hit it higher.


Tom Wishon:

 "The only way the club can affect spin is through, 1) loft on the clubhead, 2) the amount of forward bending of the shaft just before impact, 3) slightly from the location of impact with respect to the center of gravity, i.e. vertical gear effect which reduces spin slightly for impacts above the CG and increases spin slightly for impacts below the head’s CG..." 
 "Remember, swing speed directly affects the backspin rate for all golfers. High swing speed = higher backspin while lower swing speed = lower spin, regardless of the club or ball used by the golfer..." 
 "The shaft’s overall flex and bend profile design can have a slight effect on the launch angle, spin rate and trajectory of the shot – but only for golfers who have the swing ability to release the wrist-cock angle later in the downswing. The more flexible the shaft and the later the golfer’s release, the higher the launch angle, spin rate and trajectory of the shot will be. Our research has yet to show that the effect of the shaft on launch angle is more than 2.5 degrees."

…so…I have debated internally about whether or not to bring this up because it would be about metal woods instead of persimmons, but I have recently have an outstanding experience with some “modern” metal fairway woods. I figured it would be ok to talk about it in this thread.

Titleist PT - the 1992-1995 version, NOT the 2001 remake with the bore-through shaft.

I was having one of my insomnia nights, was standing at my pantry looking for something to eat, and for some reason I was thinking about how standard lie angles have gotten progressively more upright over time. I then figured I would go into the Titleist club archive on the Titleist website to see if any of the older stuff was anywhere near where I wanted to be (50* lie angle on the driver at most).

I was very surprised to see that the lie angle on PT drivers was 54* and the lie on PT 3-woods was 55*!

So I went through my clubs to find my old 13* PT 3wood I have had for a dozen years and I took a look at the hosel which looked very long compared to really modern stuff. That gave me the idea that maybe it could be bent significantly.

I took it into the shop and begged the guy to get me at least 5* flatter. At first he wouldn’t do it, but after I convinced him that I wouldn’t hold him accountable if it broke, he finally relented and took it into the back to give it a shot.

I paced around the front of the shop like an expectant father outside the maternity room…if this worked it would be a game changer for me…

He came back with a fully intact club and said he was surprised at how easily it bent and that he was able to get 6* out of it easily, putting the overall lie down to 49*!!!

I took it straight to the range and hitting it was a big a revelation as hitting my irons were the first time I had them flattened to ABS specifications (you guys know what I am talking about!). I could finally FINALLY fully release a three wood and have it not sky hook off the earth or clang off the heel. I could feel the sole of the club skimming flush along the ground.

Even though the club is almost 20 years old, it still has great performance in terms of distance - consistent 275 off tee and deck. Trajectory is amazing, exactly what I wanted as well.

What is nice is that the clubs come in two different weights for each loft (two lines on the bottom or three lines) for use with either graphite or steel shafts. If you put a steel shaft in the head for graphite shafts you will get a very heavily swingweighted club.

I have since been scouring eBay for PTs – you can find them very cheap - and have had four of these bent with no hosel integrity issues at all.

While not persimmon, these are an affordable and workable solution for me while I wait for my custom 3* flat Louisville Golf persimmon woods to be made.

Titleist PTs are definitely worth a shot for ABS’ers to try in my opinion.

P.S. Be careful not to get the “midsize” version of these clubs as they have very short hosels and could probably not be bent.

can you post of a photo of the post-bend head?

Here are the pictures. The steel shafted one is the one I had bent. I wound up having it bent less flat than I first had it bent, but it is still significantly flatter than standard.

Both clubs are 15* with a length of 42.5"

Standard lie is 55*

has anyone ever tried bending a taylormade v-steel wood flatter? looks like it might be do-able based on photos but i have no idea what kind of bore it is.

Using one of these: I was able to flatten my Ping G15 2*. I know I won’t be able to bend it, but this was a start in the right direction. I don’t ever practice with it though, because it is still fairly upright. I instead practice with older laminate woods, and play with the modern equipment. Unfortunately, for me to compete in the modern game, I have to choice but to play modern long clubs. I was caddying for a friend in a US JR Amatuer qualifier for the last two days, and at least 20 guys in the field were hitting driver-hybrid or driver-3 wood into 560 yard par 5’s with ease.

i hear ya on trying to find modern gear to customize - the v steels looked interesting bc they are pretty new woods and the hosel looks like the titleist PT that foreleft posted so perhaps they could be flattened 4+ degrees


I think all you really need is a long hosel.

Put a brill bit in where the shaft would sit to stop it from buckling, heat it up till its red and bend it, get someone to help you keep heating it as you bend cause the heat drops of really quickly. You will burn the paint, and it will look a mess, but it should be doable. … dType=wood

Perhaps Wishon sees the merit in providing some lie angle adjustment in fairway metals and hybrids.


This is a very gradual slow trend back in the right direction of how lie angles should work involving the golf swing

I have been really noticing this the past 18 months or so…especially in the pro ranks…clubs are slowly getting a hair flatter again and becoming adjustable for lie not just how the club manufacturers want to make them or tell you how they should be
It’s pretty interesting that something like this is rumbling in the background, even if only minimal in terms of where equipment was once at…let’s see if it follows suit into the stock clubs sooner or later

Alas…they have gone ridiculous crazy in making everything lighter at the same time…shafts, grips, heads which offsets half the good by plonking in some more bad

I have to agree TM. Other than Phil there seems to be few pros with the CF dump out to right field from the swings I’ve seem of late. I may be wrong, but it sure seems like most of the cats on TV are working the club hard left post impact. It may not be an ABS protocol per se, but the hard left “make the X” look from dtl seems more and more prevalent. Perhaps there are more lurkers at this site than we think. :wink:


Robbo wrote:

I have wondered the same thing, especially when I hear some of the commentary while watching TV.

I had a look at his site. In addition to adjustable lies, he offers woods with no vertical roll, and his muscle back irons look nice ( they do have offset however). Has anyone used his stuff?

The swinging left may also be due to more common use of Trackman by the pros.

I play a discontinued 3 wood head of his that is zero roll. It’s a really small head by modern standards, as well. I love it. In fact, I picked up 2 extras when he was closing them out a while ago. I am assembling one with a heavier shaft to try.

Here’s the one I play(or the righty version of the one I play):

i bought some of the adjustable fairway metals (3 and 5 wood), bent them down to 53* and 54* and put on some DG S400 shafts. finally went to the range the other night and saw that they sit much more pleasing to the eye. the heads are pretty compact, smaller than my R9 fairway woods, and sit pretty square. you could probably bent them down flatter but they recommend not bending more than 4*.