When they were first introduced about two decades ago, Tight Lies fairway woods from a new company called Adams Golf were an instant hit. With their low profile, oddly angled sole (called a “tri-sole”), and ability to make clean contact not only from tight lies but from bad ones (rough, sand, divots) as well, Tight Lies launched a revolution in what were arguably the hardest-to-hit clubs in the golfer’s bag.
Then things changed. Fairway woods got bigger because new materials and technology put the emphasis on distance rather than efficiency. Hybrids came along and redefined the role of long clubs.
Well, things are changing again, starting with new looks for both Adams Golf and its most famous creation. Very soon, the company’s logo will go retro (the name will appear in an italicized script, as on the clubhead shown above) and the new Tight Lies fairway woods will reach the market. They could begin a renaissance in what has once again become golf’s most ornery club.
The mantra for all the new Adams clubs—and there are more to come, starting in late fall—is “easy to hit.” For Tight Lies that means bringing back the low-profile head (it’s about 1.2 inches tall) and the tri-sole, which lower the clubhead’s center of gravity so it’s easier to get shots in the air. But whereas in the old days that also meant shorter distances, the new model gives up almost nothing in length.
The Tight Lies that become available in mid-August incorporate Velocity Slot Technology (VST), an Adams innovation presently found in their other woods. Cutting slots in the soles of clubs makes their faces springier, using the “trampoline effect” to add distance. The new Tight Lies improve and expand VST: The slots are now top and bottom, allowing the entire face to spring and react. As a result, the clubs are hot and easy to hit. The combination of distance and accuracy is impressive, giving the average golfer a club he can predictably hit in that crucial 185- to 210-yard range.
The folks from Adams are quick to admit that the new Tight Lies—engineered to produce high-launch/mid-spin flight—will not be the longest fairway woods available. However, they are confident that the combination of very good distance with outstanding accuracy and forgiveness makes them better than simply long.
In mid-August, a 16-degree Tight Lies comes out at $199. By year’s end it will be joined by 14-degree (3-wood), 19-degree (5-wood), and 22-degree (7-wood) variations. The standard graphite shaft is the new Bassara Eagle series.
Also coming is Tight Lies Tour—available in 14.5 and 18 degrees—with a slightly deeper face, an adjustable weight in the sole, and a little less spin. They’ll cost $229 with the Aldila Tour Blue graphite shaft.
All Tight Lies woods come in what the company calls “Friendly Black,” an elegant black finish with a slight silvery sheen. The high-polish look is indicative of the high-quality standards Adams Golf has set for itself in this relaunch of both its original product and its identity.
Calling Tight Lies “the club to hit from everywhere,” Adams Golf wants to be the club company you use for everything.
Tight Lies: $199
Tight Lies Tour: $229
A classic club gets an R&D upgrade that could be the start of something big
By: James A. Frank