A few months back, LINKS was among the first to announce that Adams Golf was going through a top-to-bottom rethinking of their equipment lines. It kicked off with a new logo and other visuals, but more importantly featured the reintroduction of the Tight Lies fairway woods (read that story here), the club that launched the company about 20 years ago. Adams’s rebirth continues with more new products, aimed at golfers of all levels.
Coming to market now is a new version of the Adams Idea (shown above), which are, according to the company, already the number-one hybrid-iron set in the game. This good Idea is designed for the higher handicap: 80% of sales are to those 15 and above, who, tests show, tend to hit the ball about ½-inch off-center toward the toe.
New Idea clubs can be bought individually or in sets that combine hybrids, hollow-core irons, and solid irons. Rethinking the Idea included adjusting the distance gaps between clubs, made necessary by the addition of cut-through slots in the sole and crown that expand the sweetspot and allow the clubface to flex more, thereby increasing the ball speed and launch as well as adding distance to off-center hits. Slots are not new to Adams’s clubs, but they’ve been made bigger, and word is that just a little more slot produces a lot more distance. They also narrow side-to-side dispersion, meaning more fairways hit and fewer balls lost.
According to Adams, the “standard” set of New Idea clubs is three hybrids (the 3, 4, and 5), two hybrid-irons (6 and 7), and three “scoring irons” (8, 9, PW). Also available are an existing 460cc titanium driver and 3- and 5-woods with cut-through slots in the crown and sole, and a choice of new Idea wedges.
There’s also an Idea set designed for women, a segment that already accounts for 20% of company sales. The women’s line has been made extra-easy to hit and get shots into the air. Adams also had the good idea of offering women’s clubs in a choice of four colors (almond, raspberry, blackberry, and melon)—doing away with the stigma many ladies feel when being forced to play pink or sky blue clubs—and offering a complete set, from titanium driver to putter and bag, for $1,000.
At the other end of the spectrum is Adams’s XTD line, aimed at better golfers (like their ambassadors on tour, notably Aaron Baddeley, Tom Watson, and Kenny Perry). These clubs also have slots in the head, which actually had to be cooled off a bit so they didn’t prove too hot and hard to control. A happy marriage of distance and control was struck by incorporating the Variable Face Technology pioneered by Adams’s corporate owner, TaylorMade. This is the first time progressive face thickness has been used in hybrids, and both they and the fairway woods are touted as generating 30% more speed on off-center hits.
XTD ti hybrids and fairway woods (above left) use titanium in the face, crown, and hosel, while the sole is made of a higher density stainless steel that positions the weight low and back in the clubhead, helping to launch the ball in the air. There’s also an adjustable sole weight and adjustable sleeve so the face angle can be tweaked 3 degrees from open to closed.
In just the last few weeks, an XTD driver debuted, also with cut-through slots, but without any engraving or sharp edges on the head that might slow the club aerodynamically as it swings. Furthermore, each driver is tested four times during its manufacturing to be sure the face is as hot as is allowed under USGA rules.
The crown jewel of all Adams’s clubs, XTD woods and hybrids are fitted with a new Matrix Red Tie shaft and Iomic Black Armor Sticky Evolution grip: At $299 per club (the driver is $399.99), the promise is “titanium performance at a steel price.” I hit a few shots with the XTD fairway woods a few weeks back and they were as hot as promised. I wasn’t able to try the new XTD forged iron, but given everything else going on at Adams, I’m confident they’ll play and feel as good as their wood/hybrid cousins. And be hot.
There is no reason to be scared of this Adams Family. Snap-snap.
New Idea hybrid: $699.99 (8 clubs, steel); $799.99 (graphite)
New Idea hybrid irons: $169.99 per club Women’s New Idea Set: $999.99
XTD driver: $399.99
XTD Ti fairway woods and hybrids: $299.99 per club
XTD forged irons: $1,099.99 (8 clubs, steel); $1,199.99 (graphite)
By: James A. Frank