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Let's Play Golf

Review of Fairway Woods

Over the last few years the golf press has been focused on hybrids but most golfers are coming to realize that while hybrids have their place, it is primarily to replace the hard to hit long irons. They are not necessarily a replacement for woods. If you just play with hybrids and irons, you may end up with a distance gap after the driver. Besides, woods have a higher rearward  center of gravity that produces lower launch with less spin for more distance. Hybrids have a lower forward center of gravity that produces higher launch with more spin to stop on the green.

To have some uniformity in our testing, what we did was pick one club # (5 wood in this case) from different brands and assembled them all with the same shaft and the same flex and made them the same length. For our testing, we used the Apollo Shadow Ultra Light graphite shaft, regular flex and a length of 42.5".

Club # 5
Club Length 42.5"
Shaft Apollo Shadow Ultra Light graphite shaft. Weight: 62 grams. Torque: 5.0. Flex: Regular

Here are the models we tested and their results. Do not make a decision till you read the trailing commentary.

Make/Model Head Tee Shots Turf Shots Ball Shot Flat Rough Feel & Total Ranking
  volume Range Course  Range Course Trajectory Shaping Shot   Aesthetics Score  
    1-10 1-10 1-10 1-10 1-10 1-10 1-10 1-10 1-10    

Score of 1 to 10. 10 being as good as it gets and 1 being very poor.

Synchron II
Loft: 19 °
Synchron II fairway woods 145cc 9.6 9.2 9.3 9 9.5 9.4 9 9.6 8.8 83.4 1
Power Play System Q2
Loft: 18.5 °
power play system q2 fairway woods 160cc 9 9.4 9.4 9.5 9.7 8.8 8.4 9.2 9.4 82.8 2
Power Play Caiman
Loft: 19 °
power play caiman fairway drive 150cc 9.6 9 9.2 9 9 7.8 9.4 9 9 81 3
Acer XP905
Loft: 18 °
acer xp905 fairway woods



9 9.2 9 9 8.5 8.8 9 9 80.6 4
Acer Mantara
Loft: 18 °
Acer Mantara fairway woods 200cc 9.2 9.2 9.4 9 8 9 9 8.8 9 80.6 4
Acer XK
Loft: 19 °
Acer XK fairway woods 145cc 9.7 8.3 8.5 8.5 9.7 8 6.5 8.6 8.7 76.5 5



  • Synchron II:
    Does not have a draw bias. Great for the better player who likes to shape his shots. Most woods today are made with a slight draw bias to help slicers. That is great for most people as most people slice. However; a draw bias makes it more difficult to fade and that is a bit frustrating for the better golfer. If you are a better golfer, then you will really enjoy playing with the Synchron II as it let's you move the ball both ways. The bottom rails also make it a very effective club to hit out of thick rough.
    The Synchron II is available in eight lofts from # 3 to # 15.
  • PowerPlay System Q2:
    An elegant and colorful club to look at. Draw bias. The square head really helps those who don't hit the ball in the middle that often. This is one of those unique fairway woods that can help both a high and low handicapper. Overall a very well designed club.
  • Power Play Caiman:
    Easier to draw. Easy to hook. Not that easy to fade. Gives you great trajectory. A very exciting club to play with. Latest technology and elegant design.
  • Acer XP905:
    Feels like a neat small club. Joy to play with. The ball jumps of the face like a rocket and has a real nice crack to it. The head is smaller in volume compared to others and almost looks like a hybrid. If you hit the ball in the middle or close to it, this will be a great club for you. Very easy to hit straight shots with or draw the ball. Takes a little practice to fade though.
  • Acer Mantara:
    Performed better than expected for such a large head on a fairway wood. The design is such that no matter how badly you miss hit, it will still get the ball going in the general direction. Can be a great substitute as a driver also. High handicappers can do well by leaving their driver home and taking this 5 wood instead.
  • Acer XK:
    If you can't get the ball up in the air with this club, you better get some serious coaching. Great for tee shots. Can be a good substitute for a driver. Even off the turf, you can get a very high trajectory. Not a good club for the better player though. That excessive trajectory causes loss of distance and can be very frustrating for the better player. If you are a beginner that slices a lot and can't get a half decent ball flight, this club is for you.

Additional Information:

  • Many players will get more distance with one of these 5 woods than with a driver because of the higher trajectory. If you can't get the ball high enough with a driver, it will land sooner than it should and you loose distance. The better trajectory of the 5 wood gives you better carry. On top of that, being a shorter club, you will make less errors. If you are in the fairway instead of out of bounds or in the rough and you have pretty much the same distance as a driver, what's not to like.
  • Play a couple of rounds with one of these clubs and once you get comfortable, leave your driver and all long clubs out of your bag. Just carry irons up to # 5 and then this # 5 wood. More likely than not, you will shoot 5 points lower than your average. Do this for a few rounds and you will get a better understanding of your game.

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