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Callaway FT-i Squareway Woods

Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Armand Assante, Mar/Apr 2008

I am far from being an authorized critic of golf equipment, but I do play a lot.

I recently had the opportunity to try out the new square-headed fairway woods (FT-i) being introduced this year by Callaway Golf. Last year at Doral in South Florida, the executive editor of Cigar Aficionado, Gordon Mott, handed me the new FT-i driver to try out. After one swing it became my driver of choice (and Gordon, as a result, lost his driver!). Now my tee shots are the best part of my game. Longer, straighter ... and my slice is gone.

At Old Palm Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, in mid-January, I spent three days going back and forth between my Callaway Big Bertha 3, 5 and 7 woods and the new FT-i's. At first the new clubs felt a little awkward. By the third day, I had put away my old clubs. The new FT-i's fairway woods exceeded my wildest expectations.

Just as with the driver, I was able to hit the ball farther and straighter with a very powerful impact and ball flight. My friends were amazed at my enhanced fairway game.

The scientific premise for what happened is that the woods have a higher MOI, or Moment of Inertia. If that sounds like technobabble, it isn't. It works. Callaway explains that it moved as much weight as possible to the outer perimeter of the clubhead to resist twisting during the swing and impact. That weight shift also expanded the sweet spot on the club, making it more forgiving on off-center hits.

While the square shape is unusual, you won't care what it looks like once your balls fly straighter and farther. You will, however, give up some ability to shape ball flight, but I can't help but hear the bottom line for most golfers: straighter is better.

I'm a believer. You should give them a try.

Visit www.callawaygolf.com.

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