In late 1995, Barney Adams, founder of Adams Golf, came to market with the Tight Lies fairway wood. It essentially had a trapezoidal-shaped clubhead that looked upside-down, but its hallow face and low center of gravity made getting the ball
up in the air very easy. The club became a sensation in a matter
of months, and the small Texas club manufacturer that had been
around since 1987 was suddenly a big player in golf.
Over the next few years, Adams Golf contributed to the birth
of hybrid clubs, which served as alternatives for golfers who had
trouble hitting their longer-shafted, larger-headed fairway woods.
These days, Adams is known as a market leader in the hybrid
category. But the clubs are not just popular with amateurs. Pros
love them, too.
“Adams ended 2011 as the most-played hybrid on Tour for the
fifth straight year, with 36 percent of all hybrids in play being
an Adams model,” says Justin Honea, senior design engineer.
“We regularly see Tour players who may use other brands rely
on Adams when it comes to hybrids, as we’re recognized as the
innovation leader. This year has been even better with 40 percent
of all hybrids in play coming from Adams. The increase can be
directly related to players quickly realizing that our newest Idea
Super XTD Hybrid is (our) longest and most forgiving hybrid.”
The company’s Tour staff this year includes Yani Tseng, Ryan
Moore, Aaron Baddeley, Tom Watson, Bernhard Langer, Robert
Kerlsson, and Kenny Perry.
While fairway wood popularity is picking up in 2012, it’s not
necessarily coming at the expense of hybrid usage. In fact, Adams’
vice president of U.S. sales, Greg Brown, says, “Players seem to be
adding more hybrids to the bag. We’ve seen that particularly in our
integrated sets (iron sets with hybrids replacing the long irons).”
For example, Adams’ Idea a12 OS set features three hybrids as
part of the standard set. The company has also debuted HITfit—
which stands for “Hybrid Iron Technology” fitting—on its website,
which takes a golfer’s launch data and suggests how many hybrids