Golf Digest editors picks
2011 Hot List

FAIRWAY WOODS

February 2011
$: BEST VALUE | W: ALSO IN WOMEN'S | CATEGORY LEADER | (H) HIGH-HANDICAPPER | (M) MIDDLE-HANDICAPPER | (L) LOW-HANDICAPPER
CLUBS LISTED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
CALLAWAY DIABLO OCTANE OCTANE TOUR

CALLAWAY DIABLO OCTANE/OCTANE TOUR

STREET PRICE: $200 (per club)
WEBSITE: callawaygolf.com
LOFTS: 15, 17, 19, 21, 24; Tour: 13, 15, 18
TECH TALK: Golfers have two choices: The deep center of gravity (CG) of the wide-bodied Diablo Octane helps launch the ball high. The more forward CG of the smaller Tour model delivers a lower trajectory. Both feature Callaway's variable-thickness face that's designed to maximize off-center hits.

PLAYER COMMENTS:
L: "I like the clean look of the Tour version. Ball flight is consistent off the tee and fairway."..."I can get this in the air with minimal spin. On a tight driving hole, this is your club."
M: "The muted sound and solid feel at impact are awesome. Mis-hits might go a little shorter, but they hit the fairway."..."Your shots don't balloon, even when you hit it hard."..."The ball flies off the face with unexpected forgiveness."

HOT: A forgiving shape and a smart face make this a strong entry. Including a 9-wood in the lineup where others don't makes it special.
NOT: The standard version is loud, and the Tour model is muffled. Any way we can find middle ground?
 CALLAWAY RAZR HAWK

CALLAWAY RAZR HAWK

STREET PRICE: $230
WEBSITE: callawaygolf.com
LOFTS: 13, 15, 18, 21
TECH TALK: A lightweight crown made from a new, more durable carbon composite is fused to a 17-4 stainless-steel body. This allows weight to be repositioned along the perimeter of the sole to increase the club's forgiveness and launch angle. The goal of the heat-treated variable-thickness face is to minimize loss of ball speed on mis-hits.

PLAYER COMMENTS:
L: This might be the longest fairway wood I've hit. What loft is this again?"..."The shallow face really performs."
M: "The material is different; you can see that. This is a forgiving club that produces a penetrating ball flight. It sets up square with ease."
H: "It has a nice sound at impact, without even the slightest annoying ting. The ball goes straight."..."This is as traditional as Callaway will get, but with a low, long trajectory. A happy medium."

HOT: The crown weighs 24 grams less than an all-steel model. This adds both height and distance.
NOT: For all the technology in the crown and face, the nonexistent sole story leaves us puzzled.
PING G15

PING G15

STREET PRICE: $200
WEBSITE: ping.com
LOFTS: 15.5, 17, 18.5, 21.5
TECH TALK: The low-profile clubhead has an external sole weight to keep the CG low and push it farther back. Many regular and senior flex shafts are merely softer versions of the stiff flex. But Ping's proprietary shaft varies in weight, flex profile and torque in all clubs and flexes to address the playing characteristics of golfers regardless of skill level.

PLAYER COMMENTS:
L: This is a Ferrari: Just put your foot on the gas pedal, and it does all the work."..."I hit one fat, and it still got out there. A nice recovery club, with a solid sound, too."
M: "This one never balloons on you. It doesn't matter where you hit it on the face; it feels solid."..."The face feels explosive. It's forgiving, and the trajectory is consistent."

HOT: Ping's unsurpassed fitting options (lie angles, grip sizes and swingweights) only enhance the G15's simplicity and reliability.
NOT: We wish the company hadn't stopped making the G15's Draw model. It was a better club than the new K15 draw-bias fairway wood.
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