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Fairways - Titanium vs Steel Face Performance Difference


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For some reason, likely psychological, I seem to gravitate toward titanium in FWs. Admittedly, I am an Adams fan. And, even though Adams is gone, their fairway woods remain one of the best values in the golf secondary market. (IMO)

Is there a difference in performance, given COR limits? Is it simply a matter of feel? As a titanium fan, what models of steel FWs should I be trying to change my mind?

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Another bargain used titanium option is the Mizuno MP650

Any continued love for Adams XTD Ti fairway? (Circa 2014)... I like the slightly-triangular shape of this FW (albeit is a bit ‘non-traditional’ shape?) or are there newer & improved Ti fairway rec

Pure speculation, but it may be easier to have improved COR across the face with titanium.

Also, since it is lighter than steel the weight distribution will be different with the Ti faced woods having more discretionary weight to move away from the face.

Cobra RAD Speed 9* : Ventus Blue 6-S

Cobra RAD Speed 3W : Graphite Design AD TP8-S

Cobra ForgedTec 3-iron : Ventus Blue HB 8-S

Srixon Z785 4-PW : Nippon Modus3 120-S

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If you get a chance to hit some of the new FW options I think you will be pleasantly surprised, even ones with steel faces. I was stuck on a couple 10-15 year old 4W options and when I finally hit a G410 3W I was blown away...I think the forgiveness and the CG placement makes these things stupid-easy to hit and longer as well.

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Theoretically yes, but when you are you dealing with such a small footprint (vast majority of fairway metals are under 200cc) the amount of weight savings is so minimal. That along with limited space available to redistribute the weight generally leads to almost no impact to CG or MOI. In this day and age, titanium alloys do not really offer much of a benefit over steel alloys for fairways, hybrids, and irons.

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Titanium wood heads tend to be a little larger compared to steel, which may add confidence to high cappers. As to face material, I love the sound of a maraging steel face. Whether titanium is superior to steel or vice versa, I suppose it ultimitely depends on specific design elements like trampoline effect, strategic face thickness, etc.

Adams Speedline 9088UL 10.5* AXIVCore 69 Black (S) Ping G SF Tec 3W, 5W Alta 65 (R) Ping G 4H,5H Alta 70 (R) Ping G 6-U TT XP 95 (soft R) Ping Glide 54*, 58* WS TT XP 100 (R) Ping Darby Sigma G

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I've noticed the Titanium woods can sometimes be too hot and ruin gapping throughout the set. For instance I tested the new SIM fairway and while I hit it well it's way too hot. Too close to driver and too far from my driving iron. They need to add a 3/HL of 4 wood model. Would gap a lot better than the regular 3 wood.

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I also like the feel & sound of Titanium in a fairway wood. I believe it mostly was phased out in favor of the steel for costs.....but didn't TEE keep at least one model in Ti as an option since they began?

Anyways, I kept several 3W & one 5W from the old Ti past days and can't get rid of them. Mizuno MP Titanium 3/5; TM R11ti 3, TEE XCG-V 3. Now, TM has M5 and then SIM in Ti, but the price went way up.

I can only play my Mizunos above off turf, the others not so much - teed up as driver alternative only.

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-Titleist 917 D2                                                                                          -Cobra F9 Tour Length 
5- Mizuno MP titanium                                                                                 3 - Mizuno MP titanium
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I agree with some above that in a true FW there is a diminishing return for TI faces. I’ve had a bunch of different JDM heads with variable face thickness forged TI faces/cup faces and also the TM model from last year.

Aside from differences in feel and sound the newer maraging high strength steel faces seem to hang in there pretty well in all aspects.

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Justick Proceed 21* UT — Nippon GOST 
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Mizuno T20 50* and 55* — MITSUBISHI MMT 125
Seven ST 61* Black Boron — MCI Black 125 “mild”
Epon Ltd Edition I-33 — Matrix PZ-125 Shaft 
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I’ve noticed that as well. The new Sim TI is 180cc’s. Looks huge behind the ball. TXG tested it vs the Mavrik and it was consistently 10 yards longer but it could be due to just the size and mass. The Callaway Mavrik is much smaller in side by side comparisons. Also I like to hit my 3 wood both off the tee and deck and I like the smaller footprint when going off the deck. The larger heads seem to not fit my eye. TXG says it wasn’t a problem but Matt also said when he first looked down, he did think it might be a problem as it looked so big. I guess the V Steel design helps with turf interaction. Saw a tour issued V2 of the Sim for sale on the bay and it’s supposed to be a smaller head.

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Pretty much agree with what's been said so far. Technically no on Ti fairways, and I've moved on to some really good more current steel models. Although, I still have some vintage Ti 3 woods. Nothing to date has ever beat my Adams Super LS, and XTD-Ti on pure length. Also kept an MP-Titanium that could easily go in my bag right now. Fantastic 3 wood, and also very, very long.

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Titleist 818h2 17d. 

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Scratch 8620 53d. 

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I think Ti is less about being light and more about redistributing weight. I’ve used a Ti Fw for about six years now and it’s my preference. My 3w is massive at 210cc it’s flat as a pancake and I can get massive height and great distance because of it. I have no problems at all carrying a hazard with a 3w off the deck

Check out this link. http://blog.tourspecgolf.com/new-ryoma-f-fairway-wood/

Some of the blog is just advertising but it’s an interesting read. The sound off the face “aka feel” is way different so you’ll have to adjust.

In the end your ability to swing fast and make consistent contact is the determining factor of how well you hit a FW

 

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I played 36 yesterday...social distancing myself...and found an old Callaway hawkeye 3 wood with the UL Firm shaft. naturally I had to hit it a few times as we played and seemed to smash it really well. On our last hole...a par five... I hit my 3 wood, an Epic SZ with a ADDI 6s in it, and caught it a little heal side producing a lowish cut. Then hit the hawkeye and felt like I absolutely crushed it, perfect shape, soft little draw...got to both balls and the epic ball was 20 yards farther down the fairway. Partner and I were both surprised that the short ball was the Hawkeye shot....same ball, different numbers. I just think technology is so much better in the new heads as far as increased ball speed and spin reduction that you are really fighting against science by using dated equipment. Clubs are virtually same length... both 15* loft. I will say...the hawkeye felt better on contact.

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