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Shallow Face vs. Deep Face FW. What is your preference and why?


Mike412

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Shallow-faced woods were always a problem for me, especially with the last Paradym release because I found myself making contact at the top of the face to the point of danger.

 

Had to switch to the Paradym Triple Diamond model for the slightly deeper face and haven't had that problem.  Made sure to loft up by at least +1* with the lower-spinning head.

 

I don't hit fairway woods off the deck very often due to the length of some of my courses, so the fairway wood is primarily a tee-only club.

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Callaway AI Smoke Max 11.5* Fujikura Ventus TR Red

Callaway Paradym 💎💎💎 15* Fujikura Ventus TR Red

Taylormade SIM DHY 19* Diamana Hybrid

Callaway Rogue ST Pro 5-PW Fujikura Axiom

Taylormade HiToe Bigfoot 52*/56*/60* Fujikura Pro

Odyssey AI-One Seven S

Callaway Chrome Tour X

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I have a shallow-faced 3W, the Ping G430 Max, and absolutely love it -- it just performs exactly how I want my 3 wood to perform. HOWEVER ... my preference is for deeper-faced fairway woods, especially in higher-lofted woods. 

 

A 5 or 7 wood is a club I like to play with a shorter shaft and use as a "get out of jail" sort of option. I want to be able to hit it out of the rough or out of dodgy lies. I've played Ping 7 woods before, but I always worry I'm going to put sky marks on them if I try to dig one out of a tough spot. 

 

I've been on the fence about buying a QI10 7 wood, since this is the first time in a while that TaylorMade has made 7 woods for lefties. I'd been concerned that its lie angle is too upright for me (the ability to use the flat-minus one setting is why I love Ping fairways) ... but I demoed the 5 wood recently and hit it well, so I think I'm going to give it a shot. I love everything about the Ai Smoke Triple Diamond 7 wood, except for the fact that they don't make it for lefties! 

 

My ideal club to fill this spot in my bag is another one that's not made for lefties: Apex UW 21*. 

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Driver: Ping G430 LST 9* | Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 6X

3W: Ping G430 Max @14* | Fujikura Speeder NX Blue 70X

7W: Ping G430 Max @20* | Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8X (or sometimes G430 3H with Tour 2.0 Chrome 85S)

4 Utility: Ping iCrossover @23.5* | Graphite Design Tour AD DI 95X (or sometimes G430 5H at 25* with Tour 2.0 Chrome 85S)

Irons: Ping i230 5-UW | Fujikura AXIOM 105X

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw 54/12W@55/13W, 60/12X | Nippon Modus 125 Wedge

Putter: Bettinardi 2024 BB1 Wide 

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So I just picked up an AI Smoke Max 3W (shallow face) to replace my Stealth Plus 3W (deep face). I like hitting 3W off the deck and I found it much easier to hit it straight. Distance off the deck wasnt a concern with Stealth Plus but dispersion could be. So the accuracy was an upgrade.

 

I don't hit 3W off the tee that much but the Stealth Plus was great when I had to. I have had to lower tee with the new AI Smoke to compensate for the shallower face. Not a big deal.

 

I have learned that off fluffy rough, the shallow face wants to go under the ball and pop it up high. Didn't have that problem with the deep face. However, the results hitting from this lie with 3W weren't ideal either so it has in a nice way forced me to play the shot smarter and pull a higher lofted hybrid or iron and not be a hero and thus lower the score on the hole.

 

 

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I am in search of a unicorn 3 wood, maybe someone can point me in the right direction. Ignore my signature as that spot is currently empty. I prefer a face that's right in the middle. I use my 3 wood equally off the tee and off the deck so I want something that works for both. I found that Ping is too shallow and the Stealth Plus and Mizuno ST-z 230 were too deep. And I also want a club that will not be too low on spin. Anyone have any recommendations? 

 

I think it will depend on how you use the fairway wood. If you use it off the tee primarily then a deep face is better. Off the fairway, shallow face. 

 

Currently thinking that the Epic Flash Sub Zero with the heavy weight in the back could be that club for me. Medium/deep face height but the weight in the back will raise launch and spin. 

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Driver - TaylorMade Sim 2 9* w/ Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green 70

3 Wood - TaylorMade '17 M1 15* w/ Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 80

3 UI - Mizuno MP18 Fli-Hi 19* w/ True Temper XP 115

Irons - Srixon Z-785 4-PW w/ Nippon Modus Tour 120

Wedges - Titleist Vokey SM6 50/12* + SM7 54/14* + SM8 58/12*

Putter - Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 35"

Ball - Bridgestone Tour B X Yellow 

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I’ve had a history of both, but gravitate towards a deeper face 3-4-5 wood, and a shallower 7 wood. 
 

I tend to hit a 3,4&5 wood off a tee, more than the deck, but a 7 wood more off the turf, but that wasn’t always the case. 
 

I love my 22° 2023 Tight Lies 7W, but since I have a long pat 3  (listed 228y, but can play much longer) I’ve opted for a deeper face 7w more recent (PXG 0341x 21° adjustable) 

 

I have no problem elevating a deeper faced 4 or 5w off the deck, but I do find that off the tee, I can hit a shallow one high enough to be worried about sky marks, so I tee them super low and end up hitting them thin instead, and push them right. I don’t have that problem with a deeper faced 3,4,5 or 7w, although it’s not really an issue with the  shallow faced Tight Lies 7w because I basically just tee it up like it’s a good lie on the fairway. 

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10 minutes ago, von3jack said:

I am in search of a unicorn 3 wood, maybe someone can point me in the right direction. Ignore my signature as that spot is currently empty. I prefer a face that's right in the middle. I use my 3 wood equally off the tee and off the deck so I want something that works for both. I found that Ping is too shallow and the Stealth Plus and Mizuno ST-z 230 were too deep. And I also want a club that will not be too low on spin. Anyone have any recommendations? 

 

I think it will depend on how you use the fairway wood. If you use it off the tee primarily then a deep face is better. Off the fairway, shallow face. 

 

Currently thinking that the Epic Flash Sub Zero with the heavy weight in the back could be that club for me. Medium/deep face height but the weight in the back will raise launch and spin. 

 

Srixon ZX.

 

I prefer a shallow face overall.  Just easier for me to pick it off the deck.  I like having the confidence to go at par 5s even though I rarely hit them.  

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Titleist TSr2 10*  GD UB 6s

Ping G430 LST 15* HZRDUS smoke yellow 70s

Ping G430 19* Tour Chrome 2.0 85s

Srixon ZX7 mkii 4-7, Z-Forged ii 8-P KBS CTL 110

Ping s159 50/12s, 54/10h, 58/8b  KBS Tour
Ping Anser Milled 2  34"

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, von3jack said:

I am in search of a unicorn 3 wood, maybe someone can point me in the right direction. Ignore my signature as that spot is currently empty. I prefer a face that's right in the middle. I use my 3 wood equally off the tee and off the deck so I want something that works for both. I found that Ping is too shallow and the Stealth Plus and Mizuno ST-z 230 were too deep. And I also want a club that will not be too low on spin. Anyone have any recommendations? 

 

I think it will depend on how you use the fairway wood. If you use it off the tee primarily then a deep face is better. Off the fairway, shallow face. 

 

Currently thinking that the Epic Flash Sub Zero with the heavy weight in the back could be that club for me. Medium/deep face height but the weight in the back will raise launch and spin. 

How about a TSR2 or PXG Black Ops?

 

Cobra's Darkspeed X also looks good ... shallower than the Mizuno but deeper than Ping. Also shallower than the LS version. I think it's basically the same shape as previous generations' "standard" Cobra fairway model, too, if you want to save some money. But the Darkspeed's all-matte crown looks terrific.

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Driver: Ping G430 LST 9* | Fujikura Ventus TR Blue 6X

3W: Ping G430 Max @14* | Fujikura Speeder NX Blue 70X

7W: Ping G430 Max @20* | Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8X (or sometimes G430 3H with Tour 2.0 Chrome 85S)

4 Utility: Ping iCrossover @23.5* | Graphite Design Tour AD DI 95X (or sometimes G430 5H at 25* with Tour 2.0 Chrome 85S)

Irons: Ping i230 5-UW | Fujikura AXIOM 105X

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw 54/12W@55/13W, 60/12X | Nippon Modus 125 Wedge

Putter: Bettinardi 2024 BB1 Wide 

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Lately shallow face for me not sure why but just works and actually have no issues with them off the tee either. Deeper face maybe in the future if my swing gets to an extremely sound place. 

Lefty - WITB Thread

Driver: 10° Cobra LTDxLS | AD-IZ 6X 

3W: 15° Callaway Paradym X | AD-IZ 7X

3H: 19° Ping G410 | Tensei CK Pro Orange 90TX

Irons: PXG 0311P 4-6 | 0317CB 7-PW | DG 120 X100

Wedges: SM9 50° - 54° - 58° 

Putter(s): Ping PLD Anser 4K | CMD Gauge R | and more. 

Ball: TP5X 2024

Bag: Ghost Katana

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59 minutes ago, Nixhex524 said:

 

Srixon ZX.

 

I prefer a shallow face overall.  Just easier for me to pick it off the deck.  I like having the confidence to go at par 5s even though I rarely hit them.  

I am just now testing these MK II and they are very nice of both worlds.

PRDYMTC TOUR  9.8° + UB6 / PRDYMTC  15°@16 + UB6 / MVRKTC 18° + UB8 G430 26°@25+ IZ95 / FRGD TEC5-G + MODUS115 / MD5TC / SPDR EXTC + GPS

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Ive always preferred a deep faced fairway or any wood/hybrid for that matter. Its the first thing I look for. Like the OP said they’re getting harder to find all the time with a lot of oems going to shallower faces. Decided to try a 7wd this year and the PXG BO won that battle just on face depth alone. Everything else about it is a bonus. Being 6’5” im very steep so its a necessity. Hitting down on it as much as I do the deep face inspires confidence. My 3wd is a Stealth 2+ and love the deep face on that. I have no problem using it off the turf and tee especially with a TR Red in it. 

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Shallow gives me confidence off the deck which is where I primarily use mine.  This used to a spot I changed way too often looking for something that i could hit off the tee when needed (usually something deeper) but that I could still launch high enough off the deck to hold a green.

Grass tee has been a game changer for me, one thump into the tee box with the ball perched on it just enough to give me a "flyer" type lie allows me to hit my stock shot with the shallower face without fear of the sky mark. Currently playing TSi2 at 16.5 cut short, I wouldn't consider it shallow compared to a Ping or Callaway, but it seems to be flatter than TSR and other Titleist offerings (TS,917,915)

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1 hour ago, von3jack said:

I am in search of a unicorn 3 wood, maybe someone can point me in the right direction. Ignore my signature as that spot is currently empty. I prefer a face that's right in the middle. I use my 3 wood equally off the tee and off the deck so I want something that works for both. I found that Ping is too shallow and the Stealth Plus and Mizuno ST-z 230 were too deep. And I also want a club that will not be too low on spin. Anyone have any recommendations? 

 

I think it will depend on how you use the fairway wood. If you use it off the tee primarily then a deep face is better. Off the fairway, shallow face. 

 

Currently thinking that the Epic Flash Sub Zero with the heavy weight in the back could be that club for me. Medium/deep face height but the weight in the back will raise launch and spin. 

I went from a stealth plus to a tsi2 16.5 and then was fit into a tsr2 16.5 later but never made that switch. Tsi2 has been great for me as I was on a 3 wood search for a long long time before getting into tsi

Edited by Gtyler14
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I like deeper faced woods. Especially out of the rough. I've slid under to many balls I the rough with shallow face woods.

Taylormade Sim 9.0° Diamana ZF 60 stiff

Taylormade Sim Ti 15° Diamana ZF 70 stiff

Cobra F7 4-5 Ti 18.5° Diamana Kai'li 80 stiff

Ping G25 Hybrid 23° Kbs C-Taper Lite stiff 

Bridgestone Tour-B X-CB 5-PW Project X LZ 6.0

Cobra MiM Black 50°v, 56°v, 60°w Kbs Hi-REV 2.0 125 stiff 

Maltby Ptm-1

Srixon Z-Star 

Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

Bagboy Nitron 

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When it comes to fairway woods, I don't care much about deep or shallow, all I care about is the bottom and how it interacts with turf.  To that point, I use a TSR2 15' 3 wood with Ventus Velocore original Red 6 Series "S" in the bag.

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  • TSR2 15° AD VF 74
  • T200 17 2i° Tensei AV Raw White Hybrid 90
  • T100 3i to 9i MMT 105
  • T100 PW, SM9 F52/12, M58/8, PX Wedge 6.0 120
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With the shallow face, a good swing result is "all ball" instead of taking ground interaction into account. It allows you to truly sweep the ball off the surface. You don't actually want any ground interaction with them, and that's what I like about them.

Edited by Mikey_HACKilroy

Current Bag: Sun Mountain C-130 Inferno (Orange)

The Sledge Hammer: PXG 0311 Black Ops Tour-1 @ 6.5° - PX Gen 4 Hzrdus Black 80/TX

The Dead Blow: PXG 0311 Gen 5 @ 11.5° - PX Even Flow Riptide 80/6.5TX

The Chaser: PXG 0311 Gen 5 @ 15.5° - Project X Even Flow Riptide 85/6.5X Hybrid Shaft

The Grinders PXG 0317ST (CB 3-4 / ST 5-PW) - DG X-Seven (Still Acclimating)

The Chisels- Tom Watson 56° - 60° - DG - S-Flex (Soon to be Retired)

The Mallet: Rossa Lambeau (Maybe Time for a Change)

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22 minutes ago, JAM01 said:

For me it’s less about the face height and more about the sole shape. Flatter works best for me so Ping, though I find the AI Smoke to be a nice cross. 

I feel much the same about sole design, that’s why the 2013/2014 Tight Lies were special to me. The upside down trapezoid is just so versatile, it’s like having the best of both worlds, flat at the bottom, but not across the whole sole. 

I find the Pings too flat soled for my liking, while some of the Callaway’s are too rounded or cambered on bottom.
 

Tour Edge pro models seem to be a sole I get along with, but I am interested in the Tour Edge Hot Launch Houdini soul , it’s just they all have super light shafts, so I’ve never bothered hitting him, but they look like something I would like, almost Tight Lies’ish

Edited by Drivingrangehero
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No real answer here, as it depends on a few other factors and I change clubs so much I really don't know what my preferences are anymore!

 

BUT, I did rock a 13.5° 906F4 and a 18° 906F2 for a bit and loved every minute of it.  The lower loft on the 3w helped off the tee while the shallow face helped off the deck.  And on the 5w, the loft helped off the deck and the taller face kept it from ballooning up too much.  Fun setup and great woods.  

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AI Smoke TD 9° w/HZRDUS Yellow

Epic Flash 12.5° w/Voodoo VS

'24 Apex UW 19° w/Rogue Silver

Epic Flash 20° w/VS Proto 
'19 Apex Pro 5-9 w/DG

MD2 47° & 52° + PM 1.0 58° & 64° w/DG
Odyssey White Hot 2 Ball Frankenstein (Fowler style)
[img]http://pxc86358mpx1hyn3hdxen4o1.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/171831.png[/img]

 

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I've had Pings for so long I'm just used to them. I honestly haven't tried anything else cause they've been working as primarily par 5 clubs. However, I do have my eyes on reevaluating the bag for a new home course next year, specifically looking for a steady 240 club off the tee. Right now I've just been bunting driver, but more often than not those smooth swings end up being crushed 🤷‍♂️

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3 hours ago, Drivingrangehero said:

I feel much the same about sole design, that’s why the 2013/2014 Tight Lies were special to me. The upside down trapezoid is just so versatile, it’s like having the best of both worlds, flat at the bottom, but not across the whole sole. 

I find the Pings too flat soled for my liking, while some of the Callaway’s are too rounded or cambered on bottom.
 

Tour Edge pro models seem to be a sole I get along with, but I am interested in the Tour Edge Hot Launch Houdini soul , it’s just they all have super light shafts, so I’ve never bothered hitting him, but they look like something I would like, almost Tight Lies’ish

Oh yes, was that the last iteration of the tight lies when they brought them back? Gamed them for a season and let my daughter use them until she just opted for a 5 iron. I did use some tour edge trilogy woods too. 

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Prefer a deep face, but can handle a medium-face OK.

 

Played with shallow-face FWs during early 2000s, but I changed my swing plane and started popping up shots, especially on tee shots. Ended up fluffing grass and putting ball atop tuft on tee shots.

What's In The Bag (As of April 2023, post-MAX change + new putter)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5° (base loft); weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Calla Mavrik MAX 5i-PW

Wedges*:  Calla MD3: 48°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  PutterΨSeeMore FGP + SuperStroke 1.0PT, 33" shaft

Ball: 1. Srixon Q-Star Tour / 2. Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

    * MD4 54°/10 S-Grind replaced MD3 54°/12 W-Grind.

     Ψ  Backups:

  • Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip |
  • Slotline Inertial SL-583F w/ SuperStroke 2.MidSlim (50 gr. weight removed) |
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