One of our forum members Randy mentioned that he picked up an 11* 44" fairway wood dubbed the Ground Driver. This club is from Works Golf in Japan so I thought I would contact our Works rep to find out more about this interesting club. Most people know Works Golf for their drivers, which focus on one main goal, ultimate distance. Works has long been the official driver of Japan's Drakon (driving contest) team and is famous for having a 72 year old golfer hit their driver 317yards.
Like the drivers their Foresight line of fairway woods is also designed for maximum distance. They are dubbed 2 on clubs and made for those who dream of making long par 5's in 2. The Foresight features a #1 fairway wood with 11* of loft and a #2 fairway wood with 13* of loft. Then you have the typical #3 fairway wood with 15* of loft. The idea is a fairway wood shallow enough and with CG deep enough to easily get the ball in the air but with a lower loft to promote low spin, a penetrating trajectory with big run out.
The #1, 2 and 3 are all 250cc heads. Yes 250cc's big. They also make #4 and 5 woods that are 220cc's large. With their shallow faces these heads look huge at address. Works claims the 1, 2 and 3 setup with the appearance of driver at address and provide MOI equivalent to a 400cc driver (which is pretty darn good for an FW). The face is not only very shallow but it is very wide creating minimal loss of distance from off center hits towards both the toe and heel. The sole of the Foresight is a V shape allowing for minimal friction that a large head might make on impact with the ball and ground.
The #1 and #2 are the true distance fairways as they also feature club lengths of 44" and 43" long to produce max distance. The 3, 4, and 5 while also large heads have much more manageable lengths of 42 41.5 and 41" respectively. I'll have to say that for some players hitting a 44" long fairway wood may not be that easy. However for those who have no issues with longer clubs, using the #1 ground driver could prove to provide some interesting results.
We're going to add the Works Foresight FW to the pro shop for those willing to go for the distance. Works has a MSRP of 498.00 a club but it will be in the pro shop at 349.00. I'm tempted to try one out myself to see how it compares to the perennial champion PRGR EGG Spoon which is of course currently cemented in my bag.
Below is a video from Works with basic impressions of the Foresight #1 Ground Driver (in Japanese) as well as footage of how they tested the club using slow motion cameras on miss hits (in the video's case off the toe) and data analysis to produce the Foresight design. They then get an amateur golfer to take a swing at the green on a Par 5 from 230 yards out.
REALLY interested in these Foresight woods (especially since they are so upright). However, I was wondering the the face lies closed, square or open. Currently play a Cleveland Tour open face driver and would be in BIG trouble if these clubs were "closed face". Anyone have any insight?? Thanks in advance!
@TANK: Hi Tank, Try the PRGR Egg Spoon FW. You must see to believe that a low lofted FW can actually be easy to hit from the fairway.
Interesting concept for those needing distance. But, i question the forgivability for any low lofted wood off the fairway. I wonder how far the average distance is for is compared to the #3 wood.
@Anton: Sorry Anton you're right, it is about 2x the difference in height but still 2 times is quite a difference. The driver is not optimized for hitting off the deck while a fairway wood is. That said I totally agree with you, this is a very specialized product that will really suit very specific golfers. I am in no way saying everyone should go out and get one. I believe personally that a 11* 44" fairway wood would not be easy to hit for the average golfer but maybe easier than a driver. I carry a 17* and have never considered carrying anything lower in loft for a FW. It will definitely be interesting to test.
sure, that goes without saying although i dunno how shallow that face really is. ~3x is hard to believe tho. the one in the video looks like ~3.5cm, my off the shelf driver face is ~5.5cm max and the sweetspot is quite large now anyways. if its really goes way beyond long then perhaps it can replace a driver in a bag as more versatile club but if it doesnt then i dont see the point of that ground driver club really. anyways i hope you can post some of your findings after testing it, i'm curious to know how that ground driver club plays for you.
@Anton: I don't think your driver is that shallow. By measurements, the face of the ground driver is nearly three times as shallow as a mid to deep faced driver. It's a lot harder to hit the sweet spot which is higher up on a driver of the deck.