Sleep Tight

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Adams’s Tight Lies first took the fear out of hitting a wood off the fairway back in the mid-1990s, becoming one of the most popular clubs of the decade. This year’s design should inspire even more confidence.

By Tony Dear

Toward the end of 2020, Adams Golf released its latest version of the hugely popular Tight Lies Fairway Wood that had taken the infomercial scene by storm in the mid-1990s. Or rather, TaylorMade released the club because, of course, the Carlsbad, CA-based mega-manufacturer had purchased the Adams brand in 2012 for $70m. It became clear over the years, if it hadn’t been from the outset, that TaylorMade had bought Adams in order to eliminate a potentially potent competitor while acquiring some of the technologies Barney Adams’s company had innovated.

TaylorMade issued a couple of Tight Lies releases, in 2013 and 2015, but then let the name go dormant as it decided what to do with it. Because of the success other manufacturers had experienced with the alternative business model for a few years, TaylorMade believed its Adams brand would be a perfect fit for Direct to Consumer sales. And then the pandemic hit.
As every golfer resident above ground knows, Covid has had a profound effect on the number of people playing the game. While tens of thousands of golfers who hadn’t played for years returned to golf, the National Golf Federation (NGF) estimates over half a million newbies took up the game, the vast majority of them in the market for clubs that made it easier to hit reasonably consistent shots into the air without having spent their youth on a driving range beating tens of thousands of balls into the night sky.

The Tight Lies has always been such a club, Adams’s upside down fairway-wood body lowering the center of Gravity (CG) significantly and the Tri-Sole (raised toe and heel) making it easier to get the ball up off the ground no matter the lie – fairway, rough, sand, etc. In the years since, the club was given a visible Velocity Slot on the crown and sole to increase the face’s ability to flex at impact and impart more energy to the ball. The slot has since been removed, however, or rather covered so the energy/speed gains remain but the visual distraction has gone.

The all-new Tight Lies, available since the start of the month, has some original DNA in it but there’s new tech that brings the club bang up to date. The upside-down design is still apparent, but the most significant change is the thin, barely noticeable, addition of 7mm of steel at the top of the face. Extended Face Technology gives the club a 14% larger hitting area without raising the CG. That gives the club a slightly larger sweetspot and makes it more forgiving – music to the ears of new golfers uncomfortable at the thought of hitting a fairway wood off the ground.

The Tri-Sole and Velocity Slot (on the sole) are present enabling the club to move through tough lies largely unimpeded and create greater ball-speeds.

Lofts – 16˚ (3-wood), 19˚ (5-wood)
Shafts – Men: Aldila Synergy 50 (S, R, M), Women: Aldila Synergy 45 (L)
Available in right and left-hand

The Tight Lies Hybrid benefits from the same range of technologies – Upside-Down Design, Extended Face Technology, Tri-Sole and Velocity Slot.
Lofts – 20˚, 23˚, 26˚, 29˚
Shafts – Men: Aldila Synergy 65 (S, R, A), Women: Aldila Synergy 55 (L)

The specially-designed web site ( couldn’t look less like TaylorMade’s own site if it tried. The sophisticated look has gone and the intimidation factor reduced, obviously in an effort to attract Covid’s new golfers. Club bundles (‘Easy-Launch Combo #1, #2, #3, or #4’, ‘Hybrid Package’, etc.) are available with the simplest ‘package’ being one fairway wood and one hybrid which retails at $300.

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