The Adams Redline 460 Ti is one of the largest, mainstream drivers available today. At 460cc, the Redline is a jumbo in every sense of the word. This driver has a deep, squarish face, a wide, wide sole and a big, round topside. In spite of all this mass, the Redline is a good-looking driver. Its sharp, sophisticated looks have appealed to all of our testers. At address, the club looks very large, but still reassuringly manageable.
The crown of the Adams Redline has a pair of contour lines that are not too dissimilar to those found on top of the TaylorMade R580. With the Adams crown, however, the lines curve gently backwards towards the golfer. Where the TaylorMade’s lines point directly down the line at address, the Adams lines replicates the swingpath direction towards the target. They are an attractive feature, though not all agree about their effectiveness as an alignment aid.
The most distinguishable feature of the Redline is its sound. This driver makes a really big, metallic noise at impact. To say that the sound that the Redline makes a loud, crackling T-WAINK sound would be an understatement. To be accurate, the word “t-waink” would have to be more than just emboldened and capitalized; it would have to be three times as large and made to shimmer back and forth. This is one loud driver. At first, our testers all found the sound to be somewhat grating on the nerves, but as the sessions progressed, and the Adams continued to produce good results, all hitters eventually adjusted to the excess aural input. In fact, it became a good feedback device. Prime, sweetspot hits make the loudest and highest pitched sounds of all wherein the t-waink becomes a t-wack.
Adams provides a Fujikura G60 shaft as their standard offering – a wise choice. With a crisp snap and energetic zip through impact, the Fujikura complements this head beautifully. The oversized .350 tip gives good solidity without any detectable tendency towards dull, unresponsive “boardiness”. At 3.7 degrees, this shaft has a mid-level amount of torque. That is optimum for the majority of hitters, but very strong hitters may want to opt for a lower torque shaft. Even our moderate swing speed testers had a tendency to err left with this driver when swinging enthusiastically.
Most of our testing was done with the stiff version of the stock Fujikura shaft. It played closer to regular flex than to stiff. Our slower swingspeed hitters – in the vicinity of 85 to 95 mph – had no problem getting this light, 60-gram shaft to kick through and close the head for them. In fact, most thought that they were hitting a regular flex shaft. We would suggest to anyone who is in doubt about the flex they need that they should opt for one flex stiffer than they would normally hit. Only those who want some pronounced help in getting the ball to fly left should opt for a weaker flex.
The Redline head is large and quite forgiving. This driver inspires confidence in the user and feels light and dynamic in the hands. All of our testers have all enjoyed hitting it. Eventually, all of our hitters have managed to produce very good results with the Redline, but most have had to learn how to align and hit it properly. All testers hit this driver for good distances from the first hit on. Getting the ball to land in the desired location took a bit of learning, however. This is a driver that can require some players to make a few adjustments to their swings. Part of this is due to the Redline’s 46” length. Some players have trouble timing their releases with any shaft that is much over 45”.
It turned out that the Redline worked best for those with a classic, closed driver stance and a smooth swing. Those testers with stances that were square or less closed at address, and those who tee the ball too far forward, displayed a tendency to yank the ball well to the left. Then, in compensation, they would push the ball right. The curved alignment characteristics of the crown also caused some to align a bit too far left. Once learned, though, the Redline became a very consistent performer. Each tester found that after his swing was grooved to the Redline he could really stand on this driver and generate very fine, predictable drives. However, most felt that a sense of precise alignment was lacking. Mistakes almost always flew strong and long, but were occasionally unpredictable in their orientation.
For the most part, the Redline is designed to hit straight. However, the tungsten inserts, the weighting pattern on the heel-side of the sole and a long shaft that creates a more upright lie do combine to create a slight leftwards bias. Some working of the ball can be done with this massive head, but that is not its strong suit. The Redline prefers to hit straight, or with moderate curvature. Severe slices were rare. Hooks did occur, but their severity was also subdued.
When hit properly, the Redline generates what will be nearly ideal trajectories for many players, especially if they play in windy conditions. The ball leaves the face hot with minimal amounts of spin. It then climbs to a moderate height and flies with a flat, penetrating trajectory. Roll can be considerable after landing. Players who tend to hit too high, and to occasionally balloon the ball will appreciate the trajectories of this driver. Ball flights are hot and penetrating. The Adams can be hit high when desired, especially when a tall tee is used, but excessive height has not often been a concern with our testers.
This driver gets high marks for generating very good average yardages on the course and at the range. Distances with the Redline have been consistently fine for all testers, but those players looking for the ultimate bombs may wish for a little more arc and elevation to their trajectories. The Redline’s flight paths are a little too flat to produce maximum carry. Those players who already hit low will probably be happiest with the 10.5-degree version of the Redline. Thin hits with the 9.5 can fly particularly low.
Compared to its most similar rivals, the TaylorMade R580 and 360, our testers generally preferred the Adams. They found the feel was to be more vibrant and enjoyable. They also found the nature of the boring trajectories and the overall distances that the Redlines generate to be superior.
Compared directly against a number of custom drivers in our stable that have 46” shafts, the Redline also did quite well against most comers – at least against most of them. Our review would be more glowing, but in our last testing session we introduced two, new, similarly lofted drivers into the comparative mix. They were a Dynacraft DFS II with a 46” Grafalloy Blue shaft and a Snake Eyes Fire Forged Max C.O.R 400 with a 46” Grafalloy ProLite shaft. Both drivers produced noticeably longer hits for the three testers involved. The DFS II/Blue combo, in particular, generated bombs that were routinely ten to fifteen yards longer than the flatter-flying Adams. One of our regular testers had decided to play the Redline permanently. Though he continued to prefer the looks and feel of the Adams, his results with the Dynacraft made him start to question his decision. (Both the Dynacraft and the Snake Eyes are new to our testing procedure and full reviews will not be posted until later in the season. When exactly? Sorry, but we don’t know. No emails, please.)
The massive Adams Redline 460 Ti has proven to be a big hit with the public. It has a reputation for being a bright, energetic driver that consistently produces long, straight drives while being highly enjoyable to use. Our testers have found that reputation to be pretty well deserved. This is a friendly, forgiving driver that is easy to use. Balls fly long and strong on a consistent basis. Trajectories are flat and penetrating making this a good driver for windy conditions. Directional control can be a bit of a problem for some swing types, but not inordinately so. The Fujikura G60 shaft is a fine match for this head. Feel is particularly vibrant and crisp. The high-volume noise at impact can be a turn-off for some, but most will find it acceptable when accompanied by good results. Also, the retail price tag of the Adams is $100 less than many rival OEM drivers. Considering the high-quality fit and finish of the Redline, that’s too much of a price differential to be dismissed lightly.