For most of us, the 3-wood is generally considered the holy grail of golf clubs. Not only does it often replace the difficult-to-hit driver, but it also serves as the “go-to” club in a myriad of situations. From 240 in the fairway? 3-wood. 220 out of the rough? 3-wood. A shot up the middle for position on a long par 5? 3-wood. Needless to say, then, we need to be certain that the club we’re using from virtually every position on the course is the right one for us. And, perhaps more importantly, we need to be certain that it’s going to perform when and how we need it to.
For my part, the simple solution to this complex problem is the Taylor Made 300 Ti Series and Tour Fairway Woods. I tested the 13-degree Tour model as well as the 15-degree Series model, and, quite frankly, these are the most versatile, most reliable fairway woods I’ve ever played. There are, however, a few important differences between the two clubs.
With a slightly longer shaft and larger head volume, the 300 Ti Series is undoubtedly the more forgiving of the two clubs. For this same reason, however, the 300 Ti Series is not nearly as workable as the 300 Ti Tour. The 300 Ti Series is easy to hit, but I found it difficult to play a hard draw or fade. The 300 Ti Series also features a sleeker profile than the more rounded look of the 300 Ti Tour, which, for me, was less effective when hitting out of deep lies in the rough.
While the 300 Ti Tour tended to dig through to the ball, allowing me to get out of some very tough lies, the 300 Ti Series tended to slide under the ball. At the same time, both clubs performed unflinchingly well from off the tee, off the fairway, and from first-cut lies in the rough. And, despite the fact that the clubs produced different trajectories–high with the 300 Ti Series and low with the 300 Ti Tour–distance was very similar between the two clubs. In fact, in this category, both clubs were heads-above the competition. On average, I was able to consistently hit both clubs 230-240 yards, with the occasional shot traveling well into the 250 range.
In the end, however, I finally fell, and fell hard, for the 300 Ti Tour (unlike my cohort David, who has been slobbering over the 300 Ti Series since it arrived; click here to read his review). It was clearly less forgiving than the 300 Ti Series, but, at the same time, it allowed me to work the ball with a kind of consistency I have previously been unable to muster. It also, like most tour-inspired clubs, encouraged and rewarded an aggressive, full release of the club, unlike the 300 Ti Series, which demanded less aggression and more fluidity, similar to the Orlimar Trimetal Plus.
Of course, the beauty of the Taylor Made 300 Series is that regardless of your swing type, regardless of how you approach and play the game, regardless of your handicap, one of the two models is bound to be an excellent fit. Whether you opt for the 300 Ti Series or the 300 Ti Tour, I have little doubt that you’ll be hitting more fairways, recovering from more bad lies, and reaching more par 5s than you ever thought possible.
Quick Club Review
From Tee: Masterful
From Fairway: The “go-to” club
From Rough: 300 Ti Tour performed slightly better
Feel: Solid; reliable
Look: “Sharp” just doesn’t quite describe it
Intangibles: Confidence embodied