Everyone is impressed by the look of the ZTs and our testing shows us that they perform up to a level that matches their good looks. This sole design is not only visually appealing, it is logically sound as well. Also, “Fairway Masters” – good name for a set of woods. Might as well start off with a positive swing thought.
While the elegant, gray Zero Tolerance Tour Lite shaft is not a premium shaft, it is a pleasantly responsive one and mates to the Fairway Masters very well. The shafts feel and play on the soft side of “regular”. With Lamkin Crossline’s added on, this becomes an enviably attractive and sophisticated looking set of woods that can rival any OEM offering – just a downright, good looking combination that instills calmness and confidence in the user.
The ZT’s are very neutral and easy woods with a wide, across the board appeal. Our on-course testing has yielded very pleasant and consistent results – not spectacular, but very good. These are user-friendly clubs that relax the golfer and reassure him at address – a quality much appreciated under pressure situations on the golf course. Nothing about them says, “Kill the ball.” Instead, everything says, “Swing me smooth.”
The swingweights are very low in the ZT’s making these woods extremely easy to hit. If you know that you are partial to heavier swingweights make certain that your clubmaker adds a few grams of lead to the hosel during assembly. Be reminded, though, that the accurate results we have attained with the ‘R’ flex shaft has come with no weight added. Heavier heads will change the nature of the woods.
The profile on these heads is Orlimar-low and will doubtlessly be too low for some. The low, wide, compact heads do, along with the maraging steel faces, gives the woods a solid, crisp feel at impact. The low center of gravity is enhanced by the dual brass weights in the sole. This makes for an easy job of getting balls airborne from moderately difficult lies. From very thick, deep rough – where balls have a tendency to sit suspended above the ground – the Fairway Masters, like all other very low-profile headed woods, have an unfortunate inclination to “submarine” under the ball causing high, short pop-ups. That is not to be avoided and should only be considered a factor for those who routinely play fairways bordered by such rough.
One of our testers, Jim T., a tall, strong, smooth-swinging senior who hits for good yardages has chosen to play the ZT’s full-time. The aspects of the Fairway Masters most pleasing to him are their good looks, their consistent accuracy and their ability to get the ball up and out there with little effort. Jim has been a devoted user of low-profile woods from the first, mid-nineties release of Golfsmith’s Power-Ups – well before the advent of Orlimars.
The ZT’s have a relatively small, but devoted following among custom club fanciers. These are very like-able woods that instill warmth and confidence in their users. Those who want a friendly wood from the tee and are unable to resist the temptation of teeing high might look for a deeper face, however. Results were consistently good with these woods, but trajectories were a bit higher and shorter than most. View the 15 degree wood as a strong 4-wood, not a 3-wood. Stronger players will want a stiffer flex and a bit of added head weight. The following lofts are available: 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22.