Robot testing verifies these fairway woods improve heel misses

Qi10 Max fairway

Carry distance loss is almost non-existent with TaylorMade's Qi10 Max fairway wood, especially on heel misses.

Jonathan Wall

Sifting through the robotic testing data always reveals some intriguing insights. Regarding fairway woods, it’s natural to wonder if this year’s crop is geared for golfers who miss it out of the toe or heel. Considering the toe is the more common mishit location, the money would be on a toe miss producing a tighter carry distance delta across all models. It’s always important to cater to the general audience.

Crunching the numbers confirms toe misses have a slight edge over toe misses — to the tune of 1.2 yards (10.3 yards versus 11.5 yards). In our opinion, the delta is within the noise, meaning there isn’t a meaningful difference between the two mishit locations. That’s good news for golfers who are inconsistent with their contact.

What’s interesting about the carry deltas is how the number jumps from 1.2 yards to 3 yards if you remove one club: TaylorMade’s Qi10 Max.

Of all the fairway woods GOLF tested, the Qi10 Max produced an impressive carry delta on heel misses. How impressive? Try 0.8 yards. It means you can miss it out of the heel and see little to no distance loss. (Many fairway woods saw distance dip 14-17 yards on heel misses during robotic testing.)

There’s no question Qi10 Max is one to consider if you consistently miss in the heel, but it’s not the only option worth additional testing. Take a closer look at the 15-degree fairway woods with the tightest carry distance deltas on heel misses below.

(Methodology: All testing was conducted with a 15-degree fairway wood at 95 mph — using the same shaft and attack angle — with six shots recorded from the geometric center and heel. The carry numbers below compare center and heel distances to achieve a carry delta.)


TaylorMade Qi10 Max | 0.8 yards of distance loss

TaylorMade Qi10 Max Custom Fairway Wood

Introducing the Qi10 Max fairway. Experience TaylorMade speed with Qi10 forgiveness…off the tee and off the deck. EFFORTLESS PERFORMANCE The Qi10 Max Fairway boasts an ultra-high MOI construction. Internal mass pads are positioned for maximum forgiveness with weight moved to the extreme low back, making this fairway TaylorMade’s easiest to hit in the line.   NEW INFINITY CARBON CROWN An Infinity Crown provides a clean, uninterrupted view at address while also optimizing performance.
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TaylorMade Qi10 | 6.3 yards

TaylorMade Qi10 Custom Fairway Wood

Introducing the Qi10 fairways. Experience TaylorMade speed with Qi10 forgiveness…off the tee and off the deck. TOUR PROVEN PERFORMANCE The model most popular with both Tour players and amateurs, the Qi10 Fairway is the ideal blend of distance and forgiveness, while the precision CG location delivers a combo of high launch and low spin. NEW INFINITY CARBON CROWN An Infinity Crown provides a clean, uninterrupted view at address while also optimizing performance. Engineers relied on this new design to reshape the club, shifting more weight lower in the clubhead to maintain high inertia with an enlarged face profile to inspire confidence and generate ball speed.
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Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond | 8.3 yards

Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond Custom Fairway Wood

Ai SMOKE TD FAIRWAY The new Paradym Ai Smoke fairway represents a quantum leap forward in Callaway’s Ai journey. This new family of fairway woods feature the most sophisticated face in Callaway history, the Ai Smart Face. Breakthrough Fairway Performance Powered by Ai Smart Face™ Ai Smoke fairway woods utilize Ai Smart Face; a breakthrough technology in face design that utilizes thousands of actual player swings. Every Ai Smart Face is designed to optimize launch and spin, creating sweet spots across the face. Workable Shape and Penetrating Ball Flight The Triple Diamond fairway wood will benefit golfers who want to work the ball, and typically have faster swing speeds for a penetrating ball flight with lower spin.
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PXG 0311 Black Ops | 10.8 yards

PXG 0311 Black Ops Custom Fairway Wood

High-Strength Carbon Fiber Crown Crown made entirely from high-grade carbon fiber. This lightweight material saves mass in the crown, allowing it to be redistributed low and to the perimeter of the clubhead for optimal CG and addedforgiveness. Supported Weight Structure Innovative supported weight structure that delivers unbelievable sound and feel. High-Speed, Squared Face PXG 0311 Black Ops Fairways present a proprietary stainless steel face engineered to position the CG low for high launch, optimal spin performance, and insanely fast ball speeds.
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Cobra Darkspeed Max | 11.4 yards

Cobra DarkSpeed Max Custom Fairway Wood

The MAX model features tunable draw-bias and unrivaled stability to inspire maximum confidence from the fairway or off the tee. MORE LAUNCH. MORE BALL SPEED. The PWRSHELL insert and suspended weight PWR-BRIDGE design create a more flexible face and sole to maximize launch and ball speed. SPEED & SPIN OPTIMIZATION An A.I. designed H.O.T. Face features an optimized variable thickness pattern that delivers more efficient speed & spin across the clubface.
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Want to overhaul your bag for 2024? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf.


Jonathan Wall Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour. He can be reached at

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