With so much talk about how Wyndham Clark’s putter was built as a copy of Rickie Fowler’s, a club that didn’t get the credit it deserves for its unique build specs is Wyndham’s 3-wood, which not only helped him win the 2023 U.S. Open but could help you, too.
The club in question is a TaylorMade Stealth 2 HL (high launch) 3-wood, which has a stock loft of 16.5 degrees. To put that into perspective, most standard 3-woods have 15 degrees of loft, while stock 5-woods sit around 18 degrees. Another way to think of a high launch 3-wood is as a 4-wood, the only real difference being the name.
What makes it unique
Wyndham’s fairway wood specs are tailored to his style of play, and as one of the longest players in the field at the U.S. Open (ranking 7th at 325.2 yards average for the week), he doesn’t need a fairway wood to deliver near the same distance as his driver. Instead, his 3-wood is built for accuracy and distance control by being built much shorter than the standard length of 43″.
This shorter length, combined with the head being bent to less loft (bent to 15 degrees), helps to promote his stock fade shot and solid face contact from almost any lie. Being bent in this fashion also makes it easier to present more loft at impact when needed.
** Although the general public isn’t able to have their fairway wood heads bent to spec, adjustable sleeves offer the opportunity to get the same tour-level customization without the risk of breaking a head.**
Head: TaylorMade Stealth 2, 3HL
Loft: (16.5 degrees) bent lower to 15 degrees
Shaft: ProjectX HZRDUS RDX Smoke 80TX
Length: Approx. 41.75″
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet cord
Why you should try it
Just like for Wyndham, a shorter fairway wood with a bit more loft helps promote more solid contact because a shorter shaft allows you to hit more down into the ball, and a slightly descending blow is the proper technique for hitting a fairway wood.
Considering too many golfers already struggle with fairway woods and try to “lift” them into the air which causes topped shots, the shorter length combined with the extra loft offers a much more confidence-inspiring look when set up behind the ball to swing down and through.
TaylorMade Stealth 2, Stealth 2 HD and Stealth 2 Plus Fairway Woods
Last but not least, more loft also helps produce more spin and more spin produces height allowing any golfer the opportunity to hit the ball higher and stop it faster, which is a perfect combination for approaching longer par-4s or par-5s, or in Wyndham’s case — winning the U.S. Open.
Want to overhaul your bag for 2023? Find a fitting location near you at True Spec Golf.