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nobmontana

Modart MA01F & J Beam G FW

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As much as I would like to perfect my game in this arena, I still feel that the 3 wood is still the hardest club in my bag.   For that reason,  I try to look for a 3W that is forgiving and shallow faced so that playing off the deck is easier.   I'll still use it off the tee box but will tee it up very very low to make sure I don't  ever go underneath the ball.   Before moving into my review of my current gamers,  I wanted to mention the two very good 3 woods that I have used in the past that I no longer game.  Epon AF-202HT  and Ping G20...  AF-202HT is possibly the all time JDM favorite by players who prefer shallow headed fairway woods.   The thing is flat like a pancake.  While pretty small from today's standard and not the most confidence inspiring footprint,  the ease of getting the ball airbourne off the deck is unmatched by anything else I've played.   The slight dislike I had with it was that the feel off the face was pretty firm.  and  as the name suggests,  the ball wanted to go really high.  Almost too high.    Unfortunately these two things are the reason I moved on to other fairway woods.  The Ping G20 which I still have as a backup club,  has the perfect shape and size.  Very shallow and mid size footprint to inspire confidence.  Only possible negative is the sound of the 17-4 stainless steel head is not the best.   Feels kind of cheap.   As for shafts in my 3W,  I used to have 80g range low launch stiff flex shafts.  I like a lower controlled flight with my 3W.  However, the aging thing kciked in in the last few years and an 80g 3W shaft is just too much for me now.   So I started putting in 60g range x flex shafts and they are working really well for me.  Helps with getting the lost distance back,  yet no significant change in dispersion.    

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MA01F 14 deg / Diamana 'Ahina 60X 

Since late last year I have been using the Modart MA01F in 14 deg in my primary bag.   In case you didn't know, out of the 14, 16.5 and 19 deg lofts that they have in their FW  line up,  the 14 deg is the only head that uses a cup face construction.  The effects of the cup face supposedly is to create a bigger sweet spot on the face and provide added forgiveness on miss hits.   A welcome feature on a 3W for sure.  The MA01F 14 deg is pretty compact to a point that it almost looks intimidating even for low handicap players, the traditional looks and very shallow face are a unique combination of features found in a 3W.   Having said that, the size issue is pretty much forgotten after a while and I feel comfortable as I ever will be standing over the ball with this club.         

As for the current shaft, it is my 2nd shaft,  first I had a Fire Express BX70 in F3 flex which I really liked but  1. trajectory was higher than I wanted  2. dispersion was not so good.    As an experiment, I decided to go lighter but stiffer since that seems to be the trend in JDM shafts these days and I knew that lighter shafts will help with a bit more distance.   'Ahina 60X was what I got as a replacement and BINGO!  it was a great match from my first range session!     With this combo the trajectory is lowered and I have regained about 15 yards (to about 220 carry) which sits midway between my driver and 19 deg hybrid.   I don't seek big distances from my 3W.   Controlled, fairly accurate 225+ yards is all I am looking for.    

The feel of this head which uses 455 stainless steel cup face is really nice.  It has a spongy feel signature to 455 and the sound pleasing as well.  Doesn't sound cheap like the Ping G20 ( which I still adore BTW ).    

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Jbeam G-FW 13 deg / Diamana 'Ahina 60X 

For this one,  I was actually looking for a mini driver type fairway which I was going to put in a driverless Sunday bag set up.  With regards to head material may of the JDM brands have come out with Titanium fairway woods which is almost becoming a standard these days.   Past problems with Titanium fairway woods have been that they launch higher than how I like no matter what type of shaft I used.   So initially I had a steel head in mind.  Namely, the  Mystery C-HT 411  in 13deg was what I had in mind....  I actually had this club for a while in my bag that I keep at my in-laws' place in Japan.    It's big (195cc)  and mid-shallow profile but uses 455 steel on the face.   Really good club both from the tee as well as off the deck.  Unfortunately they are not current models and I believe the 13 deg loft is no longer available.     Due to the difficulty in locating one,  I started to look for other choices.   Ryoma F2, Baldo Brassy, Ping Rapture '13  were among other candidates.    Then I remembered about a club that I tested earlier in the year..   JBeam G-FW.    I had good impression of this head when I tested but did not realize they actually made these in 13 deg loft.   It's a 185cc full Titanium head.   From a size perspective it's right about the largest size for using it off the deck.    The shape of the head reminds me of the Grandsita LS-001 driver.  Shallow and round and looks easy to hit.     I was a bit concerned about the full Titanium construction where CG is so low that it possibly launches the ball very high.    Well ... my concerns were a non issue.    I  had them had pick the lowest available loft which was exactly 13 deg. measured loft  which helped in this case. 

I first shafted this head with a Diamond Speeder 5X that I had in my Grandista RS-D after finding out that the shaft was actually a 3W length [email protected]  I decided to give it a try in this G-FW.  Unfortunately,  the 5X shaft was too light and a bit whippy.   I ended up generating big slices and hooks which I haven't done in a long time.  On to another 'Ahina.60 X ...  Luckily used 'Ahina shafts ( proper Ion finished ones )  are easy to come by and are very affordable by now.     The launch I get with this 'Ahina combo is still a tad higher than with the Modart 14 deg but I guess that is the effect of the lower CG in this all Ti head.   On a positive note,  the ball speed off the face is quite a bit faster than the Modart.  I'm getting about 230 carry with this one.  Anymore distance and I will be closing in on driver distance.    Not sure that I want that.  

Sound and feel are pretty good.   Not as good as the 455 steel stuff but for Titanium it's not bad at all.  Not hollow, just a pleasing metallic sound at impact.  I hope to one day find out what kind of Ti material is used on the face.  but for now,  JBeam has this information completely hidden from the public.  I think this G-FW is a hidden gem that I would recommend to anyone looking for a 3+ fairway wood.   It's good looking, it's forgiving and it has the performance to equal or surpass any 3W on the market.    Highly highly recommended! 

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Oh and some pics of my beloved back up Tour Issue matte black Ping G20 3W...  this is paired up with a Tour AD TP-6X 

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Modart MA01F is still one of my all time favorites.   So straight and easy to clip off most conditions.  It was always lower traj and spin for me.   This thing saved me strokes by keeping me in play.

I am also a big fan of the G-FW and Crazy Full Titan.

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Nob have you tried the Glorious fw and can you compare. The one I have is very good. Wondering if the G-FW is an updated Glorious? 

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I unfortunately have not tried the Glorious FW.   Other than the fact that Glorious is stainless steel and G-FW is all Ti,  I think they were designed under similar concepts of making it as forgiving as possible.    I was looking for a low loft head so G-FW better matched my needs at 13 deg. 

 

 

 

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Hi Nobs.

I am the same...tried so many 3 woods....Troublesome to say the least. I have been using the 358 more recently, but trying to settle on what shaft is best for this head. Interesting the Ahina is working out for you....Light weight in a stiffer profile, I may have to give that a run. Great article by the way, easy to take something out of what you write when you cover all bases.....

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Like most of us, I’ve had a gazillion different 3-woods. The two best ones thus far were the Mizuno T-zoud with a 105 gram Super Exsar Gold in X flex (when I was young and all of that) and then the Touredge Exotics CB2 with a Matrix F7M2LTD in strong. The Mizuno was biggish in its profile (compared to the TaylorMade Tour Spoon and Callaway s2h2 Bobby Jones) and so easy to hit. The shaft could take anything thrown at it. 

The TEE is a modern (well) version of the T-zoid in that it is a little bigger than what I normally play and with that zylon covered Matrix shaft it was almost like going back in time. Again, I could hit it as hard as I wanted and choose to hit draw/fade/high/low. Why did I sell it? Cause that’s what we do..

Now I have a Honma 727 to try next season alongside an RC (from you Nobs), a Yonex, a Proceed hybrid 15 and the Zodia (also from you). It is the hardest club of all to get right for some reason.

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F7M2LTD  shaft was legendary.    For some I think it was too low spin.   Good ol times when Matrix shafts were king of shafts in the western world.    

Just the sound of a 105g X flex fwy shaft is giving me a sore back!!!   Geeez!  you must have been a monster! 

 

 

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Hah - no monster, but I’ve always favored control over distance. In college I hit it a bit further than average but shoulder surgery, back issues and 20 years at a desk has knocked 10 mph off of my swing speed.

Agree about the Matrix - it was so smooth. Had it in an Epon 460zr and then the CB2. Loved it.

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