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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thanks My Golf Spy for a Great Review: Adams Speedline Fast 10 Driver

adams speedline fast 10 driver review
speedline fast 10 review 1-speedline-fast10-5 1-speedline-fast10-2 1-speedline-fast10-7
The Adams Driver was part of our New! Ultimate Review System … from here on out at MGS you can expect to have the most thorough reviews in golf.  No need to go searching from site to site or from magazine to magazine anymore…because we have come up with a system that is not only the most un-bias and painfully honest reviews but also the most complete, comprehensive and detailed golf gear reviews PERIOD!

Adams Speedline Fast 10 “ULTIMATE” Driver Review!

by: Our New GolfSpy (aka: GolfSpy T)
Before I became a new golf spy for MGS, when I wrote for a different site, I once made the mistake of referring to Adams as one of the “little guys”.  Oh the mail I received…  Although I would still argue that Adams doesn’t have the marketing footprint of some of the big names in the industry, there isn’t a doubt in my mind (or in the minds of the legions of loyal Adams enthusiasts), that club for club, the Adams lineup stacks up quite nicely with any other manufacturer in the industry.

The Speedline Technology

For 2010 Adams has released the Speedline Fast 10 driver, the 3rd generation of Adams’s wind tunnel, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD for all you science types out there) tested Speedline Technology.  It seems that while some of the other manufacturers were trying to figure out how to build a longer, more forgiving driver, through the use of exotic materials and some fairly radical (and sometimes painfully wretched looking) head shapes, the guys at Adams we’re busy trying to figure out how to use the principles of aerodynamics to increase clubhead speed.  What’s more, they wanted to do it without sacrificing anything.
The latest results of their efforts is the Speedline Fast 10 driver, which Adams bills as “The Fastest Driver In Golf”.  They claim the high launching, mid-spinning, Fast 10 can add up to 15 yards more distance because it has 10% less drag (achieved through changes to the heel and toe curvature).  Because of increases in both MOI and face area, the Speedline Fast 10 is also 10% more forgiving.  The assumption is those percentages are a comparison to the previous model.

Speedline Fast 10 Driver Technical Specifications

  • Loft: 8.5° (RH Only), 9.5°, 10.5°, 12.5° (RH Only)
  • Length: 46.125″
  • Volume: 460cc
  • Swing Weight: D2
  • Stock Shafts: Aldila Wasabi (60g), Matrix HD (60g)

What We Tested, and How We Tested It

Adams sent us a Speedline Fast 10 for testing.  Our sample has the following specifications:
  • Loft: 9.5°
  • Shaft: Matrix HD 60g
  • Flex: Stiff
  • Grip: Adams Tour Velvet
Upon receipt of our test club, the driver was put through MyGolfSpy’s new SpecCheck system.  After SpecCheck was completed, the crown, face, and sole of the driver were covered with GhostTape.  GhostTape does an outstanding job of protecting our test clubs from scratches, sky marks, and the other nasty things that sometimes occur during the testing process.  Our in-house tests have shown that for driver and wood testing, GhostTape has no measurable impact on ball speed, launch angle, or spin rate.  We pretty much love the stuff.
All performance testing was done using PGA TOUR Simulators, powered by 3Trac, from aboutGolf.  Testing took place at Tark’s Indoor Golf Club; a state-of-the-art golf training, club fitting and repair facility located in Saratoga Springs, NY.
With our simulator’s data capture capabilities disabled so that distance and accuracy wouldn’t influence our subjective opinion polling, we asked several golfers to provide us feedback on the look, sound, and feel of the club.
A subset of testers including golfers with low, middle, and high handicaps, was asked to participate in more thorough tests where not only was data collected for the shots they hit with the Speedline Fast 10, but also for their current driver.
For full details of MyGolfSpy’s testing methodology, see our testing details page.


For woods and hybrids, our current SpecCheck involves verifying length, Swing Weight, and Flex.  The Speedline Fast 10 we received measured out exactly at the 46 1/8″ that Adams lists as the standard length for this driver.
We measured the Fast 10 two full Swing Weights heavier than the published spec.  Some may prefer the slightly heavier feel, but we like it better when our measurements match the published specs.
Finally, our flex tests measured the Matrix HD shaft at 245 CPM (at 45 1/8″).  On MyGolfSpy’s flex chart the plot point lands on the leading edge of the stiff range.  While for the purposes of SpecCheck the club is “true to flex”, golfers deciding between S and X flex may be better served by going with the stiffer option.
While testing for flex, we observed a noticeable wobble in the oscillation pattern.


MGS SpecCheck Chart for the Adams Speedline Fast 10

SpecCheck Score: (20 out of 25)

Subjective Feedback


Almost to a man our testers really liked the look of the Adams Speedline Fast 10, particularly at address.  Ron, one of our testers said “It’s very traditional.  I mean that in a good way”.  Perhaps no one summed up the majority feeling about the Speedline better than one of our low handicap testers:
This is how a driver should look” – Andy (2 Handicap)
Kent, also a low handicap golfer, mostly liked the look of the Fast 10, but said that it looked a little too square for his eye.
High handicap golfer Anthony (who also approved of the traditional look) was the only golfer surveyed who commented on the sole design of the club:
I’m not crazy about the aquamarine graphics and the scooping looks a little strange, but it’s not like I can see either when I’m trying to hit the golf ball” – Anthony (18 Handicap)

Not a single tester commented on the visual alignment aid, or in the case of the Fastline 10, the lack thereof. We take that to mean it isn’t an issue. Our experience has been that no alignment aid is always preferable to a bad one anyway.


The majority of our testers approved of the sound of the Speedline Fast 10 at impact.  All of our testers rated sound highly, although Andy and Anthony weren’t quite as impressed as most of our other testers.  Andy called the sound “somewhat muted”.  Anthony agreed adding:
“It doesn’t quite have a sound I love, but it’s not a dull thud or a smashed can sound either” – Anthony (18 Handicap)
Hear How The Adams Speedline Fast 10 Driver Sounds!


When it comes to the feel of the Adams Speedline Fast 10, feedback was mixed.  Frank, a mid-handicap golfer with mutant-sized hands, thinks the club is too light, commenting that he can’t “feel the head”.  High-handicapper, Anthony, called the feel “just ok”, but also commented that the Fast 10 feels solid when struck on the sweet spot, but that you can definitely feel a mis-hit as well.  Mid-handicaper (and long driver of the day) Dan, who initially thought the shaft felt “a bit whippy” was more impressed:
“Speedline is a great name for this club.  You can really feel the head accelerating through the impact zone.  The more I hit it, the more I like it” – Dan (11 Handicap)
We think tester Nick, a middle-handicap golfer who was anxious to try and Adams driver for the first time, summed up the majority opinion when he said:
“It looks great, it sounds great, it feels great” – Nick (17 Handicap)
Nick did follow that up by saying “of course, I’ve been swinging this thing”, as he showed us his Nike Sasquatch Sumo2 driver, so perhaps, it’s all relative.
Subjective Score: (22 out of 25)


The Adams Speedline Fast 10 is the first driver we’ve tested using our new testing and scoring methodology.  Not unlike the first girl on the balance beam, our scores may be slightly skewed by the possibility we’re keeping higher scores in our back pocket in case something better comes along.  Giving a score to a golf club, especially when you haven’t done the same level of testing on any other club, is a tricky proposition (which is why we prefer head to head competition).  So with that in mind, we’re reserving the right to raise or lower the performance  score as we review more drivers.  Whether they knew what they were getting into or not, we’d like to offer a sincere thank you to Adams Golf for stepping up and going first. Now on to the results…
In every case, regardless of whether just a hit a few balls were hit, or whether we were collecting more detailed data, every golfer who tested the Adams Speedline Fast 10 increased his ball speed.  It’s worth noting that at 46 1/8″, the Adams Speedline Fast 10 is more than an inch longer than what most consider to be the standard length for a driver.  That said, it’s probably only fair to point out that, despite the increase in shaft length”, two of our testers actually increased their accuracy.
Andy (2 Handicap) who plays a highly regarded driver model he purchased two years ago, increased his average ball speed by 7 MPH (155 to 162).  Ron, whose driver is also about 2 years old, also saw increases upwards of 8 MPH with the Adams Speedline Fast 10.  In the interest of full disclosure, he did catch one ball with his current driver that matched the speed he was registering consistently with the Adams.
Of the 3 golfers we collected more detailed data for, only Dan showed a measurable decrease in accuracy.  We’re strict in our testing procedures, and we’ll stand by the results, however; it should be pointed out that Dan – a mid-handicap golfer who generally struggles with driver accuracy anyway – had a little trouble adjusting to the feel of the Adams.  While there isn’t any documented proof, the suspicion is that, if we gave him the Adams to swing for a week, his accuracy numbers would probably improve (that’s not to say they’d equal those of existing driver).
Here’s the numbers breakdown for the 3 golfers for whom we collected detailed data:
On the day we tested, Anthony claimed to be having an off day.  We’ve seen him hit balls before, and know that he is capable of consistently longer drivers.  He did agree, however, that the dispersion pattern was accurate, and that the Adams was noticeably straighter.  He also commented that although he felt he lost more distance on mis-hit balls with the Adams, he liked that fact that he had an easier time keeping the ball in play with the Fast 10.
We asked Kent, the best golfer, and most consistent shot maker of our testers, to take several more swings with a couple of other drivers we had lying around the shop.  We wanted to find out how the Adams would stack up against shorter shafted drivers.  From an accuracy perspective 46 1/8″ Adams fell right between Kent’s current driver (detailed above), and an old TaylorMade R580XD we had sitting in our workshop (9 yards offline on average).  Both of those clubs measured 45″.
Dan, who clearly lost some accuracy over his current driver, showed the largest increase in distance (yardage, not percentage).  Dan averaged 285 yards with the Adams Speedline Fast 10, and hit 3 balls which cleared the 300 yard mark; the longest reaching 307 yards.  Based on the launch data collected, Dan is the only 3 of our detailed testers who would likely benefit significantly from a higher lofted club.
The results show that Anthony and Ken both increased their accuracy with the Adams by 28% and 20% respectively.  Dan, however, actually reduced his accuracy by 28%, although, again; we do believe the results would be measurably better once Dan got a feel for the club.
While none of our testers hit the upper limit of the “up to 15 yards” that Adams claims, most of our testers picked up between 5-8 MPH, which led to overall yardage increases across the board.
Interestingly, our highest handicap golfer showed only modest gains in distance (+1.2% on average), while our middle and low handicap golfers posted gains of 3.2% and 5.4% respectively.  What we find noteworthy is that of the 3, only Anthony is playing with a current driver model.  Dan’s driver (the only off the rack driver of the 3) is from TaylorMade’s 2nd generation of 460cc heads, and is several years old.  Kent’s club, which he assembled from components, is also a couple of years old.  The conclusion we draw is that, in general year, over year raw distance gains are minimal.
Performance Score:  (43 out of 50)


While we’re never pleased when a club’s specs don’t line up perfectly with those stated by the manufacturer, we can’t argue with the golfers we spoke with who absolutely love the Adams Speedline Fast 10.  From looks, to feel, to sound, the club is what you might call a subjective super star.  While not everyone loved everything about the club, only one tester (Frank) had anything truly negative to say.  The overwhelming majority of the feedback received was positive, with the rest no worse than indifferent.
While we have concerns that the longer shaft of the Adams Speedline Fast 10 is one of those ball speed tricks that manufacturers play to squeeze out an extra couple of yards (at the expense of accuracy), there’s no denying that 2 of our detailed testers actually tightened their shot dispersion.  If it is a trick, it worked as every golfer we tested registered faster ball speeds when compared to his current driver.
“It’s a shame you guys don’t sell these, because I’d buy one right now” – Ron (mid-handicap golfer who loves the Adams Speedline Fast 10)
While it may not prove to be the perfect club for everyone, our tests suggest that Adams has another winner on their hands – and no doubt their loyal fans, and likely some new fans as well, will be adding the SpeedLine Fast 10 to their golf bags this season.
>> Total Score: (85 out of 100)

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