Monday, August 29, 2016

Product Review: Air Force One Air Foil 3-wood

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my 3-wood for quite some time. I love how it plays off the tee - accurate when called upon, with enough distance to keep me in the hole. That said, I can’t remember the last time I played it from the fairway with any confidence. Seems I hit it thin or fat every time - never flush. That makes (just about) every par 5 a three-shot hole, even when a big drive puts me in position to go for the green in two.

I’ve tried other 3-woods. Unfortunately, the company that makes my current “gamer” recently announced it is getting out of the equipment business, so an upgrade within the brand isn’t a possibility.

I thought all hope was lost and I’d be doomed to a life of laying up with mid irons from the Go Position ... Then I was introduced to Air Foil 3-wood from Air Force One. This nitrogen-charged beauty is 15 degrees of heat.

Your first thought is probably, “What the hell does nitrogen charged mean?” It’s  Air Force One’s way of reinforcing the face of the club without adding weight.

“Compressed nitrogen provides tremendous support to the club face so every golfer can benefit from maximum C.O.R., maximum C.T., maximum Trampoline Effect, and Maximum Smash Factor for incredible distance,” the company claims.

Maximum C.O.R. - or Coefficient of Restitution - creates shots of a greater distance as a result of the flexing, and subsequent release, of stored energy, imparting greater impulse to the ball. In short ... More distance.

This technology isn’t new to Air Force One. Their driver is also nitrogen charged, but the beneficial trampoline effect is generally reduced with fairway woods because of the shallower club face. Enter “Air Foil technology.”

According to the company, “The Air Foil's dual slot wave design creates an accordion effect: The thin face flexes inward at impact, initiating the buildup of Nitrogen pressure inside the clubhead.

“Then a trampoline effect takes place, as the face is thrust back to its original position at a high velocity to generate rocketing ball speed and increased distance. The club design increases how fast the face flexes at impact, promoting faster ball speed across the face, which promotes consistently longer distance on every swing. The dual slot wave design creates a high launch angle with a tight dispersion, making an ideal fairway wood design for players who have difficulty hitting a 3-wood off the fairway. To further enhance shot performance, the nitrogen valve is positioned to increase MOI and create an optimum launch angle.”

It all makes sense from a scientific point of view, but I’m not a scientist. I’m a golfer.

We all know how much confidence comes into play on the golf course. If you think you’re going to hit a poor shot, you will hit a poor shot. Conversely, and preferably, if you feel good over the ball, chances are you’re going to hit a good shot. That said, adding the Air Force One Air Foil 3-wood to my bag gave me a jolt of confidence. At address, looking down at the twin slots reminded me to let the club do what it was designed to do - provide lift and distance.

After an afternoon of testing, two things were clear:
The Air Force One Air Foil 3-wood was easy to hit and provided greater distance off the tee, as well as off the deck; and
I’m not robot. Human error is a factor in any of my tests.

My old 3-wood travelled between 230-240 yards off the tee. Best-struck fairway shots went about 10 yards shorter. Unfortunately, “best-struck” shots were few and far between. With the N7, I added approximately 10 yards off the tee and saw very little drop-off from the fairway. Better than the gain in distance, I was achieving those results with less effort and the flight was nearly identical, shot after shot.

By all practical measures, the Air Foil 3-wood will allow me to dial down my tee shots when playing corridors become tight, without having to add much club to my approach shots. From the fairway, 500-yard par 5s have now become long par 4s and just about every par 5 I play is within reach if/when I connect on my driver. That’s exciting!

Air Force One also offers the Air Foil in a 19-degree 5-wood. Both cost $149.99.

Learn more at

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