Product Review: Maxfli PowerMax Fairway Woods

It’s likely that you’ve had the same fairway woods for a considerable period of time.  Often the last-replaced clubs in the bag, the cost of buying a new set of woods can be off-putting for the average golfer.  Finding that right club in the right price range can be a challenge, but playing with those super-mart fairway woods forever just isn’t an option.

It’s also likely that you’ve bought and played Maxfli balls, or one of their sub-brands such as “Noodle.”  Hovering around $20 a dozen in recent years, they have been long-considered as good balls with good value.  Less-known, however, are Maxfli’s line of PowerMax drivers, irons, hybrids, and fairway woods.  Perhaps it shouldn’t be that way, however, as these clubs have been designed by a subsidiary of the TaylorMade company… perhaps you’ve heard of them?  Daddy has been the king of the tour for some time now, and certainly the offspring has a chance at making a decent product.

maxflifairway.jpgAs the clubs have been around for a little while, their cost has dwindled to less than $50 a piece at most online outlets.  Considering Maxfli’s parent company has a few fairway wood options for up to four times that amount, this would seem to fall somewhere in the realm of reasonable for most golfers.

We thought we’d give these steel faced woods a shot, just to see if their play was in the same arena as their price point.  Playing the 3 and the 5 woods, I selected the regular flex graphite shafts, and the stock Maxfli velvet grips (I also brought along the included PowerMax headcovers just to show off).

Now I have never been a fairway wood guy, and recent events have scared me off even further.  I can hit my 3-iron pretty clean from the fairway, and my 15 year-old Mizuno Silver Cup woods are barely bigger than the ball, so irons have traditionally been my choice. 

On this day I committed myself to hitting the fairway woods, however - both off  of the tee, and out of the fairway.  While this made me a little nervous (especially since I was paired with a guy that I had never met, and who likely shoots 20 strokes better than I), I was eager to see what a slightly oversized clubface, “low-drag sole,” and shiny headcover could do for my game. A par 5 that I had never played before tells the tale of how I feel about these fine clubs.

Off of the tee on the 492-yard 5th hole, I hit an easy-swung driver right down the middle (not a bad day right there) about 270 yards.  Inevitably, I always follow this type of shot with one that ends about 10 yards further down the fairway than it started.  On this occassion, though, I pulled out the PowerMax 3 wood to take care of the remaining 222 yards.  There were guys on the green, and I asked Pat (the guy who’s day I made longer) if I should just go ahead and swing - knowing that I could never hit a 3 wood that far.  “Well, you never know when that perfect swing is going to come around and you get it there,” he said.  So I waited for the folks to clear the green.

They were never in danger, but I would have scared the crap out of them.  I took a full swing, and heard the distinct “PING” of the Maxfli PowerMax striking the ball.  My newly found draw (thanks, Ron Curran) brought the ball around with a beautiful flight, landing and rolling on the fairway to within less than 10 feet of the green.

Now, it’s perfectly concievable that on this day, with this swing, I would have hit my own 3 wood that far and straight.  But I can tell you that’s probably not the case.

For one thing I looked at the club and saw where I had made impact.  It was clean, but not dead center.  Anything other than “on the screws” is not acceptable with my 1990’s woods.

Secondly, you can just swing a club and tell if it suits you.  Unfortunatly, this usually happens when you’re swinging a club that doesn’t belong to you, but you know when a club is better than what you’ve played with.  When an iron is weighted a little more professionally, and when your driver is moving quicker, you just know.  And I can say about this shot on this day, I just know.

The end of the story was that I had an eagle chip that ran 8 feet past, a birdie putt that broke a foot left, and a par putt that found the bottom of the cup.  It felt really nice.  I’d like to do more of that.  Perhaps I shall.

Truth be told, I did hit a couple of doozies with these clubs.  Each time, however, I can tell you that the club did what I asked.  I turned my top hand over, and it hooked.  I put the ball on too high of a tee and swung under it, and it went up.  But when you hit the ball off of the heel and still are playable to the left of the green, you have to be grateful to the club.  You have to be.

And I’m grateful.

I’m not sure we’ll know the Maxfli brand in the coming years as we’ve known them in the past.  The brand has been sold to Dick’s Sporting Goods as of January, 2008.  This sounds a lot like the Baldwin Piano Company being sold to Gibson Guitars if you ask me, but, in the meantime, we can enjoy the clubs that were developed under the watchful eye of TaylorMade, and feel pretty good about almost getting there in two.

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  • Darrell said:

    Any idea if the “BlackMax” line of clubs were designed made while TaylorMade owned Maxfli? I haven’t found any PowerMax online, but they have a decent selection of the “BlackMax” line in the store at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

    A quick heads-up to other bargain shoppers out there: best deal ever I’ve ever got on golf balls…Meijers has older style packaging Precept Laddie X 24 packs marked down to $6 (the newer style packaging is selling for $20)…that’s 25 cents a ball!!!…and from what I’ve read and heard its a good, durable ball…


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