First 0.830 COR fairway woodhead / 2004 – Wishon Golf 515GRT Fairway Woods
In 2004 Wishon Golf elevated its expertise in woodhead face design by creating the 515GRT, the first fairway woods to reach the USGA’s 0.830 COR/257 CT limit.
Previously it was thought to be impossible to create a fairway wood with a 0.830 COR because fairway woods all have a much smaller size face than a driver. The bigger the face, the easier it is to design the face to have a high COR. But the smaller the face, the more difficult this is to do because smaller faces do not flex inward as much as will a larger face. The vast majority of people in the golf industry felt that if you kept making the fairway wood face thinner and thinner to get it to flex inward enough to create a high COR, the faces would break or cave in before you ever got to the higher COR level of performance.
Wishon Golf achieved its high COR fairway wood face breakthrough by combining a forged cup-face construction with a vertically flat zero roll face using a high strength steel alloy from Carpenter Steel called Tour Alloy 275 to forge the face. Interestingly, the very first prototypes made for hit testing showed that the 515 #3-wood had a measured COR of 0.843 with the 5-wood prototype being at 0.836 – both actually higher than the USGA limit! The faces of the 3- and 5-wood had to both be thickened slightly for the production of the heads to get their COR back down to the conforming limit.
Launch monitor testing with the final design version of the 515GRT woods revealed a ball velocity increase of 4mph over the majority of the industry’s brand name fairway woods. Upon their release in 2004, Wishon Golf received numerous messages from golfers who were completely amazed to achieve such a distance increase with the 515GRT fairway woods.
First Shallow Face Fairway Woods with 0.830 COR / 2007 – Wishon Golf 949MC Woods
In 2004, with the 515GRT woods, Wishon Golf was the first company to introduce a fairway wood design which achieved the 0.830 COR limit imposed by the USGA. Previously, it had been felt that the much smaller face height and face area of typical fairway woods prevented the face from being able to flex inward enough to achieve such a high COR. In 2007, TWGT went one step better by engineering a set of woods with a more shallow face height than the 515GRT woods that still had a COR of 0.830.
The face height of the 515GRT woods was designed to be 36mm tall. For skilled players, this is not a face height they find to be difficult to hit well up in the air to fly off a normal lie on the fairway. But for average to less skilled golfers, a fairway wood with a 36mm face height can look too tall and can bring about a lack of confidence in the golfer’s mind that can affect their ability to easily get the ball up to fly for normal fairway lies.
This was the thought that prompted Tom to go to work to see if he could push the envelope of small face/high COR design to create a fairway wood with a shorter face height that still could achieve a COR at the maximum level allowed by the Rules of Golf of 0.830.
This breakthrough in fairway wood design became possible with the T to enable the smaller face of the 949MC to still flex inward the same amount as the larger face area of the 515GRT. In addition, Wishon used a totally new even higher strength steel alloy than had been used to make the 515GRT woods to enable the 949MC faces to be made thinner but still be durable enough to withstand a clubhead speed up to 125mph without failing. With their 32mm face height, the 949MC fairway woods offer golfers a completely unique performance combination of a more shallow face for easier playability but still with a 0.830 COR for more distance.