TaylorMade fairway woods

TaylorMade 200 Steel and Retro fairway woods on test

Bob Warters's picture
Fri, 8 Feb 2002
TaylorMade fairway woods
200 Steel fairway wood.
TaylorMade 200 Steel 3-wood/5-wood
Price: £199 steel shaft, £225 graphite

TaylorMade definitely hit the spot when they introduced their 200 Steel fairway woods in October. No wonder they are currently in the Tour bags of Retief Goosen and Ian Garbutt.

Indeed they were so good that I had great difficulty retrieving them from two of my golfing mates Ian Coulson (7 handicap) and Brian Birchill (6).

"I love ‘em," said Ian "especially the 3-wood. I’d have no hesitation in swapping it for my Ping 3-wood right now.

Ian Coulson.
"It’s so light and with its shallow face sat behind the ball at address beautifully. I normally hit a high ball but this gave me a low, penetrating flight, just the job on our exposed course at Greetham Valley, where the wind can balloon so many shots."

Brian agreed and said the feel off the clubface was reminiscent of the Callaway VFT 7-wood – the favourite club in his bag.

He also described the 220 Steel 5-wood as ‘superb’ and rivals the Callaway HawkEye VFT 4-wood he carries regularly.

"I was able to shape shots with it while getting good flight, from a raised tee peg. I can understand why the pros love it. It’s so manoeuvrable and easy to hit."

Golfmagic rating: 9/10

TaylorMade Raylor.
TaylorMade Raylor and Tour spoon
Price: £199 steel, £225 graphite

Sadly, TaylorMade's Retro line of fairway woods – the Raylor and Spoon - did not receive such accolades from the three-times-a-week golfers.

Released around the same time, late last year, the 16 and 19-degree Raylor and 13-degree Tour Spoon, each with stiff shafts are reputedly regulars in the bags of Tour stars Paul McGinley, Andrew Oldcorn and Ian Poulter.


Brian Birchill.

The parallel rails on the sole of the Raylor claim to cut through grass in the semi-rough for extra distance, while a lower centre of gravity offers the chance to get the ball airborne more quickly, say the makers.

But neither Ian nor Brian would put them in their bag if you gave them away – though they might if you paid them, at the risk of losing their amateur status!

TaylorMade Spoon.
"Nah, didn’t like them," said Ian " the head was too small for me. I saw clubs with a similar dimple head shape when I started playing 15 years ago. After hitting today’s modern clubs with bigger heads they didn’t give me the same confidence over the ball."

Brian added: "The shaft was like a poker and the clubhead tended to get left behind at impact. I hit all of them high with little penetration. It’s a pro’s club…I’ll stick with my 7-wood, thanks."

Golfmagic rating: 6/10