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 »  Home  »  Equipment  »  Play Testing  »  Hydrids  »  New on the tee: 2014 Hybrids
New on the tee: 2014 Hybrids
By Tom Landers | Published  05/11/2014 | Hydrids | Unrated
New on the tee: 2014 Hybrids

Hybrids
Why Hybrids – Because They Work!

Today’s hybrids are ideal as replacements for both long irons and fairway woods. They can be used from a variety of turf conditions and lies. They’re just what the doctor ordered for nearly any shot where the golfer would normally use a long iron but feels uncomfortable doing so, or for the golfer who isn’t comfortable with the long shaft, flattish lie nature of fairway woods. Simply stated, for most mortals they take the trepidation out of the long iron or fairway wood length shot. In fact it’s not uncommon for Tour players to carry two, three or more of these “magic” clubs.
Before you peruse this year’s list of hybrids, make an honest evaluation of your game. Are you a solid long iron player who would like to hit it higher in order to land the ball more softly? Do you struggle getting the ball in the air with today’s modern fairway woods? If you fall into the second category, which is the larger percentage of golfers, look toward the larger displacement hybrids. Most of today’s hybrids have morphed into mini fairway woods making them a great option for those players that value forgiveness above all. These “mini fairway woods” that are larger in displacement (cc’s) than even the first fairway metals introduced in the early 80’s and more forgiving than ever!
If you’re among the “highly skilled” player group that hits it solid but wants less roll out when you hit a green, then the “tour” type hybrids are a great choice for you. They are bit less forgiving but much more workable making them great long iron surrogates…even among the most elite players on professional tours.
There is a simple reason why hybrids have become so popular with golfers of all abilities…they work! Whatever your level of play, we encourage you to check out the hybrids on this list and find the one’s that best suit your game.

Hybrids


Appearance 4 star
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4 star
Distance 5 stars

Adams XTD Super Hybrid
www.AdamsGolf.com • $299

Unique Features: Essentially, it is a driver in a hybrid body – featuring a new multi-material brazed construction technology that attaches a titanium face and crown to a stainless steel sole to produce a hybrid with the performance of today’s drivers. Adam’s claims the hybrid’s face is 36% hotter than a traditional hybrid resulting in higher ball speeds and increased distance gains.

Tester Comments: The Adams Super XTD Hybrid is a super club that is easy to o hit from any lie. … Great choice if you want extra distance with lots of control. Also, no problem getting the ball airborne on a consistent basis … Most pleased with this club....hot off the face, with a boring low-mid ball flight.


Appearance 4.5 stars
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 5 stars

Adams Pro
www.AdamsGolf.com • $199

Unique Features: Modeled after the highly successful design of the SUPER DHy, one of the most popular clubs on Tour in 2013. A true long iron replacement uniquely designed for players who prefer a low spinning, penetrating ball flight. It’s low launching, extremely workable and forgiving. Cut-Thru Slot Technology combined with the crown slot produce exceptional ball speeds and higher launches compared to non-slotted hybrids and traditional long irons. The compact, iron-like shape, requested by tour pros, allows for better workability and control.

Tester Comments: This is truly a long-iron replacement, easier to shape shots with this than a typical hybrid … Definitely meant for a better golfer … Great solid feel and boring trajectory … Great Sound at impact.


Appearance 4.5 stars
Forgiveness 4 star
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4 star
Distance 4 stars

Adams idea
www.AdamsGolf.com • $169

Unique Features: New Cut-Thru Slot™ design in the hybrids increases ball speed and launch and adds extra distance on off-center shots. An Upside-Down patented design lets us design these like their easy to hit Tight Lies Fairway Wood – putting the center of gravity lower so golfers can get the ball in the air easier.

Tester Comments: Typical Adams in that you can’t miss a shot … I feel much more confident to go for the green and feel I can get the ball in the air over course obstacles … it was a dream to hit and even miss hits got more distance than I would have thought possible.


Appearance 3.5 stars
Forgiveness 4 stars
Feel 4 stars
Consistency 4 stars
Distance 4.5 stars

Bobby Jones Black
www.bobbyjones.com • $199

Unique Features: The hybrids feature a CH-1 maraging steel cup-face design producing increased CT ratings while reducing the spin rate. This innovative club construction is made possible through a patented nickel brazing technique that eliminates the need for conventional welding and allows for the joining of two thin, dissimilar metals—the CH-1 of the club face and the 17-4 steel used in the body. The new brazing technique allows for the relocation of that weight from the face to the sole. This hybrid retains the contoured sole and leading edge popular in previous models, reducing the chance of the heel or toe grabbing turf and resulting in twisting of the clubhead.

Tester Comments: Best looking hybrid I have seen … Consistent, high launch and ball flight; shots land softly … Not the longest but consistent and great feel.


Appearance 5 stars
Forgiveness 4 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4.5 stars
Distance 4 stars

Bridgestone J40
www.BridgestoneGolf.com • $179

Unique Features: Larger profile design positions the CG in an ideal location for higher launch, longer carry, and maximum distance. Stainless steel construction with thinner crown allows discretionary weight to be moved to the perimeter for added forgiveness. Tungsten weight at heel to optimize CG for easy launch and low spin.

Tester Comments: I don’t typically have a ton of luck with hybrids, but this one is long and straight for me. I would gladly recommend this to anyone who struggles with hooking hybrids. Great club for sure … the feel is stellar and the ease of executing the shots seems to be perfec
t.


Appearance 5 stars
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 5 stars
Consistency 4 stars
Distance 4.5 stars

Callaway X2Hot /X2 Hot Pro
www.CallawayGolf.com • $199

Unique Features: A thinner, lighter and more robust 455 carpenter steel face cup design (Hyper Speed Face Cup) produces faster ball speeds across the entire clubface. The CT is 22% higher on center hits and 30-40% higher on off-center hits. The X2 Hot is up to 15 yards longer than the original X Hot Hybrid. A new Tour-inspired shape, a more iron-like shape enhances turf interaction, and increases playability and accuracy from all lies. The CG on the X2 Hot Pro is lower than the X2 Hot which helps the Pro version produce less spin and a penetrating trajectory.

Tester Comments: Liked this club so much I bought my own hybrid after testing … Nice and compact and easy to shape shots … Great distance and a tight pattern on shots … Very accurate and good from all lies.


Appearance 4 star
Forgiveness 4 stars
Feel 4 stars
Consistency 4 star
Distance 4.5 stars

Cleveland 588
www.ClevelandGolf.com • $169

Unique Features: The Cleveland 588 Hybrid features a hot, forgiving face for maximum distance and Gliderail Technology for playability. The combination of two rails with a subtle center keel on the sole decreases turf drag measurably for more lift and speed at impact, and combined with a rear sole plug, advanced wall construction allows more weight to be positioned low in the club head for a higher launch. The compact profile has minimal offset and is Cleveland’s first hybrid engineered with Variable Face Thickness technology.

Tester Comments: Overall profile of the from address is a bit more compact and more iron like look than hybrid … rails and keel reacted well to a variety of swings and lies … digging or twisting of the head from tight lies or the rough.


Appearance 4.5 stars
Forgiveness 5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4 stars
Distance 4.5 stars

Cobra Bio Cell
www.CobraGolf.com • $189

Unique Features: The BiO CELL Hybrid comes equipped with MyFly8 with SmartPad technology featuring 8 loft options for simple adjustability to maximize distance and optimize yardage gaps. The 17-4 Stainless Steel Body supports a thin, shallow high strength steel face insert with a driver-like construction that creates more face flex and greater ball speeds to deliver distance. BiO Cells and E9 Face Technology allow weight to be removed from the crown and face for a lower CG and higher MOI, increasing the sweet zone.

Tester Comments: Easy to adjust to trajectory and distance that fits me … Very workable and easy to draw … As solid a feeling hybrid as I tried, great sound also … Lots of adjustment options but maybe too many.


Appearance 3.5 star
Forgiveness 4 stars
Feel 4 stars
Consistency 4 star
Distance 4 stars

Hireko Dynacraft Driving iron
www.HireckoGolf.com • $40

Unique Features: The Dynacraft Driving Iron features a thin, special vacuum heat treated, high-strength forged 17-4 stainless steel face with variable thickness to push high COR to the maximum limits. The hollow-bodied construction positions weight low and rearward for advanced perimeter weighting and a more piercing driving trajectory than a comparable lofted fairway wood. It is designed primarily as a control club off of the tee, but can be an option for approach shots from the fairway from preferred lies..

Tester Comments: Longer than I thought it would be … A great option on tight holes, easier to control than a hybrid.


Appearance 4 star
Forgiveness 5 stars
Feel 4 stars
Consistency 4 star
Distance 4 stars

Mizuno JPX-EZ
www.MizunoUSA.com • $189

Unique Features: The JPX EZ’s large 127cc clubhead is backed up with a Flex Face design which maintains high ball speeds and consistent distances, even on contact high or low on the clubface. Face Forward Design assists the leading edge under ball for crisp contact. The club features a HOT METAL Face Design with Ultra-thin 1770 maraging steel face for maximum distance.

Tester Comments: Very powerful sound at impact … The club frames the ball nicely, easy to square hybrid … The flight is high not doesn’t balloon and is so straight … Oh and it’s long


Appearance 4 star
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 4 stars
Consistency 4.5 star
Distance 4.5 stars

nike VRS Covert 2.0
www.NikeGolf.com • $179

Unique Features: The High Speed Cavity Back 2.0 with all-new Fly-Brace technology found in the Nike VR_S Covert 2.0 Hybrid increases stability and delivers more forgiving distance, and the re-engineered NexCOR face delivers faster ball speeds and increased distance. Fly-Brace technology uniquely ties the sole to the crown, which stiffens the rear portion of the club, transferring even more energy to the face at impact.

Tester Comments: The head is slightly offset and I can really hit the ball high with this club … This club can be worked a little, as an average slicer I can hit this club straighter … Long and straight … The look at address is much better than the G15 and the cosmetic looks is improved.



Appearance 4 star
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 4 stars
Consistency 4.5 star
Distance 5 stars

Ping G25
www.Ping.com • $199

Unique Features: Progressive CG positions help to optimize the launch angle and spin rate of each club, and ensure functional distance gaps. The CG position is lower and farther back in the lower-lofted hybrids to increase the launch angle and make them easier to hit in the air. In the mid- and higher-lofted designs, the CG is more forward to minimize spin and prevent ballooning (common in higher-lofted hybrids). Generous chamber heel-to-toe and sole relief in the 17-4 stainless-steel heads ensure playability and solid contact from all types of lies.

Tester Comments: Ping G25 Hybrid was the most forgiving and accurate hybrid I hit, not into a launch monitor , but with actual ball flight to see … Not as long as some, but accuracy is one of the best … Solid shots rocket off the club face, launch high and land soft.


Appearance 5 star
Forgiveness 4 stars
Feel 5 stars
Consistency 4.5 star
Distance 4.5 stars

Ping I25
www.Ping.com • $219

Unique Features: The sleek and compact 17-4 stainless steel i25 hybrids are for golfers who like the look of an iron but the distance, performance and reliability of a hybrid. With a narrow head and squared off toe, the head design promotes better turf interaction and solid contact from all conditions. There’s much less bulge and roll than a traditional hybrid. The flat face and straight lead edge are more like an iron, which makes aiming easier. A more-forward hosel axis than a traditional hybrid promotes a high-launch, low-spin trajectory for maximizing distance.

Tester Comments: Nice compact hybrid, just the right size, looks like an iron replacement more than a hybrid … more iron-style workability … Nice high launch and consistent trajectory.


Appearance 5 star
Forgiveness 4 stars
Feel 5 stars
Consistency 4.5 star
Distance 4.5 stars

TaylorMade SLDR
www.TaylorMadeGolf.com • $219

Unique Features: The sleek and compact 17-4 stainless steel i25 hybrids are for golfers who like the look of an iron but the distance, performance and reliability of a hybrid. With a narrow head and squared off toe, the head design promotes better turf interaction and solid contact. There’s much less bulge and roll than a traditional hybrid. The flat face and straight lead edge are more like an iron, which makes aiming easier. A more-forward hosel axis than a traditional hybrid promotes a high-launch, low-spin trajectory for maximizing distance.

Tester Comments: Pleasantly surprised with the technology and looking forward to playing with this club in the future … Above average distance in comparison to other hybrids I tested … Seemed to provide more speed, higher launch, and less spin … Consistent swings will find this very playable


Appearance 4 star
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4 star
Distance 5 stars

TaylorMade jet speed
www.TaylorMadeGolf.com • $199

Unique Features: The TaylorMade JetSpeed Rescue has a shallow face and low CG make it easy to make contact below the ball’s equator for easy launch, while the Speed Pocket promotes fast ball speed for distance. With a low-profile head and a shallow face the launch angle is optimized for a better trajectory. And with the combination of the JetSteel face and the Matrix Velox shaft you get speed off the face and feel throughout your entire swing.

Tester Comments: Very easy to launch high and has a nice look/shape to it at address … Smooth easy swing and it explodes off the face … club really wants to hit straight bullets.


Appearance 4 star
Forgiveness 4 stars
Feel 4 stars
Consistency 4 star
Distance 4.5 stars

Tour Edge Exotics CB5
www.TourEdge.com • $129

Unique Features: The CB5 super-hybrid combines a maraging steel cupped face with a hyper steel body. The stronger maraging steel allows for a thinner face that has greater malleability for feel and distance. Adding to the design, the heavier hyper-steel body offers a lower center of gravity than previous CBs for better forgiveness. The face’s technology allows for the thinning and thickening of the material to produce longer shots even on off-center hits. When combined with the smaller-than- traditional head and added face progression, the end result is good workability.

Tester Comments: Definitely for better players, less forgiving than others I tried but center hits were phenomenal …. Very traditional look … Low-Spinning with penetrating ball flight … Not able to hit to high or too low.


Appearance 4 star
Forgiveness 4 stars
Feel 5 stars
Consistency 4 star
Distance 5 stars

Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 Beta
www.TourEdge.com • $199

Unique Features: The XCG7 Beta hybrid incorporates a lightweight beta titanium crown that weighs only 6 grams. The crown allows for additional precise weight positioning in the head to deliver Tour-caliber trajectory and versatility. Maximizing distance, the Power Grid™ positioned directly behind the sweet spot creates an accordion effect and increased spring-effect by flexing at impact. Hexahedron sole weight pads are positioned back in the heel and toe to increase MOI and maximize stability on off-center contact. Weight is removed from the rear center of the sole courtesy of a dual-step cavity allowing the extra weighting in the rear heel and toe to provide maximum forgiveness.

Tester Comments: Beta has a lower trajectory than the XCG7 hybrid … Ball really jumps of the face …. Awesome distance … Solid Great Ball flight and very well balanced hybrid


Appearance 4 star
Forgiveness 4 stars
Feel 4.5 stars
Consistency 4 star
Distance 5 stars

Tour Edge Exotics XCG7
www.TourEdge.com • $159

Unique Features: Maximizing distance, the Power Grid™ positioned directly behind the sweet spot creates an accordion effect and increased spring-effect by flexing at impact. The Power Grid alternates in thickness from 0.5mm to 1.0mm, allowing the thinner dimple-slots to flex, producing a hotter launch. Hexahedron sole weight pads are positioned back in the heel and toe to increase MOI and maximize stability on off-center contact. Weight is removed from the rear center of the sole courtesy of a dual-step cavity allowing the extra weighting in the rear heel and toe to provide maximum forgiveness.

Tester Comments: Great Ball flight and very well balanced hybrid … Long is what I expect from Tour Edge and they deliver …. Nice solid sound at impact.


Appearance 5 stars
Forgiveness 4 stars
Feel 4 stars
Consistency 4 star
Distance 4.5 stars

Wilson Staff M3 FG TOUR
www.WilsonStaff.com • $149

Unique Features: As the first adjustable hybrid presented by Wilson Staff, the new FG Tour M3 hybrid features Multi Fit System technology allowing golfers to adjust both the loft and the sole weight for optimized trajectory and increased club head speeds. The FG Tour M3 hybrids offer tour-inspired shapes and technology for Feel (F) and Control (C) players. Sole weight adjustability from the Multi Fit System allows players to optimize distance and ball trajectory to hit precise approach shots.

Tester Comments: Adjusting the hybrid was quick and easy, liked that it could be adjusted to more upright lie … Iron like feel, so solid you barely feel it when hit … This club is excellent, great off the tee and from a variety of lies..


Appearance 3.5 star
Forgiveness 4.5 stars
Feel 4 stars
Consistency 4 star
Distance 5 stars

Wilson d100
www.WilsonStaff.com • $149

Unique Features: The D-100 features a 60-gram shaft that’s half an inch longer than last year’s FYbrid RS. Clubheads are larger on the lower lofts to improve forgiveness and smaller on the higher lofts for better spin control. The Right Light technology combines head, shaft and grip to weigh just 269 grams, which enables you to swing faster without having to swing harder. A large, deep face with multiple thicknesses creates a broad sweet spot and fast ball speeds on off-center hits.

Tester Comments: One of the easiest hybrids to hit straight … Above-average length but not longest … Very responsive feel … One of best game improvement hybrids on the market.


Player’s Choice Awards

Best Appearance
Bobby Jones Black
Bridgestone J40
Callaway X2Hot
Ping i25
TaylorMade SLDR
Wilson Staff M3 FG

Best Consistency
Adams Pro
Bridgestone J40
Callaway X2Hot
Nike VRS Covert 2.0
Ping G25
Ping i25
TaylorMade SLDR
Best Forgiveness
Cobra Bio Cell
Mizunno JPX-EZ

 

Best Feel
Bobby Jones Black
Callaway X2 Hot
Ping i25
TaylorMade SLDR
Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 Beta

Best Distance
Adams XTD Super
Adams Pro
Ping G25
TaylorMade Jetspeed
Tour Edge Exotics XCG7
Wilson D100

Best Overall
Adams Pro
Callaway X2Hot
Cobra Bio Cell
Ping i25
TaylorMade SLDR