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 »  Home  »  Equipment  »  Play Testing  »  Hydrids  »  Our Readers Test the Newest Hybrids
Our Readers Test the Newest Hybrids
By Tom Landers | Published  10/25/2009 | Hydrids | Unrated
Our Readers Test The Newest Hybrids
Hybrids 2009

The Staying Power of Hybrids

Much like high school, golf has seen its share of passing fads.  Countless products and ideas have been touted as “the next great thing,” only to be doomed to the bargain bin a year or two later.  We’ve seen alien wedges, two-sided chippers, and square drivers.  Some fads have stuck, like extra-long tees, breathable shirts, and soft-spiked golf shoes.  One such fad that many golfers initially wrote off is the hybrid.  To golf purists, the hybrid was an abomination, an unsightly long iron replacement that didn’t meet the hype.  With each passing year, though, more golfers are turning to hybrids to improve their games.  Today, hybrids boast more forgiveness and playability than any other club in the bag.  One thing has become clear—hybrids are here to stay.
  What makes the hybrid more than just a passing fad?  To figure that out, let’s take a look at the previously mentioned fads that have stuck to find a common theme.  Extra-long tees go hand-in-hand with today’s oversized drivers.  When it became clear that the 460cc clubhead was here to stay, it became imperative that golfers be able to tee it higher than the normal tee would allow.  The extra-long tee filled that need, providing golfers the perfect complement to their shiny new drivers.  Helpful technology is not just limited to golf clubs, though, as apparel companies have long sought to create clothes that aid golfers on the course.  The breathable golf shirt uses new fabrics to keep golfers cool on the course.  For those that play anywhere warm, this can mean the difference between an enjoyable day and a date with an I.V. after the round.  Soft spikes have helped golf courses suffer less wear and tear, reducing maintenance costs and putts that get knocked off line by a spike mark, all without sacrificing the grip and comfort that metal spikes provided.
  So why are hybrids here to stay?  Like the extra-long tee, the breathable golf shirt, and soft spikes, the hybrid is more substance than style.  It provides a tangible benefit on the course, namely the ability to hit long shots out of difficult lies.  The hybrid also provides much more forgiveness than the long irons it replaces, allowing golfers to experience better results even when they don’t make perfect contact.  Unlike a fairway wood, a hybrid is designed to fly high and stop quickly, which makes it a better option when trying to attack a difficult pin.  With such great results, it’s easy to see why even traditionalists have taken to hybrids.
Our review of the new 2009 hybrids will leave golfers with many difficult choices.  As the equipment manufacturers have mastered the nuances of making this relatively new club, they have given us a choice that is nearly foolproof.  It’s truly difficult to find a bad club in this year’s hybrid crop.  As always, the best way to find the club that fits your swing best is to try as many as you can.  They’re all long and they’re all easy to hit—no matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong!


Lofts: 17, 19, 22, 25 degrees.
  Adams A7 • $199


Unique Features: An improved camber sole makes the club easy to hit out of any lie, and rear weighting increases carry and distance. A hollow-back design and a 13 percent thinner face in the mid-lofts improves gapping  between hybrids and short irons to increase distance. Thinner top lines and sole weights in the higher lofts aid workability.

Tester Comments:  This is the way a hybrid should look … tried almost every brand of hybird on the market and found this to be the best of the best … Easy to hit, long from tee and fairway, and give a boost of confident on every shot.


Lofts: 17, 29, 22, 25, 28 degrees.
            Adams A7 OS
 • $199


Unique Features: Patented gap technology optimizes each loft in the lineup to outperform traditional irons. The clubs are designed to increase distance, improve launch conditions and be easy to hit for all levels of ability.

Tester Comments: Very straight with good distance … A little big to look at, but it definitely is easy to hit … Nice high ball flight.


            Bobby Jones Players
 • $200


Unique Features: Golf club designer Jesse Ortiz has done it again with his new line of Bobby Jones hybrids.  Meant to model the look and purpose of the once-popular cleek or mashie club, the Bobby Jones Players hybrid is shorter in length than most other hybrids, which allows it to retain the accuracy of an iron while adding the easy-to-hit benefits of a fairway wood.  The club’s Triangle of Stability increases control, even on off-center hits, while its contoured sole helps the club get through any lie.

Tester Comments: The more I tried them the more I appreciate the design and quality of manufacture … Easy to hit whether you’re in the fairway or the rough … Looks good, feels good, sounds good. Distance is right on the money.


Lofts: 18, 21, 24, 27 degrees.
            Callaway FT
 • $200


Unique Features: A stainless steel body is designed with a high-density, “tungsten infused” sole that puts 50 percent of the weight in that area to optimize launch conditions. It also accepts the weight of a longer hosel, which in turn allows for a constant distance between the leading edge of the clubface and the shaft through various lofts.

Tester Comments: This is and attractive club although I would prefer less offset … Solid feel, easy up and long … Solid playability. Easy to get into the air, stays straighter and doesn’t tend to go left like some hybrids.


Lofts: 16, 19, 22, 25 and 28 degrees.
            Cleveland Launcher
 • $150


Unique Features: An “engineered on” iron chassis gives the club a parabolic leading edge for easy interaction with the turf. Horseshoe-shaped perimeter sole weighting helps create a high moment of inertia to prevent a twisting of the club on contact with the ball.

Tester Comments:I usually hit bad hook with hybrids, but not with this …  Very easy to hit and shots go very straight, even on off center hits.


Lofts: 16, 18, 20, 23 degrees.
            Cobra Baffler TWS
 • $149


Unique Features:  Internal weight pads in the perimeter of the sole place the center of gravity back and low, allowing the player to get the ball airborne easier from a variety of lies. A large maraging-steel face provides consistent ball speed, even on hits off center.

Tester Comments:Great for shots out of the rough and from the fairway … Much better than previous version, easier to keep on target, no left tendency … Extremely Hot Face, Ball jumps off the face.


Lofts: 17 and 20 degrees.
            Hippo HEX2
 • $119.50


Unique Features: A hexagon-shaped clubhead creates a high moment of inertia to produce straighter shots, especially on miss hits. Extra weight placed low in the back corners of the head prevents the club from twisting and creates a higher trajectory for greater carry and distance.

Tester Comments: Not the best looking but good trouble club. It has various trajectory benefits and is great out of the rough … Good product, fine value … Strange looking but does the job at a great price.


Lofts: 17, 20, 23, 26 degrees.
            Mizuno MX-700
 • $160


Unique Features: A strong, lightweight steel face is plasma-welded to a stainless steel body in order to expand the “hot” area of the clubface. A drop-down crown design helps lower the club’s center of gravity and allows the lie and loft to be adjusted.

Tester Comments: Lined up very square and ball flight was straight but not overly high … Very easy to hit out of any lie I tried.


Lofts: 13, 14, 15.5, 17, 18.5, 20, 21.5, 23, 24.5, 26 degrees.
            Nickent 5DX


Unique Features: Wings on the back of the clubhead optimize the center of gravity and increase the moment of inertia for superior forgiveness. A lightweight face is thicker in the middle and thinner on the edges for a more consistent ball speed. Two tungsten-polymer inserts and custom aluminum or tungsten weight plugs on the clubhead help create greater MOI for stability.

Tester Comments: Incredibly solid feel and very long  … A little boxy looking but every forgiving and very straight … The 5DX is a great club it does everything they say it would, a nice deep penetrating long ball flight.


Lofts: 17, 20, 23, 27, 31 degrees.
            Ping G15
 • $160


Unique Features: The club is engineered as a high-launch, “forgiving” alternative to long and mid irons. A large internal toe pad expands the perimeter weighting to make the club more forgiving and long. The shape of the clubhead features an iron-style face and a hosel design that positions the center of the gravity closer to the face to increase launch angle and produce spin.

Tester Comments: Easy to hit with great distance … easiest club I have ever hit from deep rough to excellent lies in the fairway …


Lofts: 17, 20, 23 degrees.
            Ping i15
 • $180


Unique Features: The traditional-looking stainless steel clubhead offers a high moment of inertia with a “tour-preferred” trajectory. Weight has been moved low and back to produce penetrating ball fight and control when hitting shots from a variety of lies.

Tester Comments: This slides through the turf unlike any hybrid I have hit before …  Great sleek design that sits very square behind the ball.


Lofts: 17, 19, 23 degrees.
            TaylorMade Rescue TP09
 • $199


Unique Features: The face angle, loft and lie angle can be changed to eight different positions on the club. A low-friction sole reduces drag and increases playability. An ultra-thin wall moves weight throughout the club for better distribution and forgiveness. An exceptionally low center of gravity makes it easier to launch the ball high and long.

Tester Comments: Very forgiving, exceptional accuracy and excellent ball flight … Great look, much less clunky than other hybrids and more like an iron than fairway … Easy to hit high and great distance control, this is best I tried.


Lofts: 15, 17, 19, 21, 24 degrees.
            Titleist 909H
 • $190


Unique Features: The face is larger than previous Titleist hybrids to provide greater forgiveness on miss hits. A factory-adjustable swing weight screw in the back of the sole allows the club to be customized to the player’s needs. A low, deep center of gravity helps get the ball airborne.

Tester Comments: A player’s hybrid. You can shape the ball both ways and keep the trajectory down if you want. Great club … This is pro quality equipment. You won’t go wrong here.


Lofts: 16, 18, 21, 24 degrees.
            Tour Edge
            Exotics XCG-V

 • $250


Unique Features: The lightweight, V-shaped titanium clubface is brazed to a heavy steel soleplate, which allows the moving of weight in the clubhead to the rear of the heel and toe for a higher moment of inertia and improved launch conditions.

Tester Comments: Comes off face hot and just barrels towards target … Ball flight not as high as I would like, but distance is great … Probably longest hybrid I tested.


Player’s Choice Awards     WEDGES

Best Appearance
Mizuno X 700
TaylorMade TP Rescue 09
Titleist 909H


Best Forgiveness
        Callaway FT
        Nickent 5DX


Best Playability
        Adams A7
        Ping i15
        TaylorMade TP Rescue 09
        Titleist 909H

Best Feel
Cobra Baffler TWS
Ping i15
TaylorMade TP Rescue 09


Best Distance
        Adams Tech a4
        Cleveland Launcher
        Mizuno X-700
        Tour Edge Exotics XGC-V


Best Value
        Cobra Baffler TWS
    Nickent 5DX IW

Best Overall
        Adams A7
      Ping i15
    TaylorMade TP Rescue 09