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 »  Home  »  Equipment  »  Play Testing  »  Hydrids  »  Our Readers Test the Latest Hybrids for 2012
Our Readers Test the Latest Hybrids for 2012
By Tom Landers | Published  04/18/2012 | Hydrids | Unrated
Our Readers Test the Latest Hybrids for 2012

Hot Hybrids for Your Game

There is a simple reason why hybrids have become so popular with golfers of all abilities…they work!
  “Hybrids serve normal golfers in two ways; to advance the ball 170 to 230 yards from a good lie (their design makes it friendlier than a long iron); and to advance the ball from a bad lie,” says Tom Stites, director of club creation for   for Nike Golf. “The lengths and the clubhead’s mass properties must be specific for the above objectives.”
  Stites says today’s hybrids feature key design elements, such as improved sole design, face height and center of mass/gravity.
  “The geometries that make these objectives possible usually include a small, low profile body design with heavy loaded mass under the contact point of the ball no matter the lie. These types of clubs offer most golfers the best hope for performance versus irons and that is a trend that will continue into the near and distant future. We will also experience more customization but the fundamentals will remain the same.”
  As Stites said, hybrids are ideal as a replacements for hard-to-hit long irons, and can be used from a variety of turf conditions and lies. The club can be employed for long shots from difficult rough and for nearly any shot where the golfer would normally use a long iron but feels uncomfortable doing so. And they can be replacements for fairway woods in many situations.
  Hybrids are designed to swing and perform almost exactly like irons, except that added weight slows clubhead speed and increases force applied at a given club speed, allowing the hybrid to cut through turf with more momentum at contact.
  Often, hybrids are inserted into iron sets, normally called “combo” sets, where several hybrids replace longer irons and are grouped with traditional irons for higher lofted clubs.
  Hybrids have also become popular for shots on the edges of greens, with the player using a hybrid to perform a pitch-style chip. By assuming the player’s typical putting stance and grip, a ball can be bumped onto the green with a low trajectory where it will then run out like a putt.
Ok, let’s check out today’s hottest hybrids on the market.



Adams IDEA a12 / A12OS • $170

Unique Features: The Velocity Slot technology in the a12 hybrid creates a spring-like effect across the entire face of the club to increase forgiveness and improve launch conditions. The hotter face and penetrating ball flight provided by the Velocity Slot Technology also produces increased distance. A slot on the crown and sole improves ball speed. The a12 OS hybrid  is substantially more forgiving.


Tester Comments: The face of this club is SUPER hot and the ball jumps like nothing else in my bag … The overall look of the A12 is so pretty to look at … Stable at impact, excellent out of the rough, laser like ball flight that sticks to the green on impact.

Adams IDEA Pro a12 • $170

Unique Features:  The IDEA Pro a12 has been designed with a hot face constructed of maraging steel producing higher ball speeds and a penetrating ball flight. The sole has been optimized with a steel skid plate and a flush-mounted weight screw that reduces the amount of turf interaction for better playability.

Tester Comments: Very solid feel when hit well. Smaller head leaves room open for error … The weight of the club makes it feel more like an iron than the other hybrids … Distance is ok, but since it is straight I’ll take

Adams Speedline Super XTD • $300
Unique Features:  Adams says its Speedline Super XTD is a driver in a hybrid body, featuring a new multi-material construction technology that brazes a titanium face and crown to a stainless steel sole to produce a hybrid with the performance of today’s drivers. It has the highest CT-240-and has the lowest center of gravity in a hybrid, increasing ball speed and lowering spin rate.

Tester Comments:I like the little larger size of the head and it is easy to draw or fade … The XTD is longer than other hybrids I tried … I made an eagle thanks to the shot I hit with the XTD on a five par when testing.

Bridgestone j40 Hybrid • $180

Unique Features:
The larger profile design of the J40 hybrid positions the center of gravity in an ideal location for higher launch, longer carry, and maximum distance. A stainless steel clubhead with a thinner crown allowed discretionary weight to be moved to the perimeter for added forgiveness, and a larger profile design positions the center of gravity in an ideal location for higher launch, longer carry, and maximum distance

Tester Comments: Playability is very good and you don’t have to be a 5 HDCP to play well with this set. … These are lasers. Simply aim and shoot … The feel is like blades the forgiveness is like cast and the distance is explosive.

Cobra AMP • $190

Unique Features: The AMP Hybrid has Adjustable Flight Technology that creates a workable hybrid that delivers distance and accuracy. Three face-angle settings (open, neutral and closed) optimize ball flight for increased distance and improved accuracy, and a deeper, high strength steel face promotes long, penetrating ball flight. A deeper, maraging high-strength steel face produces long, penetrating ball flights from the center of the fairway or the rough.

Tester Comments: Love the orange grip and coloring of club, it just screams cool and confidence … The stock RIP shaft generated a lower trajectory. Very smooth shaft. Very true to flex … Best hybrids Cobra has made, as good as anything on the market and there is a cool factor with these.

Cobra Baffler T-Rail • $160

Unique Features: Rails on the Baffler T-Rail help improve turf interaction, and tungsten inserts are designed to increase the center of gravity-lowering effects of the rail. A thin, high-strength steel in the face is meant to increase ball speed. The T-Rail has a shallower face and deeper clubhead than its predecessor for high, penetrating ball flight. A shallower face and new oversized profile create also create a higher launch and allowed for 10 percent of the weight to be strategically repositioned low and back.

Tester Comments: s easy to hit out of the rough as any club I have ever tried … I can hit it as well as my fairway woods … It sets up very square and the offset keeps the ball flying straight

Excel Golf
  Zero Friction Advantage
• $145

Unique Features: This 24-degree loft hybrid makes it easier to get the ball out of the rough and from difficult fairway lies. An ultra-sleek design also features a tungsten copper sole weight and PDV technology, creating the same features as the ZFAdvantage Fairway Wood. ZFAdvantage clubs are available in black and white, and feature an extremely durable finish.

Tester Comments: Good Value, Easy to Use, Lightweight, Good Aesthetics … Good value and a solid performer. I did find that it was a reliable performer and worked as advertised.

Mizuno MP Fli-Hi DLR • $130

Unique Features: The MP Fli-Hi was created as a direct replacement for difficult to hit long irons. Each MP Fli-Hi can be fitted and included within any and all iron set make-ups. The construction of the MP Fli-Hi is created by plasma welding a thin, hot, ES230 maraging steel face to a high-tech stainless steel body. This delivers high and consistent COR numbers, which translate into increased ball speed off the face and superior distance.

Tester Comments: Very easy to hit and they get the ball in the air on all hits even off center … The Fli-Hi’s resemble an iron in many ways, Mizuno calls them Direct Long Iron Replacements … I really like hybrids of this type and the price point on these are just right.

Nike VR S • $160

Unique Features: The face insert on the VR S is made from a high-strength steel alloy (twice the impact resistance of 17-4 stainless steel) to increase ball speed. An insert’s new variable-thickness pattern and its L shape (the bottom of the face extends into the sole) are designed to increase flexibility. The club produces easier launch and farther flight due to Nexcor Face Technology and a compact aerodynamic design.

Tester Comments: The ball flight is penetrating, and the feel is great … Workability, distance, forgiveness, quality and good looks … Design allows me to hit the ball high when I need to; yet knock it down into the wind, great club.

Nike VR Pro • $170

Unique Features: The VR Pro closely matches the profile of the company’s VR Pro irons for a seamless look at address. It features a 21 percent hotter face than previous VR hybrids. Full Compression Channel technology along with variable face thickness increases speed off the face for greater distance and control. A Variable Sole Camber is flatter on longer clubs for tighter lies and deeper on higher lofts for more shot options to guide the club through impact without interference from turf.

Tester Comments: This club is very forgiving on miss-hits and goes a “country mile”. Excellent out of the rough … A hybrid club that you can hit and trust every time, Nike got it right when they designed this club.

Ping G20 • $159

Unique Features: The hosel axis on the G20 is more forward than in traditional hybrids, increasing its distance from the center of gravity location for a higher launch angle. It also keeps the center of gravity closer to the face to reduce spin. The bounce and camber on the club have been increased from previous models to improve turf interaction. By adding bounce and increasing sole camber both front to back and heel to toe, the G20’s square setup and a neutral head rotation helps bring the clubface straight 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.


Ping i20
     • $189
Unique Features: Relative to the G20 hybrid, the i20 has a 48 percent lower moment of inertia about the shaft axis, allowing for more workability. It’s also shorter from toe to heel to help with shots from the rough, but there’s more surface area low on the face to improve forgiveness on thin shots. The club has a small, compact head shape that is neutral and sets up square for easy alignment. A dramatic matte-black finish on the i20s eliminates glare and reflections to help golfers focus, on the shot.


Tester Comments: Easy to line up, great weighting and feels very solid off the face … Ball goes straight and far with a Medium/High launch … This may be the best looking hybrid I have seen.


TaylorMade  Rescue R11
     • $190
Unique Features: The Rescue 11 features Flight Control Technology that allows the user to adjust the club’s face, loft and lie for each shot, while a lower center of gravity produces higher launches. It has a new deeper face, which produces a more penetrating flight. The white non-glare crown and black clubface, which provides easy alignment, will improve set up, and a sleek white finish makes it easy to square the ball with the clubface.


Tester Comments: If I could sum up this club in one word, it would be “smooth”. It doesn’t take much to get the ball going. I just feel in total control when I swing them … These hybrids have a nice “ping” sound to them when hit flush, and results were pretty consistent … Easy to adjust, easy to hit well, great hybrid.


TaylorMade  Rbz/RBZ TOUR
 • $180
Unique Features: Like the entire RocketBallz family, the RBZ and RBZ Tour Rescues are built to launch higher and fly longer. A “Speed Pocket” in the sole provides an increase in the trampoline effect similar to numbers only found in drivers, boosting ball speed dramatically, while a Thick-Thin Crown design along with a low and forward center of gravity promotes higher launch…all of this translates to more distance.


Tester Comments: These clubs absolutely launch the ball … The weighting and balance are exceptional, it really does feel like an iron -- until you see the ball flight! I can’t wait to take these clubs out on the course … High quality, well balanced feels like an iron, exceptional distance, beautiful look w/ white matte head.


Titleist 910H •   $229

      Unique Features: The head profile, offset and center of gravity locations in the 910H differ with each loft to optimize trajectory and spin. The club also comes with an adjustable hosel, allowing for 16 settings that tweak loft and lie independent of one another. A redesigned head helps generate higher launch with less spin for greater control and consistency. A sloped, ultra-thin crown design and an on-axis rear weight screw create a low and deep center of gravity.


Tester Comments: T This club is awesome, feels and sounds like a 3wood, easy to hit from any lie, a bit pricy but a worth it … The ability to change lie and loft is great … Titleist’s adjustment technology in the 910 series of clubs is superior to any of the competition


Tour Edge Exotics XCG5
     • $200
Unique Features:The tungsten-steel body and sole on the Exotics XCG5 allow for a lower and deeper center of gravity to help launch the ball higher. A maraging-steel cupface is used to reduce spin and increase ball speed. The sole has a sharp radius to improve turf interaction. The body is slightly shorter from face to back for greater workability. And two internal weight pads improve sound, feel and the center of gravity location for a more pure energy transfer at impact.


Tester Comments:  From firm hardpan to deep rough and tight lies this club just works … Clean, classically-shaped head with square face … One of the best sounding clubs I hit … Very Workable and fairly forgiving, sole design is excellent from all lies.


Tour Edge Bazooka HT Max-D
     • $99

Unique Features:  This features two internal weight cavities in the heel and toe that lower the center of gravity and move it deeper in the club head for a high launch and great forgiveness. An ultra-thin, forged face, compliments of Crown-Pull technology,  minimizes thickness and maximizes strength. Add a steel head with an oversized sweet spot, and you have a hybrid that is capable of delivering consistent and accurate shots.


Tester Comments:  Nice forgiveness and easy to get the ball airborne … This is a great hybrid for a higher handicap golfer or a new golfer looking for a good value hybrid


Warrior Tomahawk
                Free just pay S&H on Warrior web site
Unique Features: Warrior Tomahawk Hybrid Irons come in 16-, 19-, 22- and 25-degree lofts. According to the Warrior Custom Golf website, the hybrid irons feature mass-transfer technology, which distributes weight evenly throughout the clubhead for better control of your swing. The Tomahawk series has a low-profile clubhead design and an enlarged sweet spot, providing more forgiveness on mishits.


Tester Comments:  Well this is surely a club for the price! Practically free … Was surprised that this is as good as any hybrid I tried, did not expect that … Not as long as others, but a solid club


Wilson  Fybrid RS
 • $70
Unique Features: The 19.5-degree Fybrid RS is designed to transition between fairway woods and hybrids. All clubs feature a three-zone face structure that is thinner in the low heel and toe for off-center speed, but also tapers from a thick low-center section to a thin high-center section. This line of fairway utilities fuses fairway woods and hybrids into a single family, allowing golfers to build proper distance gapping into their games.


Tester Comments: The distance wasn’t overwhelming, but it was incredibly easy to hit and flew very high … Looks good behind the ball however relatively oversized compared with other hybrid … From the tee, rough and bad lies the FYbrid RS was very forgiving and the higher lofted versions are great clubs to use in the rough.


Player’s Choice Awards

Best Appearance
        Bridgestone J40
        TaylorMade Rescue11
        Titleist 910h


Best Forgiveness
            Adams a12 /a12OS
            Adams Super XTD
            Ping G20
            TaylorMade RBZ / RBZ Tour


Best Feel
            Nike VR Pro
            Ping i20
            TaylorMade Rescue11
            Titleist 910h
          Tour Edge Exotics XCG5





Best Consistency
Adams a12 /a12OS
Cobra Baffler T-Rail
Ping i20
TaylorMade Rescue11
Titleist 910h


Best Distance
          Adams Super XTD
          TaylorMade RBZ / RBZ Tour
          Tour Edge Exotics XCG


Best Overall
          Adams a12 /a12OS
          Adams Super XTD
          Nike VR Pro
          Ping i20
          TaylorMade Rescue11
          TaylorMade RBZ
          Titleist 910h
        Tour Edge Exotics XCG5