2014 Buyer's Guide Woods
Hybrid technology is right up there with fairway woods
|Unsung-Heros | HYBRIDS|
Adams GolfKey Features: The folks over at Adams Golf claim this year's Idea to be its friendliest hybrid ever, thanks to some cool Cut-Thru Slot tech and an upside-down approach to head shape. This lowers the CG considerably, making it a cinch to get the ball airborne.
Wow Factor: They really are super-easy to hit. They're not hybrids for shaping shots, but they work for getting the ball up and in the air with added spin and a high launch. Hey, it's a lot easier than hitting a 3-iron from the rough with these bad boys.
Specs: Six lofts (16.5°, 19°, 22°, 25°, 28°, 32°), with an MRC Bassara Eagle Series graphite shaft.
adamsgolf.com | $169
Adams GolfKey Features: A titanium face brazed with a steel body and Cut-Thru Slot tech (a channel behind the face on the crown and sole) make it Adams' most tech-savvy hybrid. The face has a progressive thickness (a first in hybrids) and a hosel that's adjustable for a fine-tuned fit.
Wow Factor: This hybrid is what it looks like when everything including the kitchen sink is thrown at it. It's insanely long for a hybrid—we like that, but it means using more loft. Again, not a problem, but something to remember when wielding this bad boy.
Specs: Five lofts (16°, 18°, 20°, 23°, 26°), with a Matrix Ozik Red Tie graphite shaft.
callawaygolf.com | $229
Bobby JonesKey Features: Retaining the versatile shaping of previous Bobby Jones hybrids, these new sticks feature a new cupface design, which reduces spin by up to 700 rpms. That's a big deal for creating maximum distance and for helping you hit the ball a lot straighter.
Wow Factor: A fitter can adjust the lie angle (we did that) for a hybrid that sets up perfectly for your swing. Also, the triangle shaping makes it easier to hit shots from just about anywhere on the golf course. Thick rough or tight fairway, these hybrids are easy to hit, plain and simple.
Specs: Five lofts (18°, 21°, 25°, 30°, 35°), with a Graphite Design G-Series shaft.
bobbyjones.com | $199
Callaway GolfKey Features: Made to mimic the look and feel of the woods and driver bearing the same name, the X2 hybrids have a Hyper Speed Forged Face Cup. So? That means big distance with a huge sweet spot for more forgiveness.
Wow Factor: The face cup is a big deal, but we're jazzed about the Tour-inspired, no-nonsense shaping. It looks like it's easy to use from just about anywhere. The Pro version is similar, only a little more compact and with a spiffy Aldila Tour Green graphite shaft. Both embody a whole new 'tude from the folks down at Callaway. We love what they're up to.
Specs: Four lofts (19°, 22°, 25°, 28°), with an X2 Hot Ultralite graphite shaft.
callawaygolf.com | $199
Cleveland GolfKey Features: Clean aesthetics with a variable face thickness (it's thinner around the perimeter for more springiness) and Gliderail technology keep the club stable through the turf, sand or whatever you throw at it.
Wow Factor: They're really easy to hit. And we like that because hybrids, first and foremost, should be. We were surprised at how high the ball launched, too, which makes this hybrid an ideal choice for the player who needs help, but doesn't want to succumb to a radical design. Cleveland is keeping it classy. We like that, too. (We like a lot of things about the folks at Cleveland. They're a great bunch.)
Specs: Four lofts (18°, 20.5°, 23°, 26°), with a Matrix Ozik Altus graphite shaft
clevelandgolf.com | $169
Cobra GolfKey Features: The adjustable MYFLY8 technology ensures a custom fit, and the driver-like face construction promises big distance. Tack on a low CG and a high MOI, and you have yourself an awesome hybrid!
Wow Factor: Like the woods and driver, we love the color assortments. But don't be fooled, this is a player's hybrid and
shaping shots is quite doable. It's easy to adjust and get tuned or to do what you want it to do—fly high, low, with a draw or a fade. You can hit almost any type of shot with these beauties. (And you'll look fashion-forward doing it.)
Specs: Three models (2-3H, 3-4H, 4-5H) that combine for a variety of lofts, with a Cobra BiO CELL graphite shaft.
cobragolf.com | $219
A common mistake many golfers make with hybrid shots is that they feel the need to hit up on the ball. In actuality, you want to play a hybrid like you would a middle iron and make contact with the ball using a descending blow. The best way to ensure you do this is to maintain some forward shaft lean through impact. If you hang back, you'll either hit the shot fat or thin, so don't be afraid to make a divot after you make contact with the ball. Don't worry, your hybrid can withstand it!
Remember, play your hybrid more like a middle iron and don't be afraid to hit down on the ball. You'll see better shots in no time.
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