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Want a custom wedge? Cleveland, Vokey and Hopkins have you covered

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If you’re the type of grinder who likes to work on wedges as much in your garage as you do on the course, three wedge companies have websites that allow you to custom build your wedges, saving you a few steps in your home workshop.

Check out the custom wedge options from respected wedge makers Cleveland and Vokey, as well as the new kid on the block, Hopkins Golf.

Cleveland MyCustomWedge 2.0

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Cleveland recently announced the launch of its MyCustomWedge 2.0 website. Customers tour the user-friendly interface, selecting from 10 wedge lofts (five for lefties) and two different finishes.

The first step in the Cleveland process is the selection of hand (right or left) and finish (Black Pearl or RTG). The Black Pearl preserves its ebony appearance and is able to accomodate one of Cleveland’s skins (more on that later), while the RTG, a raw look, will rust as time passes. The base price of these wedges, with no upgrades, is $149.

If you want one or more of Cleveland’s four custom grinds — trailing edge, front sole, heel or toe — you must select the RTG finish. Regardless of how many custom grinds you choose, the option costs a flat rate of $30.

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 7.09.53 PM

At step two, you select two standard logos. One goes on the back corner of the wedge, while the other gets stamped in the center of the wedge back. The corner logo options are:

  • CG Tour Action
  • Authentic 1988
  • Rotex Face (The company’s directionally milled face pattern)

Center back logo possibilities are:

  • Custom
  • Reg. 588
  • 588 RTX

Whether you select a corner logo, a center logo or both, the option adds $15 to the cost of the wedge. For another $15, a third stamping of up to 10 letters of your choosing is available, situated in the center-middle of the wedge.

In step two, you can also choose the paint fill colors for all stamped words and logos, along with the skin option for the Black Pearl finish.

If you want your stampings to stand out against the dark color of the Black Pearl, choose lighter and brighter paint fill colors. If you’re a bit of a maverick and want to add more flair to your wedge back, consider the five skin options:

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 7.15.16 PM

Above: A custom wedge we designed with Cleveland’s “Burst” skin.

  • Argo (Think diamonds, diagonal lines and shades of grey).
  • Camo (Reminds me of a Risk game board, except all the countries have started to disintegrate).
  • Checkered (A little bit like Argo, but the parallelograms and diamonds have been straightened).
  • Burst (Twilight Zone, hypnosis, Han Solo warp speed…you get the idea, right?).
  • Cropped Loft (Sorta hipster, sorta Cal cool — your wedge loft spelled out, coming in from behind the toe).

Any one of that quintet will separate your blades from the bunch. Since we would need a thousand words to describe each picture, your best bet is to check the skins yourself and invest the $30 if that’s your thing.

Step three, believe it or not, adds even more options to the brew. At this stage, you choose your shaft (24 options, ranging from $0 to $70). And if you decide you’d like a True Temper Tour Concept wedge shaft, you can choose from 58 different collegiate shaft patterns.

MyCustomWedge also offers 18 varieties of shaft lengths (from +/- 2 inches, as well as uncut), six lie options and even a loft modification (where you can jack the loft of your wedge up or down by 2 degrees). You can also choose from 25 different grip options.

Head spinning yet? I told you it was for grinders! The end of the process has arrived, so after you share your wedge’s look on social media and save it to the Cleveland site gallery, it’s on to the checkout line.

Vokey “Hand Ground”

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Vokey’s high-end customization program, Hand Ground, gives golfers to opportunity to have a wedge made by Vokey’s professional wedge grinders — the same guys who make wedges for Titleist’s staff players.

The first stage of Hand Ground is to pick a wedge — golfers can choose four different grinds (E, M, T and V available in 58- and 60-degree models for righties and lefties). They then can further customize the shape of the wedge by selecting to have a “Square Toe,” “Straighter Leading Edge,” “Thinner Top Line,” “Pre-worn Leading Edge,” “Additional Heel Relief,” “Pro-Groove” or all of them.

014_HandGroundSlideShow_12

Above: A Vokey Hand ground with a V Grind, pre-worn leading edge and staircase stampings. 

Next, golfers can choose their stamping and engraving options, along with a style of shaft band and ferrule. They then choose from eight shaft options and 15 grip variations, as well as loft, lie and shaft length specifications.

Vokey offers the same 2-degree loft adjustment as Cleveland, but raises the bar by extending lie modification to 4 degrees upright or flat. Standard shaft length may be increased by an inch in either direction.

Regardless of the amount of options selected, all Hand Ground wedges cost $350. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, consider Vokey’s WedgeWorks program, which offers several special customizable Vokey models not available in stores such as TVD and 200 Series wedges for a base price of $160.

2012-wedgeworks-3

WedgeWorks options

A basic stamping package (four characters with choice of paint fill) costs $25, while the “Tour Package” (eight characters with choice of paint fill, choice of toe stamp and paint fill color, choice of shaft band) costs $60. If you want the snow package, a stamping pattern popularized by Rickie Fowler that includes stampings adrift like snow flakes on the back flange, that will set you back $60 (like the Tour Package, it also includes toe engraving and shaft band choices).

For those interested in a simpler wedge tune-up, Vokey also offers a WedgeWorks Services section, where more cosmetic details are attended.

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 7.32.37 PM

Vokey wedges are identifiable by a serial number stamped into the hosel. You need it and the model before proceeding with any of the custom enhancements. In this realm of conditioning and refurbishment, options get quite specific. Swing weight adjustments and laser shaft etching are two services not offered by other companies.

Hopkins Golf

hopkins-golf

By the time you get around to the new kid in town, Hopkins Golf, you’ll be a wizened, old hand at navigating wedge smithies. Greg Hopkins left Cleveland Golf to start his own wedge company and he left no attention to detail behind.

The Hopkins wedge engine starts off with determination of right or left hand, and male or female. From there, you decide if you want one, two or three wedges (sorry, no volume discounts — all wedges have a base price of $99.99), and then you pick from the six available wedge lofts that range from 50 to 60 degrees in 2-degree increments.

Where Hopkins wedges get interesting are at the grind options stage. Depending on the wedge lofts chosen, you can go in one of three directions. The Standard Full Sole is recommended for golfers who wish to have great flexibility, regardless of playing surface. For those who wish to forge their own path, Hopkins gives them complete reign over the horse, with seven grind options:

full_standard

Full Sole/Standard (available in all lofts)

  • Grind area: The full sole features a moderate sole width and camber, with a slight heel relief.
  • Bounce: With a medium effective bounce, this grind provides reliable and consistent contact and playability.
  • Player type: This most-forgiving grind is suitable for all players.
  • Turf conditions: This grind is recommended for normal turf conditions.
  • Special features: This grind is best for full shots, square-faced chips and standard bunkers.

heelNtoe

Heel/Toe (available in all lofts)

  • Grind area: The heel/toe grind features material removed in the heel, toe and along the trailing edge.
  • Bounce: This grind will play with a reduced effective bounce on both square- and open-faced shots as well as toe-down chips from bad lies.
  • Player type: This versatile grind is suitable for average-to-better players.
  • Turf conditions: This grind is recommended for normal turf conditions.
  • Special features: The three-surface relief reduces excessive digging and drag, making it effortless to get in and out of difficult turf and sand. The heel and trailing edge relief provide a low leading edge to ground height, for maximum versatility.

shelf

Shelf (available in 50-, 52-, 54- and 56-degree wedges)

  • Grind area: The shelf grind features a consistent relieved trailing edge that extends from heel to toe.
  • Bounce: The trailing edge relief provides a lower effective bounce for square-faced shots.
  • Player type: This grind is suitable for a wide range of players.
  • Turf conditions: This grind is recommended for normal-to-firm turf and sand conditions.
  • Special features: The shelf grind is perfect for full shots, long-distance sand shots, and chips around the green — especially in firmer conditions.

arc

Arc (available in 52-, 54- and 56- degree wedges)

  • Grind area: The arc grind features material removed from the center of the trailing edge as it tapers off towards the heel and toe, creating an arc.
  • Bounce: The narrow sole width in the center reduces the effective bounce on square shots. On open-faced shots, the maintained heel sole width provides a moderate bounce.
  • Player type: This grind is suitable for average-to-better players.
  • Turf conditions: This grind is recommended for normal to firm turf and sand conditions. This grind is also effective in deep rough.
  • Special features: The narrow sole width in the center reduces drag and turf interference, while the moderate heel sole width provides consistency and versatility needed for open-faced shots.

heel

Heel (available in 56-, 58- and 60- degree wedges)

  • Grind area: The heel grind features a generous grind in the heel portion of the wedge sole.
  • Bounce: With a medium effective bounce, this grind provides forgiveness and consistency on square-faced shots.
  • Player type: A tour favorite, this grind is suitable for a wide range of players.
  • Turf conditions: This grind is recommended for normal turf conditions.
  • Special features: A low-leading edge-to-ground factor allows for versatility on a variety of open-faced shots. The heel relief also prevents the heel from bouncing or skipping and the face from closing in tight lies and sand conditions.

channel

Channel (available in 56-, 58- and 60- degree wedges)

  • Grind area: The channel grind features material skillfully removed from the mid-section of the sole with a taper off towards the heel and toe.
  • Bounce: The mid-sole relief provides a reduced effective bounce on square-faced shots.
  • Player type: This grind is suitable for a wide range of players.
  • Turf conditions: This grind is recommended for normal-to-firm turf conditions. It’s also effective in soft sand and deep rough.
  • Special features: The effective bounce increases on open-faced shots, to resist digging as the channel compacts sand and grass — making it highly effective out of both firm or soft sand bunkers and deep rough.

wide

Wide Grind (available in 60-degree wedges)

  • Grind area: The wide grind features a wide sole width from heel to toe.
  • Bounce: The wide sole and low camber provide a moderate effective bounce.
  • Player type: This grind is suitable for a wide range of players.
  • Turf conditions: This grind is recommended for normal-to-soft turf conditions.
  • Special features: The wide grind is designed to produce a slightly higher ball flight for tight pins, small greens and buried lies in the sand. With a soft relief in the heel section and wide sole width, this grind is extremely forgiving out of the sand and high rough.

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 7.30.34 PM

Not that the “Select Own Grinds” option is anything to downplay, but it’s the third choice that provides great intrigue. Hopkins gets personal, at least with your standard playing region. The site divides the U.S. into 10 different regions, and defines each in terms of grass type and ground conditions. Using that information, the site recommends grinds that will play best in each region.

Where the Pacific Northwest (Region 1) might feature a blend of tall fescue and rye grasses, paired with persistent wet weather and soft ground conditions, the Mid-Belt of North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee (Region 7), offers a different challenge: inconsistent ground conditions coupled with a mixture of zoysia and bermuda grasses. For the northerner who travels south for the first time and faces the dilemma that is bermuda grass, wedge working takes on a new definition and test.

With the nuts and bolts nearly done, it’s time to pause and consider the decorative element — colors, engraving and stamping. Hopkins has found a way to provide a library of letters and symbols (the sky’s the limit) for the customer’s selection, along with five unique places (left, right and beneath Hopkins Golf, as well as the top and bottom of the wedge) for distinction. Personalizing stamping, either in the trendy random snowfall or precisely situated spots, is also available, also with particular character limits. All personalization carries an up-charge, albeit not an extravagant one.

Hopkins matches the other companies for alternatives in the grip, shaft and ferrule categories. Additionally, wedges may be bumped 2 degrees either way for loft, 3 degrees in each direction for lie and 2 inches in separate bearings for shaft length.

Hopkins is seeking a niche in the professional tour market by targeting the Champions Tour. It proclaims on its site that Hopkins wedges are the “fastest growing wedge on the Champions tour.” Smart move, since it worked for Adams golf (hybrids on the LPGA and Champions tours) and Volvik (golf balls on the Symetra and LPGA tours.)

Conclusions

Cleveland, Vokey and Hopkins all offer excellent packages for wedge detail and they should. They represent the top of the industry and work at wedges without distraction. The ability to go off-menu and purchase options a la carte is the most desirable component of any wedge enhancement package, seconded by reliable work and a hassle-free guarantee from the company. Confidence in your clubs runs the gamut from appearance to feel to performance. Once you have the look and the feel down, it’s easier to put in the practice time to develop the performance.

It’s nice to pimp your ride from time to time, so why not treat yourself by adding some swag to your wedges? Between you, me and Dave Pelz, they are THE most important clubs in your bag. After punching out or laying up, getting the ball up and down from the short grass, long grass or sand can mean skins, presses or your club championship. Look classy doing it, but do it!

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Sear Credit Card

    Sep 10, 2015 at 1:33 am

    Thank you for some other excellent post. Where else may just anyone get that kind of info in such
    an ideal method of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week,
    and I’m at the look for such info.

  2. Jonathan Dudley

    Jul 21, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Does anyone have any information on the best wedges in wet weather? I know that many companies have improved their grooves as of late and it makes a huge difference in wet weather.

  3. Ronald Montesano

    Aug 15, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Desmond, I will take a look. I knew that Edel was in to putters, so the wedges they produce are uncharted territory for me. Thanks for the tip and for reading.

  4. Desmond

    Aug 13, 2013 at 3:18 am

    Want a real custom wedge that works? Those come with a personal fitting. Try Edel.

  5. alifeinbalance.net

    Jul 31, 2013 at 2:21 am

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later. All the best

  6. It’s the body’s main way to detoxify all of the harmful substances that we constantly come in contact with, both by what we ingest and by way of the byproducts
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    Find out which salesperson within the organization
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  7. Ronald Montesano

    Jul 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Brandon, could not agree more. It’s one of those situations where you commit and hit the “submit design” button. Kind of like reading a putt. Thanks for following our work.

  8. Brandon Blahnik

    Jul 17, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    These are seriously so cool! I would probably change my mind on my design 4000 times though…

  9. Ronald Montesano

    Jul 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Thanks, Cheap Term Life Insurance For Senior!

  10. cheap term life insurance for seniors

    Jul 14, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I read this paragraph completely on the topic of the difference of latest and previous technologies, it’s awesome article.

  11. Ronald Montesano

    Jul 11, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Snap,
    I’d be suspicious, too. We don’t politic for anything, free or otherwise. Our commitment is to the viewer. Ping fits the bill for personal attention, but its website is not geared toward customer control in the same way that the three featured sites are. If you see my comment above this one, it goes into depth. Take care and thanks for reading!

  12. Ronald Montesano

    Jul 11, 2013 at 7:29 am

    And the names keep coming! With all the possibilities out there, we narrowed the focus of this article to three companies that not only have terrific custom wedge options, but also have a supremely-functional online engine that allows the customer to guide the boat. Thanks for all your input and observations. Keep the input and focus here on golfwrx.com.

  13. Snap Smith

    Jul 11, 2013 at 4:13 am

    Informative article on companies reviewed but the research seemed a little limited given the many other companies mentioned that also custom grind. You aren’t doing some politicking for some free wedges are you? (titter, titter) Here’s another one. PING has been custom grinding their wedges in their WRX Dept for years for any player not just pros well before the other OEMS. It doesn’t cost you an arm and leg either.

  14. Deaus7

    Jul 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Aside from the brands you already posted Edel is amazing as well, same design as James Patrick but not quite as pricy. I have a James patrick and an Edel wedge along with a set of EDEL irons and they are all amazing!!!!

  15. Ronald Montesano

    Jul 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    If they do, I’ll need to do a follow-up piece on Scratch, James Patrick and other wedge companies! Thanks, Michael. Keep commenting. We do appreciate it.

  16. Michael

    Jul 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    BTW, doesn’t Scratch Golf customize wedges too?

  17. Michael

    Jul 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    This is a great summary! I like how custom wedge adds a little bit personality to the bag. I really hope Callaway follows the same path cuz they certainly make some great wedges!

  18. Ronald Montesano

    Jul 10, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks for the lead, Woody. I’ll mention it to the editors. In the meantime, keep reading and giving us your thoughts and perspective.

  19. Woody

    Jul 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    If you really want a great custom wedge, look at James Patrick Golf. Some of the best wedges I’ve ever seen. He’s relatively new to the scene, but he’s an artist and really takes pride in his work. Really go check them out. http://www.jamespatrickgolf.com/home.html

  20. Ronald Montesano

    Jul 10, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Due to an incredibly busy (and rewarding) spring here in western New York, I played my first four complete rounds of golf of 2013 the last four days! A two-day tournament on Saturday-Sunday, an NYSGA state days event on Monday and a media day event on Tuesday. My wedges were easily the most important part of my game. I knew that all I had to do was get within 80 yards of the green in regulation and that I would have a putt at par. Having that confidence in your wedge game takes pressure off everything else! Thanks, Sean. Keep your thoughts coming.

  21. Sean

    Jul 9, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Terrific job Ron. Those are some great looking wedges with some really nice customizing option, but I’m very happy with my wedges with the ATV soles. I can pretty much do anything with them, and don’t have to worry about bounce or turf conditions.

  22. Ronald Montesano

    Jul 9, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Thanks, LB. This was an interesting piece on which to do research. What I found was that the engine experience of each company’s site was so streamlined, it made the process of designing/tricking out each wedge one of ease. It takes a while to get it right, but there were no real bumps in the road. Keep reading and keep commenting!

  23. LB

    Jul 9, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Really great job here Ron, nice summaries…

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Equipment

What GolfWRXers have spent more money on – Drivers vs Putters

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In our forums, WRXer ‘2down’ has got our members talking about their purchase history and whether drivers or putters have taken more of their money. For ‘2down’ the answer is putters, who has a respectable seven flat-sticks sitting around his home, and our members divulge their history with drivers slightly edging it so far.

  • getitdaily: “Putters, but I change drivers more frequently…how does that make sense? When I change putters I will go through 7-10 of them until I find my bride. Then I stick with my bride for a while. I’ve had 2 brides…an old scotty newport beach studio stainless. Took about 10 putters to find it and then played it for like 12 years. Current bride is a spider tour plumbers neck. It’s been in the bag for 1.5 years now. Took about 8 putters to get to it, including a somewhat long term relationship with a 2ball fang. Since 1996 I think I’ve had 10 drivers total. 4 in the last 4 years.”
  • platgof: “I would say 24 drivers and 12 putters thereabouts. Took a long time to find what I wanted. I am still looking all the time though, it’s a disease, totally incurable. Now it is the wedges, and the SM7’s have my eye for now!”
  • CDLgolf: “Thats a really good question. At the moment I have 4 putters and 2 drivers. Over the last 25 years I’d have to say I’ve bought more drivers.”
  • Ray Jackson: “Definitely drivers as have used the same putter for at least the last 5 years. In that time frame I’ve probably had 4 drivers.”
  • dekez: “Drivers for sure. I go 6 – 7 years before even thinking about a putter switch.”

Entire Thread: “Your history – Drivers vs Putters”

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Whats in the Bag

WITB Time Machine: Phil Mickelson WITB, 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open

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  • Equipment is accurate as of the Waste Management Phoenix Open (2016).

Driver: Callaway XR 16 Sub Zero (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Fubuki J 60 X (tipped 1 inch, 45.5 inches)

3-wood: Callaway X Hot 3 Deep (13 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Fubuki J 70 X (tipped 1.5 inches)

Hybrid: Callaway Apex (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S Hybrid 100 TX

Utility iron: Callaway Apex UT (21 degrees)
Shaft: KBS Tour-V 125

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro ’16 (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour-V 125

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind Wedge (56-13, 60-10, 64-10)
Shafts: KBS Tour-V 125

Putter: Odyssey “Phil Mickelson” Blade
Grip: Odyssey by SuperStroke JP40

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft (2016)

Grip: Golf Pride MCC Black/White

WITB Notes: Mickelson uses the rearward weight setting in his XR 16 Sub Zero driver.

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Equipment

Greatest Adams hybrids of all time

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It’s almost impossible that, over the past decade, you or someone you played golf with didn’t own an Adams hybrid. The fact that they can still be found in the bags of players on the PGA Tour demonstrates the kind of cult-like dedication some players have to those clubs.

They were in everyone’s bags—from low handicaps to golfers just trying to break 100. Simply, Adams was hybrids in the early-to-mid 2000s. In an age when many would still call them “cheater” or “old man” clubs, Adams pushed the envelope of design and ushered in a new era of small, workable-yet-forgiving, anti-left clubs.

Adams was also one of the first companies to do exclusive combo sets off the rack for better players with the initial Idea Pros and then later with the Idea Pro Golds. It’s a common practice now, but at the time it was revolutionary.

Here is a list of some of Adams’ all-time great hybrid designs.

Original Idea Pro – 2008

This is the one that started it all. After going through a number of tour issue prototypes leading up to the retail release, the Idea Pro had a lot of buzz, and it delivered. It wasn’t that other companies weren’t producing hybrids at the time, but the sheer popularity of the Adams outweighed what others had in the market thanks to it working its way to become the number one hybrid on the PGA Tour. It also came stock with an 80g Aldila VS Proto Hybrid shaft that was directly aimed at better players, and considering the aftermarket price of the shaft on its own, it made the Idea Pro a no brainer for those looking to replace harder-to-hit longer irons.

XTD – 2014

This was the final hybrid ever made by Adams and was packed with technology: all-titanium construction, crown, and sole slots for greater face deflection and ball speed—along with an adjustable hosel. TaylorMade had taken over ownership at this point and engineers at Adams took advantage by using the proprietary TaylorMade adjustable sleeve—this allowed for more shaft options for many golfers that had used TaylorMade hybrids in the past.

The entire XTD line from Adams was premium by design and from the driver to the hybrid, offered real-deal shafts and tight quality control. This is still a hard club to beat.

Idea XTD Super Hybrid Ti – 2012

You could argue the 2012 Super Hybrid XTD was the original bomber hybrid. Thanks to the multi-material titanium construction, it produced a higher-than-expected launch, along with exceptionally low spin. For faster players, this was a perfect control club off the tee and easily replaced a 5-wood (in the 19 degree). Don’t believe it? Check out this historic review from the GolfWRX Archives: GolfWRX.com – Adams Super Hybrid Review (2012)

Super 9031 – 2013

The Super 9031 was released the year after the original Idea Pro Blacks and featured an updated white paint job along with a technology upgrade that included both sole and crown slots for faster ball speeds compared to the original (hence the “Super” designation). It has a high toe, flatter lie angle, and open appearance from address—something better players love! Although I should attempt to be unbiased, I will admit that not only did I love these hybrids, but I still hold a place in one of my travel bags.

It’s not just me that has a sweet spot for the Super 9031, you can still find these in the bag of PGA Tour player Brian Gay.

Boxer A3 Idea – 2007

You might be wondering that after all of the others on the list, how the A3 earned its spot. Well, it’s quite simple. Just before the launch of the Idea Pro, the A3 and A3OS (oversized) were massive sellers at the retail level. The sets offered classicly shaped irons alongside easy-to-hit hybrid clubs into the longer clubs. Although never marketed towards better players, it did have a bit of a cult following to the point that even Vijay Singh was using one during the 2008 season in replacement of a 5-wood. They came stock with Grafalloy ProLaunch Red hybrid shafts and in both right and left-handed to outfit almost any player.

GolfWRXers, did you have any of these clubs? Check out the Cult Classic Clubs Discussion in the GolfWRX.com forums.

 

 

 

 

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