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Titleist 910H Hybrid Review

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Well, guys, I decided to go and try one of these Titleist 910h hybrids this past weekend. Went to the local shop and grabbed a demo 19* with the stock titleist ahina stiff. Took it to the course for 3 rounds this weekend. Here are my thoughts.

First, a little about me. I am a strong player, hovering around a 3 handicap at the moment. I’ll get up around an 8 hdcp in the fall and late summer, but my game is starting to come back into shape right now. I am a strong iron player, and am very good greenside. My putting is really coming around in the past year or so, as well. My main weakness is driving, though that seems to be improving, and my long approach game (long par 3s, attacking par 5s).

I am a HORRIBLE hybrid player. I am a digger by nature, and rely heavily on proper turf interaction with all of the clubs in my bag except the driver (which SHOULDN’T be interacting with the turf). I play all of my irons 1-2* upright, and I believe the upright lie angle is the real obstacle to me playing hybrids properly. They are all too flat, and all seem to twist in my hand when I impact the turf. The results have always been squirt draws that start way right and finish a little less way right, with unpredictable distances. Completely unplayable shot pattern for me, so I play 2 irons and knock down 3 woods from 205 and out, which frankly is not conducive to great long-game scoring.

Until now…..

The Club: 19* Titleist 910 h with Stock “Made for Titleist” Ahina (stiff).

Looks: The 910h is a very sharp looking club at address and in the bag. The all black finish hides the size, which appears to be a little bulkier than most of the players hybrids on the market, and significantly larger than the more recent Adams players hybrids that have come to market. Almost a slim, pear shaped profile at address. Fairway wood users will feel immediately comfortable. Those who prefer smaller hybrids may need some time to adjust. I personally found the size and the shape to be very appealing.

Performance: In a word, astounding. The adjustable technology was a huge plus for me in that it gave me the ability to adjust the lie angle. I cranked the lie angle of the demo club up the full 1.5* with the standard loft angle, and let her rip. Let me just say that I simply could not miss the center of the club face. Shot after shot after shot was hit dead on the screws right where I was aiming. I guess this is what people mean when they say hybrids are easy to hit! The lie angle was absolutely perfect, giving me none of the twisting and bouncing to which I have grown accustomed from most hybrids. For the most part, I took little or no turf, when I did, I was rewarded with a gentle divot, a little higher ball flight, and otherwise the same shot shape and distance. Did I mention that it was long? With the 19, I was getting 225-230 yards all day long. Any miss was just a very slight pull draw. We’re talking edge of the green type stuff from 220+ yards away. With my history with hybrids, I kept waiting for this thing to rear its ugly head, but it simply never did so. After 15-20 swings on course, I was absolutely sold on this thing.

As for the shaft, let me say that I had some reservations about the “made for” Ahina stiff. I have played the titleist “made for” offerings in the past, and had no doubt it would be a quality shaft. I have the extra stiff version in my 910D3 driver, and am getting along beautifully with it. My concern, really, was whether the stiff would stand up to my swing. I play x-stiff in every club in the bag, including the irons and wedges, and rarely find stiff flexes playable due to spin issues. This is particularly true in the hybrids, woods, and drivers, but there were no extra stiff demo shafts available, so I went with it. The shaft is solid as a rock! I’d like to try an extra stiff, but can play the stiff flex all day long. I was so impressed with the ahina hybrid shaft, in fact, that I went back to the shop after my morning round and took out a demo 910fd/ahina stiff and a stiff driver shaft, thinking perhaps that my driver and 3 wood play might also benefit from the stiff flex versions of this shaft. Sadly, those shafts were unplayable for me, but the hybrid is straight money – very playable, very user friendly.

Let me conclude by saying that I went to the shop that evening and purchased a 17* 910h/Ahina to replace my fw from the fairway, and have since purchased a matching 21* for long par 3s. I played the 17* on Sunday, with the lie cranked all the way upright, and the loft cranked as low as it would go (16.25* I believe) in an effort to turn it into a long hitting, par five killing, machine. I was every bit as impressed with it as I was the 19*. I rarely attack par 5s from anything over 215, as I simply do not have the fire power in the irons, nor the confidence in my previous hybrids and fw from the turf. I got off a nice drive on the first par five, and left myself 248 to a back pin placement. I hit two shots at it with the 17*, both carried onto the back of the green and finished behind the green with relatively simple eagle chips. Both shots had identical high trajectories with a tight little baby draw. Both were caught dead on the screws and covered in excess of 250 yards start to finish. I am fairly confident in saying that both shots were longer than any 3 wood I have ever hit off the deck. I am very anxious to try the 21* on some of the long, 200+ yard par 3s on my home course. If it is as user friendly as the 17 and 19, I can see picking up a stroke or two a round with these clubs due to the inevitable improvement of my long game. I’ll definitely keep you all posted.

As for the old classics, let me just say that I put a set of MP14s in the bag this weekend. I have been playing relatively well with my irons (Scratch SB-1s), but have been having some hand and elbow problems that I attribute to the KBS x shafts. I picked up a set of MP14s with dgx100s as an inexpensive experiment, and was absolutely blown away. I have never been able to use mizuno irons due to my digging tendencies, but these were fantastic through the turf. The feel was better than any iron I have played previously, and the traditional lofts gave such a great high, penetrating trajectory through the entire bag. I am absolutely smitten with these things, and can definitely see why they are considered classics by the blade using community.

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Hamish

    Dec 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Thanks for the review.
    I am a blade player 20yrs. I have had a shot with most out there. I am looking for some hybrids to replace my 3i & possibly 4 i. I am down to Titleist for the adjust-ability, and Tour Edge Exotics for the forgiveness of the cup face/heal toe weighting. (please comment).
    I am glad you have found some good blades. Just to mention my new Adams MB blades with tour issue Dynamic Gold S400 shafts are the best blades EVER!!!
    The low weight plugs CG reduce the harsh impact and the ball is ‘gone’ in a nice high Traj…landing to a dead stop. They fly through the turf like its not there, and are DEADLY accurate!
    These are Sooo good I pulled my wife’s A Flex 5i shaft out of her AP1’s and let her demo the club. She is nailing it. So off I build a A flex graphite set for her. These are better than my ’99 Ben Hogan Apex Blades, Mp33, 59, 30, 69, 63 & 690’s.
    P.S Dont get too stiff shafts in them 🙂

  2. Dark Elf

    Nov 9, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Well done. Stock stiff Ahina is money. 19*, loft up 1.5* to 20.5*, lie in the B4 position, .75 flat ala Adam Scott. I tried the stock Kaili shaft out of curiosity. Just didn’t have the smoothness and balance. Getting 3 wood distance. Just hit the 913 D2 9.5 in the B2 shaft position with the Diamana + White 72 x stiff shaft. Best driver I’ve hit. They have made subtle improvements from my 910 D2 and D3. I use the ADDI 6s and Rip’d NV 65s in the 910’s. The D+ 72x is surprisingly easy to hit for someone used to stiff. I ordered a D+ 62 X White at 67 grams to try out in my 910’s and at $119 shipped a killer deal. November 19 delivery date. My 2 cents.

  3. eksyau

    Sep 12, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Thanks for the review. I have just placed an order for a 910H 19degrees Reg ilima shaft. I’m not a long hitter and i can hit approx 170yds with my Callaway Big Bertha 24 degrees hybrid. I hope I could reach 190yds with the new club.

  4. archienc44

    Jul 14, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Bought the 27 degree and it’s really difficult to hit a “bad” shot with this club. I had been having trouble with my 4-5 iron shots so switched to this hybrid and still have the older TaylorMade Rescue 25 degree which I still love. I needed a club to carry 170 with a full swing. Half-swings or 3/4 swings for me don’t work out so well (except for wedges).

    The look of the 910H is very similar to the TaylorMade which I like since TM is going to the Rocketbalz nonsense which I don’t or can’t hit very well.

  5. yuki

    Jun 17, 2012 at 6:59 am

    hi there,

    thanks for the great write up. im in the market for a hybrid myself and im about to buy the 910H. i also use x-stiff shafts on all my clubs, so i wanted to know if you bought yours in stiff or x-stiff. it would be great if you could give me your thoughts on them.

    thanks!

  6. Pingback: Titleist 910H Hybrid Review | Augusta Blog

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Hybrid Reviews

Review: Callaway XR and XR Pro Hybrids

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Pros: The hottest hybrids in golf. The XR and XR Pro are also exceptionally well-rounded, with pleasing looks, feel and performance from the tee, fairway and rough.

Cons: Not adjustable.

Who are they for? Golfers who desire a more iron-like hybrid will likely prefer the XR Pro, whereas those seeking a slightly larger, more forgiving club that plays more like a fairway wood will find the standard XR a better fit.

The Review

Copy and paste. By that I mean, copy the review for the XR and XR Pro fairway woods and paste it right here. Everything I loved about the XR fairway woods applies to the hybrids, and the criticisms are nearly identical as well. Essentially, these clubs are long, forgiving and visually appealing. The only knock? No adjustability.

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Callaway’s XR and XR Pro (right) hybrids.

Sometimes an equipment manufacturer will redesign a product in hopes of invigorating sales. Sometimes the redesign provides tangible benefits for the player. With the XR and XR Pro hybrids, Callaway has done both.

A redesigned internal standing wave, which boosts MOI, a measure of ball speed retention on mishits, offers golfers more distance regardless of where they hit shots on the face. Couple that with a center of gravity that is as low as Callaway has ever engineered in a hybrid (for a higher launch and less spin), and you have one bad mama jama.

Generally, golfers who opt for a hybrid do so for one of two reasons. They either want a club that performs a lot like a long iron, but is more forgiving… or they want a club that launches high like a fairway wood, but offers more control. Either way, the XR series has you covered. In both on-course and launch monitor testing, both hybrids launched higher than previous models. So if you prefer to see a flatter ball flight, going down in loft or pairing the head with a lower-trajectory shaft will help.

I’ve never hit a hybrid so high while still maintaining an ideal trajectory. Don’t be shocked if you demo either club and find that it launches higher and carries farther than what’s currently in your bag — especially if you currently carry a long iron or driving iron.

With these hybrids, the sweet spot is gone. It’s more like the sweet zone. As long as you can make semi-solid contact, the results are acceptable. If you’re an above average ball striker, you’ll likely find your misses to be decidedly more consistent.

In testing, both clubs excelled as secondary options off the tee, and more than held their own from the ground — even in light and deep rough. That said, where both clubs differentiated themselves for me was on long approach shots or second shots into a par 5. Being able to hit a club high enough (and far enough) to hold a green from 220+ is something the XR series does better than any other hybrid I’ve tested.

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The XR and XR Pro (right) hybrids at address.

A note for better players: The smaller profile of the XR Pro is not indicative of its forgiveness. In fact, I found it to be pleasantly forgiving — much more so than other hybrids with similar shape and playing attributes. Ultimately, if you select the XR over the XR Pro it will be because the XR gave you better trajectory and distance numbers, not because one model was significantly more forgiving than the other. In fact, both models exhibit the holy grail of exceptional distance, hardy forgiveness and precise workability. It’s why no hybrid did better than the XR in GolfWRX’s 2015 Gear Trials: Best Hybrids List. 

The XR and XR Pro hybrids come in a variety of lofts. The XR Pro is offered in lofts of 16, 18, 20 and 23 degrees, whereas the XR is available in lofts of 19, 22, 25 and 28 degrees. Stock length on the 20-degree XR Pro is 40 inches, whereas stock length on the 19-degree XR is 40.5 inches. If you do get fitted and ultimately select one of these models, be sure to discuss length, as the iron you’re replacing is likely at least 0.5-inches shorter.

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The XR hybrid (bottom) has a larger face area than the XR Pro, making it slightly more forgiving.

For people who might only look at the number associated with the club (i.e. 3H = 19 degrees), caveat emptor. In testing, the 3 hybrid had carry distances closer to a 5 wood than a 3 iron. As such, if you’re looking to replace a specific iron, I’d suggest starting at a number one higher than the iron you’re looking to replace. Specifically, if you’re dropping a 3 iron, start by testing the 4 hybrid. In addition, I found the 19-degree XR hybrid to launch nearly identically to the 20-degree XR Pro, albeit with less spin. I can’t help but think that was intentional on the part of the Callaway engineers.

Again, I’d like to see both models with the same array of shafts, as some might look at the stock shaft in the XR and presume the club is geared toward slower-swinging or less demanding players. This simply isn’t true.

The Numbers

Head: Callaway XR (19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X LZ (Stiff)

  • Average Ball Speed: 145 mph
  • Average Backspin: 5400 rpm
  • Average Launch Angle 22 degrees
  • Average Carry Distance (at 5000 feet): 237 yards
  • Estimated Carry Distance at Sea Level: 214 yards

Head: Callaway XR Pro (20 degrees)
Shaft: Project X LZ Pro 6.0 (Stock)

  • Average Ball Speed: 145
  • Average Backspin: 5100 RPM
  • Average Launch Angle 21.5 degrees
  • Average Carry Distance (at 5000 feet): 239 yards
  • Estimated Carry Distance at Sea Level: 215 yards

Gamer Head: Callaway Alpha 815 (20 degrees)
Gamer Shaft: Veylix Rome 988 (Stiff)

  • Average Ball Speed 143.8 MPH
  • Average Backspin 4975 RPM
  • Average Launch Angle 19 degrees
  • Average Carry Distance (at 5000 feet): 238 yards
  • Estimated Carry Distance at Sea Level: 215 yards

The Takeaway

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Callaway’s XR Hybrids received top ratings for distance and forgiveness on GolfWRX’s 2015 Gear Trials: Best Hybrids List.

The XR and XR Pro hybrids from Callaway, with apologies to Tina Turner, are “simply the best” — at least for me. The lone shortcoming is a lack of adjustability, and depending on where you fall on this topic that may not be a significant weakness.

In describing the XR series, one quickly runs short of superlatives. Selecting either model as an upgrade to what’s currently in your bag is akin to throwing a rock into the ocean and hoping it gets wet. It’s nearly a can’t-miss proposition.

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Hybrid Reviews

2015 Gear Trials: Best Hybrids

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Following the trend of new drivers and fairway woods, hybrid clubs have become much lower spinning than their predecessors in recent years. It’s a change that has widened their target audience from golfers looking to replace their long irons with clubs that fly higher and stop quicker on the greens, to… just about any golfer.

How do you know if you should consider a new hybrid? If you’ve ever wished that your current long irons or hybrids carried farther, that’s a pretty good indication that an updated model could be good for your game.

Our 2015 Gear Trials: Best Hybrids are plenty long, but they’re also very forgiving. So even if you’re not interested in hitting your clubs farther, you could still find more consistency from one of the six models below.

The Winners

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The clubs and subsequent ratings were selected by our Gear Trials Panel, six of the top-rated custom golf clubs fitters in the world. Our 2015 Gear Trials Panel includes:

Learn more about our Gear Trials: Best Clubs Lists

The Ratings

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While reviewing each of the 2015 Best Hybrids below, remember the purpose of the clubs. They bridge the gap between a golfer’s shortest fairway wood and the longest iron they can hit consistently. Some golfers can make that transition without a hybrid, while others may need several hybrids.

The best way to learn if a hybrid is good for you, or how many hybrids you might need, is to go through a professional fitting — but if that’s not an option for you, you can use our rating to your advantage. The hybrids that scored highest in our Distance Ratings tend to work best for golfers looking to shed spin, while the clubs that score high in our Forgiveness Ratings tend to be more consistent on mishits.

Along with our six winners, we’ve also listed three lower-spinning alternatives: Callaway’s XR Pro, TaylorMade’s AeroBurner TP and Titleist’s 915Hd. These clubs will work best for a smaller percentage of golfers than our six best hybrids, but they’re fueled by the same technologies as our winners.

Note: The list below is in alphabetical order.

Callaway Big Bertha

geartrials_slider_hybrids_callawaybigbertha

  • Headsize: 126cc (3 hybrid)
  • Adjustable Hosel: Yes, 3-degree range
  • Price: $249.99

You might be surprised to see Callaway’s Big Bertha hybrids, which were released alongside the company’s Big Bertha irons in the Fall of 2014, make our list. If so, you probably haven’t hit them.

[quote_box_center]”The Big Bertha is hard to miss,” said one of our Gear Trials Panelists. [/quote_box_center]

The reason to play a Big Bertha hybrid over the higher-rated XR hybrids are:

  1. Their larger size, which makes them appear more fairway wood-like than any other hybrid on this list.
  2. They’re adjustable, which allows golfers to dial in the exact loft and lie angle they need to get the most out of the clubs.

Like the XR hybrids, the Big Bertha hybrids use Callaway’s Hyper Speed Face cups to boost their ball speeds and forgiveness. They’re slightly higher-spinning than the XR, however, which will work very well for their target audience of slower swing speed golfers. But higher swing speed players shouldn’t count them out — particularly the 3 hybrid when adjusted to 18 degrees.

The Big Bertha hybrids are offered in lofts of 19, 22, 25, 28 and 32 degrees.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://www.callawaygolf.com/golf-clubs/hybrids-2015-big-bertha.html” oemtext=”Buy it from Callaway” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NURXJHG/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00NURXJHG&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=AJVRSOTPPURINDGU”]

Callaway XR

geartrials_slider_hybrids_callawayxr

  • Headsize: 122cc (3 hybrid)
  • Adjustable Hosel: No
  • Price: $219.99

Callaway’s XR is likely the longest hybrid on this list, receiving the highest possible rating of 10 in distance, and thanks to Callaway’s slick engineering, it also ties for first in forgiveness (9.5) with Ping’s G30 hybrid.

[quote_box_center]”This should be the first hybrid you test,” said one of our Gear Trials Panelists. [/quote_box_center]

Like Callaway’s XR fairway woods, the XR hybrids set themselves apart from the competition with a mid-sized club head that offers a high launch, relatively low spin and more forgiveness than its predecessors. They’re offered in lofts of 19, 22, 25 and 28 degrees.

Our lone request for 2016: Can you make future models adjustable, Callaway?

Want a more iron-like hybrid? Callaway’s XR Pro hybrids ($229.99) measure a slim 98cc at 20 degrees, and offer a lower-spinning trajectory that many better players prefer from their hybrids. They’re offered in lofts of 16, 18, 20 and 23 degrees, but we recommend the 20- and 23-degree models in particular as 3- and 4-iron replacements. We wouldn’t be surprised if you carried them as far, if not farther, than your older, lower-lofted hybrids

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://www.callawaygolf.com/golf-clubs/hybrids-2015-xr.html” oemtext=”Buy it from Callaway” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QRJBY44/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00QRJBY44&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=TWFKUSUCISU34PQ7″]

Cobra Fly-Z

geartrials_slider_hybrids_cobrafly-z

  • Headsize: 105cc (3-4 hybrid)
  • Adjustable Hosel: Yes, 4-degree range
  • Price: $199.99

Cobra’s Fly-Z hybrid is sized like a better-player hybrid, but packs the forgiveness we’d expect from a larger model. That’s thanks to its rearward center of gravity (CG), which boosts consistency.

[quote_box_center]”Fly-Z, like [Cobra’s] Bio Cell last year, will still perform for the average player,” said one of our Gear Trials Panelists. [/quote_box_center]

If you’re a high-spin player, however, the Fly-Z might not be for you. It’s one of the highest-spinning models on this list, which is the reason for its relatively low Distance Rating (8).

Like the Fly-Z fairway woods, the strength of the Fly-Z hybrids is their versatility. They’re offered in three models: a 2-3 hybrid that adjusts from 16-19 degrees, a 3-4 hybrid that adjusts from 19-22 degrees and a 4-5 hybrid that adjusts from 22-25 degrees. Its wide-ranging adjustability is a great tool to have if you need to fill a specific yardage gap in your bag.

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Ping G30

geartrials_slider_hybrids_pingg30

  • Headsize: 110cc
  • Adjustable Hosel: No
  • Price: $229.99

[quote_box_center]”G30 gets the ball up in the air easy, and is on par with the G25 with slightly more ease to height,” said one of our Gear Trials Panelists.”[/quote_box_center]

The G30 hybrids use a new heat-treated 17-4 stainless steel face that boosts their characteristic time (CT), a measure of spring-like effect, 20 points higher than the G25 hybrids. They’re still not as long as other hybrids on this list, but they offer a noticeable improvement in ball speed over past G-Series hybrids, and with their similar trajectory that means they’ll likely carry a few yards farther for most golfers.

There’s no turbulators on the G30 hybrids, due to their smaller, more aerodynamic size, but the shape of the hybrids was tweaked from the G25 to include a flatter top rail and a higher heel section that gives them a more square appearance at address. We like the look, and see it as a change that will be enjoyed by the majority of golfers.

We wish the G30 hybrids were adjustable, but they are offered in five lofts: 17, 19, 22, 26 and 30 degrees. The higher-lofted models, because of the G30’s higher-spinning nature, are great for golfers looking for more stopping power on the greens, while the 17-degree model will be enjoyed by better players seeking a replacement for a pesky driving iron or a troublesome 4 or 5 wood.

TaylorMade AeroBurner

geartrials_slider_hybrids_aeroburner_v3

  • Headsize: 112cc (19 degrees)
  • Adjustable Hosel: No
  • Price: $229.99

What the AeroBurner lacks in forgiveness, it makes up for in horsepower. Golfers may or may not be able to hit it as far as Callaway’s XR, but the AeroBurner offers a unique shape that’s intriguing for those who haven’t found much success with traditional hybrid shapes. It’s also one of the highest-launching, if not the highest-launching hybrid on this list.

The calling card of the AeroBurner, however, is speed — from its Aerodynamic crown shape and its lighter weight, which will convert to more swing speed and more distance for some golfers. The AeroBurner hybrids are not adjustable, but they are available in lofts of 19, 22, 25 and 28 degrees.

Need more fade bias? TaylorMade’s AeroBurner TP hybrids ($269.99) offer golfers a more traditionally weighted hybrid. They’re the same size as the standard versions, but come with heavier heads and shafts that tend to give better players more control over trajectory. They also have a 2-degree flatter lie angle and a 1-degree more upright face angle that will please golfers who have struggled with the hybrid hooks in the past. They’re available in lofts of 19 and 22 degrees.

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Titleist 915H

geartrials_slider_titleist915H

  • Headsize: 118cc
  • Adjustable Hosel: Yes, 2.25-degree range
  • Price: $249.99

Looks aren’t a factor in our Best Hybrids list ratings, but if they were, Titleist’s 915H would likely be the winner.

The 915H’s pear-shaped head is large enough to inspire confidence, but not too large as to limit versatility. While the 915H is not the longest hybrid on this list, or the most forgiving, it’s great in both areas, and offers noticeably more ball speed than previous hybrids from Titleist thanks to the company’s new Active Recoil Channel — a deep slot that extends across the entirety of the club face. For that reason, we recommend trying a higher-lofted version of your current hybrid, if you carry one.

Titleist’s 915H is fully adjustable, and is available in lofts of 18, 21, 24 and 27 degrees. It comes stock with the best selection of stock shafts on this list: four “real deal” models from Aldila and Mitsubishi Rayon that are available in a wide range of weights, bend points and flexes.

Need less spin? Titleist’s 915Hd ($249.99) offers the same technology as the 915H hybrids, and is roughly 100-200 rpm lower spinning. It also has a slightly smaller club head (107cc) that many better players will prefer. The 915Hd hybrids are offered in lofts of 17.5, 20.5 and 23.5 degrees. We recommend the 20.5-degree model as a 3-iron replacement for better players looking for more carry distance and consistency.

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Hybrid Reviews

Review: Taylormade R15 and AeroBurner Hybrids

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Pros: The R15 and AeroBurner hybrids offer faster ball speeds and more distance than the SLDR or JetSpeed hybrids.

Cons: The smaller, peanut-shaped R15 might turn some golfers away who like to see more meat behind the ball. Like the driver and fairway woods, the AeroBurner offers no adjustability.

Who are they for: The R15 is aimed at better players looking for a more compact hybrid that still delivers fast ball speeds across the face. The AeroBurner is aimed at any golfer looking for more forgiveness and more ball speed from their hybrid, even on slight mishits.

The Review

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The moment you pick up an R15 hybrid, you’ll know that this club was built for versatility. The smaller, tour-inspired shape is designed to maximize playability from virtually any lie. I found the club to be equally good from tight lies, off a tee and out of the rough.

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At Address: A TaylorMade R15 hybrid (19 degrees).

The smaller shape, which better players will appreciate, sets up square behind the ball and like the fairway woods, feels like you’ve got a powerful, precision mallet in your hands. Even with the smaller footprint, an open channel at the front of the sole increases ball speeds across the face.

Like other hybrids on the market with adjustable hosels, the R15 also has a 3-degree loft sleeve, which allows golfers to optimize launch conditions. The standard setting promotes a neutral ball flight, something I confirmed during testing.

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The AeroBurner Rescue is a blend of performance and forgiveness. Like the other AeroBurner metal woods, the Rescue has an aerodynamic shape with a raised center crown, the company’s new hosel fin, and a low, forward center of gravity, all working together to deliver maximum speed and distance.

The sweet spot is up to twice as large as previous models thanks to an improved Speed Pocket and Thru-Slot technology, according to TaylorMade, and instead of trying to gain clubhead speed with a longer shaft, the AeroBurner hybrids actually have a shaft that is 0.5-inches shorter the company’s previous hybrids, which will give most golfers more control.

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At Address: TaylorMade’s AeroBurner Hybrid (22 degrees).

Unlike the R15, the Aeroburner Rescue is also available in 5 (25 degrees) and 6 (28 degrees), giving golfers the freedom to drop their 4, 5, and 6 irons from the bag and replace them with more forgiving and easier-to-hit clubs. Even if you want to keep your 4 and 5 irons in the bag, the AeroBurner might fill that gap giving you the chance to hit shots you might never have tried before.

Testing

To this point, I’ve been split between the R15 and AeroBurner metal woods, with the R15 driver and AeroBurner fairway woods performing the best for me during testing. As I always do, I started the testing at the driving range. Just as I saw with the fairway woods, the launch angle, distance and peak height of both clubs appeared to be slightly higher than my current gamer. This time however, the R15 was the stand out. The feel at impact, a stable, neutral-to-slight-draw shot shape, and good distance was exactly what I was hoping to see.

That said, the AeroBurner didn’t disappoint. The flight was slightly higher and with more draw bias, but the distance was extremely close.

Unfortunately the weather has been hit or miss in Georgia, so I had to complete my launch monitor testing indoors. I headed to Golfsmith Extreme in Smyrna, Ga., where I tested the R15 and AeroBurner hybrids with a GC2 launch monitor and an Ernest Sports ES14 Doppler-based launch monitor simultaneously using premium golf balls. To get comparison data, I also tested TaylorMade’s SLDR and JetSpeed hybrids from 2014.

The Numbers

R15_Chart
Launch monitor testing confirmed my initial impressions on the driving range that the R15 was outperforming the AeroBurmer, but not by much. In fact, the margin between these clubs when you look at the numbers alone is razor-sharp.

The R15 produced 1 mph more ball speed and 1 more yard of carry on average over the AeroBurner, with slightly more spin and a slightly lower launch. The shot shape bias was neutral to a slight draw, which is what I was expecting. The AeroBurner on the other hand, produced consistent draws for me.

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The R15 hybrid has a 3-degree adjustable hosel, allowing golfers to dial in launch, spin rate and trajectory bias.

While the margin between the R15 and AeroBurner was extremely close, both clubs outperformed the SLDR and Jetspeed hybrids. The R15 was 5 yards longer than the SLDR and 6 yards longer than the JetSpeed. Looking at the best shots with all the clubs, the longest during the testing session came with the R15 — even though the SLDR and JetSpeed produced very similar ball speeds.

Distance isn’t the only reason we should buy a golf club, and with the R15 and AeroBuner hybrids producing similar numbers, I also wanted to look at the consistency of the two clubs. I did this in two ways.

First, I assessed the dispersion of the shots. In this case, the AeroBuner edged out the R15 with a slightly tighter dispersion, albeit further left of target.

Second, I took a look at the difference between the best shot and the average shots of the clubs. We all love stomping on a shot that ends up flying further than we expect, but the majority of golfers, myself included, prefer reliability and consistency to the rare bomb. In this case, the R15 was more consistent than any of the 3 clubs in every category except spin and peak height, where the AeroBurner was slightly more consistent.

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We found the AeroBurner hybrid (above) to be slightly more forgiving than the R15 hybrid.

With more consistent distance, a compact and versatile head shape, and the ability to adjust the loft with the 3-degree loft sleeve, the R15 rescue has found a place in my bag. That said, the AeroBurner Rescue also comes in a TP version which has a flatter lie angle and a slightly more open face, which might give the R15 a run for its money.

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The Takeaway

The R15 hybrids have a 3-degree Loft Sleeve and come in lofts of 17, 19, 21 and 24 degrees. The stock shaft is Fujikura’s Speeder 77 Evolution hybrid (X, S, R and M Flexes). A TP version is also available for $279 with Fujikura’s Speeder 869 Evolution Tour Spec shaft.

The AeroBurner hybrids ($199) are offered in the following models: 3 (19 degrees) 4 (22 degrees), 5 (25 degrees) and 6 (28 degrees).

For the better player looking for versatility from a classically-shaped club, the R15 is a great option. The larger, more forgiving AeroBurner is an excellent choice for golfers looking to maximize forgiveness.

Also, for those golfers looking to replace their long irons with hybrids, the AeroBurner will allow you the consistency to play the same model hybrid from your 3 all the way to your 6-hybrid.

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