Figuring out which hybrid is the best hybrid of 2017 is simple: Hit every single one of them against each other and decide which one is longest, straightest, best from the fairway, best from the tee, flies the highest, flies the farthest, is best out of the rough, is most versatile, feels and looks the best.
OK, maybe it’s not so simple. Hybrids are asked to perform many jobs; they are utility players that are hit from the tee, the fairway, the rough, on par 3s, into par 5s and long par 4s, and even used to chip around the greens and hit out of fairway bunkers. Some players want them to fly low and hot and run forever off the tee, while others need them to fly as high as possible to provide forgiveness as long-iron replacements.
But if there’s any group of people knowledgeable and dedicated enough to test out a variety of hybrids and determine what’s “best,” it’s GolfWRX forum members.
We recently asked GolfWRXers — after they performed their thorough testing of this year’s stock of hybrids — to vote on what they believed to be the best hybrid of 2017, and explain why. Here are the top hybrids selected, and what our members had to say about them.
TaylorMade M2 2017 (4.53 percent of votes)
Bomber_11: Taylormade M2 tops my list and checks all the boxes you need in a hybrid. It’s long, forgiving, accurate, and aesthetically pleasing.
Callaway Apex (7.17 percent)
Sef: I haven’t found anything to top the Apex hybrid, looking forward to trying the 818 H2 though. I did not vote for it since I haven’t hit it…
Titleist 818 H2 (10.94 percent)
GC70: Just got fit for the 818 H2 and it’s amazing. Can’t wait to get it on the course.
KCCO: I’ve played with a Titleist H2 21-degree and loved it. Compact, great shaft offerings for those not just scoring the head. Definitely curbed my 915, and no more dealing with the dirt slot. Performance was perfect for me. That list is pretty big, and have played a few, but the Titleist wins for me.
Callaway Epic (12.08 percent)
jimwright: The Callaway Epic hybrid is just the perfect size and shape. Not too big, not too small. The internal weighting and the materials used are fantastic. Great selection of no up charge shafts also.
Crabbie50: I moved from the 816H2 (21 degree) to the Epic and love the flight characteristics. Highly recommend it.
Cobra King F7 (13.58 percent)
chch3: Cobra F7 made me a believer in hybrids again. Great club.
dcorun: Voted for the F7 but, I’m currently playing the F6. The best hybrid I’ve played so far. Easy to hit, accurate, longer than I thought and not draw biased like most hybrids. I did hit the F7 but, did not see a big enough difference to change for now.
Dasenergi: F7 vote. The rails really shine on the hybrid. King slowly took over my bag again.
ChubbsWoodenHand: Tie between cobra F7 and Srixon h65. I like hybrids to act like irons and prefer to hit down on them like normal irons. Haven’t tried the apex though.
thevaultsky: Cobra F7 — being able to adjust the loft makes it much more useful as an iron replacement. The rails also come in handy. It has become my go to in a variety of situations.
Titleist 818 H1 (13.96 percent)
DougE: I have played many hybrids over the years. It took me 5 years to replace an old Nike CPR2, because I couldn’t find something I liked more. I tried many, including an Adams A7, A12, Ping G25, and some others, but always liked the old CPR best. The Adams and Ping were the best of all those I tried. Eventually, the Ping G25 became a mainstay in my bag alongside a 19-degree Titleist 913H. I never brought out the CPR again. Then the Titleist 816H1 came out and proved to be the best hybrid I have ever played, bar none… until last week. The new 818H1 is even better as I realized in a fitting this week. Felt fantastic. A 19-degree 818H1 is on my list to replace my 915F 5W in 2018. My present 816H 21-degree (set to 22 degrees) will stay in the bag until I can afford to replace it with an 818H2 21-degree. (The H2 is a bit more iron-like, with a smaller head, which fits my eye even better for the shorter hybrid.)
pmang: I have owned TM M2 and Ping G400 hybrids this year. I hit the Titleist 818 H1 today. Titleist was the best of the 3 for me.
Ping G400 (16.23 percent)
SirPercival: I’ve played a Ping G400 hybrid for some weeks now. So they get my vote. Imagine 818 would be nice though.
elwhippy: Difficult to choose as the majority of choices never make it to the UK or are only stocked in boutique stores around London. G400 looks and feels great.
Members Choice 2017
Titleist introduces new premium Scotty Cameron Concept X Putters
Scotty Cameron unveiled two experimental prototype Concept X putters today. Available in limited quantities, the Concept X models (CX-01 and CX-02) are a cross between the Newport 2 and a mallet with MOI-boosting “wings.”
The CX-01 features a popular-on-Tour “Nuckle Neck” with one shaft of offset. The CX-02 is designed with a new low slant “Joint Neck” that promotes additional tow flow.
“Concept X is for the player who wants the feel and performance of a Tour-proven blade style putter, but wants to benefit from the latest technology to achieve more forgiveness. What’s unique about these putters is that they’re fast looking and high-tech. But by making them wider, they’re more forgiving. You get a calm feeling like when you play a mallet. So, you get the best of a blade and the best of a mallet in one. It has a very elegant, high-end, industrial look. At address, after a few putts, the wings almost disappear and it’s like looking down at a blade,” Scotty Cameron said.
“I like to say that Concept X is the top level of performance in a putter. Our new four-way sole balancing is designed into these models. The new Nuckle and Joint Neck technology. The enhanced vibration dampening chambers for better sound and feel. It’s all in there. Concept X truly is a prototype that’s come to life.”
The putters also feature Dual-Zone Vibration Dampening Chambers within the face-sole construction. Each “chamber” is separated by a band of stainless steel, and the mid-milled aluminum face is connected by internal screws to compress the vibration dampening material for a soft, solid sound and feel.
The Concept X’s wing design shifts weight to both the perimeter and rear of the club to boost MOI and forgiveness. Customizable, removable heel and toe weights enhance stability while increasing the face’s sweet spot.
Weight-saving face inlays and 6061 aircraft grade aluminum sole plates allow Cameron to move (heavier) stainless steel around the perimeter to increase MOI. The sole profile of each model has been milled with Scotty’s four-way sole balancing design to help the putter easily sit more squarely at address.
A glare-reducing Stealth Gray finish is paired with a bright dip black anodized face inlay and sole plate components. Raw engravings add to the “prototype” feel of the putters. Each Concept X putter features customizable stainless steel heel-toe weights, a stepless steel shaft and a new gray Pistolero grip with black lettering.
Scotty Cameron Concept X putters will be available at select network of Titleist authorized golf shops in North America on Aug. 31 and worldwide Sept. 28, 2018. MAP $599.
Everything you need to know about TaylorMade’s new GAPR Lo, Mid and Hi clubs
The Golden Years of wood-style hybrids and hybrid innovation in the marketplace are over, Tomo Bystedt, the Senior Director of Product Creation for TaylorMade, told GolfWRX.
Based on data collected from the company’s myRoundPro app and TrackMan data from its fitting facility, called “The Kingdom,” Bystedt says TaylorMade has found that most golfers are “not very good” with irons higher than a 5-iron, and while some hit the 3 wood very well, they struggle with 5/7/9 woods and hybrid-style clubs. Bystedt also acknowledges that Tour players have moved away from hybrid-style golf clubs as we know them, and into driving-iron-style clubs instead; they provide better control and offer greater distance in certain conditions, he says.
So, golfers of all skill levels need to fill the gap between a 5-iron and a 3-wood, and thus, TaylorMade has designed a new family of golf clubs called GAPR, pronounced “gapper.”
The family consists of a GAPR Lo, a GAPR Mid and a GAPR Hi. The clubs are made with C300 faces and 450 stainless steel bodies, with the company’s familiar SpeedFoam between the faces and bodies for durability of the face and to improve overall sound and feel due to the vibration dampening qualities of the foam. They also have “blind slots,” according to Bystedt, or in other words, speed slots on their soles that are not bore-thru slots. Each of the GAPR irons have adjustable loft sleeves, as well.
TaylorMade’s new GAPR clubs will be available on August 24 and sell for $250 apiece with stock KBS graphite shafts and Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grips. More specs and info on each of the offerings below.
We’ve spotted Tiger Woods testing a GAPR Lo at Carnoustie, and Bystedt says other big name pros including Dustin Johnson are testing it, as well. There are a few GAPR Lo irons that have a fixed hosel that are floating around in Tour bags, but the retail versions have an adjustable hosel.
The GAPR Lo irons have a weight port (filled with either steel or tungsten weights) placed in the back for head weight purposes and are not interchangeable weights by the user. The head shape of the GAPR Lo is slightly bigger than the P-790 UDI clubs, according to Bystedt, and more similar to the Tour Preferred UDI. That’s because player feedback suggested the P-790 UDI was a bit too small, and players wanted a slightly bigger size.
Retail offerings of the GAPR Lo will include 17, 19 and 22 degree options, ranging from 40.25 inches to 39.25 inches, respectively.
The GAPR Mid iron has a bigger profile than the GAPR Lo, and has CG (center of gravity) lower in the club head for higher launch and more forgiveness. The weight port is on the sole of the club, as opposed to the back cavity as seen on the GAPR Lo iron. The soles are also wider, making these more playable for players from the turf.
The GAPR Mid irons are offered in 18, 21 and 24 degree lofts, ranging from 40.25 to 39.25 inches, respectively.
TaylorMade’s GAPR Hi irons have an even bigger profile and wider soles than the GAPR Mid irons, and the CG is lower and deeper for an even higher launch and greater forgiveness. The shaping of the club is like the child of a driving iron and a wood-style hybrid; according to a TaylorMade press release, it “features modern Rescue shaping with a high-toe, peanut shaped clubhead.” It also has bulge and roll on the face to help with off-center hits. Additionally, the SpeedFoam in the GAPR Hi is slightly less dense than the rest of the offerings, according to Bystedt, because the density of the original foam was raising CG and deadening sound too much; he calls it “SpeedFoam lite” in the GAPR Hi.
The GAPR Hi is offered in 19, 22, 25 and 28 degree lofts, ranging from 40.75 inches to 39.25 inches, respectively.
Hand-painted Callaway Create headcovers are now up for auction
As part of its Callaway Create platform, Callaway teamed up with artists from around the globe to produce 32 hand-painted headcovers. The headcovers are each hand-stitched and weather-proofed by Seamus Golf in Portland, Oregon.
Below are a few examples, but check out the website here to see all of the designs.
Each of the 32 headcovers are individually named by the authors, given names such as “Banana Slice,” “Cartpool Karaoke” and “Freaky Fourball,” among other creative, golf-related names.
The headcovers are now available at auction, and the proceeds will serve to benefit Bunkers in Baghdad. Here is more information about the organization, as per the Callaway website:
All auction proceeds go to Bunkers in Baghdad, an organization dedicated to sending new and used golf balls, clubs, and equipment to our troops around the world, with a focus on the brave men and women currently serving in combat zones. Bunkers also supplies golf equipment to our vets and warriors around the country to aid in their recreation and rehabilitation. It has collected and shipped 9 million golf balls and 700,000 golf clubs to our troops, vets and warriors in more than 65 countries around the world and all 50 states.
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