Golf Digest editors picks

HYBRIDS

If any club should be ruled illegal, it should be the hybrid. It makes the game almost too easy

February 2010
More Women's Clubs: Irons | Drivers
$: BEST VALUE | W: ALSO IN WOMEN'S | CATEGORY LEADER | (H) HIGH-HANDICAPPER | (M) MIDDLE-HANDICAPPER | (L) LOW-HANDICAPPER
CLUBS LISTED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

ADAMS IDEA A7/A70S

STREET PRICE: $150
WEBSITE: adamsgolf.com
LOFTS: Idea a7: 17, 19, 22, 25; Idea a7OS: 17, 19, 22, 25, 28

TECH TALK: The Idea a7 (pictured) is smaller than the Idea a7OS and has a narrow, cambered sole for versatility on different lies. It also has a 41-gram rear weight to help increase spin and launch the ball high. The Idea a7OS has a wide sole, generous off-set and extra weight in the heel and toe to optimize forgiveness. The a7 comes with a UST Proforce AXIVCore shaft; the a7OS features a Grafalloy ProLaunch Axis shaft.

PLAYER COMMENTS:
(H) "Impact is really smooth with a solid sound."... "Super easy to get up in the air."
(M) "Has a great feel at impact -- and long. I could barely tell I touched the ball."... "I love the clean lines. No distractions, and the face doesn't look hooked."

HOT: Adams makes a hybrid for every player type, and we like that you can buy the Idea a7 and a7OS separately or as part of the ninth generation of Adams' integrated hybrid-iron sets.
NOT: The longish shaft length of the a7OS 6-hybrid is the same as a typical 4-iron.

CALLAWAY DIABLO EDGE/DIABLO EDGE TOUR

STREET PRICE: $160
WEBSITE: callawaygolf.com
LOFTS: Diablo Edge: 20, 23, 26, 29; Diablo Edge Tour: 17, 20, 23

TECH TALK: The moment of inertia (MOI) on this year's Diablo is 30 percent higher than that of last year's model, to improve stability on off-center hits. The Diablo Edge features a wide, shallow profile and a low, deep center of gravity (CG) to help golfers launch the ball high. The Tour version has a slightly forward CG to give golfers with high swing speeds a boring trajectory.

PLAYER COMMENTS:
(H) "The weight and balance on this is ideal. I don't think I can miss it."..."Practically perfect. The ball just explodes off the face."
(M) "A really penetrating, high ball flight. I crushed it."... "Average looks but far above average performance on tight and fluffy lies."
(L) "The misses aren't too wild." ... "Good for someone who needs to get the ball in the air."

HOT: Smarter manufacturing results in better off-center-hit performance. No one does forgiveness better than Callaway.
NOT: The flat sole makes it less versatile from really gnarly lies.

CALLAWAY FT-IZ

STREET PRICE: $200
LOFTS: 17, 20, 23, 26
WEBSITE: callawaygolf.com

TECH TALK: Callaway has increased the club's resistance to twisting during impact by almost 50 percent by using injection molding to place high-density metal weights in the heel and toe areas of the sole. The company has also made the crown 30 percent thinner than the previous FT hybrid. To put it in perspective, the MOI on this club is as high as a Callaway driver from 2002. The wide body and hefty off-set contribute to its forgiveness.

PLAYER COMMENTS:
(H) "I like the weighting and the long head. Verges on greatness."
(M) "Sometimes different is good. The triangle is blended nicely into an almost normal shape. One of the few hybrids where you feel the ball cutting through the wind."
(L) "Sits underneath the ball before you even get into your stance. Great turf interaction." ... "A nice complement to the driver."

HOT: An extremely low CG and a higher loft lower on the face help even thin shots get up in the air.
NOT: It's fairly massive, both in the club's dimensions and the effect on your credit limit.
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