CLUBS LISTED IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
ADAMS IDEA TECH V3
LOFTS: 17, 19, 22, 25, 29, 33
TECH TALK: A thin clubface and crown plus a 70-gram tungsten sole weight create a high-launching utility club with plenty of spring in the face. The four-way cambered sole helps reduce turf interaction, and the dual bounces on the sole (the head tapers in the front and back) make the club playable for golfers who sweep and those who take deep divots.
M: "The smaller head makes it look more like an iron, and it sounds like one, too. The ball really gets up in the air easily, yet it has a penetrating flight. I'm not a hybrid guy, but I'd put this one in my bag."
H:"This club is sweet. The black is classy, and the single white alignment line on the bottom of the face really does the trick. It's everything a hybrid should be."
HOT: Adams has succeeded in making a hybrid that looks sleek, small and playable yet launches the ball high with forgiveness.
NOT: The face angle looks set up for a fade, which can be intimidating for players fighting a slice.
CALLAWAY DIABLO FORGED
LOFTS: Diablo Edge: 21, 24, 27, 30; Diablo Edge Tour: 18, 21, 24
TECH TALK: A thin crown allowed designers to place the center of gravity (CG) low and in line with where most players strike the ball on the face, making it easier to launch the ball high. The standard model has an offset hosel to combat a slice, and the Tour version sets up more neutral. Both have Callaway's variable-thickness face for better energy transfer.
L: "Surprising performance. Callaway did a great job with all its hybrids."..."The Tour model is as predictable as an iron. It feels like it was built from one solid piece."
H: "It has a large but nice shape, and the offset is subtle. I feel like I have a lot of control with this club. It produces a very high ball flight."..."I can hit it high and low."
HOT: A latecomer to the hybrid category, Callaway now is the standard for high performance at a manageable price.
NOT: The Diablo Edge looks a tad too big even for our most open-minded testers.
CALLAWAY RAZR X/RAZR X TOUR
LOFTS: RAZR X: 21, 24, 27; RAZR X Tour: 18, 21, 24
TECH TALK: A heat-treating process allows Callaway to make the RAZR X's face 18 percent thinner than the face of the Diablo Edge. This improves ball speed and allows weight to be redistributed to the perimeter of the sole for better stability on off-center hits. The face design of the standard model helps average golfers get thin shots up in the air more easily.
L: "The Tour model has a nice compact head and no variation in feel: Even my poor strikes felt great."..."I love the high draw it produces."
M: "This thing is more forgiving than your grandmother."..."I hit it all over the face and didn't notice any substantial difference in distance or ball flight."
HOT: We are pleased to see a truly inventive hybrid shape. The heavily beveled back sole on the Tour model makes it easy to move the club through thick rough.
NOT: Callaway flattened the lie angles based on "tour-player feedback." Unfortunately, we're not tour players.