Nike, DeLaCruz Golf and other hybrid clubs coming out of the woodwork
Clubs with adjustable weights are hot. Belly putters are hot. Hot balls are hot. Even calendars are hot (which may explain the hot balls…but I digress).
Nothing, however, is hotter this season than hybrid clubs.
Whether these clubs are envisioned as replacements for hard-to-hit long irons, or as fully integrated sets, these iron-wood/wood-iron contraptions come in enough shapes, sizes, materials, and lofts to please just about anyone who feels less than confident when pulling out an iron with a number on it lower than 6.
Some spanking new offerings include:
–DeLaCruz Golf’s Cruzer Hybrid Trouble Wood. The Cruzer Hybrid is available in three lofts:17 degrees, 20 degrees and 23 degrees, and features three raised ridges on the crown of the clubhead to strengthen the hitting surface.
–Nike’s Slingshot Hybrids, whose extremely low center of gravity (CG) is made possible by the weight-saving carbon crown and low-slung Slingback design. 70% of the clubhead mass is below the equator of the ball. The CG is positioned deeper in the clubhead as a result of the added thickness of the Slingback bar (twice that of a normal fairway wood), hot/lightweight Carpenter Custom 455 stainless steel faceplate, moderate offset and wood-like footprint.
–Nike’s CPR 3 Iron-Woods, with a new geometry in the head that features a scoop back design, which moves the CG lower and farther back. These are designed for players who prefer a smaller hybrid head design, it features a more boring trajectory than the CPR Wood, while maintaining the features that made the original CPR Golf Digest’s Hybrid of the Year in 2004.
See what I mean? Heck, Nike’s so hot after the hybrid market, they’ve got sets competing against each other.
Now, I would be remiss not to mention that I for one do not believe hybrids are for everyone. In fact, although I have tested and reviewed numerous individual clubs and sets, I have yet to find any that I would want to replace my 3-5 irons with. My long irons are in fact some of my favorite clubs, especially for “rescue” shots from the woods, brush, off people’s decks, etc., where I often find myself.
Nevertheless, if you’re in the market for a hybrid, never before have the offerings been so rich. Just be sure to test and choose carefully, to make sure you’re not simply getting a whittled-down version of a fairway wood, the merits of which are, in my opinion, open for debate.
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