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I've heard it before: "I can't hit fairway wood to save my life." Putting a solid 3-timber off the deck is one of the more difficult things to do in golf. The shaft is long, there is very little loft and you are probably facing a longer shot. Let's be honest; the situation can be a bit intimidating.
That said, most players on most courts need a club that they can hit far off the ground.
“A-zoom. We have a suggestion. "
– Engineers in Callaway
Enter the Super Hybrid
Most golfers pay attention to the hype surrounding the newly released Mavrik line. However, Callaway has quietly introduced an exciting product that could potentially help many golfers – the Super Hybrid.
What is a super hybrid?
Simply put, it is a cross between a fairway metal and a hybrid.
The new Super Hybrid has:
A shorter shaft than a wood of 3 or 5 or even 7 (41.5 inches in the 17-degree model), but slightly longer than any traditional hybrid.
Clubhead smaller than a conventional fairway metal, but larger than a traditional hybrid.
A bunch of tungsten MIM (Metal Injection Molded) placed internally deep in the heel and toe to increase launch (easier to get off the ground) and moment of release to increase inertia (more forgiveness). You know, because golf is hard.
Lightweight carbon crown to save weight and push the center of gravity as low as possible and the mass to the edges of the club for improved stability.
All the latest technology from Callaway was used to increase the ball speed of their past few driver releases – mainly Jailbreak and Flash Face.
Their goal was to make a club that could easily get off the ground, was launched high enough to hold greens and could add enough distance for those long approach shots in par 4s and 5s.
The challenge of bridging the gap
As a club fitter I am often in charge of a whole set of clubs. One of the most challenging parts of building a full bag is splitting between the longest playable iron and the driver.
Despite working with a number of collegial and ambitious professional golfers at a very high level, the majority of my work consists of recreational players.
In my experience, most golfers are less consistent with their longer clubs. Finding something that they can reliably and firmly get (er) from different lies can be a challenge.
The new Super Hybrid from Callaway is an innovation that I believe can build on the success of traditional hybrids.
The idea is pretty simple – all golfers need something that they can hit far from the deck, and some people just don't hit flat fairway metals properly.
I regularly have to talk to slower players from the cliff when I tell them that their new set does not contain 3-wood. If your driver's swing speed is less than 80, you are likely to hit a 4 or 5 timber higher, more consistent and on average, noticeably further than a traditional 3 timber.
Some major OEMs have already started marking ladies' and junior fairway metals as "3-woods", despite the clubs with 18 or 19 degree loft (that is 5 wood loft). people).
If we remove the labels, we can investigate the design differences of these different options for long games and use those measurements to help us choose the best for a particular player.
Where I see the super-hybrid assembly
Long irons had traditionally steel shafts that matched the rest of the iron. Now irons or driving irons are also available with graphite bag options, giving engineers access to lighter weights and higher launch bending profiles.
Hybrids now come almost exclusively with graphite shafts. The shaft length of most companies for a hybrid is slightly longer than the length of the corresponding iron. I.e. 3 iron = 39 "while 3 hybrid = 40.5".
For a player who is starting to lose some club head speed, this added "lever length" will increase the club head speed and possibly add both height and distance.
Fairway forests take length to the next level. An 18-degree fairway metal stock length is approximately 42 inches, which increases the potential distance of the weapon. However, understand that this distance entails costs. Longer shafts can make clubs more challenging to hit hard, especially off the ground.
The Super Hybrid splits the difference between traditional hybrid and fairway lengths. It tries to gain some profit from the shaft length but also to save some consistency. It should be noted on a side note that the angle of orientation also splits the difference, making it suitable for the length of the golf club.
With regard to the axle offered, the Tensei CK Pro Orange is the only stock option. And it's a very good one. This "real deal" offset low launch, low spinas is a real rocket launcher. So far I have hit 1000% with this shaft in my fittings. The fittings consisted of determining the flex of the axle and adjusting the hozel to the correct loft and lining settings. With a stock-axis so good, I didn't have to look at anything else (although there are many other options through the Callaway Custom Department).
As far as technology is concerned, Callaway is rolling out their latest developments in a new package alone. But they do seem to combine for some excellent results.
I tested the Callaway Super Hybrid against my current setup to get some insight into the performance.
Exactly as it should be, the Super Hybrid bridged the gap between my current hybrid and my 3 wood. It is remarkable that my current hybrid is 17 degrees and my 3-bent-to-a-2 iron (which rotates in and out with the hybrid) is set to 18.5 degrees. I have to admit that the Super Hybrid was really easy to hit. None of the shots felt like they were in the middle (although they weren't bad either).
Although the timing of the release was a bit strange, I think that by 2020 we will fit many players into the Callaway Super Hybrid
who don't like fairway metals or have trouble hitting them.
As always – test before you buy and work with a qualified club fitter if you can.
About the Author
Greg Gibson is a Staff Golf Professional, certified club fitter, instructor and trackman specialist at the golf headquarters in Louisville, KY. He was previously General Manager, Director of Golf and Head Golf Professional at Shelbyville Country Club. For an appointment with Greg, contact the GHQ Louisville staff at 502-245-8600