|Adams Golf's Idea Tech OS is designed to integrate hybrids into your full iron set. (Courtesy Adams Golf)|
You don't have a hybrid golf club yet? What is it with you? You probably don't have an iPod. Or high-def. Or an organic LED-based flat-panel TV.
I don't have any of those either, except for the hybrid. It's one Newest New Thing that actually lives up to the hype. I've joined the legions of everyday golfers who hide their eyes whenever they see their old long irons gathering dust in the garage. How did I ever hit with those?
It used to be you got a hybrid or two, usually a 3- or 4-iron equivalent, stuck them in your bag and used them as needed (often, if you're anything like me). These days they're so popular you can get hybrid wedges, which strikes me as a bit much. Even the PGA Tour pros have gotten off their high horse and are using hybrids now.
The next wave is integrated hybrid sets. Adams Golf is a club maker that has never been exactly mainstream, which suits me, so I recently tried its new Idea Tech OS hybrid irons set on an extended golf trip to south Florida.
My overall impression? Well, they're similar to my old Callaway Big Bertha irons in terms of forgiveness, but for now at least, the Adams integrated set is staying in my bag.
"I think they're the best irons we've ever made," Adams CEO Chip Brewer told TravelGolf.com. "The Tech OS is our most sophisticated, highest-tech product aimed at that super game-improvement category. We're trying to provide the easiest set to hit with the highest performance."
The idea behind the Idea is to match the hybrids to the rest of your irons, so you're not swinging a completely different club designed on different specs when you pull out the hybrid. They're designed to eliminate inconsistent yardage gapping, which can be a problem when you stick a couple of hybrids in with your traditional irons.
"The concept is to integrate hybrids, which are significantly easier to hit, into the iron set," Brewer said.
Whatever. It works.
There are three distinct sets within the Tech OS (which sells for $800-$1,000). The 3 and 4 hybrid iWoods have "heel-based adjustable weight ports for swing weight, shaft or length adjustment" and titanium faces for increased ball speed and distance. These clubs look like true hybrids.
The 5 and 6 hybrids have the same technological doodads as the 3 and 4, plus a hollow design and composite back for maximum MOI (moment of inertia) and forgiveness.
The short irons look traditional but are also made from titanium, stainless steel and tungsten to increase the MOI and provide a high launch. There is a dampening system designed to modify the harsh vibrations you sometimes get with titanium-faced irons.
The heel-based weighting helped me turn the ball over more, producing a slight draw and adding distance - but not too much, a problem I had with other hybrids that I had a tendency to hook.
At first I had some difficulties with the mid-irons, specifically going from the 7 to the 6. The 6 iron felt substantially longer than the 7, but when I measured the all clubs the differences throughout were consistent. Maybe it was in my head, or (more likely) in my swing. In any case, the problem disappeared after maybe two rounds.
Like a lot of clubs geared to game improvement, the disadvantages come with workability: It's difficult to shape shots with these irons. Even mid-handicappers like me like to - need to - shape shots every now and then.
I also had some trouble keeping the ball low on windy days. The center of gravity is moved so far back in the club, I really had to play the ball far back in my stance.
But these are quibbles. Most mid- and high-handicappers are more concerned with hitting the ball straight and consistently longer, and having decent results with off-center hits. The Tech OS set gave me that.
January 31, 2007
Veteran golf writer Tim McDonald keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation.