Hybrids have become a staple replacement for the less forgiving long irons for Fred Couples and many of his fellow tournament champions. Even the purest of ball strikers on tour, including Couples finds that his TaylorMade Rescue 11 has improved his ability to hit a higher and more consistent approach, replacing his “butter knife” of a two iron.
Let’s take a closer look at the Rescue 11 that was in Freddie’s bag when he won the 2012 Senior Open at Turnberry. Technology Information provided by TaylorMade:
• Adjustable loft with Flight Control Technology (FCT)
• 4 degree face angle change, 2 degree loft change, 2 degree lie angle change, 1,000 RPM spin change
• Deeper face and lower Center of Gravity for easier launch
• White non-glare crown and black club face for easy alignment
I found this blurb online but unable to identify exactly who I can give credit to for this entertaining, albeit accurate review:
“Everything about the Rescue 11 hybrid screams ‘technology.’ The paint on the crown, the RIP shaft, and especially the adjustability factor. This factor, known as Flight Control Technology (FCT), is the soul of this club. With FCT you can increase or decrease the launch angle by 1 degree. There are eight, count them eight, different FCT positions that allow you to increase or decrease loft in .5 increments as well. Why should it’s big brother R11 driver have all the adjustable fun right? With every FCT adjustment your spin rate will also change as well. More loft gives you more spin for greater carry while the lower the loft the less spin you’ll get with a little less carry. In addition to the adjustability, TaylorMade also placed the CG (center of gravity) lower and more towards the rear of the club head which is designed for better shot shaping capability.”
So why are Hybrids easier to hit than traditional long irons? Because the lower the loft the more difficult it is to hit the ball high.
When you watch the Tour pros hit 2, 3, or 4-irons, you can see that these players have the swing skills to hit their conventional long irons almost as high as regular golfers hit their wedges. Average golfers cannot generate enough height with their long irons because, one, they have a much slower swing speed than the pros, and two, the swing skill necessary to be able to consistently hit down and through the ball while keeping their head behind the ball at impact with low-lofted irons is just not present.
Properly designed hybrid clubs that have the same loft as their long iron counterparts make it much easier to get the ball up in the air because hybrids are much “thicker” than conventional long irons.
This greater face-to-back dimension of the Hybrid long-iron replacement heads allows the center of gravity to be positioned much farther back from the face. This in turn results in a much higher trajectory for a shot off a hybrid club compared to a traditional long iron of the same loft. In other words, at equal lofts the hybrid with its center of gravity farther back from the clubface – will help the golfer get the ball up into the air on a higher trajectory than a long iron (whose center of gravity is much closer to the clubface). When you add loft to any shot you also increase precision. So, adding loft to the same degree of open or shut face creates a straighter ball flight.
These are the scientific reasons why Hybrids work better and are replacing the traditional long irons. Even to the point that the best players in the world are taking advantage of having a better performing club in the bag. If you haven’t already, consider taking one along for your next round!
Until next time, Happy Golfing!