Best hybrids 2015 review

Want distance? Forgiveness? Adjustability? There's a hybrid for you in our 2015 test

Charlie Lemay's picture
Thu, 9 Jul 2015
Best hybrids 2015 review

WATCH: Hybrids Test 2015

Searching for a new hybrid? You're in the right place.

We've tested 12 of the best rescue clubs on the market at World of Golf, New Malden, with the help of Swing Catalyst and a GC2 launch monitor.

Hybrids have a tall order. They need to work off the tee and from the deck, they must launch high and land soft while also offering distance, and they must look, feel and sound appealing. 

While all the hybrids on this test were top performers, three stood out from the pack and were awarded a GolfMagic gold star.

Adams Blue

The Blue is a game-improvement hybrid from Adams. Its key piece of technology is the Velocity Slot on the sole of the club, allowing the face to flex at impact for increased ball speeds. The navy-blue crown looks fantastic, and the familiar square profile we're used to seeing from Adams looks superb behind the ball. It was the most forgiving hybrid on the test, and we were impressed by how far our mishits were going. The low-to-back centre of gravity produces a mid-to-high launch. The slightly tinny impact sound counted against it.

See our full Adams Blue hybrid review

Price: £129
Adjustable: No

Adams Red

The maker of the number one hybrid on the PGA Tour since 2008 has nudged the bar a little higher with the Red. The Velocity Slot technology on the sole allows the face to flex, producing high ball speeds and serious distance from decent strikes. The Ghost Slot technology in the crown helped us get the ball in the air off the deck. Three transferable weights on the sole make this the most versatile hybrid in terms of shot-shaping options. It doesn’t offer much forgiveness, but it’s unrivalled in terms of workability. Lovely feel, although not the best-sounding club. Performance and small head profile means the Red is suited to better players. 

See our full Adams Red Hybrid review 

Price: £159
Adjustable: No

Bridgestone J15

This boasts a chic look at address which should appeal to all abilities. It offers decent distance, and has a naturally high launch angle. The adjustable weight on the sole of the club allows players to change the launch and centre of gravity. If you stray from the sweet spot, there isn’t much help on offer, and we struggled to work this hybrid.

See our full Bridgestone J15 hybrid review

Price: £140
Adjustable: No

Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815

The first time the Big Bertha Alpha family has branched out into the hybrid market, and it's an impressive start for the famous franchise. Looks sleek behind the ball, as it will do in the bag thanks to the beautiful design. When hit out of the middle this produces rockets, but stray from the sweet spot at your peril. Soft but springy feel was enjoyable. Naturally high launching, but it is fully adjustable so players can tailor it to their needs.  

Read a full review of the Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815

Price: £179
Adjustable: Yes

Callaway XR

A beautiful club, and the matte finish means players will not struggle with glare. It’s not the most balanced hybrid we tested, meaning on occasion we lost control throughout the swing. It’s hot off the face, and gave us great ball speeds, but we found it hard to work. There’s a decent amount of forgiveness on offer, and it provides a delicious feel.

See our full Callaway XR hybrid review

Price: £149
Adjustable: No

Cobra Fly-Z

This will appeal to those who like to customise their bats, with four different crown colours available. We’re big fans of the Cobra sign being the alignment aid, and the contrast with the black face and white grooves make this simple to aim. Cobra has transferred weight to create a low centre of gravity, and a specially formulated E9 sweet zone is also implemented. It gave us average numbers in terms of distance, but forgiveness was superb. Providing a soft but springy feel, and an appealing sound. 

See our full Cobra Fly-Z hybrid review

Price: £139
Adjustable: Yes

TaylorMade AeroBurner

This has a classic profile and benefits from a white crown and black face contrast, which makes aligning the club simple. This was one of the longest in the test, and it also offers a heap of forgiveness thanks to the new and improved Speed Pocket. Not the easiest to work.

Read our full review of the TaylorMade AeroBurner Rescue

Price: £139
Adjustable: No 

TaylorMade R15

The contrast between the white crown and black face also makes the R15 easy to line up. Suited to low and high handicappers because there is both forgiveness and workability on offer. There is a soft feeling off the face, and it also makes an appealing sound. Naturally high launching, although this can be adjusted easily.

Read our full review of the TaylorMade R15 hybrid

Price: £159
Adjustable: Yes

Titleist 915 H

An outstanding hybrid. This filled us with confidence when placed behind the ball. A classic shape, and the classy black crown is gorgeous. Titleist implement an Active Recoil Channel in this hybrid, essentially a slot which spans the sole of the club allowing the face to flex on impact. It’s one of the longer hybrids on the test, even from off-centre hits, and spin was also low. Off the face it has a springy feel, and it is naturally high launching, allowing players to stop the ball quickly on greens. It's expensive, but you get what you pay for.

See our full review of the Titleist 915 H

Price: £205
Adjustable: Yes

Mizuno JPX 850

A stunning hybrid that performs as well as it looks. The electric blue crown and black face makes this the best looking club in the test. The ridges on the bottom of the club, called the Shock Wave Sole, produce a springboard effect and we found it to be one of the longest in the test. It’s also extremely forgiving, and it maintains it’s superb feel even on squiffy hits. Easy to work both ways, and it emits a delightful sound – the JPX 850 does it all, and more.

See our full Mizuno JPX 850 hybrid review

Price: £150
Adjustable: No

Nike Vapor Speed

This was one of the longest on the test and there is a heap of forgiveness on offer. The covert back design and Nike’s FlyBeam technology spreads weight across the face and a channel allows it to flex for maximum distance. It has a large head profile, and the black crown and green tick make for a great-looking hybrid at address. Not easy to work and not the best feeling club in the test. Produces a naturally high flight and nice “thwack” at impact. The super-tacky grips won’t be to everyone’s tastes.

Price: £134
Adjustable: No

Wilson Staff D200

Not the most inspiring club behind the ball, but it boasts power and accuracy when hit out of the middle. It allows the golfer to work the ball both ways and there is a superb, soft feel on offer. The D200 doesn’t boast much forgiveness, with off-centre hits being punished harshly. A solid club considering the price. 

Price: £99
Adjustable: No

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