Need To Know
The high-MOI drivers and razor-sharp wedges might grab all the headlines, but when it comes to helping the average player hit better shots – and shoot lower scores – it's probably the hybrid that has changed the face of modern golf.
Where once the club golfer fretted over 4-irons and trembled at the 3-iron, the hybrid or generic 'rescue' club has enabled an entire generation of players to have the sort of long game of which Tom Watson would have been proud. High-lofted, powerful shots from 200 yards now land as softly as a 7-iron, while hacks out of rough can still be attacking shots.
Callaway has done as much as any club-maker to further the development of a club that is often worth its weight in gold to the struggling amateur. With the release of the new Diablo Edge line, the company has really pushed the envelope to make it easier to hit than ever before.
The key area that has been addressed is the crown, which has been made 30% thinner to help lower the Centre of Gravity and position it closer to where amateurs strike the ball on the face. This in turn leads to a higher, more efficient launch. The face itself features the same Variable Face Technology as the fairway woods, with the extremities of the face being thinned out to expand the sweet spot and ensure a consistently powerful impact wherever the ball is struck.
The sole, too, has been optimised to allow the Diablo Edge to succeed from all kinds of lies, while the offset hosel gives just that fraction longer to square the clubface. Often, that's the difference between a pin-seeker and one that tails off to the right.
In theory it all sounds great. Thankfully, it works in the field just as well, slotting seamlessly into the set of Diablo Edge irons I'm also testing for review and making the long-iron knee-trembler a thing of the past.
Design wise it’s a bit like a swan, with the top looking beautifully calm and serene - just a silver face line and a jet black body, no decals, logos or alignment aids to distract at address. Inside, of course, we know there’s plenty going on. The sole design is quite understated too – the whole aesthetic of this club says substance beats style any day.
Smash one down the fairway and you’ll immediately know that this is a powerful club and with the MOI being 30% higher than last year’s Diablo model, it’s remarkably forgiving too. Everything feels so well balanced, it’s almost as if all you need to do is make a solid contact and the club does the rest.
I'm a player with a lower ball flight, but I had no trouble creating shots with a high, strong flight and although I could probably hit a 3- or 4-iron the equivalent distance, there is no way I could ever stop the ball on a green. That, for me, is the real benefit of a hybrid.
Staff players like Nick Dougherty, Anton Haig, Alexander Noren and Thongchai Jaidee are already using the Tour version that has a less offset hosel, and an even lower, more forward CG to provide a more penetrating ball flight.
Little wonder that the Diablo Edge did so well in a recent US magazine poll. The hybrid is technologically better than its predecessors but with the performance to justify the change. Distance and accuracy seem to come as standard with this outstanding hybrid.