Need To Know
Ask any amateur player to name the one shot that brings them out in a cold sweat and the chances are you'll hear phrases like 'tee shot over water' or 'wedge over bunker'. What you're not too likely to hear is 'second shot to a par-4' or 'tee shot to long par-3'. And for that, we have to thank the hybrid.
A decade ago, those two scenarios would have likely involved a gut-churning choice between 3- or 4-iron, or maybe a tiny-headed 5-wood. If you were lucky, the irons might have a wide-sole or something of a cavity back but in most cases they were hard to hit. Nowadays, we reach for the hybrid with a sense of joy; we stand over them with confidence and, best of all, we hit them with ease. The simple fact is they make the game easier.
One of the newest arrivals on the hybrid scene is MD Golf. The Northern Ireland company has updated its award-winning Superstrong range for 2010, adding some stunning cosmetic touches to a club that has already proved capable of holding its own in the company of more expensive and established brands.
The new Superstrong range features a beautiful black finish that really looks the business, with striking yellow graphics, brilliant multi-compound grip and Proforce shaft completing what is a very attractive package. Set the club down behind the ball and you're immediately filled with confidence. It's quite a compact look but very neat; very traditional and with just the right amount of toe bulge. It looks like it will play well and it does.
On some hybrids I find it off-putting to see the loft of the clubface, but with the dark black finish on the MD Superstrong that's not a problem. The model I tested was a 24-degree option, which basically replaces the 4-iron and I can safely say that it outperformed that iron significantly. The flight is high, distance is excellent - it was good for about 185 yards - and it landed extremely softly. For the long par-3 it's perfect.
It feels very solid at impact, like you've got plenty on it, and even when you don't middle it, it still goes well enough. Better than that, though, is its performance from dodgy lies. Ball in a divot, ball in light rough, chipping out from the trees… this club is seriously versatile . The extra offset makes it easy to square up and during the course of a round I quickly grew to see it as my 'go to' club. That just about says it all.