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OUR JOB IS YOUR GAME
2022’s Most Wanted Hybrid is here!
Do you struggle with your long irons? Do you have a large yardage gap between your irons and fairway woods?
Hybrids are versatile, offer more forgiveness than long irons and can fill the gaps in your set makeup.
Let’s take a look to see which club takes home the title of 2022’s Most Wanted Hybrid.
MOST WANTED SCORING
We have reformulated our 2022 Most Wanted results to a 100-point scoring system. This new system better identifies golf clubs to potentially help you shoot lower scores.
For hybrids, we’ve split our key metrics into three categories: accuracy, forgiveness and distance. Each category is weighted through proprietary methodologies.
Data was collected using Foresight GCQuad Launch monitors. To minimize variables, all testers hit Titleist Pro V1 golf balls. Outliers were removed and data was aggregated before scores were calculated.
The accuracy category plays a vital role in every Most Wanted Test. Our accuracy score is determined strictly by Strokes Gained.
Forgiveness is a measure of consistency. As such, our forgiveness metric seeks to identify the clubs that provide the most consistent result. Note: “consistent” doesn’t always mean “consistently good.” Our forgiveness metrics include:
- Ball speed consistency
- Spin consistency
- Carry consistency
- Dispersion area
Without question, distance is always a priority for most consumers. Our distance metrics are simple:
- Carry distance
- Total distance
BEST HYBRIDS OVERALL
Top of the Board
- Much like an unlikely Kentucky Derby winner, Sub 70 rises to the occasion. Sub 70 949X claims the title of 2022 Most Wanted Hybrid.
- Continuing an impressive 2022 Most Wanted season, TaylorMade Stealth finishes second.
- Callaway Rogue ST Max OS places third. It puts an emphasis on performance over looks.
- For value along with performance, Tommy Armour 845 Max is tough to beat as proven by its fourth-place finish.
- Rounding out the top five is a newcomer, New Level NLH-01.
BEST HYBRIDS FOR DISTANCE
- COBRA KING LTDx proves to be the best for distance in this year’s hybrid test.
- TaylorMade Stealth is a close second.
- Overall, Callaway Rogue ST Max was a bit underwhelming. However, it ranks third for distance.
- XXIO X and XXIO 12 team up to claim fourth and fifth for distance.
BEST HYBRIDS FOR FORGIVENESS
- A blast from the past: Adams Tight Lies is best for forgiveness.
- Riding a strong forgiveness score, New Level NLH-01 takes home second.
- Mizuno ST-X 220 finishes third.
- Sub 70 949X takes fourth place.
- Rounding out the the top five is Tour Edge Exotics C722.
BEST HYBRIDS FOR ACCURACY
- TaylorMade Stealth is the best for accuracy, narrowly beating out Sub 70 949X.
- Callaway Rogue ST Max OS rounds out the top three for accuracy.
- Accuracy is Tommy Armour 845 Max’s biggest strength as it finishes fourth.
- Finishing fifth is Cleveland Launch XL Halo Hy-Wood.
Hybrid Buying Considerations
Performance should be your primary concern when buying a new hybrid but there are some additional considerations you may want to think about before you make your purchasing decision.
Long Iron Replacement or Set Addition
Hybrids have become increasingly popular. However, they are not for everyone. You, and possibly your fitter, are the only ones who can determine if a hybrid is right for you. If you opt to add a hybrid to your arsenal, it can be a long iron replacement or an addition to your set. Whichever route you take, be sure that the hybrid gaps into your current distances and serves an efficient purpose.
Loft plays a huge role in the performance of a club. We see this day after day in our Most Wanted testing. Hybrid loft is no different. If you launch the ball too low with your long irons, descent angles are likely shallow as well and you’ll have trouble holding greens because of it. With their low and back centers of gravity, hybrids often provide a more desirable trajectory. While, historically, hybrids have served as long iron replacements, many hybrid models are now available in mid-iron lofts as well. If you struggle with consistency deeper into the bag, a higher-lofted hybrid may be the answer.
Not only does loft play a vital role in hybrid performance but so does shaft selection. Since each golfer swings differently, one generic stock shaft offering most likely won’t be the golden ticket for most golfers. Consider aspects such as shaft flex, weight, material and bend profile. All can have an impact on how the shaft performs. Go through a professional fitting to see which shaft works best for you.
Much like drivers, a lot of hybrids offer adjustability. Adjustability provides greater flexibility for what is, arguably, already the most versatile golf club in the bag. Being able to change loft and lie to fit to your swing offers improved fitting versatility. Adjustability can help you optimize ball flight. So whether you use your hybrid for approach shots or off the tee, adjusting the loft can help with hitting the desired shot based on your own tendencies. Furthermore, adjustability can assist with proper gapping throughout your bag.
During each test, we look for trends that provide insight into where the market as a whole is moving as well as what noteworthy changes manufacturers have made to improve year-to-year performance. Additionally, we solicit feedback from our testers. We want to understand what they liked, what they didn’t like and why. Although we obtain their feedback, their subjective opinions do not influence, dictate or determine our testing rankings.
Trends and Tweaks
- New Level breaks into the hybrid category with the NLH-01. Will we see them continue to expand their offerings?
- Adjustability remains prominent in the hybrid category. Five out of the 19 products we tested offer adjustability. We don’t foresee adjustability going anywhere but up.
- Adams Tight Lies creates some buzz with an impressive performance. Perhaps an Adams resurgence is in the works?
Notes From the Testing Pool
The following section details subjective feedback from our pool of 20 testers. Gathering feedback is an important aspect of any test. We use their feedback as a representation of what golfers like and dislike about the product we test. That being said, the feedback is strictly subjective. It does not play a factor in the rankings.
- Hybrids are versatile. They are also have varying designs and profiles. Here are the hybrids with the highest praise for design and profiling: PXG 0311 Gen5, PXG 0311 XF Gen5, Tommy Armour 845 Max, Sub 70 949x, Callaway Rogue ST Pro, Mizuno ST-X 220, COBRA KING LTDx and TaylorMade Stealth.
- In terms of feel, there are a plethora of hybrids that impressed our testing pool. They are Callaway Rogue ST Max, Max OS and Pro, New Level NLH-01, PXG 0311 Gen5 and 0311 XF Gen5, Adams Tight Lies, TaylorMade Stealth, Sub 70 949x and Tour Edge Exotics C722.
2022 MOST WANTED HYBRID SCORES
2022 Most Wanted Hybrid Scores
|PRODUCT||OVERALL SCORE||DISTANCE SCORE||ACCURACY SCORE||FORGIVENESS SCORE|
|Sub 70 949X|
|Callaway Rogue ST Max OS|
|Tommy Armour 845 Max|
|New Level NLH-01|
|Adams Tight Lies|
|Cobra KING LTDx|
|PXG 0311 Gen5|
|PXG 0311 XF Gen5|
|Cleveland Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood|
|Mizuno ST-X 220|
|Callaway Rogue ST Pro|
|Tour Edge Exotics C722|
|Callaway Rogue ST Max|
|Tour Edge Exotics E722|
|Wilson Staff Launch Pad 2|
2022 MOST WANTED HYBRID DATA
Here at MyGolfSpy, we are “data-cratic.” If you’re looking for 2022 Most Wanted Hybrid data, CLICK HERE.
- While stronger lofts can produce more distance, not every golfer is able to generate the launch and height necessary to create playable landing angles into greens. If you struggle to get your long or mid irons into the air and have trouble holding greens on approach, consider switching to a 5-, 6- or 7-hybrid for more effective and consistent shots.
- We all love the idea of distance. But whether you are using a hybrid for approach shots or off the tee, don’t obsess over distance. Hybrids are scoring clubs; you want playability. For approach shots, consider a hybrid that launches higher, spins a bit more and offers greater forgiveness. If you use a hybrid almost exclusively off the tee, a lower-launching and -spinning hybrid might provide the perfect recipe for success.
- All other things being equal, a hybrid will typically produce more speed, launch higher and ultimately travel farther than an identically lofted iron. For that reason, it’s important to be mindful of your yardage gaps, particularly in the transitions from fairways to hybrids and hybrids to irons. A good rule of thumb is to look for four mph of ball speed between clubs.
BUYING A NEW HYBRID
Q: How often should I buy new a hybrid?
A: While on rare occasions there are quantifiable year-over-year breakthroughs, typically it takes three to five years for manufacturers to make any significant performance gains. With the USGA further tightening restrictions on manufacturers, it’s possible, even likely, that it will take longer still moving forward. Our recommendation is to buy new a new hybrid only when it appreciably outperforms what is already in your bag. Of course, if you want a new hybrid because you want a new hybrid, that’s fine, too.
Q: How do I determine the right hybrid for me?
A: Choosing the right type of hybrid can seem daunting but starting with an assessment of your own game is a great jumping-off point. Figure out what you need out of a hybrid. Do you find yourself having long irons into greens often? You may need a hybrid for short par-4 tee shots or high-lofted shots into par-5s. Make sure you let your fitter know what you’re hoping to achieve so they can guide you to a club that will optimize launch conditions and help you shoot lower scores.
Q: Does the shaft matter?
A: Absolutely. While changes to spin and launch are rarely massive, shaft changes frequently lead to improved accuracy, tighter dispersion and greater overall consistency.
Q: What should I look for when testing hybrids?
A: While golfers have been conditioned to consider distance to the exclusion of nearly everything else, we recommended looking at the little numbers and looking for small circles. When comparing metrics like distance and ball speed, be sure to look at your standard deviations (the small numbers usually found under the big ones on the data screen). Smaller numbers mean better consistency which will usually mean more than an extra yard or two on the golf course. Similarly, look for tighter dispersion ellipses (small circles). We can’t overemphasize the importance of consistency with hybrids.
Q: What does Most Wanted mean?
A: We define Most Wanted as the best-performing club. Based on Strokes Gained, it’s the club that was shown to be in the top-performing group for the highest percentage of our testing pool. For more detailed information, see our How We Test page.
Q: How is the Most Wanted Hybrid determined?
A: To determine the Most Wanted Hybrid, we collect performance metrics with Foresight GCQuad Launch Monitors. To determine our overall rankings, we don’t just focus on averages. Instead, through proprietary methodologies, we determine the winner based on three key metrics: accuracy, distance and forgiveness.
Q: How is the “Longest” Hybrid determined?
A: To determine the Longest Hybrid, we again look past the raw averages to consider the average total yards across the test pool along with the statistical reliability of that data.
Q: How is the “Most Forgiving” Hybrid determined?
A: To determine the Most Forgiving Hybrid, we focus on a narrower set of metrics that includes:
- Ball speed consistency
- Spin consistency
- Carry consistency
- Dispersion area
Q: How are the hybrids in the test fitted to each golfer?
A: We use a fitting process that we call fit from stock. Hybrids are fitted to each tester using the stock, no up-charge options from each manufacturer. We test hybrids ranging in loft from 18 to 20 degrees. While less so in this category, adjustability is growing in popularity. When movable weights or adjustable hosels are available, we make every effort to optimize each club for each tester. Occasionally, manufacturers will send multiple sets with different stock shafts that we can utilize to improve launch conditions.
Q: How much does subjective feedback like looks, sound, and feel factor into your rankings?
A: ZERO. Our rankings are based purely on launch monitor data and quantifiable performance metrics.
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