Written By: Tony Covey
Meet Adams red
For those just learning about or seeing the Adams red hybrid for the first time today, the first thing I should tell you is that it's very much an Adams legacy hybrid with a shape that should appeal to better players. Whether you want to call that tour-proven, or just comparatively compact, it doesn't really matter. Red is old-school Adams with updated tech.
Red is not blue.
While not a peanut, Red is a hybrid in the tradition of XTD TI, A12 Pro, and other great Adams hybrids of that ilk. It's the club that gives long-time Adams fans something to get excited about.
In case I haven't been clear, Red is a hybrid for guys who love Adams hybrids.
Red leverages some of the same technology found in the Tight Lies 2 series, including a Velocity Slot on the sole and a nearly-invisible Ghost Slot on the crown. You should take that to mean that red's unique technology doesn't come at the expense of distance.
While Adams elected to go with a glued hosel (no loft/face angle adjustablity) for the red hybrid, they added a really interesting adjustable weight system to the sole.
A portion of the soleplate is secured with two screws. Once those screws have been loosened the golfer is able to move the 25 gram weight to one of three positions (heel, toe, center). The other two positions are filled by what really amount to 2 gram plugs, which means we've got 21g of actual mass movement. That leaves us with a fairly substantial amount of weight to play with.
red Theory 101
With red Adams wanted to create a hybrid that could be considered anti-hook. One of the main complaints we hear about hybrids from guys who either cling to their long irons, or bag hybrids begrudgingly, is that they have a tendency hit hit massive hooks (and pull hooks) with their hybrids.
It's a legitimate problem and one Adams wanted to to fix. And...well, as long as you're developing a hybrid to reduce hooks, why not leverage that same technology to help guys that slice their hybrids too? Toss in a 3rd (center) position option, and now you've got a hybrid with the potential to address the specific needs of a substantial number of players that still looks plenty traditional-enough for tour players, better players, and anyone else who doesn't like staring down at any gimmicky crap on his golf clubs.
Now is a good time to mention that, at address, there's absolutely nothing out of the ordinary about the Adams red. It just looks good.
The red hybrid's weighting system should effect ball flight the same way heel to toe mass movement works with a driver. With the weight in the center, the red has a neutral bias, which I suppose is the same thing as no bias. Move the 25 gram weight to the toe and the club becomes fade biased, or anti-hook. Finally, move the 25g weight to the heel and now you've got a draw bias.
1 club = 3 clubs.
That sound good, right? It's actually not that hard to understand either, which is something the otherwise wrench averse should appreciate.
What we really wanted to find out is whether or not all that weight flipping actually accomplishes anything.
How We Tested
The goal of this test was to determine what impact moving weight in the Adams red hybrid has on performance and feel.
- Testing was done with an 20° #4 Adams red hybrid in stiff flex.
- Testers hit a series of shots with the 25g weight in each of 3 positions (heel, toe, center).
- Weight positions were randomized between testers and rotated every few shots.
- To ensure a consistent lie, all shots were hit off a Country Club Elite mat from Real Feel Golf Mats
- Shots data was recorded with a Foresight GC2 Launch Monitor
The table below shows the averages across all testers for each of the 3 weight configurations of the Adams Red Hybrid.
While it should be noted that the majority of golfers for this test were better golfers. That said, it's still interesting that our results show very little difference in performance between the center and heel weight positions. It's perhaps intriguing that our testers were on average more offline (and favored the left side with those misses) with the the weight in the center, but the differences were negligible.
With the weight in the toe, the numbers changed dramatically. Ball speed dropped by 3-4 MPH, launch angle, spin, and curvature (axis tilt) increased significantly. Carry yards dropped by 10+, and the testers were substantially farther off the center line.
Should we interpret this to mean that the toe position will always have a negative impact on performance?
While the obvious answer is yes, I'm going to suggest that it may not be that cut and dry.
It must be noted that the majority of our testers absolutely hate the way the red hybrid feels with the 25g weight in the toe. After hitting his first ball in the toe position, one tester glared at me and asked, "What the hell did you do to this thing?" While others were perhaps not as pointed in their questioning, it's safe to say our guys weren't loving what they were feeling and seeing from the toe-weighted position.
As the guy standing behind the GC2 holding an iPad, it's unusual for me to notice dramatic changes in sound after moving weight around. It's different with red.
In the years that MyGolfSpy has been testing clubs I can't recall another instance where moving weight around had such a profound impact on sound, feel, and performance. With red performance likely boils down to finding the right weighting for your swing.
The majority of our testers told us they thought the club felt best with the weight in the center, and noticeably worse in the toe. That correlates pretty well with our data, and my auditory experience lines up with the feedback from our testers. The red hybrid sounds lively with the weight in the center, and to a slightly lesser extent in the heel. With the weight in the toe it's a dull thud. It feels dead.
At the risk of stating the painfully obvious, guys who don't need the weight in the toe, probably won't like the weight in the toe.
It's Dead, but it Works
Here's the thing, through all of our testing we saw exactly 1 hooked shot while the 25g weight was in the toe position As the offline number suggests, the toe setting showed a heavy right-side bias. Basically, the toe setting appears to actually be anti-hook.
If you don't play hybrids because you hook hybrids, the Adams red is a legitimate option...maybe the best option. I'd also wager that for those who routinely hit the ball toe-side, putting weight behind the point of impact should actually increase ball speed.
Of course, for those of you who play it straight, or need some help avoiding the right side of the golf course, red is capable of handling that challenge flawlessly.
At the very least, red is what Adams fans likely want it to be; a versatile hybrid with clean lines and a compact shape. Hopefully it's not the last one.
Retail price for the Adams red hybrid is $229.99