Consumers can be a demanding bunch. We want products to stand out, but not too much. We want meaningful differentiation so long as it isn’t cringeworthy.
Mundane monikers struggle to stand out by name alone (M5, G400); however, it’s easy to overdo it and enter the Speed Foam zone, where golfers ask rhetorically, “Is that a real name or some SNL spoof?”
I guess you’re damned if you do and damned if you super don’t.
In the case of Callaway’s Super Hybrid, it’s a befitting name because, according to Callaway, it’s “something entirely new: a hybrid that can deliver the power of a fairway wood.” Another way to view the Super Hybrid is as a fairway wood replacement, which retains the essential attributes of a fairway metal while holding on to a good bit of the inherent advantages of hybrids.
Not surprisingly, Callaway wants consumers to know that the Super Hybrid is built to be super long. All things being equal, fairway woods tend to offer more distance than similarly lofted hybrids due to three factors: Length, material, and weighting/CG location.
In this instance, length likely doesn’t play a huge role, however at 41.5” (17°/3h) the Super Hybrid is longer than both the 18° Apex and 18° Epic hybrid (40.5”) models. That aside, the more compelling evidence comes via its technology story.
With Callaway’s Super Hybrid, engineers opted for a high-strength titanium face insert alongside a lighter (5 gr) T2C Triaxial carbon crown to form the basic footprint. As is becoming staple in Callaway’s metalwood line up, these two pieces are supported by Jailbreak Technology – the two internal bars which stiffen the body, thus placing more impact load on the face for better ball speeds.
Titanium is lighter and stronger than steel, and carbon composites are much lighter than either titanium or steel. So, basically, what we have is a lightweight titanium-face/carbon-body construction, which leaves up to 68 grams of discretionary weight. This gives Callaway latitude to reposition weight in the heel and toe in the form of high-density MIM’d weights. The primary benefit of heel-toe weighting is increased MOI/forgiveness on off-center strikes.
Additionally, a slightly lighter hosel adapter takes weight out of the heel and gives the Super Hybrid a more neutral native CG location and shot shape bias. As with previous adapters, golfers can alter loft by three degrees (-1° to +2°) and opt for either a neutral or draw-biased lie angle.
In terms of a target audience, the Super Hybrid isn’t class-specific, though my hunch is it favors the player who historically struggles with hybrids but wouldn’t mind something smaller than a traditional higher-lofted fairway wood. Also, the Super Hybrid favors the player who could benefit from some draw-bias, which likely eliminates a reasonable number of higher swing-speed players. Everyone not named Brooks, DJ, or Cam seems to be in the market for more distance, so while longer isn’t always better, it’s a large chunk of why Callaway believes the Super Hybrid is more than just pleasant or very good.
It should also be noted that Callaway isn’t the only OEM on the market with a titanium-faced hybrid. Tommy Armour (Atomic) combo-brazes a DAT-55 titanium face to a carbon body while the CBX119 from Tour Edge features a beta titanium face, hypersteel body, and carbon composite sole. The worthy point here is that performance is a function of many variables, and adding any club to the bag without considering how it might impact the performance of other clubs is short-sighted. That said, many players struggle to find a long-term solution to address distance gaps between the longest iron and highest-lofted fairway wood, and Callaway makes a strong case the Super Hybrid may just be worthy of its self-proclaimed forename.
Specs, Pricing & Availability
Pre-order date – 10/22/19
Product at Retail – 11/1/19
MSRP – $319.99
The Super Hybrid comes in lofts of 17°, 20°, and 23° and is available in both RH/LH.
UPDATE: Callaway originally stated the stock shaft would be the Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 85, a higher-torque version of the Tensei CK Pro Orange model that’s popular on tour. Per updated information, the stock shaft will be the Mitsubishi CK Pro Orange 80.
For more information visit callawaygolf.com