Adams a12 hybrid review

"Based on the numbers alone the Adams Idea Pro A12 is the single most impressive hybrid we've tested to date.  For those who prefer a compact head, the Idea Pro A12 is as close to a perfect design as I've encountered."

Adams A12 Pro Hybrid

(Written By: GolfSpy_T) I've been hoping to be wowed by a hybrid for the last couple of years. When I wrote the review of the Titleist 910H I mentioned that I was hoping to finally find something to replace my 585H. Though it performed well enough, the 910 wasn't that club. Neither was the Cleveland Mashie hybrid we reviewed a few weeks later.

Though I had never found an Adams hybrid I liked before (either too big, or too boxy); considering Adams is the #1 hybrid on the PGA Tour, it made sense to add at least one of their hybrids to our review schedule. We were all set to ask Adams to send us a few of the V3 hybrids to test out when they announced the release of their Idea Pro A12 series (both hyrbids and irons). In the review game, newer is always better (even when it's not), so that's what we asked Adams to send, and thankfully, that's what they did.

The Marketing Angle

Apart from that #1 on Tour thing, Adams more or less allows their clubs to speak for themselves. There's not much in the way of marketing speak bogging down the A12 Pro hybrid. Like plenty of other new clubs hitting the market today, it features a black finish to reduce glare (and appeal to golfers). The sole has been redesigned with more camber (both front to back and heel to toe), which reduces turf interaction. As you might expect, Adams says the A12 Pro hybrid features a hot face for higher ball speeds, and a more penetrating ball flight. While just about every OEM is advertising higher ball speeds, and improved trajectory, what really matters here as that the A12 is targeted at the better player, or the guys that don't struggle to get the ball airborne. If you're looking for a game-improvement hybrid, Adams has one or two that qualify, but the A12 Pro isn't one of them.

It should be mentioned that our testers almost universally approved of Adams' decision to offer the Decade Multi-Compound grip standard. We also applaud Adams for offering two fantastic stock shafts with the Aldila RIP VS Proto and the Matrix Ozik Altus Hybrid. As has been the case with Adams, neither is of the "made for" variety.

How We Tested

The 6 golfers for whom we collected detailed performance data were asked to hit a series of shots on our 3Track Equipped simulators from aboutGolf.  As usual, testing was done at Tark's Indoor Golf, a state of the art indoor golf facility located in Saratoga Springs, NY.  Detailed data for each and every shot for which we collected data is now viewable in the interactive portion of this review.  This data serves as the foundation for our final performance score.  As a supplement to our 6 performance testers, a subset of additional golfers were given the opportunity to test the Adams Idea Pro A12 hybrid and provide feedback in our subjective categories (looks, feel, perceived distance, perceived accuracy, perceived forgiveness, and likelihood of purchase).  This information, which we also collected from our performance testers, is used as the foundation for our total subjective score.  Although several rounds were played with18°, 20°, and 23° degree hybrids in our testers bags, formal testing for the purpose of data collection was done with the 20° hybrid in the tester's choice of regular or stiff flex. At our request, samples provided by Adams were outfitted with the RIP VS Proto Shaft.

PERFORMANCE SCORING

Distance

Our testers averaged just over 216 yards with the Adams Idea Pro A12 hybrid, making it the longest of the hybrids we've tested to date. Though no testers scored less than 95 (95.48 was the low), it has to mentioned that with only 20° of loft, the Adams is also the strongest lofted hybrid we've tested to date. At 40" long, the shaft length is identical to the previously reviewed Titleist 910H, and 1/4" shorter than the Cleveland Mashie.

MGS Distance Score: 97.54

Accuracy

We've discussed before how golfers are only marginally more accurate with their hybrids than they are with their drivers. Though that wasn't the case for all of our testers, for about half that was indeed the case. With 3 testers missing by less than 15, and 3 missing by more, as a group our testers missed the center line by an average of 15.5 yards, which while not bad, isn't exceptional either.

MGS Accuracy Score: 86.38

Consistency

With our consistency formulas, it's not unusual to see scores in the high 90s. Given that the Idea Pro A12 is a so-called player's hybrid, with a premium on control and workability, it's not overly surprising that the consistency scores aren't what we'd likely see from a game-improvement hybrid. As with accuracy, the forgiveness scores aren't exceptional, but they are the highest we've seen for a hybrid to date. What we believe this proves is that despite being "easier to hit" than long irons, hybrids simply don't provide consistent results for the majority of golfers.

MGS Consistency Score: 92.84

Overall Performance

When it comes to scoring hybrids, accuracy accounts for 10% more than distance, which is why despite posting average accuracy scores, the Adams Idea Pro A12 was able to post an A grade for overall performance. We don't think this is a hybrid that will perform well for everyone, but in the right hands, it's likely among the very best in its class.

MGS OVERALL PERFORMANCE SCORE: 91.49


SUBJECTIVE SCORING

Looks

There are a couple of things that stand out about the Adams Idea Pro A12 hybrid. First is shape. As I mentioned already, the Idea Pro A12 is geared towards better players. It's reminiscent of the Adams Peanut and is certainly smaller than most anything else on the market today. A couple of testers commented that the design is smaller than they'd like, although I find it to be perfect.

Some like the visible split between the body and the crown that gives the top of the club a two-tone appearance. Personally, I'd like it better if they hid the seams and gave the whole thing a matte finish. It's my one and only complaint with the design.

MGS Looks Score: 83.31

Feel

"Outstanding " and "Amazing" were two of the most common adjectives used to described the Idea Pro A12. While I'd say that it feels better than most any hybrid I've ever hit on solidly struck balls, what I appreciate more is the feedback. It's not necessarily that I know when I hit it well, it's that I know exactly where I missed. While not sweet, mishits aren't harsh, but the club definitely lets you know you misfired.

MGS Feel Score: 94.06

Perceived Distance

Most of our testers believe the Idea Pro A12 to be longer than what's currently in their bags. As a result, perceived distance scores were very high, and inline with the results of our performance testing.

Tester Perceived Distance Score: 86.00

Perceived Accuracy

The numbers suggest that the Idea Pro A12 offers slightly above average accuracy. Our testers not only agreed with that assessment, but their subjective evaluations nearly matched our performance number exactly. It's as close to subjectivity matching performance as we've every had. Given how low the perceived accuracy was for the last hybrid we tested (61.89), it's reassuring to see that our testers may actually believe they can hit a hybrid straight.

Tester Perceived Accuracy Score: 86.00

Perceived Forgiveness

Though one tester mentioned that he felt more confident with each shot, forgiveness wasn't a topic of discussion for any of our testers. Quite frankly I'm a bit surprised to see the number as high as it is. I'm not suggesting the Idea Pro A12 isn't forgiving, but given many of our testers preferences for a larger, game-improvement style type heads (which probably do offer more forgiveness), I thought they'd lean more towards "great feel, but not forgiving". Instead we've got great feel, above average forgiveness.

Tester Perceived Forgiveness Score: 88.69

Likelihood of Purchase

Though one of our testers actually went out and purchased a couple of Idea Pro A12s, most told us they'd consider it. It clear to me that the smaller design that I prefer won't appeal to every golfer, or probably even the majority of golfers. Having said that, there's enough to the Idea Pro A12 that even if they shape isn't ideal, our testers still think it's worth taking a serious look at.

Tester Likelihood of Purchase: 88.69

TOTAL SUBJECTIVE SCORE: 89.23

CONCLUSION

Based on the numbers alone the Adams Idea Pro A12 is the single most impressive hybrid we've tested to date. I've already discussed that the smaller, more iron-like shape, may not appeal to all golfers, and especially those who tend to sweep their hybrids like fairway woods. For those who prefer a compact head, the Idea Pro A12 is as close to a perfect design as I've encountered.

As I said at the onset, I've been on a bit of a quest to replace my Titleist 585H. Not only has the Idea Pro A12 done that, but I'm actually carrying 3 of them (I dropped both my 4-iron, and my 4 wood). While I have lost a few yards switching from 4 wood to an 18° hybrid, the accuracy increase has been so dramatic that I don't even worry about the distance (although I am very anxious to see what I could do with the 16° model).

What I really like, however; is the versatility. Occasionally, I need to be able to hit around or under something, and do with some distance. I've never found it easier to keep the ball down and move it in either direction than I do with this club. Having a club that not only makes me believe I can hit a 200 yard low fade that starts out under the tree branches before threading the needle between two greenside bunkers,  but actually lets me do it; that's not a valuable, it's priceless.

MGS TOTAL SCORE: 91.26


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