Cleveland Classic hybrid

Cleveland Classic hybrids.

When it comes to hybrids, Cleveland has focused on two main design features to help golfers escape from rough, fairway bunkers and all sorts of nasty places on the course: railed soles and a precisely positioned center of gravity. With the Classic hybrid, the company continues that tradition for players who want versatility and ease-of-use.

The five Classic hybrids all feature a dual-railed sole design that Cleveland calls Gliderail. The company says the rails allow the bottom of the club to skim across the ground without digging, keeping the clubhead moving. That should help golfers get more distance and make solid contact more consistently.

Along with the rails, Cleveland designed the face of the Classic hybrid with a center keel. Basically, the bottom-center section of the hitting area has a gentle triangular shape, so it decreases the amount of surface area that actually comes in contact with the ground. Again, Cleveland says this should help the club work more easily from a wide variety of lies.

Cleveland also says that the center of gravity in the Classic hybrid has been moved lower and farther back, which should make it easier to hit the ball high in the air.

For players who have trouble hitting long irons high enough or who need help escaping from awkward spots on the course, these features should combine to create more versatility, forgiveness and distance.

While some previously released Cleveland hybrids like the Mashie had a vintage look, the Classic has a simple all-black design on its crown.

The Cleveland Classic hybrids are available in 15.5-, 18-, 20.5-, 23- and 26-degree versions. When they were first released, they cost $149.

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