Adams Super 9031: A hybrid for better players
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Adams' goal for the Super 9031 hybrid is to get back to what hybrid clubs were originally designed to do: bridge the gap between long irons and fairway woods.
"Hybrids started with small heads and were a lot closer to irons than woods," says Mike Fox, Adams' director of global product marketing. "We really wanted to get back to making a smaller hybrid with this one, making it easier to hit than a long iron but still making it workable."
The company's latest offering for better players will be available for $199 starting on May 15.
The biggest issue with long irons always has been that they are difficult to get into the air. Manufacturers responded, according to Fox, with easy-to-hit hybrids that place a premium on lowering the CG, making hitting high shots easier.
That emphasis served high-handicap players well. But Fox says the design trend simply went too far for better players.
To make a club that would appeal to PGA Tour players, accomplished amateurs and golfers who are seeking a hybrid that flies higher than an iron but lower than a fairway wood, Adams designed the rectangular-faced Super 9031 to be slightly asymmetrical.
"You want to get as much mass out to the toe side because the heel and the hosel of the club create a lot of weight, which moves the center of gravity more to the hosel side and creates a left-bias," Fox says. "That's something better players don't want."
Another thing that better players don't want is a club that only hits the ball high.
"The biggest issue we see with hybrids, really for the amateur golfer as well as the better player, is that you can't hit them low because the clubs are all high-launch," Fox says. "You can't hit from under a tree, you can't knock them down…. They're just not designed that way."
So while the CG position in the white-crowned Super 9031 is low relative to an iron's, it is high when compared with many other hybrids on the market. A higher CG should make it easier to keep the ball down.
The 80-cc Super 9031, which will come standard with an 82-gram Mitsubishi Diamana D+ shaft, also has almost no camber, or curvature in its sole, a feature that is typically designed into hybrids built for mid- and higher-handicap players who likely will use the club in the rough more often.
"Better players don't hit a lot of hybrids out of the rough," Fox says, "so we don't have to design all that camber into the club. And players can hit it more like an iron, with a descending blow."
To make sure the Super 9031's small head still packs a punch, Adams designed it with a thin, 455-Carpenter steel face and a slot in both the sole and the crown – allowing the face to flex at impact for more ball speed. Fox says the characteristic time, the measure of the springiness of the face, is around 240 to 245. Drivers typically have a CT near 250, and the USGA limit is 256.