Adams New Idea hybrid irons offer super game improvement

By Mercer BaggsOctober 18, 2013, 2:30 pm

I suck.

Like the popularity of reality TV, I’ve recognized this for a long time, but never embraced it. Acceptance, however, has finally occurred: I will forever be a bad golfer.

There are ways to improve, but none I’m willing to endure.

Play more? Nope. Practice more? Nope. Take lessons? Nope.

I’ve shot in the 70s before and routinely shot in the low-80s. Now, I can’t break 90.

I want a return to the salad days – with minimal effort. I’ve got young kids and limited me time. I don’t get to play often and when I do, I’d like to enjoy it. I’d like to have a few birdie opportunities and more pars than ‘others.’

After much consideration, I came to this conclusion: If I’m not going to change me, I need to change my clubs.

Pride goeth before a fall. Pride didn’t cause my fall; apathy and priorities did. But now that I’m down, pride be damned.

After eight years of hitting Ben Hogan BH-5 irons, I’ve put the Adams New Idea hybrid irons in my bag. My sucky game needs super game-improvement irons. Not game-improvement irons – super game-improvement irons.



According to Michael Fox, Adams director of global product management, these irons are for 15-handicap players and above.

Got that demographic covered.

He also said that Adams’ latest line is for two types of players: “Those who don’t know any better and those who have given up.”

The former includes casual players who buy clubs more for appearance (or based on a sales pitch) than for their specific needs. The latter includes me.

“Those who have given up are the players who have been playing for a long time and realize they aren’t going to get better with the status quo,” Fox said. “They’re not going to practice much or take lessons. They need a different route.”

The New Idea set is composed of three long-hybrids (3-5), two hybrid-iron combos (6-7) and three extreme perimeter-weighted short-irons (8-PW).

It retails for $699.

“You get $500 worth of hybrids in a complete $700 set,” Fox said. “And the hybrids are designed for the set. They’re not add-ons.”

The clubs have an upside-down shape, giving them more contact space on the bottom than on the top. Makes sense.

The crown and sole of the hybrids have the same vertical channel found in the recently revived Adams Tight Lies fairway woods. The middle- and short-irons feature a 270-degree slot, which wraps around the toe.

“Swing data shows that 80 percent of mid- to high-handicap players’ impact is ½ inch off center, off the toe,” Fox said. “You can’t create clubs with a sweet spot just in the center. It has to extend to the toe of the club.

“(The wraparound slot) offers 23 percent more forgiveness for off-center, off-the-toe shots. That’s a 12-yard advantage.”

They’re the bulkiest clubs I’ve ever hit, but, if anything, the size gives you confidence that the clubs are going to give you much needed assistance. Aesthetically, they look good.

How about performance?

I gotta admit, I put a lot of stock into these clubs. They’re super game-improvement irons. They’re for the worst golfers on the market. Good gracious, if these can’t help me then nothing (at least nothing I’m willing to try) will.

After two hours on the range, I left impressed and hopeful. My first shot, sure enough, went off the toe of the wedge. But it still had a nice, high trajectory.

The biggest issue was figuring out my swing. I’ve spent the last few years trying to manufacture a swing that would get me through 18 holes at a time. I put three different movements on the ball using the New Idea hybrid irons and got mostly the same results – good trajectory, distance and direction.

I still hit some poor shots, but even super game-improvement irons aren’t a cure-all for sucking at golf. All-in-all, there was noticeable improvement, particularly with the long-hybrids and hybrid-irons.

Now onto the course. I won’t bore you with shot-by-shot details, but about two weeks after first hitting the clubs on the range, I shot 87. If not for a shaky short game (one that is rarely practiced) and horrible driving (no club from any manufacturer has ever solved this problem), the score would have been at least five strokes lower.

Not bad for someone who can’t remember the last time he broke 90.

All credit due to the New Idea irons. Nearly every time I hit the fairway, I hit a green in regulation. Even when I was in moderate trouble off the tee, I managed to hit the green or get in the neighborhood. The only issue was with distance control. With the new hybrid irons, I was a club longer than in the past. I can handle that issue.

Not only did I leave the course with a score in the 80s, I also left wanting to play again. That hasn’t happened for a long time, either.

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry