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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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.