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.

American Junior Golf Association

Junior golfer's amazing run: ace, albatross, birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 11:03 pm

While most of the golf world had its attention focused on Scotland and The Open Championship at Carnoustie on Thursday, the REALLY remarkable performance of the day was taking place in Halifax, Mass.

There, in an American Junior Golf Association tournament, a 16-year-old Thai player made a hole-in-one and an albatross on consecutive holes.

According to the AJGA, Conor Kelly holed a 5-iron shot on the 198-yard, par-3 eighth hole. It was his first hole-in-one. He then holed a 4-iron second shot from 220 yards on the 480-yard ninth holer for the albatross. (We're gonna go out on a limb and say it was his first albatross.)

Certainly a nice way to make the turn - but Kelly wasn't finished. He birdied the par-4 10th for a 1-2-3 sequence on his scorecard. For the day, he shot a 5-under 67 in the AJGA Junior Golf Hub Championship at the Country Club of Halifax.

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McIlroy, Rahm betting co-favorites after Open Round 1

By Will GrayJuly 19, 2018, 10:10 pm

They're both three shots off the lead, but after starting The Open with rounds in the 60s Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are now betting co-favorites to lift the claret jug at Carnoustie.

McIlroy is four years removed from his Open triumph at Royal Liverpool, while Rahm remains in search of his first major title. Both carded rounds of 2-under 69 in Scotland to sit three shots off the lead of Kevin Kisner. While McIlroy started the tournament at 16/1 and Rahm at 20/1, they're now dead even at 10/1 in updated odds at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

Kisner started the week at 200/1, but after an opening-round 66 he's quickly been trimmed to 25/1. Tony Finau sits one shot behind Kisner and is now listed behind only McIlroy and Rahm at 12/1 after starting the tournament at 60/1.

On the other side of the coin, consensus pre-tournament betting favorite Dustin Johnson fell from 12/1 to 100/1 following an opening 76 while Masters champ Patrick Reed shot a 4-over 75 to plummet from 30/1 to 200/1. Trailing by five shots following an opening-round 71, Tiger Woods' odds remained unchanged at 25/1 as he seeks a 15th career major title.

Here's a look at the revised betting odds heading into the second round at Carnoustie:

10/1: Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm

12/1: Tony Finau

14/1: Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler

20/1: Francesco Molinari

25/1: Tiger Woods, Alex Noren, Henrik Stenson, Kevin Kisner

30/1: Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka

40/1: Ryan Moore, Jason Day

50/1: Erik Van Rooyen, Brandon Stone, Matt Kuchar

60/1: Danny Willett, Thomas Pieters, Marc Leishman, Thorbjorn Olesen, Russell Henley, Matthew Southgate

80/1: Webb Simpson, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Brendan Steele, Kevin Na

100/1: Dustin Johnson, Zander Lombard, Sung Kang, Paul Casey, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele, Chris Wood, Pat Perez, Luke List, Charley Hoffman

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Despite 78, Lincicome savors PGA Tour experience

By Randall MellJuly 19, 2018, 9:41 pm

Two bad holes derailed Brittany Lincicome in her historic start Thursday at the Barbasol Championship, but they couldn’t wipe the smile off her face afterward.

It might have been the most fun she ever had shooting a 78.

Lincicome joined Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie as the only women to tee it up in a PGA Tour event when she striped her opening tee shot down the middle Thursday at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

A double bogey at her ninth hole and a triple at her 16th might have spoiled her chances at joining Zaharias as the only women to make a 36-hole cut in a PGA Tour event, but it didn’t spoil her experience.

“I did what I wanted to do, with having fun,” Lincicome said. “I think I nailed that part pretty well.

“I love playing with the guys. It's so much fun, being inside the ropes with them. Hopefully, I can get a good one tomorrow.”

Lincicome, 32, held her own for 16 holes, playing them in 1 over par, but those two big numbers left her tied for last place when she signed her scorecard, though other players remained on the course.

At 6 over, Lincicome is 13 shots behind the leader, probably seven or eight shots off the projected cut line, but she savored the experience. She arrived wanting to inspire young girls to dream big, and to bring some extra attention to a title sponsor who means so much to her. She represents Pure Silk, part of the Barbasol family.

Sam Ryder, who joined Conrad Shindler playing alongside Lincicome, was impressed with the way Lincicome carried herself.

“I would play with her every day if she wanted to,” said Ryder, who opened with a 68. “She's just a great person.



“Even though I know she's probably a little disappointed with her final score, she had a smile on her face all day.”

Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, made her first birdie at her 12th hole, dropping a 30-foot putt, but she wasn’t happy with her putter much of the day. She missed three other good birdie chances, a 4-footer at her eighth hole, an 8-footer at her 10th and a 12-footer at the last.

“Pretty happy with my game overall,” Lincicome said. “I had two bad holes, but I drove it well. I did all the things I said I needed to do, but my putter let me down today.”

After piping her first drive, Lincicome opened with three consecutive pars.

“I was actually calmer than I thought I was going to be,” she said. “I thought I was going to be a nervous wreck. After the first tee shot, I was pretty happy that I found the fairway.”

Lincicome said Ryder and Shindler made her feel welcome. So did the crowds.

“It was great,” she said. “I could feel the energy of the crowd support me. Every time I hit a good driver or good shot, they would cheer for me, which was great.

“Conrad and Sam were so nice. I couldn't have asked for a better pairing. They were very welcoming, and we were interacting, they were asking me questions, and it was great.”

On Tuesday, Lincicome said a key to her play would be hitting fairways. She did that, hitting 10 of 14, but she was taking in longer clubs than she does in LPGA events, with Keene Trace set up at 7,168 yards. That’s 600 yards longer than she played last week at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic, where she finished second. She hit just 8 greens in regulation in this PGA Tour start.

Lincicome is nicknamed “Bam Bam.” She is one of the LPGA’s longest drivers, but she was typically 30 to 40 yards behind Ryder and Shindler after hitting her driver. She averaged 259 yards per drive, Ryder 289 yards.

“She had a couple birdie putts that she could have made,” Ryder said. “If she made a couple of those, might've been a little bit different, just to get a little bit of momentum. Who knows?”

Lincicome’s biggest challenges were the par 3s.

At the 18th, playing 195 yards, she mis-hit her tee shot, knocking it in the water, short of the green. She took a penalty, moved up to a forward tee, dropped and hit into a right greenside bunker. She got up and down from there for a 5.

At the seventh, playing 198 yards, she missed wild right and deep. From a tough spot in the rough, she left her pitch short of the green. She chipped her third past the hole and to the fringe, where she took three putts from 20 feet.

Afterward, Lincicome wasn’t dwelling on the bad shots. She was focused on going to sign autographs for all the fans waiting for her, including all the little girls who came out to see her.

“I need to go back over there and sign,” she said. “Any time I can influence a child, especially a girl, obviously I want to get them involved with the LPGA, as much as possible.”

Her overall assessment of her day?

“It was a great experience,” she said.

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Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 8:55 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the early marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.