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.