Not too long ago we had an up close and personal look at the Idea Pro Gold Irons and today we will be checking out the Idea Pro Gold hybrids that can be purchased individually or along with the irons as a set. Adams Golf has quickly made a name for themselves over the past few years by engineering rock solid hybrids that always seem to dominate the various professional tours. The original Idea Pro hybrid was especially well regarded and has evolved into the Idea Pro Gold.
As always, we will start with a little background information on the clubs and the technical specifications. Throughout the review you will find pictures like the one below, if you would like to see a larger image, simply click on the picture.
With our Idea hybrids ranking as the most-played on the 2008 PGA, Champions and Nationwide Tours, our engineers were able to canvass the tours with hybrid prototypes in an effort to gain feedback from the worldâ€™s best golfers.
The result is the Idea Pro Gold Hybrid that utilizes advanced geometric shaping (known as Boxer Technology), an improved maraging steel face and an enhanced weighting system.
- Idea Hybrids â€” #1 on 2008 PGA, Champions and Nationwide Tours.
- Improved maraging steel face for a 10% hotter ball flight compared to the Idea Pro.
- Boxer Technology delivers advanced geometric shaping for higher MOI resulting in 5% more forgiveness on offâ€“center hits.
Look and Feel
The first thing that will jump out at owners of the original Idea Pro hybrid is the squared off shape of the Idea Pro Gold. Adams Golf, as mentioned earlier, has integrated their Boxer technology from the earlier generation A3 hybrids into the Idea Pro Gold line. When I first got the club in my hand I was a little put off, however, as more and more square shaped clubs arrive in the marketplace, I have grown to actually like the shape of the Idea Pro Gold. It is not nearly as squared off as something like the Callaway Squareway or Nike Sumo Squared Hybrids. As you can see in the pictures below, the toe is actually slightly rounded so from that end of the club it does appear more traditional. When you flip the club over and take a gander at the sole, more of that Boxer technology will jump out at you.
Pro Gold vs A3 Boxer
Idea Pro vs Pro Gold
Idea Pro vs Pro Gold
I was absolutely in love with the sound and feel of the original Idea Pro hybrid. The solid thud you were rewarded with on a hit off the screws was extremely satisfying. I feel like I have lost a little of that with the Idea Pro Gold. The sound is a little more ‘metal tingy’, though the feel is still quite solid at impact. Slightly off center hits are not quite as harsh as the Idea Pro either. This could be a good thing, or a bad thing. It is not a huge difference, I would just say something I noticed when I first switched from the Pro to the Pro Gold. It put me off at first, but then I hit Idea Pro…Pro Gold…Pro…Pro Gold…and had a real hard time disputing the results (but we will get into that in the Performance section).
If you have a look at the first picture in the review, you’ll notice some little grooves under where it says Tour Prototype. I am not sure of the engineering reasoning behind this (maybe to reduce weight?) but it is a lovely place for dirt to collect when you hit the ball a little fat or are playing out of some thicker rough.
Here is where I was sold on these clubs. The performance, especially on slight mishits is absolutely phenomenal. I really loved playing the Idea Pro, but when I took the two to the range and out on the course I would hit the same shots back to back. Rarely was I able to execute the shot as often with the Idea Pro. The Pro Gold just flat out put the ball where I wanted. Sure, I still put real bad swings on the ball here or there and the Pro Gold is not going to magically save you, but in those cases where you catch the ball a little closer to the heel or toe, the Pro Gold’s Boxer technology really pulls through for you. I would lose noticeable distance with the Idea Pro on those shots, where as the Pro Gold really seems to hold its line and still carry an acceptable distance.
The addition of a little forgiveness has not dramatically impacted ones ability to work the ball with this club either. I can still get the ball to bend left or right pretty easily and unlike a lot of hybrids on the market you can also keep the ball low. This was a huge pet peeve of my golf instructor. He is a Callaway staffer and complained that he could never keep a Callaway hybrid out of the stratosphere. I let him hit the Idea Pro Gold a few times and he said he would have to give his Adams rep a call. He had no issue hitting it low, high, left, right, anything he threw at it, it seemed to respond well.
Originally the Idea Pro Gold was shipped with either the JavlnFX or Matrix Altus graphite shafts. Today it seems Adams is exclusively offering the club in Matrix Altus configurations, though you can custom order whatever shaft fits your swing best. While I read some negative reviews of the JavlnFX shaft, I actually found it to fit my swing well. I played an Altus Hybrid shaft in my Idea Pro and loved the smoothness and consistency of the shaft, but did not find the JavlnFX to be much of a step down. Right now I have a 20 and 23 degree Idea Pro Gold fitted with the JavlnFX and recently picked up a 16 fitted with the Altus. I still have not decided which shaft I should stick with! Best advice, go hit them both, preferably on a launch monitor, and have a professional tell you which best suits your swing.
What amazes me with this club is how predicable the distances are for me now, especially off a tee. My home course is a little short but features a lot of very tight driving holes. The 20 degree Idea Pro Gold really has become my go to club on those shorter par 4s and I can count on a good swing landing in nearly the same exact spot every time I walk up to those tees. It really is very confidence inspiring.
At first I was reluctant to drop the 4 iron from my game and replace it with a 4 hybrid, but again…take the two clubs to the range and hit them back to back. Hit 10 balls with the hybrid, 10 with the iron. I might hit 9 or even 10 shots as I expect with the hybrid, where as the iron might be 7 or 8. I sucked it up and bagged the hybrid. I love it so much, I actually find myself hardly ever using even my 5 iron. Choke up on the 4 a little, take a 75% swing and I am far more accurate and consistent with the 4 hybrid. I toyed with the idea of dropping the 23 hybrid and picking up the 26 (5 iron replacement), but I think I would miss the utility of having a long iron in certain situations.
That brings me to the last area of performance I would like to mention…punching out/low ‘save your butt from the hooked tee-shot into the woods’ shot. I usually play the low punch hook with a 4 iron or 5 iron, I never really had much success using a hybrid on those types of shots. I was able to execute a few of those shots with the 23 Idea Pro Gold Hybrid on the course, but more often than not, I felt like I would have been better off using the traditional 5 iron. That’s just my game though. With some practice, I am sure it’s as easy with this club, as it is pretty easy to keep the ball down.
The Idea Pro Gold Hybrid originally retailed for well over $200. It was quite the expensive hybrid. However, today you can find these in most retail shops for $119. Or, if you want to also give the Idea Pro Gold Irons a shot, the 4 and 3 hybrids are included in the set. You can also find the hybrids on eBay for well under $100 usually or the #4 and #3 included with used or new sets on eBay for around $500.
To show you how much I trust these clubs, I will be bagging both the Idea Pro Gold Irons and Hybrids (#4,#3,#1) for my club championship qualifying this weekend. So check back early next week, or follow me on twitter and I will let you know how it went!