The new Titleist 816 hybrids are now on sale, offering a fresh look and improved technology over the 915 model they replace. Titleist were so keen to bring these new hybrids to market at the same time as the new 716 range of irons, that they interrupted their customary two-year product cycle to ensure golfers have the opportunity to get custom fitted for hybrids as well as the new 716 irons at the same time.
The 915 hybrid was Titleist’s most successful model to date so to improve upon it further was going to be a difficult task. But as Titleist Golf Club General Manager Steve Pelisek told us at the launch event held at Fairmont St Andrews, there’s both a perfomance and gapping benefit to the new model compared with the old.
“Golfers associate hybrids more with irons than they do the clubs in the top end of the bag,” Steve Pelisek, General Manager for Titleist Golf Clubs, told GM. “The majority of amateur golfers use hybrids as long iron replacements, so it makes sense for us to launch the new hybrids at the same time as the irons. In addition, 60-70% of Titleist irons sold are made to order following a custom fitting, so with such a strong focus on custom fitting, it made sense to launch a new hybrid with the irons to ensure golfers can get the right gapping requirements for their games.”
The new 816 hybrids feature the same Active Recoil Channel (ARC) that appeared on the 915 woods to reduce spin and increase ball speed for more distance, but with bevelled edges to reduce the amount of dirt gathering inside the channel. A new grey finish gives the hybrids their own identity over the 915 fairway wood and driver
Just like in previous generations of Titleist hybrids, there are two versions but in 816, the differentiation between the two is much greater. The H1 is larger, more wood-like hybrid that launches higher and is more forgiving than the H2 model, which is smaller, more iron- like, has some offset and is designed for better players that engage the turf more aggressively.
The 816 hybrids are said to offer a higher launch and improved playability over the 915 hybrid as well as a simpler custom fit and gapping thanks to rounding up the loft adjustability to one degree rather than 0.75 degree on the Sure Fit Tour hosel. Gapping is aided further by the availability of more lofts as standard.