The Golf Monthly test team's Adams Red hybrid review, a new model that features adjustable sole weights that change the draw or fade shot shape.
The Red replaces the Pro model, a non-adjustable hybrid with a Velocity slot on the crown and Cut Thru slot on the sole.
One of the very few criticisms of the excellent Pro hybrid was that the slot in the crown was a little distracting on the otherwise great-looking head. This has been addressed and while the slot remains under the hood it is now hidden. As a result the Red looks stunning behind the ball, compact without being intimidating.
The Red hybrid looks great whatever angle it is viewed from. The slot in the sole has also been filled in, meaning that it still performs but does not now get clogged up with mud, which was an annoyance in the Pro model.
The Matrix Altus shaft works brilliantly with the head to offer a high launch without the ball ballooning too much.
The Red follows on from the Pro models in that it features slots in both the crown and the sole to offer added forgiveness on shots from a wide area on the face. The slots also help to offer a high flight so that shots into greens stop quickly. Adams’ upside-down head design lowers the centre of gravity, which also helps to produce a high flight from the turf.
While other brands have made hybrids that are big enough to be mistaken for fairway woods, the designers at Adams have kept the head compact (95cc) to help ensure that it can cope with a variety of lies. It does this not only through its size, but through its upside down face design which reduces turf contact.
For the first time this is an Adams hybrid with an adjustability system unique to the marketplace. Two 2g weights and one 12g weight in the sole can be moved around to affect the shot shape produced. Placing the heavy weight in the toe creates fade bias, while putting it in the heel creates draw bias.
The head design and the slots undoubtedly make this more forgiving than the compact head would suggest. Shots that impact high and low on the face perform particularly well. The compact head means that the Red works well from tight fairways, rough and even sand.
The focus here isn’t on the ball going as far as possible. There are a wide range of lofts available to help fill clear gaps in your bag or replace long irons and/or fairway woods. That said, distance with the Red is up there with the rest.
Higher than you might expect from the lofts on offer, meaning shots into greens stop quicker than they would with an equivalent long iron. Getting the ball up so quickly is also a big help when hitting out of fairway bunkers. That said, if you want to flight the ball down, you can.
The sound and feel are outstanding, which is exactly what we have come to expect from a brand whose hybrids impress year after year. They are almost unrivalled in the hybrid category. At the point of contact it feels solid, but not too hard, and the ball seems to compress then spring off the face powerfully.
Available in lofts 16°, 18°, 20°, 23° and 26° with Matrix Altus shaft.
Adams lead the way in the hybrid category and the Red model is only going to cement their place at the top. It's a must-try if you're in the market for a new hybrid.