I don’t average 320 yards off the tee. I don’t hit my 9 iron 180 yards. I don’t play courses that are 7,600 yards in length (thank goodness!) You know what? Neither do the players on the Champions Tour. This is one reason why I can relate to the players on that tour a little better than those on the PGA Tour, and also why I enjoy watching them play. Watch any amount of Champions Tour coverage, and you quickly can tell which club manufacturer wins the club count each week on that tour based on the numerous staff professionals wearing their hats. It’s Adams Golf. One of their most popular clubs right now is their A2 hybrid club. In fact, word has gotten out on the PGA and Nationwide Tours about this little rocket launcher. The Adams A2 has recently become the #2 hybrid on the PGA Tour, and #3 on the Nationwide Tour. There’s a strong buzz surrounding these clubs, and for good reason. They’re not the number one hybrid on all tours just yet, but that could change with time.
Adams offers two versions of their hybrid: The A2, and the A2OS (oversize.) Both have a certain player that they are geared toward. The A2 is slightly smaller, narrower, and has a very neutral weighting to the head for more accomplished players. The A2OS is just slightly larger with more of a fairway wood type shape and features a generous amount of offset to aid in squaring the face.
First up: The A2OS
The Adams A2OS is a friendly design. Given its fairway wood-like attributes, it will probably appeal to people who have to this point only hit higher-lofted fairway woods. It features a topline effect that looks like an iron, which will help to remind people to hit it much like they would a long iron. It features a shorter shaft than a fairway wood of comparable loft, which helps to give a good amount of control. There is a fair amount of offset to the design, which makes the A2OS very easy to turn over, and helpful for those who fight a slice. Despite the added offset of the A2OS, it still seemed to sit fairly square at address.
The big surprise, after you have become accustomed to the A2OS’s look at address, comes when clubhead meets ball. I don’t know just what Adams did to make the A2 series hybrids so hot, but its no secret when the ball comes off at a screaming pace. I had my higher handicap friend hit the A2OS on one of our recent rounds. After his first shot with it, he turned to me with a big grin on his face and joyfully exclaimed a phrase I cannot repeat here. (Essentially, he had found religion in the strangest of places.) I did too.
The A2OS is as long or longer than any hybrid I’ve hit. The ballflight is high and powerful, and it is easy to get airborne. The 19º test club came with the proprietary Grafalloy Prolaunch hybrid shaft designed for Adams. It played just slightly soft in a stiff flex, but loaded very easily and provided an “easy-up” launch for the A2OS. Being I do not fight a slice, I found myself hitting controlled draws with the A2OS. Adams dubs the A2OS as “The easiest hybrid in golf.” I’d have to agree. Even poor swings were rewarded with good distance and decent directional control. For the player who needs some corrective anti-slice bias built into their hybrid, the A2OS is the way to go. It hits the ball higher than the 3 iron it replaces, with a much greater deal of forgiveness on heel and toe hits.
Next up: The A2
The Adams A2 is the smaller brother to the A2OS. With a narrower front to back head size, the A2 more resembles a driving iron at address. This is the version that was designed after the prototypes being used on the professional tours. It is very neutrally weighted, and in fact, is probably the most “anti-left” hybrid I have hit to date. The same explosive feel at impact is found in the A2. It’s a light metallic “plink” with a feel that is more muted. Think, “iron feel, with a fairway metal sound.” It’s very unique. It sat very square to slightly open at address which further enhanced it’s “anti-left” feel and playability. For those who wish to work the ball in either direction, the A2 is definitely the way to go.
The ballflight of the 20º A2 was very strong- of the “frozen rope” variety. It is just high enough to land softly, but low enough that strong winds will not allow your shots to balloon. It was much like hitting a hotter-faced 3 iron that was easier to hit well, with better results on heel and toe hits. The trajectory was just more similar to that of a 3 iron than that of the A2OS. If you enjoy hitting a 3 iron, but want a little more forgiveness, the Adams A2 fits the bill nicely. The proprietary Aldila NV 85 hybrid shaft performed well and felt true to flex. It seemed to feature a slightly softer tip section than aftermarket NV hybrid shafts I had previously hit.
Both the A2 and the A2OS are finished with Tour Velvet-like grips with Adams branding. The headcovers are low-key, with black and gray color schemes, and the club’s loft embroidered onto it (read: no tags to dangle, which is nice.) Aside from the head shape differences, both clubs are finished with a midnight blue paint job that is dark and tasteful. Neither club features any alignment dots or graphics on the top of the club, but the polished iron-like topline rather serves quite well in aiming the clubface. The A2 features a dark blue band of color on it’s sole, and the A2OS features a red band, with the majority of both soles being polished steel. It’s a no-nonsense look that is appreciated in the days of gaudy paintjobs and “look-at-me” graphics on clubs. They’re all about their performance speaking for itself.
The Adams A2 and A2OS might be some of golf’s best-kept secrets right now. With faces that are extremely hot, designs that offer absolution for less-than-perfect swings, and weighting biases to cater to different golfer’s needs, the A2 and A2OS offer a lot for the money. As more and more professional players on tour switch to the Adams A2 hybrids, the secret may soon be out. The secret is already out on the Champions Tour. Get one today before your playing partners do, and start enjoying the “Easiest hybrids in golf.”