It’s been a few years now since hybrids first started hitting the market. Many manufacturers are already on their third, fourth, heck- maybe even 5th model of hybrid. For fans of Titleist clubs, the question often was, “Is Titleist EVER going to come out with a true utility club design?!” Titleist is in a unique position in the golf industry in that they have the ability to lead when following. Dominating golf ball sales at retail, and golf ball usage by Touring Professionals grants them some leeway when it comes to developing their new golf clubs. Titleist doesn’t need to sell golf clubs to survive, so they can take their time in establishing tour usage and receiving professionals’ feedback when developing a new club.
The day finally came when I could finally get my hands on the PT 585H utility I had seen in so many Tour players’ bags. Titleist had offered their 503H utility club for a couple years, but it was more of an iron replacement design. I was very excited to see what Titleist’s take would be on hybrids, being they have the reputation of a more “traditional” equipment manufacturer. The time that Titleist kept us waiting, it turns out, was time well spent.
I received my 21-degree 585H shafted with Aldila NV 85 hybrid shaft and immediately put it into play, eager to test it’s capabilities, and just as importantly, to see if my game was up to playing it. Thankfully, the long iron forgiveness which Titleist touted on their web site turned out to be true. I found the 585H to indeed be much easier to hit than the corresponding long iron it replaced. What I immediately noticed about the 585H was how short it felt at address. This is one of the few hybrids on the market that is actually close to the finished length of the iron it replaces. It did take a little while to adjust, as with other hybrids, the setup at address and the swing which is used is often more fairway-wood like. Once I made the adjustment, and began to swing with a slightly steeper, more iron-like swing, the 585H suddenly came alive for me. The look at address is inspiring, as the face angle is indeed neutral, and the area where the topline and crown meet is clearly defined and easily aimed. Full-face scoring lines also add to the ability to aim the 585H.
I soon discovered the workability of the PT 585H, and was quite impressed with how incredibly neutral it was in its ball flight characteristics. There is not a hint of draw bias to this club, which can often be the case with hybrids. I was able to fade and draw this club on command. Also impressive was the ability to vary trajectories with the 585H. Often times, hitting a knockdown shot with a hybrid is darn near impossible. I was able to pull off this shot much like with a long iron, but the larger sole and face acted like a security blanket, preventing fat shots and negating the effects of heel and toe hits. The 585H is relatively easy to elevate off the deck, especially when comparing it to the iron it replaces. The low center of gravity which the tungsten sole weight creates is easy to ascertain, and is a welcome design feature.
A trademark of Titleist clubs is their feel at impact. It seems Titleist, while embracing technology, has always strived to retain the character of clubs from previous eras. The solid “thwack” sensation of the 585H is about as persimmon-like as you will find in a steel-headed club. While it will allow you to get away with heel and toe hits, you are still going to feel them. In this sense, the 585H is one of the most, if not the most iron-like hybrids I have hit, while still offering a more friendly wood-like shape. The feedback is excellent, but more importantly, the results of your shot will not suffer to the extent that they will be unusable. Heel and toe hits still retain their line and do not suffer greatly from distance loss.
Not only is the feel at impact impressive with the PT 585H, but the overall “heft” of this club is very apparent. The head feels quite heavy on this club, which really instilled a sense of confidence when executing a shot out of thick rough. It was more than sufficient in its ability to extract the ball from the gnarly stuff. In this sense, there is no shortage of “utility” with this hybrid. It is also very adept at chipping greenside, as the head is compact and the leading edge defined enough to give it a feeling of precision while executing such shots.
There was not a whole lot left to be desired when it comes to the Titleist PT 585H utility. With multiple shafts to choose from, there is likely one available to fit your swing. The 585H is very true to Titleist’s tradition of being more of a “player’s” club, so it may not be for everyone, and higher handicap players may find better choices, quite honestly. But, when comparing it to a long iron, the ease of use is definitely identifiable. Its main forte seems to be making itself an extension of the input a player exerts on it and the ball. In the stronger lofts, this club would also make a fine choice with which to replace a 5 wood or 7 wood to give a player more control over trajectory than a fairway wood offers. Titleist was definitely ‘better late than never’ with bringing a true utility club to market with the PT 585H.