Hybrids are, for some reason, the most overlooked clubs in the bag. Most golfers need one, plenty of them use one, but you never hear them getting the same kind of scrutiny as a driver or a set of irons when people are looking to upgrade.
Callaway clearly feel differently about the matter, because they are using all of the same technology from the rest of their Metalwood range in their new Mavrik Hybrids, claiming to have developed three models which are 'distance machines'.
What's It All About?
Much like the Mavrik Fairway Woods and Mavrik Irons, Callaway has used Artificial Intelligence in a Hybrid for the first time to optimise performance.
The Rogue and Epic Flash Hybrids already featured Callaway's Face Cup and Jailbreak Technologies, but for 2020 they have added in Flash Face's to provide more ball speed across the club face. The impressive thing here is that Callaway has not just created one Flash Face and replicated it across each model, instead each face is unique to every loft of every model to ensure the best possible performance. That's a lot of A.I!
The idea behind this is that different hybrids have different jobs, and so they have different optimal launch angles, spin rates and speeds. 14 Flash Faces later, and the whole Mavrik Hybrid range is covered!
There are three different Mavrik Hybrids on offer:
Tour players and elite golfers have been begging Callaway to bring back this fairway wood-shaped hybrid, and they have duly delivered. The Pro is the most compact offering, with a shallower look, cambered sole and weaker lofts.
The flatter lie and more neutral CG allows this club to be produce a more neutral ball fight, although this does hinder forgiveness a little.
Therefore, it is really aimed towards the better golfer who hits the centre of the face more often, and likes to vary the trajectory and shape of their shots.
A midsized head with a square toe and straighter lines makes this club look like an iron with bulk behind it.
It offers a low CG, high MOI and all of Callaway's best speed-enhancing technologies to make it as easy as possible to launch.
This high launch also means that they are able to crank the lofts down a little, giving you even more distance.
This is essentially the older brother of the Mavrik Hybrid where everything is taken to the max - similar to the Mavrik Max 3 wood. A larger footprint, bigger face, and higher CG and MOI means that this is ideal for the higher handicapper.
Callaway claims that they fly high and long, with a number of different lofts available meaning that they are ideal substitutes for golfers who struggle with their long irons.
We got our hands on the Mavrik and Mavrik Pro Hybrids to put them through their paces, both on the course at Stockport Golf Club and on the launch monitor at The Range, Manchester.
Callaway Mavrik Hybrids Review
I wasn't a fan of the standard Mavrik looks-wise, as this 'iron-hybrid' doesn’t suit my eye. I play my hybrids thinking they’re basically an extension of my fairway woods, perhaps down to the fact that you have to take a headcover off.
I just couldn't warm to the offset position at address and the squareness of the face, it reminded me more of an old-school baffler iron which I always struggled with a little.
On the other hand this is why I really liked the Pro, with its softer, shallower head which reminded me more of a fairway wood. From the moment I put this club down by the ball it was just begging to be hit, and there was none of the worry that you can sometimes get with hybrids that they are going to miss left.
There was a bit more feel to the Pro Hybrid in comparison to the standard model - if you don't quite catch it then you'll know about it! This is good and bad for me - whilst nobody wants stinging hands you don't really want the ball to just come off the face feeling 'dead' - it's nice to get a bit of feedback at impact in my opinion and you certainly get that with the Mavrik Pro model.
With the standard Mavrik, every strike seemed to feel pretty similar whether it was good or bad. Having said that, it was more forgiving on those off-centre hits, so I suppose that's the price you pay for more forgiveness. Feel or forgiveness - only you can decide on which you need more of in your bag.
As the lofts between the two hybrids were 3 degrees different, this was reflected in the launch monitor distances. I averaged around one club extra with the standard Mavrik, at 172 yards carry, compared to the Pro at 165 yards.
The Pro was also a little less forgiving, as you can see from the mishit shot which dropped down to 159 yards carry. This was also something that I had seen out on the course, as I felt like the Mavrik was helping out a little more with strike. Even when hitting out of the rough at Stockport Golf Club (not mentioning the downhill lie), if you didn't quite catch it you could feel the club compensating and so the drop-offs were not as severe.
However, I am generally a confident player with my hybrid and see them more as a scoring club than just something to get me out of trouble.
As a result I actually enjoyed the workability that the Pro afforded me - I could hit a draw or a fade at will - in comparison to the standard Mavrik, where the head shape meant that shaping the ball required a lot more effort, especially when trying to hit right to left given it's draw bias head.
Callaway Mavrik Hybrids Verdict
As I tend to struggle a little with my longer irons and am always looking for that extra bit of distance, Hybrids are my go-to clubs. I like to hit them many distances, heights and shapes. So I am glad Callaway are giving them the same attention as the other clubs in the Mavrik range, and I especially like the fact they understand the face and performance characteristics need to be different with each head and loft. Like the rest of the Mavrik range, especially the drivers the R&D that has gone into these clubs from Callaway is nothing short of mind-boggling.
Hybrids are an art in the women’s professional game, where they are required on longer par 3s and approaches into the greens, and they are so important in the amateur game for players above Category 1. Personally I’d recommend every club golfer to have at least one in their bag.
When it comes to hybrids I actually think that personal preference is really important, because you need to be confident in the shot you're going to play.
Although the numbers I produced with the standard Mavrik were impressive, I much preferred the look of the Pro and so I'd be willing to take that risk because, looking down at that club, I'd feel like I was much more comfortable hitting it.
But this is the great thing about Callaway's new Mavrik range, there are three models and a huge number of different loft options, all with their very own Flash Face of course, meaning that you can choose the right model to suit you and your game.
- Different head shapes providing options for all golfers
- Forgiving and high-launching
- Plenty of loft options in each club
- Mavrik Pro felt very hot off the face
- Easy to launch
- £249 is a premium price point which may put some off
- Didn't like the look of the Mavrik hybrid
- Mavrik Pro could've been more forgiving given the Jailbreak bars