Review: Titleist 818 hybridsAugust 31, 2017 Golf Equipment
Big fan of Titleist hybrids? The 818 models could be the best yet. Equipment editor James Savage takes a look...
Our Titleist 818 hybrids review look place at the brand’s launch event at Archerfield Links.
We have two new hybrids here the H1 and H2 which have now been aligned with the irons since the 716 launch.
So the 818 H1 and H2 replace the 816 models. Titleist were one of the first brands to launch hybrids at the same time irons as opposed to releasing them with drivers and fairways.
They say you should be thinking about hybrids when getting fitted for irons as it’s the point when your long irons stop going further when they should come in.
For example, if your 4-iron is only going five yards further than your 5-iron it’s not really worthy of a place in your bag.
Switching to a 4 hybrid should get a healthier 10-15 yard gap for many players.
Titleist are also adamant that hybrids are scoring clubs rather than rescue clubs. Their theory is that you should be using them to hit greens.
I do agree with that but do like to hit a strong hybrid off the tee on a short par-4 and know a few others who do the same.
Hybrids to me are versatile which is the best thing about them.
Titleist 818 hybrids review – First impressions
Almost by accident, Titleist have become the number one hybrid model on tour. It was an accident in the way it was never a goal Titleist set themselves.
I think it started with the 915 hybrids which were phenomenally good clubs.
These were then replaced with the slightly tweaked 816 and were still brilliant. Now we see a bit more difference in the 818.
Firstly, these clubs have really sweet headcovers. They look classy and are a nice snug fit. I’ve lost countless hybrid headcovers over the years by them simply falling off when in my bag.
We have a similar grey finish to the 816 hybrids and 917 woods.
As expected the H1 is the slightly more rounded mini fairway wood-style model.
The H2 is the slightly more compact iron-like model which may appeal to those who hit down a bit more on their hybrids.
Titleist 818 hybrids review – The technology
The new tech in the 818 is instantly visible which is always nice to see.
The active recoil now goes into the head and has been filled in with a flexing polymer.
This should help get faster ball speeds off the face and also removes the need to clean mud out of the channel which was a bit annoying for me in 915 and 816.
We now also have the same SureFit CG adjustability as in the 917 woods. A cylindrical weight can be positioned with heel or toe bias to promote a draw or a fade.
Along with the SureFit hosel which adjusts loft and lie – these hybrids can really be dialled in to fill the right gaps and get the right shot shapes.
Titleist 818 hybrids review – The results
I went through the fitting process with the 718 irons and 818 hybrids so got the chance to hit both H1 and H2 models.
For me the H1 was just offering a bit more forgiveness and consistency while also filling me with a bit more confidence over the ball.
I tried the 21 degree and 19 models to see if I needed to fit two hybrids into my bag.
The 19 degree – which I use currently in the Callaway Big Bertha OS model – was working perfectly for me getting the 200 total number which I’m looking for.
I just wasn’t quite hitting the number as regularly with the H2.
But the 21 degree was going a little bit too high and if anything, the gap was just a little bit too small.
The 718 AP1 4-iron was doing a better job of filling the gap between my 5-iron and 19 degree hybrid.
What was also a bit of a revelation was switching the SureFit CG weight to the draw position.
Previously I was hitting a bit of a fade which isn’t too much of a problem but when playing in windy conditions this can result in a loss of control.
With the weight in the draw position I was seeing a much more neutral and penetrating ball flight which allowed me to hit the numbers I wanted more consistently.
Titleist 818 hybrids review – NCG verdict
I love these clubs and have done for a good few years now. I only switched out my 816 19 degree model for the sake of using something brand new (equipment editor problems).
The 19 degree H1 looks, sounds and feels great and hits the number I want it to.
And with the increased adjustability on offer this year I think the 818 hybrids are going to be ideal for filling in gaps in your bags when it comes to the custom-fitting process.
I’m certain these clubs will go down a storm at pro shops up and down the country – there’s no reason why they wouldn’t.
If you’ve hit the 915 or 816 hybrids you should know what I’m talking about.
If you haven’t, you should definitely be giving the 818 models a try.
Available lofts: 19˚, 21˚, 23˚ 25˚, 27˚
In store: September 29, 2017
Available lofts: 17˚, 19˚, 21˚, 23˚
In store: September 29, 2017
Premium shaft options
Mitsubishi Tensei Pro Red 50hh HY (high launch; L flex)
Mitsubishi Tensei Pro Red 60HY (high launch; A, R, S)
Mitsubishi Tensei Pro Blue 70HY (mid launch; R, S)
Mitsubishi Tensei Pro White 90HY (low/mid launch; S, X)
Aldila Rogue M*AX 85H (low/mid launch; R, S)
Project X Even Flow Blue 85HYB (mid/high launch; S)
More details can be found on the Titleist website.