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Review: Titleist 913H Hybrids
I have a hard time hitting hybrids. Okay, to be honest, I have a hard time hitting anything higher than about a 7-iron, but hybrids have always given me a peculiar degree of frustration. The brand I currently use — of which I have two, a 3- and 4- hybrid — is sort of a generic, small-scale custom manufacturer, and my relationship with the clubs is something of a Vegas romance. We fell in love after a two-hour driving range session, took the plunge, and before the ink dried on the receipts we hated each other. Two years of inexplicable toe hits and snap-hooks later, I’ve given up on ever reconciling with the old battle axes.
So when the time came to spend some time with the Titleist 913H hybrid, I was excited. This year’s line of 913 metalwoods has treated me particularly well, and I was anxious to find a club or two that would reliably fill the 180-200 yard gap that is currently a black hole in my arsenal (I’ve gotten fairly good at choking down and taking ¾ swings with a 3-wood, if that gives you an idea of how dire the situation’s gotten. But I digress…).
Unfortunately, I wasn’t totally blown away by the 913H. It’s not a bad club; as you’ll see once we dig into things, I am pretty sure the problem is that it’s too good, at least for me. Something about it just seems to lack the “Good Lord This Is Everything I Ever Want Out Of A Club!” feel that the H’s 913 cousins have left me with. Inconsistent trajectories, a chunky, heavy feel at impact, and not-all-that-effective shot shaping were all things I experienced in my range time with the 913H, none of which inspired a ton of confidence. By the end I certainly was not making the most confident, assertive swings, which only compounded things. What went wrong? Let’s settle in and figure it out.
The 913H went as far as I needed it to, filling the gaps I was looking for just fine. The sweet spot felt a bit small, however, as shots that weren’t exactly on the screws resulted in 10-20 yards of variation — a touch more variance than you’d like from an approach club. Slight miss-hits didn’t go wildly astray, but also didn’t jump off the clubface with anywhere near as much zip as flush hits, dying short of the target like a lazy flyout in baseball. Players with more refined swings would likely notice this less; personally, I need a bit more room for error.
This is where the club really disappointed me. While sideways misses were few and far between, I found the trajectory of the 913H was wildly erratic, offering boring, penetrating worm-burners one minute and ballooning into the heavens the next. The low profile and wide base of the clubhead seemed to make it very easy to catch too much turf and get under the ball, while square hits landed a bit too flat for my tastes, landing too firm with too much roll. The lower profile also seemed to, strangely enough, affect the club’s workability, as it felt difficult to keep the ball on the clubface long enough to impart the desired sidespin for fades and draws. As with the club’s forgiveness, a better player with a more consistent, technically sound swing might make a more deadly weapon out of this club. For me, however, it’s simply too difficult to predict the kind of shot I’m going to get out of the 913H.
Nothing out of the ordinary for a Titleist club here; the 913H sounds, looks, and feels exactly like you’d expect. Blending attractive design, a low profile designed to inspire confidence, and a satisfying, responsive sound off the face. After getting under a few, however, I did find the low profile to be less confidence inspiring than I usually find that sort of design. Ballooning a few off the deck will do that for you, I suppose.
It’s hard to know quite how to react to this club. The Titleist 913H feels like it should be excellent. The design is nice, the feel solid. But the results are just too wildly inconsistent to be useful to a player like me. The 913H does employ the same SureFit hosel technology as its 913 compatriots, allowing for maybe the easiest and most varied degree of customization you’ll find in modern clubs. But the ballflights results I found were so erratic I’m not quite sure where I would start as far as adjustments go. I could see a better player with a higher swing speed and a grooved, technically sound swing achieving more consistent results and maintaining better ball control, but for mid-handicappers, there have to be better options out there, and for low-handicappers, this seems like a definite stay-away.