Even with excellent skills and top-notch clubs, a golfer can still screw up a shot due to various factors. Wind speeds are a major obstacle to making the perfect shot, since they will more than likely stray the ball’s trajectory from its intended spot, leading to the wastage of a precious turn and going over par. Newcomer golfers, meanwhile, will be aghast at the many clubs one must bring to a game just to go under par. They are also not confident about their swings, which will put a strain on their ability to send the ball to its intended spot. Different clubs are tailored for different courses and situations.
This is where TaylorMade golf comes in, with its brand of “rescue” clubs to save professionals from possible tight spots and to provide newcomer golfers a well-rounded set of clubs that are suitable for many situations.
Rescues are what TaylorMade golf calls a new breed of clubs dubbed hybrids. Hybrids are golf clubs that combine the best features of irons and woods. For the uninitiated, irons are clubs that are used to send the ball closer to the hole while woods are clubs that are used to drive the ball to greater distances. Irons are used when the ball is at least 30 yards from the hole while woods are used in the opening shot. The lowest-tiered wood is called the driver. Irons usually have flat and grooved heads while woods have large, rounded heads.
Hybrids have the following features:
faces that are fatter than those of irons but thinner than those of woods, greater distance coverage compared to irons due to higher loft, the center of gravity being located at the back-bottom of the head in order for golfers who are not confident about their swings to send the ball with much-needed power, and the ability to make the ball backspin, making it land short of the intended spot, especially if the spot is a hazard. Hybrids are also called “utility” clubs due to their dual purposes.
Rescues by TaylorMade golf, as well as hybrids from other golf club manufacturers, are given a warm reception by professionals, amateurs, and beginners alike. The golfers themselves even replace the traditional irons with their hybrid counterparts, saving more space in their golf bags and giving them and their caddies less difficulties in lugging them around varying courses.
As proof of their acceptance, the Los Angeles-based Darrell Survey Company, a company that tracks use of golf equipment, polled professional golfers about the presence of hybrids in their golf bags in 2007. 65% of PGA Tour participants carried at least one hybrid; while 80% of Champions tour participants did the same. 40% of PGA Tour players, meanwhile, did not bring a set of 3-iron to 9-iron clubs due to hybrids taking over their role. Overall, the acceptance of hybrids by golfers spiked since their inception in 1999. 2002 was the year when TaylorMade introduced the concept itself; and in the following year, a patent for hybrids was filed. In 2004, 7% of golfers kept at least one hybrid in their bags. Three years later, more than 30% did the same. And according to TaylorMade golf, the increasing sales records of hybrids and rescues just repeated the sentiments of golfers – 141,000 units were sold in 2003 and more than a decade later, the sales numbers are in the millions.
Rescues and hybrids were originally meant for golfers who were not confident about their swings but professionals embraced them for a different purpose: to save their skin in complicated courses full of hazards. In the end, they are truly meant for everyone who is up for a good game of golf.