The new Titleist 816H1 and 816H2 hybrids use Active Recoil Channel and Ultra Thin Face technology to generate high speed and low spin for long distance.
A high MOI design is used to increase speed across the face for more forgiveness on off-centre hits, while the optimized centre of gravity (CG) is a feature to increase launch and trajectory for more control.
“Golfers have long thought of hybrids as rescue clubs and not scoring clubs, but we intend to change that perception,” said Chris McGinley, vice president of Titleist golf club marketing.
“More golfers than ever are replacing long irons with hybrids and carrying multiple hybrids in their bags because of their performance benefits. Our new 816H models are technically-advanced scoring clubs that have better shot stopping ability and can improve yardage gaps at the long end of the set,” added McGinley.
“Instead of thinking about getting out of trouble or just getting the ball close to the green, golfers can now think about hitting the green and stopping the ball closer to the pin more often,” said McGinley.
“Our best club fitters on tour and in the market look at hybrids as a direct extension of the iron set and fit golfers for hybrids and irons at the same time,” McGinley said. “For this reason, we’ve made the decision to put Titleist hybrids and irons on the same launch cycle.”
The 816H hybrids provide the most precise fit Titleist has ever offered with two models, loft choices every two degrees and a new one degree SureFit Tour hosel for independent adjustment of loft and lie.
The 816H1 models are high launching hybrids that fly farther and land soft, with a larger profile and a slightly increased face progression for better performance from the rough.
The 816H2 hybrids have a more compact shape with a slight offset for iron-like shot control for players who engage the turf more aggressively.
The Active Recoil Channel – a long, deep channel, positioned along the sole of the club head, close to the leading edge – is used to deliver more distance by actively flexing at impact to launch the ball with lower spin and higher speed.
The Active Recoil Channel (ARC) allows the entire clubface to deflect at impact for high speed. (ARC is particularly effective on hybrids, which are most often hit off the ground with the ball impacting low on the face. Shots hit lower on the face generally produce more spin, which is counteracted by ARC.)
An Ultra Thin Face works in combination with the Active Recoil Channel to deliver increased ball speed across the entire face. The high-speed, constant thickness face insert, made of high-strength Carpenter steel, is the thinnest face insert Titleist R&D has ever developed.
A precise High-MOI design with a low CG is used to deliver stability and forgiveness by preserving ball speed across the face for distance consistency on off-centre hits. (H1’s MOI is seven per cent higher than the previous generation 915H model, while H2 has a similar MOI to the 915Hd.)
Improved CG locations (slightly deeper, and lower in H2) increase launch up to one-degree for better shot control. A heavier standard SureFit Tour Weight (11g), which concentrates more weight in a low, central position behind the Active Recoil Channel on each model, helps optimize CG properties.
“The Active Recoil Channel has revolutionized distance for us across our entire metals line and really pushes us ahead of the pack in the hybrid category,” said Dan Stone, vice president of Titleist golf club R&D.
“Distance is still only one part of the equation. Golfers, now more than ever, are relying on their hybrids to hit precise golf shots and help them create more scoring opportunities. Our R&D philosophy of distance and forgiveness ensures that we take the entire shot into consideration, not only how far it goes,” he said.
“816 provides golfers with complete, consistent performance – the distance to consistently reach the green, the trajectory to stop the ball on the green closer to the hole and the forgiveness that delivers similar results even when the strike is off center. We haven’t made any sacrifices,” said Stone.
The 816H hybrid line offers loft choices every two degrees from 19 to 27 degrees for improved long game yardage gapping, whether a golfer carries one, two or three hybrids.
“For most golfers, long irons become more difficult to hit and produce shorter distances than desired. 816 hybrids extend those distances and really allow us to bridge that gap between the longest iron and the fairway wood,” said Stephanie Luttrell, director of Titleist metalwood development.
“Following extensive research and player testing, it’s our recommendation that the majority of players use four-degree loft gaps to create the appropriate distance gaps,” said Luttrell.
“That’s why we offer two-degree loft increments, which gives us three pairs of hybrids (19 and 23 degrees, 21 and 25 and 23 and 27) spaced in four-degree increments and for the player who truly loves hybrids and prefers them over fairways woods, there is the option to carry three hybrids (19, 23 and 27 degrees),” added Luttrell.
The complete performance of Titleist 816H hybrids can be maximized through the precision fitting of Titleist’s patented, industry-leading SureFit Tour adjustable hosel and SureFit weight technology.
The 816H hybrids feature a new SureFit Tour hosel configuration that adjusts loft and lie independently in one-degree increments (as compared to .75º increments on 915). The one-degree increments mirror the adjustments typically made to irons, while allowing more fitting flexibility for players to try the same lofts at different shaft lengths.
The adjustable SureFit Flatweight (available in 6, 9, 11, 13 and 16 gram weights) provides further flexibility when fitting different loft and length options.
“In the past, golfers looking to replace a long iron only had one hybrid loft option. With 816, the number of choices has grown significantly,” Luttrell said.
“For example, when replacing a four iron with an 816 hybrid, golfers can test both the 23 degree and 25 degree models, providing two different lofts at different lengths. Using the SureFit Tour hosel, both lofts can also be adjusted to 24 degree, providing the same loft option at different lengths,” added Luttrell.
“In addition, using interchangeable shafts and weights, the longer length shaft in the 23 degree can be tested in the 25 degree, while the shorter length shaft in the 25 degree can be tested in the 23 degree. A skilled fitter will employ all of these options to quickly dial in a golfer’s setup,” said Luttrell.
The 816H hybrids offer two distinct shapes and sizes with performance benefits relative to a golfer’s swing.
The 816H1 has a large profile with a slight face progression for golfers that need enhanced launch and prefer a fairway metal look. The larger H1 head size is designed to effectively part grass through impact for better performance from the rough.
The 816H2 has a smaller, pear profile for launch and trajectory control with a slight offset for more aggressive players that engage the turf. The H2 produces 150-300rpm less spin for a flatter flight.
The 816H hybrids have relieved sole edges that improve turf interaction for increased feel and playability. New beveled edges on the Active Recoil Channel, in addition to a relieved leading edge, help the club glide through the turf cleanly.
The 816 hybrids have a new contrasting color scheme with a gray crown and a black PVD face and sole.
The 816H hybrids also feature improvements to the face appearance. Enhanced hosel masking and flatter bulge gives the club a much more square appearance in the address position.