This post recaps a random, fun experiment conducted out of pure curiosity. Results are by no means scientific.
On a recent trip to the diving range I looked to explore if an old metal wood, specifically the Taylormade Original One 12 degree driver, could be used as a low loft hybrid. Given the relative head size similarity to today’s hybrid models, I figured the results may be similar, just perhaps with a little more stinging trajectory on the vintage metal wood.
I currently carry a Taylormade SLDR S 3 hybrid in my bag, and recently picked up the vintage Original One driver on ebay for $5. The old driver is in good shape for it’s age, some 30 years. My hybrid is a stock stiff graphite shaft with a 19 degree loft head, while the driver is a stock regular steel shaft and a 12 degree loft head. The shaft on the driver is a good 2+ inches longer than the hybrid. Obviously a lot of variables at play, aside from my own swing inconsistencies, but a fun experiment non-the-less.
The results were as expected, 30 years of technology goes a long way to helping a high-handicapper with mishits. The longer shaft of the Original One definitely proved difficult in trying to square up the club face between the two models off the deck. While the face is similar in size at first glance, the true sweet spot on the Original One metal wood is much smaller in width. The reality is that today’s hybrids offer better results on shots off the heel or toe. The composition of the club head in the hybrid provides appropriate give at impact, whereas the metal wood is like trying to catch a fastball with a frying pan.
Don’t get me wrong, I had some long results when connecting with the Original One, but the ball flight was usually somewhat flat. Perhaps with a slightly trimmed or shorter shaft, the results may prove more consistent. The distance gained with the 12 degree loft over the hybrid, however, was marginal at best and not worth the consistent control given up over the more forgiving hybrid. Off the tee, using a driver set-up, the Original One definitely provided better results, but I was hoping for another long fairway shot option. I will definitely keep the club in my bag for nostalgic purposes, occasionally bringing it out for fun drives on wider fairways.