Most people think of golf balls when they hear the name Titleist. Experienced players know them as the makers of the popular “Vokey” wedge.
Professional golfers know the name Titleist as the most played irons on the PGA Tour. So the exceptional playability of their latest hybrid offerings, the 818H1, and 818H2, should come as no surprise to anyone.
While these clubs share the same last name and many of the same traits, they look, feel, and play much different. They’re more cousins than siblings, and each will have a distinct audience.
Almost all amateurs and many pros have replaced their long irons with hybrids. Hybrids afford players the best of both worlds off the fairway and out of the rough.
They swing like an iron but generate the distance of a fairway wood. Hybrids also work well out of fairway bunkers and tall grass.
Titleist 818H1 and 818H2 Hybrid Review
Along with the title of most played irons on tour, Titleist also comes in first as the most played hybrid on tour.
They do this by designing their hybrids as scoring clubs, not rescue clubs. For this latest release, they’ve incorporated a mix of old and new technologies that should push one or both of these clubs to the top of every player’s wish list.
Here are some key features that the 818H1 and 818H2 share:
• SureFit Hosel Technology - Titleist’s adjustable “SureFit Hosel” features four separate loft settings and four separate lie settings. Users can choose one of sixteen unique combinations that give them the best overall ball contact, forgiveness, launch angle, and distance.
• SureFit CG Technology – Titleist first introduced this technology in their 917 line of drivers and fairway metals. It works by inserting a cylindrical metal weight, the size of an AA battery, into the sole of the club, parallel to the club face. Weights come in two types, either balanced (neutral), or unbalanced, and work to lower the center-of-gravity and offer draw or fade correction, depending on the player’s needs.
• Active Recoil Channel™ 2.0 – A new channel design and a flexible polymer insert behind the face produce plenty of recoil on impact and increase distance significantly.
818H1 Hybrid Review
For both the 818H1 and 818H2 Titleist used the Slate Grey color prominent on their 917 fairway woods. From a bird’s eye view, the 818H1’s look more like a fairway wood than an iron. They have a larger and more rounded head than their cousins the 818H2 as well as most other hybrids on the market.
Titleist designed the 818H1s with players of all skill levels in mind. The idea was to not only increase distance but, to also increase launch angle to the point where some players could take a shot at holding the green from 200 yards out. Mission accomplished.
Golfers with slower swings will benefit in the same way of course but, from closer in. Overall, these hybrids play longer than any of their competitors because Titleist designed them with distance as a primary feature.
As with all golf clubs nowadays, these hybrids take forgiveness to new levels. Balls hit off center go where aimed, with almost no loss in distance. The bottom weighted club head pushes through the turf on balls hit a little fat. Balls struck thin launch surprisingly well, and as expected, traveled a bit further than perfect strikes.
Titleist geared the 818H1s towards those who tend to swing their hybrids like a fairway wood, and sweep the turf. They hit the ball as the sole of the club becomes parallel to the ground and take little or no divot. Most players should experience an immediate bump in accuracy, distance, and confidence.
818H2 Hybrid Review
Titleist created the 818H2s for better players. Golfers who swing a hybrid like an iron and take a steeper angle of approach to the ball.
They have a compact, square-toed shape that cuts through the turf for iron-like control, precise distance, and plenty of ball height. The 818H2s come in odd number lofts of seventeen to twenty-three degrees.
The 818H2’s look more like a traditional hybrid. They have a smaller and more compact head with a shallower face than the H1. An almost square toe gives the H2 the look of a real “player’s” club.
Distance, Forgiveness, Playability
Titleist designed these clubs for single digit players and professionals. They play a little shorter and less forgiving than the H1s but, none of that matters to those who use them. With the feel of an iron and the distance of a hybrid, many pro golfers, including Jordan Spieth, have already added at least one Titleist 818H2 to their bag.
The Titleist 818 Hybrids vs. The Titleist 816 Hybrids
Titleist has made some noticeable changes to their line of hybrids with this latest release of the 818H1s, and 818H2s. The Active Recoil Channel – a small channel that runs along the sole of the club parallel to face - now has a plastic insert which fills the channel and keeps the club head from grabbing the turf and needing constant cleaning.
While both the 816’s and 818s feature Titleist’s SureFit Hosel, the 816s lack the SureFit CG Technology that makes the 818s much more customizable.
Individually, compared to its predecessor, the newer 818H1 has a more rounded and slightly deeper head. The 818H1 also feels and sounds more like a wood than the 816H1.
Titleist claims the larger head improves forgiveness and increases MOI (Moment of Inertia) by thirteen percent over the 816s. In golf, MOI refers to imperfect contact, when the clubface meets the ball someplace other than the sweet spot. Improved MOI means more forgiveness.
For the 818H2, Titleist squared off the toe and added a little height to the face. These changes, according to them, increase MOI by up to ten percent.
The Titleist 818 Hybrids vs. the Competition
Most golfers have a hard time distinguishing between one brand of club to the next, as every manufacturer claims a proprietary technology matched by none.
Callaway for example, uses Face Cup and Standing Wave technologies along with an ultra-lightweight shaft, on their comparable Epic Star line.
On their Burner, M1, and M2 hybrids, TaylorMade uses “Speed Pocket Technology” which they claim increases the sweet spot and lowers spin.
Like the 818s, Ping offers a similar interchangeable weight system that allows players to customize their swing weight. The weight system, together with a thin and flexible steel face, and the thinnest crown on the market, give the Ping hybrids their powers.
All this might sound like marketing ploys and gimmickry but, in truth, it’s just the opposite. Any of these clubs will elevate a golfer’s game considerably over those made just a decade ago.
Manufacturers never stop looking for ways to help golfers and improve on their products. No other hybrid on the market, however, has anywhere near the level of technology found in the Titleist 818H1s and 818H2s.
For a full comparison of all the new hybrids on the market, read our guide to the best hybrid golf clubs.
Which Titleist 818 Hybrid is right for my game?
Titleist designed these clubs with particular swing types in mind. Golfers that have a shallower angle of attack, and take little or no turf when they make contact with the ball, would fare better with the 818H1’s. In general, beginners to mid handicappers tend to swing this way.
Players who have a true feel of their irons will appreciate the extra distance, without loss of playability that the Titleist 818H2 provides.
Anyone who’s ever purchased a club, only to get it home to find that it didn’t play as expected, will appreciate the Titleist 818H1 and 818H2 hybrids.
Along with the outstanding level of distance and forgiveness that most modern clubs feature, these clubs also offer players, of all skill levels, an incredible amount of customization.
The easy to adjust SureFit hosel and weight systems will allow users to match the club to their swing, today, tomorrow, and for years to come.
For many golfers, a Titleist 818 Hybrids may well be the last set of hybrids they’ll ever need to own.