Hybrid Usage on Tour Reaches Feverish Proportions

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The usage of hybrid clubs on tour has skyrocketed.

Like a wildfire spreading with extreme winds, the hybrid category is burning up the PGA Tours. Last week, 109 hybrids were put into play on the Nationwide Tour, a new record for hybrids in play in a PGA Tour event. This week at the BMW Charity Pro Am at the Cliffs, that record was shattered with 135 hybrids in play. That’s equivalent to 80% of the field having a hybrid golf club in play.

Because hybrids are starting to detonate at retail, other major manufacturers have been jocking to try and solidify their hybrid position. So far, medium sized Nickent Golf has been able beat off the giants due to the performance of their golf clubs. This week, the champion of the BMW Charity Pro Am at the Cliffs and four top 5 finsihers played the new Nickent 3DX DC hybrid and 3DX hybrids were # 1 in the BMW event for the third straight week on the Nationwide Tour with 38 golf clubs in play.

“The players of the Nationwide Tour are looking for performance enhancing clubs,” said PGA Tour Representative Brian Beatty. “We are doing our best to provide more options and better performance with our hybrid golf clubs. This tour is the first tour to accept hybrids in such an overwhelming way and I think that is due to the fact that they are searching for clubs that will give them an edge. An edge out here lands you on the PGA Tour.”

At the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans this week, 51% of the field played a hybrid golf club. Among PGA Tour professionals, 168 players used a hybrid through the first 10 events this season, 35 more than in all of 2005 and 72 more than in 2004, according to Darrel Survey. Nickent is currently the #2 most played hybrid on the PGA Tour.

“The hybrid category is exploding on the professional tours, which in return is making the hybrid explode at retail,” said Nickent Senior Vice President and designer of the new DC Hybrid series John Hoeflich “ This is the year of the hybrid and Nickent is leading the charge.”

Golf Datatech figures from January reported that of all woods sold, hybrids represented 26.3%. In 2002, hybrids only accounted for 2% of all woods sales. By 2004, that number had only jumped to 6.7%. According to Hoeflich, hybrids are likely to surpass fairway woods and contend with driver sales in the next few years once the public is fully educated on what hybrids can do for their game.

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Dan Perry
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