TaylorMade GAPR HI Review

50 Words or Less

The TaylorMade GAPR HI is high launching and easy to hit.  A solid long iron replacement or a way to get rid of an unreliable hybrid.

Introduction

Hybrids were originally meant to bridge the gap between fairway woods and irons.  Somewhere along the line, however, many turned into pure distance machines.  TaylorMade seeks to turn back the clock with the GAPR HI.  We tested one to see if they succeeded.

Looks

The GAPR HI looks like a traditional hybrid.  It has a matte black crown which makes it appear smaller than it is.  The head has a very slight pear shape to it.

What’s most notable about the GAPR HI is the “dropped crown contour” in the back of the head.  I’ve talked to a number of golfers about it and heard two responses: “I hate it” or “I don’t care.”  While it’s not my preferred look, the cavity wouldn’t be enough to stop me from bagging it.

Sound & Feel

There’s a thin line between a club that feels solid and one that feels hard.  The TaylorMade GAPR HI manages to stay on the correct side of that line on both pure and off-center shots.  When you do hit the center of the face, the feel is crisp and hot.

The sound of impact has no metallic characteristics.  It’s mid-pitch enhances the idea that this is as much an iron as it is a metalwood.

Performance

Part of the push behind the GAPR line is the idea that normal hybrids are too long and uncontrollable.  This might lead you to believe that the GAPR clubs are short on ball speed, but that’s far from true.  Even with a higher lofted model, I was seeing smash factors around 1.45 (this puts it near driver territory).

Where the GAPR HI differentiates itself from some modern hybrids is its high launch and moderate spin.  Even on a launch monitor (where roll out tends to be exaggerated), I was seeing 200 yard shots stop quickly.  That – much more than an extra 5 yards – is what you need to tackle a long par 3.  You can dial in exactly how much of that launch and spin you want through the adjustable loft at the hosel.

Finally, the GAPR HI provides solid forgiveness.  Some of the larger, fairway wood-style hybrids may be better in terms of preserving ball speed, but the GAPR HI is a giant leap forward from an iron or driving iron.  The low CG is very helpful when it comes to boosting thin shots to a reasonable trajectory.

Conclusion

If you’ve given up on hybrids, come back and check out the TaylorMade GAPR HI.  While it is quite long, it feels much more controlled than the hybrids that are pure distance monsters.  Combine the consistency with the adjustable loft and you can be taking on long par 3s with ease.

TaylorMade GAPR HI Price & Specs

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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6 Comments

  1. They can market it any way they wish but basically it’s just a hybrid.

  2. Great review Matt and I agree with your comments. It is very easy to hit and is pretty long. I’ve taken my clubs demo 22’ to the course for my last few rounds and if it wasn’t an ugly duckling I would have purchased it already. Maybe a couple more rounds with it and and I’ll ignore the looks after hitting high, straight 190 yard shots on demand.😁

  3. Hi Matt –
    Did you test the GAPR Hi vs Mid side-by-side — eg. for approx same lofts, shafts, etc. did the Hi in fact produce a higher launch and flight .. and less rollout .. vs the Mid?? Thx!

    • Matt Saternus

      Chuck,

      I was not able to test identical lofts, unfortunately. I would infer from my results that the HI does launch higher, but how much higher will depend on the individual.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. I’d really appreciate some LM numbers in these reviews- I know all swings are different, but having a reference would help narrow things down and help me fill out my spreadsheets (yes, I’m a wonk).

    • Matt Saternus

      Andrew,

      Due to the large variety in hybrids in designs and lofts tested, not to mention different writers, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll be putting LM data into hybrid reviews.

      Best,

      Matt

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