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.
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.
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.
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.
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.