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The Titleist 818H1 and 818H2 hybrids are huge improvements over the 816 versions. Adjustable weighting adds to the already adjustable hosel.
For their 818 hybrid line-up, Titleist brought a significant upgrade: the SureFit CG adjustable weight that they just added to their fairway woods and drivers. Is this enough to elevate their hybrids from also-ran to best in class? Are there other less obvious upgrades? We took out each model to bring you the answers.
Both of Titleist’s new hybrids have a grey crown which is a little darker than that of the previous model. The similarities end there.
The differences between the 818H1 and the 818H2 start with size. The 818H1 (above) is one of the larger hybrids you’ll find. That size is enhanced by the round, symmetrical shape. It almost looks like someone lopped the back off a fairway wood and rounded out the edges.
The 818H2 (below) has the shape better players tend to prefer: smaller from front-to-back with a noticeable pear shape.
Another key difference is the shape of the face. The 818 H1 is rounded in the toe and a bit shorter. By contrast, the 818 H2 has a taller face with a square toe.
In my opinion, both the 818 H1 and the 818 H2 are significantly better looking than their predecessors. The darker crown helps to hide their bulk, and the shaping is far more refined.
Sound & Feel
Both the 818 hybrids get away from the dull sound and feel that I normally associate with Titleist’s woods. Instead, both clubs have a metallic, slightly louder impact sound that is reminiscent of a fairway wood. This makes these clubs feel hot and long, though whether that’s desirable will be up to the individual player.
The biggest change to the Titleist hybrid line up is the addition of the SureFit CG. This is Titleist’s name for the weight plug that slides into the toe to change the overall head weight and the shot shape bias. Weights are available in 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18 grams, with Draw, Neutral, or Fade bias. These weights do have a noticeable impact on ball flight and are a simple way to adjust swing weight.
In addition to the adjustable weight, Titleist has made the Active Recoil Channel larger and filled it with a “flexing polymer insert.” This slot is designed to create more ball speed and forgiveness. I think the primary benefit to this new version is that the slot is no longer a collection area for grass and debris.
Most importantly, the 818 hybrids improve on their forgiveness and overall performance. The 818H1 is, as billed, high launching and fairly forgiving. It’s not the most forgiving hybrid out there, but it’s more than passable. When you pure it, you’ll get driver-like smash factors, fairly low spin, and really solid distance. I did find the 818 H1 to be a bit draw biased in the neutral setting, but that can be remedied with the SureFit CG.
The 818H2 is a solid hybrid that better players will enjoy. The launch is noticeably lower, and the forgiveness is clearly dialed down compared to the H1. On the plus side, it offers a neutral CG and more ability to alter trajectory.
After what I found to be a very disappointing offering in 2015, Titleist has bounced back with two very solid hybrids for their 818 collection. The 818 H1 is the hybrid for most handicap players: easier to launch, more forgiving, and plenty long. The 818 H2 is clearly the hybrid for better players with less forgiveness, a smaller profile, and lower launch. With a wealth of adjustability and great stock shaft options, Titleist loyalists and brand agnostics alike will find plenty to enjoy in the 818 hybrids.