Titleist 818H1 & 818H2 Hybrid Review

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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.

Introduction

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.

Looks

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.

Performance

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.

Conclusion

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.

Buy Titleist 818H1 & 818H2 Hybrids HERE

Titleist 818H1 Price & Specs

Titleist 818H2 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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9 Comments

  1. Nice review Matt,
    For 2018, the offering in hybrid seem to be a good year.
    You tested also the Mizuno CLK.
    Which one do you prefer?

    Thanks,

    • Matt Saternus

      Richard,

      With the caveat that I didn’t have either one fit for me and that the right shaft could change this, I’d say the Titleist 818H2. Being able to set a fade bias with the weights tips things in its favor.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Tom Donnelly

    $315 for a hybrid? It had better produce “driver-like smash factors”! I guess Titleist has decided to go after the PXG market.

    • Matt Saternus

      Tom,

      The actual retail looks to be a bit lower, but that’s the price on Titleist’s site.
      And yes, unfortunately, it does seem that Titleist is one of the OEMs that sees PXG’s presence as an opportunity to hike their own prices.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. Just bought a 25 degree 816 H1 for $120 on sale. Love it for 180 to 195 range! Do we really need one of those cg bars in a head the size of a hybrid? By the way the Nike Vapor Flex driver with such a bar is a monster driver right out there with the Titleist 915 d4!

  4. Hello Matt, can you please compare 818h2 forgiveness to Apex? I‘m torn between the two. Thanks, Andreas

    • Matt Saternus

      Andreas,

      With the caveat that I haven’t tested them head to head, I’d give a VERY slight edge to the Apex.

      Best,

      Matt

  5. Matt:
    Nice review. Just tried the H1 23°. Enjoyed hitting this. Easy launch, easy on the eyes and I think it fits a nice spot in my bag.
    #SecretGiveaway
    Thanks,
    Jack

  6. Pingback: Tour Edge Exotics EXS Hybrid Review - Plugged In Golf

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