The Dynacraft Hypersteel is a very attractive component head based upon a design from the Japanese company, Kasco. In the new world of hybrid iron-woods, this design approach falls to the “wood” side of the fusion fence. The clubs look like skinny, graceful fairway woods. The Dynacraft Hypersteel and Pal Joey Dingo are siblings originating from the same parent company. They possess only cosmetic differences.
Due to the extremes in “love’em” and “hate’em” responses, this one was a tough review to conduct. We had to return to it numerous times with new testers. Earlier in the season, we used the Hypersteel’s in repeated sessions with those testers who have regularly used hybrid iron-woods in the past. They had very mixed results with these rounded Dynacraft’s. Good shots were exceedingly fine. They felt nice. They hit high, long boomers, but patterns on poor hits were all over the place. The excellent ease and consistency that the testers had seen with TM Rescue’s, Dynacraft Jackaroo’s and Snake Eyes Quick Strike’s did not present themselves. Good shots were outstanding. Unpredictability was the killer, however. Bad shots were too far a field to give the regular hybrid users enough confidence to want to play the Hypersteel’s on course.
We had just about written off these hybrids when three testers declared their deep affection for them. All of these testers were woods users, not hybrid fanciers. Iron-woods, in general, had not appealed to them in the past. Each of the three hit easy, huge, booming shots with great ease and consistency. Two expressed a desire to play the Hypersteel’s (or the Dingo) full-time. In one recent playing round we were amused to see the two testers running back and forth to retrieve Hypersteel or Dingo from each other’s bag whenever they were in any grass more than a half-inch high. One of them now wants to try a matched set in 16, 19 and 25 degrees. The third also hit some great shots, but is still undecided about regular use of the Hypersteel.
We use the word, “intuitive” a great deal in reference to the alignment properties of golf clubs. It refers to the visual elements of a club that allow a golfer to set up to and aim a club properly without the necessity of making too many conscious adjustments. By the standard of fairway woods, the Hypersteel’s have a shallow, narrow head. Bulge and roll is incorporated into the face. The topline is gently curved as a result. In comparison, small-headed irons are flat-faced. This small, rounded appearance can throw off some hitters when it comes to aiming precisely. For them, alignment is anything but intuitive. If they did not fuss over a shot beforehand, it would be offline. Others, however, have related readily to the look at address.
We found that those who did not relate to the Hypersteel’s (and Dingo) tended to hit all woods with a sweeping motion. They took shallow divots and often hit thin. The swooped sole and pointed toe of this design left them precious little leeway for error. Those that hit the Hypersteel’s best had a more upright swing. They hit these hybrids with a steeper angle of descent and left deeper divots. In short, they hit them more as one would hit irons. Some soon regarded the 25-degree model as a tall, long-hitting wedge and hit it accordingly.
Both factions had the same opinion of the Hypersteel’s when it came to hitting from our island of heavy rough: No club does it any better. The swooped sole allows the head to rip through thick thatch with the greatest of ease. These are effortless trouble clubs. Very little distance is lost even when the balls were relatively buried. All of the hybrids we have are good from the heavy rough, but the Hypersteel’s are best. One of the testers who liked them most is a big, strong mid- to high-handicapper with powerful, but erratic swing. In his words, “Half of my approach shots are from heavy rough. These are great! ” Only other swoop-soled clubs such as the Ginty and Wedgewood have shown such a degree of proficiency from the rough.
From normal lies, the Hypersteel’s flew on high, arched trajectories. The distances of the long-shafted, 19-degree head was equivalent to a strong 5-wood. The slightly shorter-shafted Dingo flew shorter in comparison. It also flew with a less penetrating trajectory. The 25-degree Hypersteel flew much as a strong 9-wood, climbing high and dropping off steeply. From sand traps, the Hypersteel’s are also capable of big results. We managed to hit the target greens quite a few times from 175 to 200 yards out. Shots can fly very strong and high. Unfortunately, more than a few slammed hard into the lip as well. Again, the swooped sole and low profile allows for a narrow margin of error.
The stiff, Rifle-shafted Hypersteel had a completely different personality when compared to the other test clubs. Both the senior-flexed, steel-shafted Hypersteel and the soft-regular, graphite Dingo have sweet, easy temperaments. The Dingo can be downright mellow. With the Rifle, and a swingweight of D6, the Hypersteel 19-degree becomes an aggressive feeling weapon. Feel at impact can be vibrant and sharp – very satisfying when the small sweetspot is struck. With a gray Golf Pride Softee grip, this silver and charcoal shaft makes for a visually appealing combination mated to the charcoal and chrome Hypersteel head. Without a doubt, the Rifle makes this a very sharp-looking club. Most hybrid users will prefer a softer shaft, however. We would also recommend that most players will be happier with a graphite shaft in the 41 1/2″ to 41 3/4″ range. Distances will be less, but control and consistency will be improved.
How does the Hypersteel compare to the Kasco original? The Kasco has a bore-thru shaft and a slightly lower weight distribution. This is not much of a factor given that the Hypersteel already gets the ball up high and strong from almost all lies. However, the subtle design differences do give the Kasco a marginally more solid feel at impact. The standard shaft in the Kasco also has a more silken feel. The Hypersteel/Rifle combination has a more aggressive “trouble-club” feel. Both clubs hit long. The Hypersteel feels good. We suspect that with an appropriate, premium shaft such as a Grafalloy ProLite, it would have a smoothness comparable to the Kasco.
These hybrids are great trouble clubs. Fit and finish is very good. For those genetically inclined to gravitate towards the long, green stuff, they are a must try. For those that stay where the mowers regularly roam, other woods may be more predictably consistent. Opinions will vary greatly. Unlike the Jackaroo’s and Quick Strike’s, the Hypersteel’s have not generated universally good results. But, like the original Kasco’s, when they work, they work great. Long, soaring shots can result. No other hybrids we have used can produce shots with such strong, towering trajectories.