Since movable weights first started showing up in clubheads, just a couple years ago, the selection has gone from a small number of expensive offerings to a large number of companies offering the technology at decreasing prices.
One thing every one of those movable-weight clubs has had in common is that their manufacturers pitch the same benefit: the ability of the golfer (or clubfitter, as the case may be) to reconfigure a clubhead's center of gravity, and therefore affect the trajectory of shots.
Using a lighter weight configuration raises the center of gravity and lowers the ball flight; using a heavier configuration lowers the CG and increases the height of the shot. Likewise, adding more weight to the heel or toe can increase draw or fade bias.
Infiniti Golf seems to take a more basic approach to things: solid clubs that perform well and are attractive, without heavy price tags. It's an approach that worked great with the Infiniti ProPulsion 460 driver, for example.
So when Infiniti decides to add adjustable weights to its Hot Shot Utility Wood, updating the hybrid and introducing a new version called the Hot Shot XS, do they go for multiple weight screws and tout ball flight impact?
No, they focus on the basics: swingweight. Swingweight is something other companies rarely address in the arena of movable weight clubs. But think about: when you're popping this screw in and that one out, you're also affecting the overall weight of the club - the feel of the club. And if you have two quality clubs side-by-side, all other things being equal, golfers will prefer the one whose weight feels best for their swing. Proper swingweight leads to a better feel, and better feel to more confidence.
The Infiniti Hot Shot XS Utility Wood comes with one weighted screw - either aluminum (lightest), steel or tungsten (heaviest) - installed in the bottom of the clubhead and positioned so that the weight is directly behind the impact zone.
The screws are interchangeable, and the golfer can purchase all three screws and a torque wrench to make adjustments himself. But let's face, when it comes to adjusting the performance characteristics of golf clubs, many golfers aren't quite sure how to get the right setup.
That's why Infiniti wants golfers to visit one of their registered dealers to be properly fit for the Hot Shot XS. That means the clubfitter works with the golfer to choose the swingweight the golfer finds most comfortable, and best matched to his swing.
Once fitted with the proper swingweight, Infiniti believes, there is little reason to fool around with a successful fitting, and therefore the consumer doesn't have to worry about changing out screws himself.
Does the choice of weight used in the Hot Shot XS hybrid have an effect on trajectory? We didn't have all three screws to play around with (no screws loose here, folks), so we can't answer that definitively. But given the positioning of the screw directly behind the impact zone, my guess is that any such effect would be small.
The weighted screws in the Infiniti Hot Shot XS Utility Wood are all about swingweight and feel.
And their positioning does produce a terrific feel. Impact is very crisp, solid and satisfying.
As we mentioned up above, the Hot Shot XS is an update of the original Infiniti Hot Shot hybrid. The XS version has a shallower profile with a longer heel-to-toe measurement, in addition to the added element of the weighted screw.
These updates really are upgrades, as they provide more forgiveness on mis-hits while helping all shots get up into the air. Overall, the Hot Shot XS is an easier-to-hit club.
Distance performance is good, but accuracy, forgiveness and ease of use (as in, it feels great) are the calling cards of this club.
The Infiniti Hot Shot XS Utility Woods comes in 18-, 22- and 26-degree lofts. Shaft length is 41 inche for the 18-degree, 40 inches for the 22 and 39.5 inches for the 26.
More information can be found at the Infiniti Web site, www.infinitigolf.com.