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What are hybrid clubs – and when should I use them?

Relatively new to the golf bag, hybrid clubs claim to bring the best of both worlds. But what are they, and how can they improve your game?

09 June 2016 1 minute read What are hybrid clubs – and when should I use them?

A golfer has a lot of tools in his bag. But even with a selection of 14 different clubs, there’s always someone who complains that they can’t find the perfect club for that tricky par 5 approach shot. This is where the hybrid club comes in.

Introduced just over a decade ago, hybrids claim to combine the best of a wood and an iron club.

But are they as good as they sound?

What makes them different?

Initially introduced by TaylorMade as a ‘Rescue’ club, hybrids now cover a range of options and, as such, there is no single type of hybrid.

As a rule, the clubs’ heads tend to be shallower than a standard fairway wood and have a centre of gravity closer to the back and bottom, which gives great club-face control. The head can also have an iron-like lie angle.

Their faces are often made from a high-strength steel alloy that offers the hollow ‘bounce’ of a wood while giving the weight and control of an iron .

Hybrid Clubs

Why use them?

Using a standard mid-range iron or wood off the fairway means it can be tough to get a good combination of distance, accuracy and loft. In fact, many amateurs and pros have already abandoned the 1, 2, 3 and even 4 irons as they’re so hard to use.

But until hybrids came along there was no replacement for these irons. Now, a hybrid with 18 to 24 degree loft on the face is a good alternative.

They’re great for longer approach shots as they provide distance as well as accuracy. They’re also good for playing out of the rough – a frustrating situation many beginners will find themselves in.

This is because hybrids offer: 

  • More weight that slows the club head but increases the force applied
  • Sharper front edges to cut through the long grass
  • Better club control to provide a more accurate shot
In general, hybrids have been designed to have a larger sweet spot on the club face. This means that even the least experienced players can hit a clean approach shot more often than not.
Hybrid Clubs

How to use them?

Mostly, hybrids are used when you would normally pick a 1 to 4 iron.

For beginners, using irons can be tough. This is because the swing motion with an iron should be aimed down to the ball – something amateurs struggle to do. Hybrids, though, allow a more natural, sweeping swing.

They’re also great for approach shots as the greater loft means your ball probably won’t skip off the green – instead landing downwards with hopefully a touch of backspin to bring it to a quick stop.

Whether you should ditch your low irons and replace them with hybrids is up to you. But if your approach game is somewhat lacking, it might be worth a try.