6 Hybrid Vs 6 Iron – What’s the Better Club and When to Use?
“What once was taboo is now an accepted norm. With tour pros putting hybrids in their bags, many average golfers are wondering if they can replace their mid irons with more forgiving hybrids.”
These days, all the major golf club companies are producing hybrids that reach well into the mid irons. So we thought we’d take some time to go over the pros, cons, advantages and disadvantages of using a 6 hybrid in place of a 6-iron. We will also be talking about appropriate situations for both clubs.
6 Hybrid Overview
“The average graphite shaft length for a 6-hybrid is roughly 39 inches. A steel-shafted 6-hybrid will be about 38 inches.”
In general, a 6-hybrid will have a larger head and be more forgiving than a 6-iron. The loft of a 6-hybrid will also be a bit weaker (about 28° on average) to promote high launch. So if you struggle to get the ball airborne with a traditional 6-iron, a 6-hybrid may be inherently beneficial for your game. Like a 6-iron though, a 6-hybrid is generally useful for landing on the green on par 4 holes.
6 Iron Overview
“Your typical steel-shafted iron will be about 37 inches. Graphite 6-irons run about 38 inches long. 6-irons will usually have a loft of 26°.”
A 6-iron will have either a cavity back or muscle back design. The club head is also significantly smaller than a 6-hybrid to promote feel, acoustics and workability. A 6-iron will also invariably have a narrower sole than a 6-hybrid. Launch will generally be lower with a 6-iron; but most golfers should be able to more accurately affect a draw or fade with a 6-iron.
When Should You Use Each Club?
The general rule of thumb is that a longer shaft will produce more distance because you are getting more inertia from the club head.
In that sense, a 6-hybrid should play longer than a 6-iron for most players. However, with a longer shaft, you are also generating more sidespin which can be a detriment for certain players. Both clubs have their place so take a look at the best situations for each:
A 6-hybrid is ideal for approaches on par 4’s and mid-length par 3’s.
Because the loft is weaker than a 6-iron, you may also use a 6-hybrid when you are trying to get over trees and hazards. If you are facing a fast, elevated green, you may also want to choose a 6-hybrid because the enhanced spin will prevent rollout. 6-hybrids may also be beneficial on long bump and runs as opposed to a wedge. That’s because the 6-hybrid will produce more rollout distance compared to a weaker-lofted wedge. Lastly, the 6-hybrid is a good club to use if you simply have a lot of distance to make up on a par 5.
If you are facing down a protected par 5 green, you may want to use a 6-iron on your second shot.
This is a safe play that will likely land you in an optimal lie to use your more controllable wedges to get onto the green. A 6-iron can also be helpful on punch shots where you need to stay under tree limbs. The stronger loft makes it easier to keep the ball low and get you out of a tough lie. The distance that a 6-iron produces is also ideal for approach shots on par 4 holes. If you are facing a particularly long par 4, you may want to pull out the 5-iron. But for average par 4’s, 6-irons are a potent weapon for landing the ball in the center of the green.
Swing Speed Vs Distance – Who Should Use Them?
A 6-hybrid definitely favors a slower or moderate swing speed (about 90 MPH and slower). The longer shaft will help get your club head speed up whereas a 6-iron will leave you to generate most of the club head speed and smash factor yourself.
A 6-hybrid should produce about 160 yards for men and 135 yards for women. Men average about 155-160 yards with a 6-iron and women average about 130 yards.
Lofts of Each Club
The weaker-lofted 6-hybrid is great for players with slower swing speeds who struggle to put air under the ball. The average loft for a 6-hybrid is 28° while the average loft for a 6-iron is about 26°.
6-Hybrid Pros & Cons
- More forgiving than a 6-iron
- Produces higher launch
- Better for slower swing speed players
- Usually offers smoother turf interaction than a 6-iron
- Better for landing the ball soft on the green
- Easier to produce straight shots
- Better for higher handicap players
- You lose considerable workability
- Not great for punching the ball through
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6-Iron Pros & Cons
- Better than a 6-hybrid for shaping shots
- Doesn’t look so chunky behind the ball
- Good for faster swing-speed players
- Easier to control flight
- Better feedback
- Less forgiving
- Increased rollout distance
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Who Should Use A 6-Hybrid?
A 6-hybrid would be ideal for high handicap players in the swing speed range of about 75-85 MPH.
Who Should Use A 6-Iron?
A 6-iron would be better for players who are able to make consistent contact and want the ability to shape their shots.
“If you have read this far, then you know that each club has their place.”
Ultimately, it depends on the player. Whether you should use a 6-iron or a 6-hybrid will boil down to the kind of player you are. Most of the time, people opt to play 6-hybrids as a replacement for their 6-irons because of forgiveness. The larger club head, larger sweet spot and smoother turf interaction make a 6-hybrid much more forgiving and easier to hit. It’s also a good option for players who struggle to hit the ball straight.
But a 6-iron will likely be the better club for lower handicap players since it offers better workability and works better with a faster swing speed.