Golf Hybrid Buying Guide – How To Pick The Best Option For Your Game

In the early 2000’s the hybrid club was invented. The main reason for the hybrid is to make the game easier. A hybrid replaces your long irons, and nowadays you can get a full set of hybrids from 2 iron to 9 iron.

With the game growing incredibly fast, it was essential to keep new golfers playing the game, one way was to make it slightly easier to play. Golf is hard as it is, and long irons for beginners are almost impossible to hit. The hybrid was an incredible invention, as it made hitting a ‘long iron’ much easier.

Since they are not your traditional club there is always some confusion around them, in this article we will answer some of the most popular questions regarding the hybrid, and help you make your next buying decision easier.

What Is A Hybrid?

A hybrid is a club that is designed to replace your long irons, it is generally made from steel. It looks like a fairway wood, however it is slightly smaller in profile.

Like the fairway wood it has a hollow head, this allows the club manufacturers to position the weight of the club to the perimeters and at the back of the head, in turn this makes the club more forgiving and easier to launch.

The hybrid also has a narrow sole, this reduces turf interaction, allowing the club to slide through the turf easier, even on miss hits.

Hybrids also create more spin compared to an iron, this will also help the golfer hit the ball in the air easier. This will help you off the tee, and with approach shots to the green.

When To Use A Hybrid?

A hybrid can be used from anywhere on the golf course, that is what makes them so incredible. They are easy to hit from the tee box, with your approach shot to the green, to get yourself out of trouble from the trees, out of the rough and even as a bump and run shot from around the greens. The hybrid is your most versatile club in your bag.

Hybrid Lofts With Iron Comparisons And What Should I Choose?

Number Hybrid Loft Traditional Iron Loft Modern Iron Loft Fairway Wood Loft
2 17 19
3 19 21 19 15
4 21 24 21
5 24 27 23.5 18
6 27 31 26.5
7 30 35 30.5 21
8 33 39 35
9 36 43 40 24

*Hybrid based on Callaway Rogue ST Max OS *Traditional loft based on TaylorMade P7MB *Modern Loft based on TaylorMade P790

As you can see the hybrid loft is a lot stronger than your traditional irons, however they are very similar to your modern day irons.

When choosing a hybrid the starting place is to replace like for like. So you would replace a 3 iron with a 3 hybrid and so on. To take it a bit further you can also look at the lofts on your irons, and replace it with the identical loft of  the hybrid you are looking to purchase, as you can see they can vary.

A hybrid will go further than its equivalent numbered iron, so testing out the different lofted hybrids to get your desired distance is also something you can do.

As a beginner the longer the club the harder it is to hit. Naturally a fairway wood is longer than a hybrid, so choosing a hybrid over a 5 wood or 3 wood is also a good option to consider.

Are Hybrids Only For Beginners?

No they are not, hybrids are for all levels of golfers, however as hybrids are there to make the game easier by helping you get the ball in the air and improve turf interaction, not all golfers need this help.

Low handicap golfers do not have a problem with their longer irons, so they wouldn’t use a hybrid as much as a beginner. Because you are only allowed 14 clubs in your bag, most low handicap golfers leave the hybrid out of their bag all together.

What To Consider When Buying A Hybrid?

There are 5 main things to consider when buying a hybrid.

  • Price
  • Loft
  • Shaft flex
  • Shot shape
  • Distance

Price is going to be the deciding factor if you are going to go with a premium option or not, premium options generally have more shaft options, which could get you dialed in more, but most times the stock shaft is good enough, the premium option will generally be more forgiving compared to something that is cheaper.

Loft is important because it will affect trajectory and distance, as a complete beginner distance is not too important, however as an avid golfer you will start to need to get your distance dialed in and your gapping between each club right, 11 – 13 yards per club is the target.

Shaft flex is important as it will affect distance and accuracy, two very important aspects when hitting a hybrid.

And lastly shot shape, as hybrids are designed to get the ball up in the air and generally assist high handicap players, the tendency for them is to draw too much for lower handicap players. This is something to consider when making your purchase.

How Important Is The Hybrid Shaft?

Shafts in general these days are very important. Choosing the right hybrid shaft for your game can make a big difference.

The hybrid is created to get the ball up in the air easily. So more often than not the stock shaft you will find in a hybrid is going to be high spinning high launching. This is ok for most golfers, but when it comes to better players, they might want to try something heavier or stiffer, this will help to keep the ball from ballooning and from going left.

Hybrid Shaft Length – Everything To Know

Hybrid shafts are longer than iron shafts, the main reason is because the shaft is lighter. To get the club to its required weight you need to add length to the club, this will make it heavier.

One of the reasons why a hybrid goes longer than an iron is because of the shaft length. The longer the shaft the further the ball will go.

Have a look at the table below to compare shaft lengths

Number Hybrid Length Traditional Iron Length Modern Iron Length Fairway Wood

Length

2 41.25” 38.50”
3 40.75” 39.00” 39.65” 43.25”
4 40.25” 38.50” 39.125”
5 39.75” 38.00” 38.50” 42.25”
6 39.25” 37.50” 37.88”
7 38.75” 37.00” 37.25” 41.75”
8 38.25” 36.50” 36.75”
9 37.75” 36.00” 36.25” 41.25”

*Hybrid based on TaylorMade Stealth Rescue and Fairway *Traditional loft based on TaylorMade P7MB *Modern Loft based on TaylorMade P790

What Are The Pros To Using Hybrids

The pros far outway the cons, especially for a high handicap golfer. The list below are for all levels of golfers

  • Easier to hit than an iron
  • More forgiving
  • Better turf interaction
  • Can be used from all areas – tee box, fairway, rough, recovery, bump and runs
  • Gets the ball into the air easily

What Are The Cons To Using Hybrids

With the cons, like I said before there are not really any cons, the only two cons would be for low handicap players, but for high handicap players they are actually pros.

  • The ball tends to go left, this is because of the slight offset they have and the extra loft
  • Launches too high, great for high handicap players, can be a con for low handicap players

What About Hybrids For Senior Players?

Hybrid can be used by all ages. There are no real differences in hybrids for seniors other than the shaft. The head shape and loft will be the same as a regular hybrid, however they would use a senior flex shaft instead of a regular or stiff flex.

Other than that they are exactly the same.

Should I Switch My Long Irons To Hybrids?

You are not the only one considering this, it is very popular nowadays to have 2 or even 3 hybrids in your bag. It just makes sense to use them if you struggle with your long irons.

So, the answer is, if you struggle hitting your long irons, you should consider using hybrids. Try them out first, there should be a fitter or pro shop in your area that will be able to assist you.

Compare them to your long irons, if you should change you will see a big difference in distance and launch.

Hybrids are generally much easier to hit than irons, as the head is bigger and the CG is away from the face helping you launch the ball easier.

Long irons are difficult to hit because the head is so small, the CG is close to the face and there is minimal offset.

Best Hybrid For High Handicappers – Cobra Speedzone

The Speedzone hybrid has a new technology called Hollow Baffler Split Rails, it also has a forged stainless steel face, with a slightly oversize shape. This will give you more ball speed, higher launch and more forgiveness.

The Hollow Baffler Split Rails flex more than solid rails, this creates a 70% larger hot spot on the face giving you a higher launch and more ball speed, it also makes it more forgiving as shots struck towards the heel or toe still maintain good ball speeds.

A forged stainless steel face also assists with ball speed and higher launch, helping you hit the ball further and land even softer on your approach shots.

Cobra have improved the turf interaction with the Speedzone hybrid using the Baffler Rails, the club will slide through the turf with ease helping you in any lie.

Lastly Cobra has repositioned the weight low and back in the head, this adds loads of forgiveness to the club, as well as helps you get the ball up in the air easier.

Cobra Speedzone Hybrid Pros

  • Hollow Baffler Split Rails give you a bigger hotspot
  • forged stainless steel face improves sound and feel
  • Low center of gravity
  • Easy to launch and stop on the greens
  • Good price point

Cobra Speedzone Hybrid Cons

  • Might be too high launching for low handicap players
  • Could be too easy to turn over for low handicap players

Distance: 91/100

Feel & Control: 93/100

Accuracy: 92/100

Forgiveness: 93/100

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Best Hybrid For Mid Handicappers – Taylormade SIM 2

Even though the SIM 2 hybrid is aimed at mid handicap golfers, it was one of the very few hybrids that found its way out onto the PGA Tour, TaylorMade had the likes of Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and more playing it when the course was set up right for them. This gives this hybrid a big stamp of approval,

The SIM 2 hybrid has a C300 Steel face, which gives you a penetrating ball flight especially off the tee.

TaylorMade have improved on their famous V Steel design.They have redistributed the weight to increase forgiveness while still keeping low CG properties. V Steel ultimately increases turf interaction, helping you get out of any lie.

With the C300 steel face, TaylorMade has been able to incorporate their TwistFace technology that we know so well from their drivers and fairway woods into the SIM 2 hybrid. TwistFace helps with shots struck towards the heel and toe keeping them much straighter

Another one of TaylorMades unique technologies is the Thru-Slot Speed Pocket, this increases face flex towards the lower part of the club, helping you maintain ball speeds on low struck shots on the face.

Cobra Speedzone Hybrid Pros

  • Tour validated by the best players in the world
  • C300 steel face gives you a penetrating ball flight
  • V Steel technology helps with turf interaction
  • Thru-Slot Speed Pocket helps maintain ball speed on low struck shots
  • Easy to launch

Cobra Speedzone Hybrid Cons

  • Expensive
  • Top line might be off putting to some

Distance: 94/100

Feel & Control: 93/100

Accuracy: 94/100

Forgiveness: 95/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:

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Best Hybrid For Low Handicappers – Callaway Apex

The Callaway Apex Hybrid is designed for the better player. It has their brand new Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades which enhances the hybrid’s performance.

With incredible speed Callaway has still managed to keep the ball flight under control, you can expect penetrating ball flights with every shot. As most low handicap golfers like versatility, the Apex hybrid comes with an adjustable loft sleeve.

The new Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades are designed to increase stiffness towards the lower part of the club, this will keep the ball speed up when you strike the ball towards the lower part of the face.

An advanced A.I technology designs the Apex hybrids, this gives Callaway the edge allowing them to increase ball speed and forgiveness making off centered strikes better.

The Apex hybrid has their new Dual MIM’ed Tungsten Weighting system, which gives you a better launch and trajectory. They have done this by positioning the CG in specific places throughout the head.

As you would expect from a player’s hybrid the Apex gives you a penetrating launch with loads of forgiveness, Callaway have put a lot of tungsten into each hybrid. From there, their R&D team can position the Center of Gravity lower to help control launch, and provide more forgiveness on off-center shots.

These hybrids are all adjustable, this allows the lower handicap golfer to adjust their light angle, loft and face angle, helping them get even more dialed in.

Callaway Apex Hybrid Pros

  • AI Technology Jailbreak Velocity Blades helps with ball speed
  • Dual MIM’ed Tungsten Weighting for forgiveness
  • Low center of gravity
  • Controllable ball flight

Callaway Apex Hybrid Cons

  • Not as forgiving as most hybrids
  • Expensive
  • Not as easy to launch

Distance: 94/100

Feel & Control: 93/100

Accuracy: 93/100

Forgiveness: 92/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:

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Conclusion

From the early 2000’s hybrids have been a very popular option for all levels of golfers. Having said that, they are not for everyone, so we highly recommend trying them out before you buy them.

The 5 most important things to consider when buying a hybrid are Price, Loft, Shaft flex, Shot shape and Distance. You should consider all these factors when making your decision on whether to have a hybrid in your bag or not.

As a high handicap player we 100% agree that you should have hybrids in your bag, from a 3 to a 5 hybrid is a must, long irons are incredibly difficult to hit, so why make the game harder, it is already hard enough.

Your local pro or fitter will be able to assist you with all your needs when it comes to making that final purchase.