Edited by: Jordan Fuller
Reviewed by: John Marshall
Hybrid clubs have seen an increase in popularity over the recent years, with more and more PGA and LPGA players having at least one of them in their bag.
Gone are the days in the past where hybrids are just a beginner’s option for more forgiving long irons. Hence why it is crucial to find out which products can be labeled as the best hybrid golf clubs.
Last updated on 2019-11-21. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Featured Recommendations
2 10 Best Hybrid Golf Clubs
- 2.1 Best For Most Golfers: Callaway Rogue X Hybrid
- 2.2 Best For Beginners: TaylorMade RBZ
- 2.3 Best If You Are On A Budget: Pinemeadow Excel EGI
- 2.4 Best For Mid-Handicappers: TaylorMade M4
- 2.5 Best Adjustable Hybrid: TaylorMade M3
- 2.6 Best For Swing Speed: Callaway XR Hybrid
- 2.7 Runner-Up For Beginners: Cleveland Launcher HB
- 2.8 Best For Experienced Golfers: TaylorMade GAPR LO
- 2.9 Best For Low-Handicappers: TaylorMade M6
- 2.10 Best For Senior Golfers: Cobra King F8
- 3 Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation
4 Questions & Answers
- 4.1 What are the important characteristics to look for in a hybrid club?
- 4.2 What are the advantages of hybrid clubs?
- 4.3 What type of golfer would benefit the most from hybrid clubs?
- 4.4 What shaft material would you recommend for hybrids?
- 4.5 What flex would you recommend for hybrids?
- 4.6 What loft angle should I have?
- 4.7 Should we expect pro golfers to only use hybrids instead of irons or fairway woods in the future?
- 4.8 Is there a big difference between brands that offer hybrids?
10 Best Hybrid Golf Clubs
Best For Most Golfers: Callaway Rogue X Hybrid
Most sophisticated hybrid with Jailbreak technology for solid strikes
From Callaway comes one of the more sophisticated hybrids on the market today in the Rogue X. With a unique design that moves power to the center of the club for remarkable accuracy and distance on every shot, the X is a dynamic, game-changing hybrid.
Overall, we were quite taken by the Rogue X’s performance. The club may be better suited for golfers of the mid-handicap and above skill level, but beginners may find that the X delivers a solid experience worth growing into as their career progresses.
It is our recommendation for most golfers.
The company’s Jailbreak Technology highlights the feature-laden Rogue X. Simply put, the technology produces one of the most solid strikes at impact that we’ve tested on any club.
The Jailbreak bars run inside the clubhead, stiffening the Rogue X’s body for less twisting and more purity at impact. The ultra-thin face on the Rogue X makes the club extremely fast throughout the swing.
This feature results in longer distance due to the increase in ball speed. When coupled with Jailbreak Technology, the thin face is a workhorse that delivers strength to the center of the golf ball.
The Rogue X also boasts Callaway’s Hyper Speed Face Cup technology. Providing strength across the club face, the Speed Face Cup assists in maximizing ball speed and distance on off-center and center contact.
Finally, the Rogue X has Callaway’s proprietary Internal Standing Wave, a creation that locates the center-of-gravity with precision for better shot making. With the center-of-gravity lower in the Rogue X, your shots find easy lift and exceptional distance.
Like most hybrids on our list, the Rogue X does not have advanced features such as sliding or removable weights or an adjustable hosel. Also, the X has the feel of an iron more so than a fairway wood with a tall clubface. In either instance, you may not care because of the Rogue X’s superior performance.
Best For Beginners: TaylorMade RBZ
Low-center of gravity to help get the ball high into the air with ease
TaylorMade’s RBZ Rescue is an affordable option for beginning golfers looking for a dependable hybrid that will increase distance and improve accuracy from anywhere you hit the club while on the course.
Because of its dependability and solid gameplay, the TaylorMade RBZ is a terrific hybrid for golfers just getting their feet wet in expanding the club set in their bag.
With a low center-of-gravity, the RBZ gets the ball up into the air without a problem, leaving you astounded at how far and straight it flies down the fairway.
The features of the RBZ Rescue are led by the company’s Speed Pocket technology that improves carry and launch angle on impact. The shallow profile of the RBZ has been tweaked to improve the contact interaction when the club moves through the turf to take a divot and impact the golf ball.
Other features include a lightweight RocketFuel shaft that increases swing speed for more distance and the company positions a mass pad in a way where the golfer will experience better launch, sound and feel when moving through the ball.
When testing the RBZ, we felt that it was generally an excellent hybrid that is ideal for beginners and inexperienced golfers who need a dependable club that can be played off the tee or from the fairway with no discernible difference.
The low profile of the RBZ also expands the sweet spot creating a large area for contact with the golf ball. On our off-center hits, we still felt the RBZ give the golf ball a forward propulsion that left us pleased at the club’s accuracy even when the golfer is at his worst.
The fixed clubhead is great for beginners but may disappoint advanced golfers who are looking for more adjustability in their hybrid. Another complaint on the RBZ Rescue is that the profile is long and low, making it problematic for golfers who like a smaller and blockier hybrid with concentrated sweet spots.
Best If You Are On A Budget: Pinemeadow Excel EGI
Solid hybrid with all the basic features you’ll need for an unbeatable price
If you are looking for a solid, if unspectacular, hybrid without wanting to spend too much money, then Pinemeadow has created a club that may fit your needs. The Excel EGI hybrid comes in a variety of lofts for yardage that meets your needs.
A nice hybrid for golfers on a budget or perhaps for a teenage golfer looking to pick up the game without destroying mom and dad’s wallet, the Excel EGI from Pinemeadow is a fine place to start your search.
Features on the Excel include a clubface that touts a larger sweet spot for improved contact and more dependable ball flight. As with all Pinemeadow hybrids, this club comes equipped with a graphite shaft for a lighter feel and enhanced club speed.
The top of the hybrid is finished in black with a red dash that can be used as an alignment mark for center mass on the clubface. The Excel’s profile does feel a bit cheap and chrome-laden, but that shouldn’t deter you if it fits within your budget.
On the range, the Excel didn’t amaze us, but it didn’t disappoint us either. We felt that shots were somewhat accurate coming off the face with perhaps a bit of distance lost compared to other, more high-profile branded hybrids.
Once we took the club to the course for real golf, we found the Excel does well whether you need it off the tee or in the fairway. We didn’t feel comfortable using the club out of the rough because of inconsistency. But if you use the hybrid in clean lies, we think you’ll be pleased.
There are no adjustment options on the Excel as the club is fixed at the hosel. Although the sole is extensive with a low profile, we still felt that the hybrid felt thin at impact and could be inconsistent with feel.
Best For Mid-Handicappers: TaylorMade M4
Dynamic feel & quality shot thanks to a very specific internal weighting
TaylorMade’s M4 hybrid is a dynamic club that gives the golfer a tool for easy launching of the golf ball. With a newly designed clubhead and a crown that aids in aligning your shot to your intended target, the M4 is a rock star of a hybrid golf club.
Golfers will be delighted by what the company has done inside the M4’s clubhead. Two internal mass pads have been separated between the heel and toe to increase the moment of inertia and clubhead speed.
With increased ball speed and consistent contact, the M4 stands out as one of the best hybrids we tested for mid-handicap golfers.
Also, TaylorMade has improved the Speed Pocket on the M4 to deliver more distance throughout the clubface. On off-center hits, the M4 works well
What stands out immediately when you take the M4 to the range is how easy the club is to hit. Even when we made a less than maximum power swing, the ball vaulted into the air with such ease and gave us exceptional distance.
We also found that the low profile of the M4 didn’t deter us from working shots in either direction. If you love a high soft fade or draw, the M4 can deliver it without hesitation.
For mid-to-high handicappers that are having trouble finding consistency off the tee or from the fairway on long second shots, clubs like the M4 have been built just for you.
The M4 sadly does not have modern features such as weight alteration and hosel adjustment. Another potential issue for the M4 is that it has a smaller profile on the clubface and wider, leaving golfers who prefer the solid and boxy style out in the cold.
After testing the M4, we were highly impressed with the club’s function and response at impact. This club is worth tracking down and adding to your bag due to its solid construction and advanced gameplay.
Best Adjustable Hybrid: TaylorMade M3
Premium performance & most adjustable on our list, yet less expensive
The TaylorMade M3 is a versatile workhorse that delivers premium performance in an overall exciting hybrid.
What stands out most about the M3 is that it can be anything you want due to its adjustable sliding weight sole system and adjustable hosel with several settings that can craft the shot shape you want for your game.
It’s hard to argue that there are problems with the M3 because we couldn’t find many during our testing. A blast to play with and crafted to tailor fit your golf game, the M3 is a bona fide winner.
Looking at the M3, the first thing you’ll notice is the sleek look of the two-tone crown with an alignment aid that puts the golfer right on target. As you go more in-depth on the club, the signature Speed Pocket from TaylorMade is included with the M3, and its inclusion is much to the golfer’s benefit.
The Speed Pocket creates club speed that produces jaw-dropping drives and reduces the dreaded sidespin that causes ugly hooks and slices.
When speaking of versatility, on the sole of the M3 is a 30-gram weight that moves back and forth along a slider. Golfers can set the weight to create a draw or fade depending on their preferred shot shape.
The weight is moved via special tool and can change before every hole, allowing you to play the natural features of each hole. Some golfers love having the weight directly behind the center mass of the clubface to increase distance with more energy focused on the golf ball.
Next feature that can be adjusted is the loft sleeve that attaches the hosel to the clubhead. The loft sleeve can be altered to increase the loft degree of the clubface for lower or higher shot flight.
When testing the M3, we had a blast dialing in the weight to create a stunning shot arc. Since I prefer a slight draw, I moved the weight slightly to the draw side and was amazed at the consistency of my shots, even when I was hitting off the deck.
Best For Swing Speed: Callaway XR Hybrid
Superior clubhead construction & lower center of gravity for shots going up and high
Built for speed, the Callaway XR hybrid is a club that’s made for golfers of all levels, giving players the ability to increase distance and feel off the clubface.
What’s unique about the Callaway XR is that it has a higher moment of inertia, that prevents club twisting, and a lower center-of-gravity that repositions the clubface at impact, creating even more forgiveness and a high arcing shot that every golfer strives for in their game.
Overall, we were delighted at the ball flight and clubhead speed of the XR. Golfers of all ages and skill levels would do themselves a huge favor by placing this club in their bag for their next tournament or day at the club.
The XR features a re-designed clubhead shape that moves the center-of-gravity almost 50% lower than previous models. This modification allows the golfer to hit higher shots and increase the ball speed for more distance.
We noticed that the XR’s unique head shape also allows for more forgiveness even on off-center hits. During our testing, we found that wherever we hit the ball on the clubface, our shots held true with minimal sidespin.
The Hyper Speed Face Cup feature by Callaway, increased our ball speed off the XR’s clubface thereby maximizing the distance of our shots.
When we tested the XR hybrid on the range, we were blown away by how the club felt from the grip to the club head. When the XR moves through the golf ball, the response is incredibly solid with the exceptional feel you’d expect from a company like Callaway.
If there is a complaint about the XR, it is that the clubface is slightly boxy which may be a deal killer for golfers who like the long and shallow hybrid style. Also, there are no adjustable features on the XR, so your fit is essential when purchasing this model.
Runner-Up For Beginners: Cleveland Launcher HB
Well constructed & smooth hybrid for easy distance
The Cleveland Launcher HB is a terrific hybrid that is dependable and well worth giving a shot at joining your bag. Everything about the Launcher HB is smooth.
From the silver and black finish to the easy distance and height the club delivers with each swing.
Considering our time with the Launcher HB on the range, we must attest that this club has earned its reputation as a simple and easy to hit a hybrid that will definitely enhance your game if you are looking to improve.
Cleveland set out to make the Launcher earn its name with a design that encouraged getting the ball into the air with simplicity regardless of skill level. We’re happy to report that the company is successful in a massive way as the Launcher is an excellent hybrid that we think is ideal for the beginning golfer.
Each Launcher has a fixed and bonded hosel design to promote stability and minimize twisting through impact. As a result, golfers will find that they consistently hit better shots with the Launcher HB as opposed to other similar hybrids.
Also, the company has shifted the weight in the Launcher HB to deeper and lower in the clubhead to aid in launch angle and to assist in keeping the hybrid low to the ground when traveling through the golf ball.
As we said before, we love this hybrid for beginners because the company specially designed the Launcher HB to be user-friendly for golfers of all ages. Anyone should see higher, longer and straighter shots with the Launcher HB immediately upon using.
We do have a couple of minor gripes with the Launcher HB. The first is the there are no adjustable features on the hybrid, which doesn’t necessarily bother us because the club performs so well.
The other complaint we have is the club is relatively straightforward, and if you are in the market for a sophisticated, more expensive hybrid, then the Launcher HB might be right for you.
Best For Experienced Golfers: TaylorMade GAPR LO
Well constructed & smooth hybrid for easy distance
With the body of a long iron and the sole of a hybrid, the TaylorMade GAPR LO is an excellent club for advanced golfers looking for an advantage from 180 yards and over.
The GAPR LO is a dynamic club that shares the precision of a long iron in the modified body of a hybrid.
With the adjustable loft sleeve giving the golfer even more control over their game and a low center-of-gravity that produces high and soft shots, the GAPR LO is a club that all low-handicappers should consider for their bag.
Featuring a loft sleeve that can alter the loft of the club and a weight that focuses the mass behind the golf ball, the GAPR LO has the adjustability that low-handicappers love.
When we got the GAPR LO on the range, I’ll be honest, there was some intimidation before hitting it with confidence. With the look of a long iron, there comes the belief that you must finesse it in ways that are outdated and unnecessary.
Once we relaxed and placed our faith in the club, we were very impressed with the results. Shots off the GAPR LO’s clubface flew with a high arc that landed softly. Perhaps the best part of our time with the club was how much we liked hitting the hybrid in a variety of ways.
Most hybrids don’t allow you to hit knockdown shots or have the versatility of the GAPR LO. For that reason, we think for advanced golfers, this hybrid deserves serious consideration.
This hybrid is not for everyone. The last person that should play the GAPR LO is beginners and even some mid-handicappers. The GAPR LO is an exceptional tool that demands a golfer who knows what they are doing on the course.
Best For Low-Handicappers: TaylorMade M6
Well constructed & smooth hybrid for easy distance
Another attractive addition to the TaylorMade family of hybrids is the M6 model. With a ton of features, this hybrid is great for low-handicappers who want their hybrid to be fixed and not have the adjustable features of other premium hybrid clubs.
Offering a worthwhile experience on the links, the M6 has a host of really inventive and useful features. From Twist-Face Technology to the lower center-of-gravity, the M6 will boost your distance and raise your shot height without the need for a lesson.
The M6 has TaylorMade’s Twist Face Technology. This revolutionary innovation curves the clubface so that off-center hits stay straight through sidespin reduction. Less spin means longer shots too because the golf ball isn’t fighting the drag wind places upon the ball when it is in flight.
Another feature of the M6 is an all steel body that has a low center-of-gravity for improved elevation for the golf ball after impact. The steel is thin creating even more ball speed through its lightweight.
Also included in the M6 is the Speed Pocket technology that is improved over older M-series models making the insert more flush with the clubhead’s surface for improved movement through the turf on shots.
When we tested the M6 on the range, it met our high expectations for the new model of the M-Series. The first thing we noticed is with the broader and longer clubface, the M6 has a larger sweet spot.
That larger sweet spot translates into better contact, something we could see throughout our testing of the M6.
If there are negatives to the M6, the first is that it is fixed with no loft sleeve or sole weighting to adjust. Also, we feel that this is a hybrid for upper-le
Best For Senior Golfers: Cobra King F8
Interchangeable weight for high ball flight and improved distance
From Cobra, their hybrid King F8 is a solid piece of golf innovation featuring the very cool Baffler Rail technology that keeps the club set and enhances forgiveness. A backloaded center-of-gravity is controlled via an interchangeable weight that encourages high ball flight and improved distance.
With a killer look and a unique shape, the Cobra King F8 is a great hybrid for golfers of any skill level. For older golfers, the F8 does well at keeping the clubface square and maximizing speed for improved distance.
The F8 is highlighted by the previously mentioned Buffer Rail System that helps tear through turf making the club smooth as it travels through the golf ball. A multi-directional crown is aerodynamic, reducing drag on the club head to generate maximum clubhead speed for impressive distance.
Another feature is the interchangeable weight that doesn’t give the golfer much control over the type of shot they hit but can improve contact and launch angle in subtle ways.
The F8 also has a stainless steel, ultra-thin clubface that maximizes flex at impact. Clubs that flex along the face help reduce side spin for straighter shots and ultimately, increase ball speed.
When we got the F8 out to the course, we adored the hybrid’s ability to reproduce a smooth shot with each swing. This club is fun to hit either at the range or in the middle of the fairway. I prefer hitting a hybrid in tight situations off the tee and the F8 would be ideal for that type of work.
The Cobra King F8 is fixed with no adjustable features, other than the interchangeable weight, so golfers hunting for the ability to fine-tune their hybrid might be disappointed. Also, the hybrid has the taller and boxy look that some golfers love, and others loathe. However, this is an excellent club for beginners and high handicappers.
Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation
Criteria #1: Clubhead Quality
Not all clubheads are created equal. Some hybrids have clubheads that are long and thin, with a low center-of-gravity that merely lifts the golf ball into the air. Other hybrids have boxy, tall clubheads that catch the ball more squarely, giving golfers a more solid feel at impact.
Regardless of your preference, the shape and design of your hybrid’s clubhead is crucially important because it dictates clubhead speed, the launch angle of the golf ball and exit velocity after impact.
When examining clubheads on hybrids, take into account your overall preference of style. Wider hybrids tend to hit the ball in similar ways to a fairway wood, but companies have tinkered with their design slightly, so the hybrid gets the ball into the air more quickly.
The taller clubface on the hybrid gives the look and feel of your favorite iron. There is a greater sweet spot, so the feel is more solid and muscular. For beginning golfers, looking to dip their toe into the hybrid market, taller hybrids are a great place to begin your shopping.
Criteria #2: Shaft Quality
The quality of a hybrid’s shaft is incredibly essential. It is vital that a golfer has the right shaft flex to match their swing speed. But it is equally crucial that the included shaft on the hybrid from the company meets several demands that all golfers should expect from their clubs.
The first thing that you should know and look for in a shaft is the length offered by the manufacturer. Most of the elite companies provide a host of different options with their hybrid clubs making it almost a bespoke-like experience.
Next thing to look for is the overall weight of the shaft. Think of it like a baseball player looks at the weight of his bat, yes he may lose one ounce and see a dramatic difference. The same goes for the weight of the shaft in that lighter may help or hurt the quality of your shots.
Finally, I suggest you study up and learn about the torque rating of a shaft. Torque is measured by the amount of twisting a club does as it makes its way to the golf ball.
If you are a high-handicapper, then you want a high-torque shaft that helps you get the club back to square at impact. If you are an advanced golfer, then a low-torque shaft is better for accuracy and stabilizing fast clubhead speeds.
Criteria #3: Impact Feel
When we talk about how a hybrid feels at impact, this is what we are referring to when we use the term “impact feel.” You will hear the best golfers in the world talk about how new clubs grabbed them when they experienced the feel at impact.
Experienced golfers immediately know the quality of the shot by how it feels as the clubface comes into contact with the golf ball. And frankly, it is what keeps us coming back to this great game.
We are all chasing that elusive feel when we know we’ve hit the ball on the screws and look up to see a majestic arch that finds the area we intended it to land.
The only way to get an accurate sense of feel with any club is to get it out on the range and hit a few hundred balls.
Criteria #4: Adjustability
When we discuss adjustability in our reviews, we are referring to how the golfer can adjust the weights on the club head or the lie angle or offset on the clubface.
What’s great about modern golf clubs is that they can be manipulated to custom fit your swing in precise ways. This precision that you ultimately control allows you to take a club on the range and dial it into how the club feels at impact and how the ball flight suits you.
On hybrids, only the most sophisticated models offer these technologies. It will be more expensive than hybrids that offer fixed options where the club is stationary and unable to adjust to your liking.
But if you are a mid-to-low handicapper, the expense is worth it because the club will allow you to craft your shots.
So, when examining the specifications of a hybrid, check to see if the hosel is adjustable and if the offset can be dialed in either by hand or through a special tool. If you are a golfer who loves to hit better shots and wants to find every possible way to improve, this is a great start.
Criteria #5: Weighting
When we talk about weighting, we are talking about how the weight is distributed throughout the clubhead. Some manufacturers like to move the weight behind the center of the clubface to promote distance, while others want to evenly spread it around giving the hybrid less side spin and more accuracy.
As you research hybrids discover how the company utilizes the weighting of the clubhead because for a specific level of golfers, it could potentially be custom-made to meet your game.
For example, for low-handicappers who prefer shot control, the manufacturer may create a clubhead that is well balanced, offering less side spin and more control through a wider clubface that is less boxy in shape.
In contrast, high-handicappers needs clubs that send the ball down the fairway with as much clubhead speed as humanly possible. These specific hybrids will be tailored to increase distance and improve the quality of contact.
Questions & Answers
What are the important characteristics to look for in a hybrid club?
To answer this question, we must first understand the hybrid club and its purpose.
As the name suggests, a hybrid is a combination of two different types of clubs, namely the fairway woods and the irons.
Specifically, hybrid clubs stand in the middle of the higher-lofted woods (3-, 5-, 7- and 9-) and the longer irons (1- to 4-).
Pro Tip: Hybrids were made as of mix of two different types of clubs: the fairway woods and the irons.
Thus, the main purpose (and common application) of the hybrid clubs is to replace the long irons, which is often known as the most difficult clubs to use. They are also often used to replace fairway woods when on the rough, which is again, a difficult practice.
The purpose of the hybrid clubs is to bring more forgiveness, without sacrificing too much of the quality of the long irons or the fairway woods they try to replace.
Here are the characteristics you should look for when choosing a hybrid club:
Characteristic #1: Forgiveness
This is the main reason of using a hybrid club, so it should be the first thing to look at.
There are many ways to produce forgiveness, but typically they will boil down to just two methods: altering the center of gravity lower and further back, and making the sweet spot bigger.
Different manufacturers can have different approaches, but those are the key principles you should look for.
Characteristic #2: Balance Between Woods and Irons
Fairway woods are designed for distance, while irons are designed for more control.
Hybrids will usually produce more distance compared to the comparable woods, mainly because they are easier to use. Yet, you should also look for the versatility of the club to replace the long irons.
The balance between both worlds is the key characteristic for the best possible hybrid.
Characteristic #3: No Gap In Distance Coverage
Here is an easy way to determine which hybrid number to use: your lowest hybrid should provide 10 to 15 yards shorter distance compared to the highest fairway wood you carry. This way, there will be no gap in distance coverage.
What are the advantages of hybrid clubs?
The clubface of the hybrid club is typically flat similar to irons, allowing easier alignment. Yet, it is also relatively hard like the woods, allowing more distance.
The head is typically rounded with a wider sole, allowing the center of gravity to be lower and further back.
The center of gravity placement will not only allow more forgiveness but also helps you get more natural trajectory, which in turn will help with distance.
This combination allows players to make a rounder swing, even if you have issues with slower swing speeds, which is a characteristic of fairway woods. A hybrid will not require a precise and upright swing commonly associated with hitting long irons.
On the other hand, hybrid clubs are shorter compared to the fairway woods, closer in length to the long irons. The shaft is also as thick as the irons, so it is less flexible than what you often encounter in fairway woods, which actually allows better accuracy compared to the woods.
As a result, it is easier to make better contact with a hybrid compared to the woods and the longer irons. It is a feature that can appeal specifically to seniors which will benefit from an easier touch.
Thus, a hybrid – on average – can give additional 4 to 12 yards of distance compared to the irons or woods they replace, especially for high handicappers.
Key Takeaway, the advantages of hybrids are:
- Head rounded with wider sole allowing lower center of gravity
- Rounder swings
- Easier contact with hybrid VS fairway woods/irons for longer shots (ideal for high handicappers for example)
What type of golfer would benefit the most from hybrid clubs?
One thing about any hybrid is that they are often a jack-of-all-trade and master of none, and that is actually true with hybrid clubs.
Although a lot of high-end hybrids can provide a nice balance between both worlds, they will never truly capture the advantage of fairway woods and long irons. That is, at least, a case in the present, as technology in the future might allow the making of the perfect hybrid.
For example, on the hand of skilled players with sufficient swing speed and accuracy, a fairway wood will produce more distance compared to the hybrid. On the other hand, a long iron on the hand of a great player will offer more versatility and control.
Hybrids are technically better suited for beginner players, especially those who have problems with hitting long irons or fairway on the rough.
A lot of skilled players and even Tour players are utilizing hybrids to allow more forgiveness. Hybrids are initially made for beginners, not strictly limited to them.
Female players will also benefit from hybrid clubs, in fact, there are more hybrid options for ladies, emphasizing their importance. High handicappers may evenly be able to benefit from these hybrid golf clubs by giving them more flexibility during shots.
Key Takeaway: Hybrid golf clubs are usually better for beginner players – particularly if you have trouble hitting long shots. Advanced players use hybrids, but for their better forgiveness.
What shaft material would you recommend for hybrids?
The current trend is to use graphite shafts on hybrids, although some manufacturers use steel and offer an option to choose between them. To answer this question in more details, let us do a quick summary of the differences between steel and graphite shaft:
- Steel shafts are naturally stiffer and heavier, slowing the player’s swing speed
- On the other hand, steel shafts produce better feedback, due to the vibration of the steel material during impact
- Graphite shafts with more flexibility will naturally produce more distance, yet will not offer similar level of feedback as with steel shafts
- Graphite shaft can be too flexible so can hinder accuracy
With those points being said, graphite shafts will be more suited for most general applications of hybrids to assist players with less accuracy and swing speed.
Keep in mind that the shaft on a hybrid is a little thicker compared to your usual wood, so it will not produce too much flex, which is often the problem of a graphite shaft.
Therefore, in most cases, graphite shafts are a better choice for hybrids, excepting for players with higher swing speed but with accuracy problem. A steel shaft can help slowing their swing and bring more consistency.
What flex would you recommend for hybrids?
This answer will vary with different individuals due to the difference in swing speed and accuracy. Here is a quick way to determine what shaft you will need:
- If you can produce 250 yards or more distance with your driver, go with Stiff (S)
- If you can produce between 230 to 250 yards, you can go with Regular (R)
- Use Senior (A) flex if your drive is between 200 to 230 yards
- Lastly, for those that can only produce 200 yards or below, go with Ladies flex (L)
To be more accurate, it might be a good idea to consult the local pro at your driving range or your course. Here are other considerations you might want to have:
If you tend to produce slice (your drives tend to go left for a right-handed), you will benefit from a stiffer flex
Beginners (especially male players) tend to over swing, and softer flex can help slow your tempo.
What loft angle should I have?
The easiest way to tell the correct loft is that your lowest-numbered hybrid should be 10 to 15 yards shorter than your highest wood, and you can fill in the blank for others. This way, there will be no distance gap between your woods, hybrids, and irons.
Should we expect pro golfers to only use hybrids instead of irons or fairway woods in the future?
This is looking to be the case, as more and more PGA and LPGA Tour players are using hybrids, and the number keeps increasing every year.
The technology surrounding the hybrid is advancing rapidly, and they are slowly becoming the perfect hybrid that can get all the advantages of woods and irons while eliminating their weaknesses.
Phil Mickelson has been known to carry a Callaway hybrid prototype to accompany his driver and 3-wood.
Jimmy Walker, 2014 Sony Open winner is also using a Titleist hybrid. Mark Wilson, Jim Furyck, Davis Love III and even Tiger Woods are some of the prominent players carrying hybrids in their bag.
For LPGA, hybrids are even more common where most LPGA players are carrying at least one hybrid club.For example, Helen Alfredsson is carrying a hybrid to replace her 3-iron, while Ai Miyazato uses both 3- and 4- hybrids.
We can expect more players adopting hybrids in the future, especially when the technology and design of hybrids are getting perfected, and it is looking very bright at the moment.
Is there a big difference between brands that offer hybrids?
Yes, not all hybrids are made with the same technology, design, and ingenuity. Companies like TaylorMade, Ping, and Callaway spend millions of dollars each year in research and development to create clubs that will send golf balls flying farther and straighter.
Lesser known companies suffer because they don’t have the resources that these popular brands have at their disposal. But that’s not to say that they cannot make quality clubs.
There are small companies out there that produce a fine product, but they will always struggle to be among the elite. The most well-known brands build clubs that are crafted with top-of-the-line materials and seamless construction.
By purchasing a hybrid from a known brand, you are taking advantage of all that their immense resources have to offer.
For hybrids, this means building the club with an aerodynamic clubhead that makes hitting the golf ball easy for golfers of all skill levels. Then, finding a balanced and durable shaft that can handle thousands of swings that leads into the impact with the golf ball.
If you are looking to purchase a hybrid, the best place to start is with a reliable, well-known brand. The club may be a good fit for you, but if it is not, there are plenty of other high-quality brands waiting for you to try them out.