Hybrid Golf Club Buying Guide (2022)
Whether you call it a hybrid or a rescue golf club, it has made lives a lot easier for golfers. The clubs come with amazing forgiveness and helps you lower your score.
Many new golf players struggle with choosing the right hybrid for their bag. While most of the experts will tell you to stay away from hybrids because they ruin your skills, we think having a hybrid is good, if not better.
In this post, we’ve created a buying guide for hybrid golf clubs. You may think that what’s there to create a ‘guide’ here? Wait till you see what we have to say.
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What is a Hybrid Golf Club?
The name suggests a lot about what it is. A hybrid golf club is a mix between two types of clubs, usually fairway woods and irons. You can expect to get the distance of a fairway wood offers while controlling the ball as you would do with irons.
When compared to woods and irons, hybrid clubs are fairly new. The concept was introduced in the 1970s. However, it took years before players started to adapt it in their bags. Most old-school players still stick to the iron clubs, but having a hybrid never hurts.
During the early 2000s, the popularity of hybrid clubs started shooting toward the ceiling. More and more players were embracing them for their superior control and forgiveness. In the last 15 years, over 80% of golf players around the world have invested in hybrid golf clubs.
The Advantages a Hybrid Golf Club Offers
There are many reasons behind the immense popularity of hybrid clubs.
When it comes to long irons like 2-iron or 3-iron, they get very respectable distances while allowing the players absolute control over the shape of their shots. But the heavy club heads make it harder on the rookie players to master them.
Fairway woods, or woods in general, are usually easier to hit. And the ball travels great distances. But in most cases, you don’t get nearly as much control over your shot’s shape as you do with the iron.
The hybrid golf clubs were designed with both of these clubs in mind. A hybrid can achieve the distance of fairway woods while giving you similar control to iron over your shots.
In our hybrid golf club buying guide, you will learn about the center of gravity on the club heads, ball spin, and loft. A hybrid has a higher launch angle than an iron, which means you can get more ball flight and land on the green softer to control your distance.
The bottom line is, hybrids have a larger ‘sweet spot’ than both fairways and irons. By a sweet spot, we mean the area on the club faces every golfer dream of hitting.
Also, they are amazing choices for beginners. Many new players drop out just after they begin to play because they find it overwhelming to master an iron. The introduction of hybrid golf clubs has allowed more players to join this spectacular sport.
When Should You Invest in a Hybrid Golf Club?
If you’re a high handicapper, you should get a hybrid club for yourself. It’s as simple as that.
Let’s admit it, you’re a high handicapper because you cannot control your shots as you want to. As a result, you hit the ball all over the place and increasing your par score in return.
When you learn how to choose the perfect hybrid golf club for your, you’ll notice the difference in your handicap score almost instantly. Hybrids are easier to hit and allow you more control, even if you off-center a shot.
How to Choose a Hybrid Golf Club?
Now, coming to the point of this article. How do you choose a hybrid for yourself? These clubs come in many different styles. With each style, the playability will change.
And that’s exactly why we’ve created this buying guide for you.
Let’s start with the loft angle of the hybrids and take it from there.
The Best Loft for Hybrids
You may already know what a loft is, but we think it’s still important that we explain it a bit. The loft of a golf club refers to the angle between the shaft and the club face. The higher the angle, the more upwards the club face will be pointed.
So, how do you choose a good loft? Well, it depends on which irons you’re trying to replace. The hybrids usually have the degree of loft engraved on the underside of the club head. Some even come with numbers just like irons.
For example, if you a 3 printed on the hybrid club head, it means that the club is designed to replace a 3-iron.
Here is a rough comparison between the loft of a hybrid and an iron.
- 14-16 degrees of loft replace a 1-iron.
- 17-19 degrees of loft replace a 2-iron.
- 19-21 degrees of loft replace a 3-iron.
- 22-23 degrees of loft replace a 4-iron.
- 24-27 degrees of loft replace a 5-iron.
- 29-32 degrees of loft replace a 6-iron.
Any loft over 32 degrees is designed to replace irons over 7.
However, keep in mind that the information may change a little from manufacturer to manufacturer. As there are no central guidelines on golf club lofts, manufacturers sometimes take the liberty to make hybrids with their own specifications.
If you’re familiar with the concept of loft, you would know that the higher the loft, the higher ball will fly and the less distance it will cover. It easily makes sense when you look at the hybrid golf clubs with your own eyes.
The upward angled club faces are direct indications that it will send the ball flying high. And less angled faces found on low loft hybrids means that they will cover more distance.
When choosing a hybrid golf club for yourself, you should know the difference between hybrid shafts and other shafts.
If you don’t know, the majority of the golf club types come in various shaft styles. Stainless steel shafts are usually the most common type because they are the easiest to produce and costs the least.
But when it comes to hybrid clubs, most of them come with graphite shafts. Graphite is lighter than steel. The lightweight helps the players to master the club easily. It’s not possible with irons due to the heavy club head and shaft weight.
Graphite may be more expensive to produce, but when your target is to get more forgiveness out of a club, price shouldn’t be your concern.
Another very interesting and important insight about the shafts on hybrid clubs is that they are shorter than fairway woods. The shaft length is usually the same as irons. Or, at least in the vicinity. There is a good reason for that.
Shafts on fairway woods are longer because you need the length to hit long-distance shots. The club heads are generally larger than hybrids which means the sweet spots are also bigger. The increased shaft length helps complement that.
But with hybrid golf clubs, you don’t need the extra length. Thanks to the larger sweet spots, you can easily gain the distance you would with a fairway wood. Moreover, thanks to the similar shaft length as irons, you get more control over your shots.
When the club head is closer to your hands, you can shape the shot better. You can also generate more swing speed because there’s less mass involved.
The Best Hybrids Come with Adjustability
Just like the drivers and the fairway woods, you can expect certain adjustability options from the best hybrid golf clubs.
In most cases, you get to adjust the loft of your hybrid. You may find a knob near the club head that you can turn to increase or decrease the loft by a few degrees.
If you’re willing to spend even more, you can get adjustability on club face angle. It means you can make your face more open or close on demand.
For example, on some hybrids, you’ll find a slider with two points marked as a draw and a fade. As you can already guess, you pull the slider toward the option you want to go with.
Lastly, some top-notch hybrids come with options for adjustable weights. Moving around the perimeter weighting will result in a variable center of gravity, a crucial feature for slightly advanced players.
How to Choose the Club Head Material for your Hybrid
You thought that this point would come in earlier in the post, didn’t you? Well, we wanted to add this earlier as well. But conventional practices don’t always align with hybrid golf club buying guides.
So, what are the materials that you should look for in your hybrid? Is it steel? Is it titanium? Or, is it a mix of the two?
Only one way to find out.
Steel Club Heads on Hybrids
Just like with fairway woods or irons, the club head of a hybrid golf club is made of steel for most budget options. Steel is a universally appreciated material in the golf industry for its consistency, low cost, and durability.
Steed club faces found in hybrid clubs make an amazingly flat club face. As steel is very resistant to bending or cracking, you can use your hybrid equipped with a steel club head for very long.
The only drawback is that steel weighs more. But you don’t have to worry about it when getting your hybrid. Because the entire concept of hybrid golf clubs is based on more forgiveness. So, the manufacturers account for the weight of steel more than you would think.
Titanium Club Heads on Hybrids
Titanium is almost always the choice for professional golfers and enthusiastic players. It’s lightweight and very strong. The strength of titanium often results in more consistency than steel!
However, titanium club heads cost a lot. And if you’re going with the adjustability options we’ve discussed already, you are looking at even more money. If you can afford one, go for titanium by all means.
Choosing the Right Hybrid Club: The Tips
Now that you have a pretty clear idea about how the hybrid golf clubs feel and look, we can move forward to actually choosing one for you. We are going to look at some of the most important points that you need to consider before getting one.
Not just for hybrids. Rather, your budget should be your number one consideration whenever you’re in the market for a new club.
How much are you willing to spend? Are you looking for one hybrid? Or two? Or more? How long do you intend to use it? What are you going to use it? For competition? For Sundays at the course?
Answering all of these questions will drastically change the course of your purchase. If you’re going for a competition hybrid, you should always spend as much as you can to get you all the advantages. And always go with titanium for professional use.
If you’re planning to use the hybrid for quite some time, sticking to a steel club head design would be ideal.
When you have the budget for only one, you should go with something in the middle. For example, a 20-degree lofted hybrid works well in almost all scenarios.
What are You Replacing?
This might feel like a no-brainer to a lot of you, but we’ve seen people misunderstanding the purpose of a hybrid. You should always replace your long iron when you’re getting a hybrid. Many rookie players match their hybrid with their fairway wood, which doesn’t make any sense.
A fairway wood is already designed for forgiveness. So, you always need to replace your long irons with hybrids. Also, going for a 3-hybrid to replace a 3-iron is a grave mistake. The numbers on both clubs don’t work that way, as we’ve described earlier in the post.
We’ve added the rough calculation that you should use when replacing your irons. And it’s always a great idea to ask your supplier or fitter to suggest which one would be the best choice for you.
What Trajectory are You Looking for?
Sure, the loft of the hybrid you choose will have an impact on your trajectory. But you still need to deice what type of trajectory you are going for based on the center of gravity.
Generally, all hybrids are designed to launch the ball high initially and create less ball spin for a softer landing. But when you compare to different hybrids side by side, you’ll notice an obvious difference in club head size.
The larger heads have a center of gravity pushed farther back. It means the ball will go quite high in the air. Another club having the same loft but with a forward center of gravity will travel low. The ball will land softly on the green in both cases, but the trajectory will vary.
Ideally, you should have both in your bag because you may need to overcome both grounded and low-hanging obstacles at the course.
Do You Want an Offset/Draw?
Both the offset and draw are clever ways hybrid manufacturers have come up with to help you fix your slices.
If you generally hit the ball too far right, going with an offset might help. In this case, you may want to go with an adjustable face angle hybrid. Because when you become better at hitting your shots, you may want to dial the adjustment knob to the ‘Neutral’ position.
Usually, hybrids with larger club heads have an offset dialed in by the manufacturer. The overall shift in the center of gravity can impact the direction of your shot as well.
The bottom line is, if you consider yourself an overall ‘better’ player, you should stick to the small-headed hybrids. And if you’re an absolute beginner, going with the offset is ideal.
Where Do You Want to Use the Hybrid From?
When you’re shopping for hybrid golf clubs, whether one or more, having clarity is important. You need to decide beforehand about where do you plan to use each of your hybrids.
Are you planning to hit it from the fairway? Do you want one that’ll help you get out of the rough better? Are you facing a difficulty that you’re afraid to miss?
Finding answers to these questions is crucial before you go for fitment. Not knowing when to use the hybrid will result in catastrophic failure.
For example, if you were planning to use it from the fairway, you cannot go out and get a hybrid with 29-degrees of loft. The high loft means you’ll shoot the ball high in the sky without covering the distance you want.
Hybrid vs Driving Iron: Fit it According to Your Game
Just because hybrid golf clubs give you a lot of freedom at the course doesn’t mean that you absolutely need one. You need to determine whether a hybrid is good for you or a driving iron would be a better choice.
Driving irons are even longer than long irons, with a larger club head for more forgiveness. Your shots will cut through the wind like butter with a driving iron. Also, they are great for cutting through thick roughs.
Driving irons also look slicker and let the ball fly low. When you manage to master one, you can expect shots off the fairway straight like an arrow!
So, if you play at a course where the wind blows strong or the roughs are thicker, a hybrid golf club may not do too much for you.
How Many Hybrids Should You Have in the Bag?
It might seem like a repetition of our first tip, but it’s not. How many hybrids you should buy will generally depend on how big of a gap you have in your bag. Also, depending on your skill level as a golfer, you may need 2, 3, or even more hybrids!
We’ve seen many lady golfers and senior players who use up to 6 hybrids. There is no minimum or maximum value for putting hybrids into your bag. It all comes down to your preference.
The bottom line is, if you’ve never used a hybrid golf club before, you should decide after you take one for a test drive. We always recommend getting more than one because it won’t hurt to have multiple options open.
Get on a Launch Monitor
Just because a 7-iron goes 150 yards for average players, it doesn’t mean yours will go the same. Every player is different. And the distance their clubs travel is also different. So, you need to check how far you can hit with a long iron before investing in a hybrid.
Fitting a hybrid in your bag isn’t as simple as going out and buying one that looks good. You need correct measurements to both improve yourself as a golfer and save money in the long run.
Go to your local driving range and hop on a launch monitor. Hit all the clubs you own to see how far you can hit them. Now, compare your results with the optimal results. Remember, you can always take help from a professional fitter!
The Color and Appearance of the Hybrid
This may come as a silly point to many of you, but we think it’s very important to go with the color that you like the most.
In golf, the importance of confidence is beyond imagination. When you get a club that works well but you don’t like it, you’re subconsciously hampering your confidence.
So, if you think you’re more comfortable with a bright red shaft and a white club head, go for it all means.
Buying a hybrid golf club is not everyone’s cup of tea. Playing with one is a totally different game. Moreover, with the hundreds of options swarming the market, it’s not unlikely that you get crippled before deciding.
That’s exactly why we’ve created this hybrid golf club buying guide for you. We’ve shared almost all the information we could think of in this guide. Use it to choose the right one. And don’t forget to utilize opportunities like custom fitment!
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