What Are Hybrid Golf Clubs And Why Are They Replacing Irons?
In recent years, hybrid golf clubs have become popular amongst both amateurs and professionals alike. In fact, you will find many PGA tour pro’s with hybrid golf clubs in their bag. You may also hear the term utility club or rescue club to describe a hybrid club depending on the manufacturer.
So what do hybrid golf clubs look like and how should you hit them?
Why Use Hybrid Golf Clubs?
As you can see by the video, long irons can be very difficult to hit just because they have a small degree of loft. Hybrid golf clubs on the other hand will most likely be much easier to hit (especially for the amateur) and give the golf ball a higher trajectory.
Just realize that hybrid golf clubs are not the do all be all that will change you from a 20 handicap to a 10. For many golfers, having effective course management is the number one key to reducing scores. For those that are looking to improve their game, golf gadgets that teach golfers how to keep their swing on plane, increase club head speed, and make sure to properly release their hands while keeping lag can help to take strokes off their game.
To understand why amateur golfers have difficulty in hitting long irons (mainly 3 and 4 irons) all you need to know is one simple rule. It is called the 24/38 rule and is well known amongst golf club makers. Basically, the rule goes like this: Most golfers do not have the ability to consistently strike the ball well with an iron of 24 degrees or less loft and 38 inches or more in length. So for most mid to high handicap golfers, they will not be able to hit consistently with a 2 thru 4 iron. It is recommended that those players use a 3 and 4 hybrid to take the place of the 3 and 4 irons and then the next club in their bag would be a 5 iron. Make sure that you purchase hybrid golf clubs that are meant to replace the 3 and 4 irons or otherwise you would have too much of a gap in distance between your clubs.
There are no standards that dictate which degree of loft an iron should have. So one manufacturer may have a 3 iron that has 22 degrees of loft while another comes out on the market stating that you can gain 5 to 7 yards by hitting their iron. Only they don’t come out directly and tell you that the loft of their 3 iron is now 20 degrees. However, here is a handy chart for those looking to convert their low loft irons with hybrid golf clubs.
Hybrid Golf Club Replaces Iron
17° – 19° 2 iron
20° – 22° 3 iron
23° – 25° 4 iron
Hybrid Golf Club Replaces Iron
18° – 20° 2 iron
21° – 23° 3 iron
24° – 26° 4 iron
Hybrid Golf Club Shaft
The length of a hybrid shaft is usually between that of a fairway wood and iron.
This is a hybrid golf club: and this is a hybrid golf club:
Notice the difference in look.
Depending on the manufacturer, you should have the choice of purchasing hybrid golf clubs either in a steel or graphite shaft. For high handicap golfers, graphite may increase your club head speed but on the downside this type of shaft can also reduce control. Graphite shafts also tend to come with a higher price tag. One of the unique features of hybrids is the different degrees of flex that they offer. Generally speaking, the stiffer the shaft, the more speed is needed when hitting the ball. For beginners, however, hybrids with a flexible shaft are recommended as these allow for greater distance. As players progress, they usually move to a stiffer shaft which will offer improved control.
With any golf club and especially hybrid golf clubs, I recommend trying them out in a golf store before you buy. For me it is nice to be able to try a few different manufacturers and even models of clubs in a golf simulator before making a purchase. Of course I know that more and more folks like to shop online (I’m one of them) and make their purchases from seeing good reviews. I have no problem with that. Just realize that hitting a hybrid club is more like hitting an iron than a fairway wood. If you are good with that, just do some research before buying online. And if you are like me, you might just find that hybrid golf clubs can help lower your golf score.