A Guide to Hybrid Golf Clubs

Long irons have always been tough to hit. For a long time, golfers just had to learn to adjust. But recently, the introduction of the innovative and popular hybrid club has, for many golfers, made the one, two, and three irons obsolete.

“If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron. “

Lee Trevino

Hybrids have the loft and the length of long irons, but their larger, rounder heads offer more forgiveness and control. They are the perfect combination of long irons and fairway woods—hence the name “hybrids.”

Who’s Interested in Hybrids?

When hybrids first made their debut at pro shops, they were marketed mainly towards recreational golfers who struggled to get the ball in the air with long irons. But it soon became clear that recreational golfers weren’t the only ones who needed help managing those difficult clubs, and golfers of all skill levels (including professionals) now use the hybrids.

Simply put, hybrids are available and useful for every golfer.

What Makes Hybrids Easier To Hit?

Long irons have thin-soled, flat-faced club heads. This means that the club’s center of gravity is located near the club face and golfers need a really fast swing speed for the ball to fly the right distance on the proper trajectory. Many people struggle to increase their swing speed while also maintaining the necessary precision.

Hybrid clubs help solve these issues in a number of ways:

  • Larger club heads move the center of gravity away from the club face.
  • The relocated center of gravity allows the golfer to take a more relaxed, rhythmic swing while still achieving the correct trajectory and distance.
  • The aerodynamic shape of the club head is more suitable for tight lies, like fairway bunkers and thick rough.

Buying Hybrids

If you’ve decided that your game could improve by making the switch from long irons to hybrids, it’s time to sort through the many options and figure out which ones you should buy.

  1. Know which irons you want to replace with hybrid clubs and which hybrid lofts are appropriate for each replacement. (Check the Hot Tip box below!)
  2. Take shaft flexibility into consideration. If you have a low swing speed, you will need a more flexible shaft. If you have a high swing speed, you will need a stiffer shaft.
  3. Go to a pro shop and borrow demonstration hybrids from each of the brands you are considering. Take them to the range and see which ones feel best for you and your swing.
  4. Start with just one or two hybrids. If you like the way they perform, begin replacing more of your irons with a new utility club. Remember that only 14 clubs are allowed in your bag at one time, so you will have to remove a club for each additional hybrid.

Hot Tip: Which Hybrid Replaces Which Iron?

Two-iron = 17 – 19 degrees hybrid

Three-iron = 20 – 21 degrees hybrid

Four-iron = 22 – 24 degrees hybrid

Five-iron = 25 – 27 degrees hybrid


Remember, technology isn’t a cure-all for a golfer’s issues on the course—some good old-fashioned work ethic is required as well. Using a hybrid club instead of a long iron doesn’t negate the need for practice, but it may boost your confidence enough to make it more worthwhile.

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