The Ultimate Guide on Golf Hybrids

If you’ve been playing golf for years, then you probably remember carrying a two-, three-, and four-iron—those clubs that you hit solidly only on a rare occasion and all too often got caught up in the long rough failing to advance the ball very far. When Taylormade introduced the Rescue hybrid in 2002 the golf landscape changed forever. Other manufacturers followed suit and golfers around the world were suddenly able to hit long shots in the air and quickly stop them on the green. Hybrid technology continues to improve every year and if you’re a player that struggles to consistently hit traditional long irons, then hybrids are a must-have for your bag

When Do You Use A Hybrid?

When To Use A Hybrid
Hybrid Golf Club. Source

Hybrids are versatile tools that can do more than rescue you from bad lies. Golfers usually use their hybrid to fill that difficult gap between a fairway wood and a mid to short iron. Hybrids can be used off the tee, from the rough, and on the fairway. What is so great about hybrids is they are designed to cut through the rough better than a fairway wood, and you can even chip the ball if you’re near the green.

Finding the Best Hybrid Your Golf Game

Hybrids are meant to replace your two, three, four, five, and even six-irons. With so options to choose from, it’s important to spend some time hitting hybrids of different lofts, shafts, and head designs to find the ones best suited for your game. Just like an iron or wedge, knowing the precise distance you hit each of your hybrids will help you eliminate any yardage gaps in your bag. 


Hybrids range in price from less than $100 to over $300 per club. Knowing how many hybrids you need for your bag and what you’re willing to spend will help you narrow down your search. Depending on where you make your purchase, discounts may be offered if you buy more than one. For the sake of performance consistency, we recommend buying hybrids of the same model and brand. 

Top Hybrid Features

Hybrids have many different features that set them apart from other clubs. Knowing what specific characteristics are best for your game will help focus your search.

Top Hybrid Features
Hyrbids come in a variety of styles. Source


Hybrids generally range in loft from 18 to 27 degrees and are meant to mirror the lofts of long irons. Because of their unique design, it’s important to remember that a 21-degree hybrid will not travel the same distance as a 21-degree 3-iron. Typically, hybrids fly slightly farther than traditional long irons but shorter than fairway woods of the same loft. Before you buy hybrids, make sure you’re able to accurately measure the distance they travel so that you’re not left with significant gaps in yardage. 


Shaft length, material, and flex will also affect how far a hybrid goes. Hybrid shafts are usually two or three inches shorter than the shafts on fairway woods and are meant to resemble the length of an iron. Most hybrids come with a graphite shaft to reduce weight and add distance. Steel shafts may be a custom option depending on the model and manufacturer. Shaft flex is also an important element to consider when buying hybrids. For example, if you’re swinging stiff flex in your irons, it doesn’t make much sense to swing regular flex in your hybrids. A proper fitting with a PGA Professional will ensure that you end up with the best shaft for your swing.

Hybrid Shafts
Types of Golf Shafts. Source callawaygolf


Like drivers and fairway woods, many hybrids come with loft adjustability. Lofts can be adjusted up to five degrees; allowing you to dial in your exact preferred distance. Some hybrids also allow you to adjust face angle either open or closed. This is a great option for players who struggle either hitting slices or hooks. Adjustable sole weights may be available as well. By adjusting sole weight, you’re able to change the center of gravity to raise or lower ball flight.

Hybrid Adjustability
Hybrid Adjustablity. Source

Frequently Asked Questions

While there is no doubt that hybrids will improve your game, choosing the right hybrid is of paramount importance. Below we’ve answered some commonly asked questions regarding hybrids to help you make a more informed decision.

Q: What golf clubs do hybrids replace?

A: Hybrids are most often meant to replace long irons. Traditional long irons are difficult for most players to hit consistently and hybrids are more forgiving, promote a higher ball flight, and are easier to hit out of the rough. While you’ll commonly find Tour pros carrying hybrids in two-, three-, or four-iron lofts, many amateurs benefit from hybrids with five- and six-iron lofts as well. If you struggle hitting anything for a two-iron up through a six-iron, then hybrids are a great alternative. 

Q: What is the difference between a hybrid and a driving iron?

A: A: As their name suggests, driving irons are meant to produce low spinning drives from the tee. Though they can be hit from the fairway, they lack some of the characteristics of a hybrid. Hybrids also tend to have larger, more rounded heads designed to get the ball in the air; and the designs of driving irons more closely resemble that of irons. The lofts of driving irons are more limited in loft, as well, and normally don’t exceed 17 or 18 degrees. Driving irons are most beneficial for players with fast swing speeds that have little trouble getting the ball in the air. 

Q: What is the difference between a hybrid and fairway wood?

A: A: Hybrids have many features similar to fairway woods, but there are some notable differences. Though the head designs of hybrids mirror those of fairway woods, they are generally smaller and shallower. Hybrids are also shorter in length to promote control and allow players to make more of an iron swing. Because hybrids are shorter in length and have smaller heads, they do not fly as far a fairway woods.

When hybrids first came on to the scene in 2002, players around the world said hitting them was like cheating. That continues to be the case as design and technology keep evolving. As golf courses become longer, and players find themselves with more forced carries and longer shots into the green, hybrids afford consistency and forgiveness not found in traditional long irons. If you’re looking to improve your long game, shoot lower scores,d and have more fun, then hybrids are an investment you need to make. 


Choosing a hybrid can be difficult; however, the right hybrid can leave lasting impacts on your game. The goal in buying a new club is to make your poor shots better and your good shots great. Using a hybrid can lead to only taking two shots to get on the green instead of three.

With any purchase of a new club, it is best to test each model to see what fits your swing style and preferences. Testing outside and indoors can illuminate your new hybrid’s true value. Better hybrids don’t just look nice in the bag, they provide confidence that helps you shoot your lowest rounds ever. Thank you for reading and happy testing!

Paul Liberatore
Paul Liberatore

As the Founder of Golfers Authority Paul Liberatore Esq. has spent the last 7+ years writing about the best golf equipment or instruction from the top golf instructors in the world. He has been a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated Golf and GolfWRX. After graduating with honors from Purdue University, he realized that he had a passion for the golf business and the law. When he's not practicing law, or creating golf content on YouTube, he can be found on his syndicated Behind the Golf Brand podcast talking with the most prolific leaders in the golf industry. 

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