As the name implies, a hybrid golf club is a cross between a wood and an iron. It aims to combine the advantages both, while keeping the shared downsides to a minimum. The popularity of hybrid clubs will undoubtedly continue to increase, not just because a lot of PGA Tour players use them, but also because of their functionality.
These are used to take the place of a wood with matching number. For example, the loft of a regular 5-wood would be the same as the loft of a hybrid 5-wood. Accessibility is the most important advantage of a hybrid wood. The depth of the face of a hybrid wood is bigger than an iron, but not really as deep as a regular wood, so a hybrid wood can get out from a more difficult terrain than a regular wood. Standard woods may have difficulty in getting to the ball in a thick patch of rough, but the shallower face of hybrid clubs is able to cut within and get to the ball. In exchange, the narrower face brings the sweet spot a little closer to the face, which makes slightly more difficult to hit perfectly.
These are used to replace an iron with corresponding number, like hybrid woods do with regular woods. The advantages and disadvantages of a hybrid iron compared to a regular iron are opposite to the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid woods. While the extra thickness of the face of a hybrid iron makes it less suitable for a dense rough, the increased thickness makes it easier for the player to control the ball since the sweet spot of the clubface is farther back. This added control over the ball would lessen the occurrence of shots that are not hit clean and those that slice or hook out of control.
Reason for Using a Hybrid Golf Club
Compared to a long iron that has the same loft, hybrid clubs are easier to hit and the ball would also have a higher trajectory. To understand that better, you must know about two important things.
The 24/38 Rule
Golf equipment manufacturers know about this rule. Basically, this says that the most golfers are unable to consistently hit an iron with a loft of 24 degrees or less and a length of 38 inches or more. In today’s world, this means that the vast majority of golfers do not have the ability to consistently hit shots using an iron longer than 5-iron. The vanishing loft phenomenon explains why this is so.
The Vanishing Loft Phenomenon
Through the years, the lofts of irons have crept lower, and every golfer knows this. Golf equipment manufacturers will design new clubs and advertise how much farther the distance would be when you hit a 5-iron, for instance, using their new clubs compared to your old 5-iron. However, they do not tell people right away that the new club was actually like their old 4-iron and has less loft, but this eventually becomes obvious. In general, a 4-iron today has settled into loft of 23 to 24 degrees, compared to 28 degrees a few years ago.
When the 24/38 rule is applied, it means that today, only a few golfers could consistently hit shots using a 4-iron. But you may ask: why do lengths and lofts of clubs allowed to change? No official standards are set regarding these. In fact, most golf club design specifications are not set in stone. Therefore, golf equipment manufacturers can alter the lofts and lengths into anything they think is best for their customers – of course, they still refrain from doing anything that’s too absurd or extreme. Everything stays within reason.
Should You Play Using Hybrid Clubs?
A very skilled player does not need to hit using a hybrid club because the 24/38 rule may not apply to him. So, unless you are that skilled, you need to use a hybrid club. In fact, even some PGA Tour golfers use them because at times, they want their long iron shots to reach higher up in the air. 5-iron should be the longest iron in the bag of most players. 3 and 4 hybrids must take the place of 3 and 4-irons, which most players are not able to hit consistently.
Choosing a Hybrid Club
To find out which clubs are the most suitable for a player, it’s a must to test the various options available. The pros and cons of a particular club must be assessed according to the consistency with which it could be hit. If you can hit hybrid woods with the same consistency as regular woods, this means having hybrid clubs in your bag would be an advantage because you can hit from more areas without losing control of your golf club. Likewise, if you have no trouble hitting a 3-iron, you might be better suited to carry it in your bag. However, if you have difficulty with the 3-iron but get better results with a hybrid, you must carry the hybrid instead of the iron; after all, you’d want the one you’re comfortable with.