9 Wood vs 4 Hybrid – What To Carry & What Is The Difference

9 Wood vs 4 Hybrid

Having the right clubs in your bag can have a dramatic impact on your game and today we are discussing 2 clubs that we usually wouldn’t see in a set of clubs off the rack.

The 9 Wood are 4 hybrid can be a boon for any golfer however, they are both easy to hit, get the ball in the air well and have decent stopping power.

The 9 wood will be great for slower swing speeds and players who want an easy launching, high lofted club from the fairway,

The 4 hybrid will also be great from the fairway, easy to get in the air, slightly lower flying but also great from the rough with its sharper leading edge,

Main Differences Between A 9 Wood And 4 Hybrid

Loft: A 9 wood has more loft compared to a 4 hybrid, this will launch the ball higher and land softer on the green.

Shaft Length: A 9 wood’s shaft is shorter than a 4 hybrid, which makes it easier to hit.

Head Design: A 9 wood has a larger head shape, while a 4 hybrid has a more smaller modern design.

Versatility: A hybrid can be used in more situations on the course, making it more versatile compared to a 9 wood.

Forgiveness: Hybrids are much more forgiving than fairway woods, this will make them easier to hit straight and launch the ball.

Distance: The 4 hybrid has less loft, making it go further than a 9 wood.

Shot Shape: A 9 wood tends to produce a straighter ball flight, while a 4 hybrid produces a more draw bias shape.

Price: Hybrids are typically cheaper than fairway woods, however the price also depends on the brand and quality of the club.

9 Wood vs 4 Hybrid In Detail

9 Wood vs 4 Hybrid1

The fairway wood is a club that has been around for many years, whereas a hybrid is a relatively new club design.

Both are designed to get the ball up into the air and go further than an iron.

A fairway wood or in this instance a 9 wood was designed to get the ball up into the air and go a longer distance compared to an iron.

A 3 wood is much harder to hit compared to a 9 wood, as the shaft is longer and it has less loft.

Both of these aspects make it harder to hit. The 9 wood is an easy fairway wood to hit relatively speaking.

It will typically have between 26 and 24 degrees of loft. It would be quite similar to a 5 hybrid.

The hybrid was invented to give golfers a club that combined the best features of fairway woods and irons.

Like all the hybrids the 4 hybrid has a smaller head design, which in theory will give you more versatility, accuracy, and forgiveness.

The loft a 4 hybrid can range between 21 and 23 degrees. This is about the same as a 7 wood.

When To Use A 9 Wood?


A 9 wood should be used from the fairway, short rough or short par 3’s.

I would suggest staying away from using it off the tee on par 4’s and 5’s as you won’t be able to get enough distance.

It would be more beneficial to use a 5 or 3 wood from the tee box.

Also avoid using a 9 wood from the thick rough, although it has enough loft, the head is too large and will get stuck in the long grass.

This will cause your shots to have little distance and poor accuracy.

Who Should Carry A 9 Wood? 

We only recommend mid to high handicap players use a 9 wood, as well as ladies and seniors, because it has loads of loft, this will make it easier for the ball to get into the fair.

The problem with longer irons is you need to have a good strike and a lot of clubhead speed for the ball to get up into the air.

With the 9 wood, the head size and forgiveness elements make it much easier to hit and will give you more distance.

How Far Should You Hit A 9 Wood? 

This all depends on your swing speed and strike.

The better the strike and faster swing speed the further it will go.

High swing speeds – 180 to 210 yards

Mid swing speeds – 170 to 140 yards

Slow swing speeds – 130 to 100 yards

How Do I Choose A 9 Wood?

Choosing the right flex is going to be the most important part when deciding which 9 wood to buy.

You will need to be quite accurate, so having the right flex will help you control the club head more.

See the swing speed chart below to help you decide.

Generally the 9 wood head will be between 26 and 24 degrees, so no need to worry here. The last part would be the quality.

Depending on the brand you can get a club that is more forgiving and gives you better distance, these are usually more expensive.

Deciding on your budget will help you choose which brand to go with.

9 Wood Shaft Flex Vs Swing Speed Comparison Table 

9 Wood Swing Speed <65 mph 65 – 75 mph 75 – 85 mph 85 – 100 mph > 100 mph
Flex Ladies Senior Regular Stiff X-Stiff

Pros And Cons 


  • Gets the ball up easily
  • Forgiving compared to an iron
  • Generates lots of spin
  • Easy to stop on the greens
  • Can help on short par 3’s


  • It is difficult to hit the ball out of the long rough
  • Quite expensive
  • Not ideal for low handicap players

Check Out More Reviews Here:


When To Use A 4 Hybrid?


The hybrid club as a whole is an extremely versatile club.

It can be used from a tee, fairway, short and long rough, as well as on par 3’s.

So the answer is, everywhere. The hybrid is really an astonishing club for most golfers.

The only time I would say you should avoid using a hybrid is when you need to hit it low. The club is designed to launch the ball easily into the air, so it may be difficult to keep it low.

Who Should Carry A 4 Hybrid?

The majority of players should use a 4 hybrid or at least a 3 hybrid.

You will find most low handicap players do not use a hybrid. This is because they do not struggle with their long irons.

For faster swing speed players when using a hybrid the ball tends to go left, this is just because of the way the club is designed.

So, mid and high handicap players should definitely have a 4 hybrid in their bag, as well as ladies and beginners.

The 4 hybrid is much easier to hit compared to a 4 iron so why not?

How Far Should You Hit A 4 Hybrid?

This all depends on your swing speed and strike.

The better the strike and faster swing speed the further it will go.

High swing speeds – 215 to 185 yards

Mid swing speeds – 175 to 145 yards

Slow swing speeds – 135 to 105 yards

How Do I Choose A 4 Hybrid?

Similar to the 9 wood, choosing the right shaft is extremely important, this will help you control the ball easier and in some instances hit the ball further.

See the swing speed chart below to help you decide.

Knowing how far you hit your longest iron will help you determine what hybrid you will need.

The perfect gapping between your club is 12-15 yards. Hybrids tend to go further than irons, meaning you may need to have a 5 iron and a 5 hybrid in your bag, just to keep the gapping consistent.

There is also nothing stopping you having a 5, 4 and 3 hybrid in your bag. It all just depends on what distance you want to hit and how far you hit your longest iron.

You never want a gap more than 12 to 14 yards between clubs.

4 Hybrid Swing Speed <67 mph 67 – 77 mph 77 – 87 mph 87 – 102 mph > 102 mph
Flex Ladies Senior Regular Stiff X-Stiff

Do You Really Need A 4 Hybrid?

If you are a mid or high handicap golfer, lady or beginner then 100%, you need a hybrid. Do you need a 4 hybrid?

Well like I said above it depends on how far you want to hit it and the gapping between your longest iron. You may also need a 3 or 5 hybrid.

But, the short answer is yes! As a low handicap golfer it comes down to preference and how well you hit it.

It is not a necessity if you are a low handicap player


  • Gets the ball into the air extremely easily
  • Great from all lies
  • Easy to hit off the tee
  • Cheaper than a fairway wood
  • Easier to hit than your long irons


  • Having the wrong hybrid can impact your game slightly
  • May not suit low handicap golfers

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Should You Carry A 9 Wood And 4 Hybrid Or Just 1?

I personally feel going lower than a 5 wood is a waste, I would prefer you to use the 4 hybrid, it is more versatile and easier to hit.

How Many Woods and Hybrids Overall?

I am going to tell you my ideal set up for low, mid and high handicap, ladies and senior as well as beginners below.

You can alter it slightly, but in my experience this is the best combo.

Low Handicap – 3 wood and/or 5 wood, no hybrid

Mid Handicap – 3 or 5 wood, 3 or 4 hybrid

High Handicap – 5 wood, 4 and 5 hybrid

Senior – 5 and/or 7 wood, 5 and/or 6 hybrid

Ladies – 5 and/or 7 wood, 5 and/or 6 hybrid

Beginners – 5 wood and/or 3 hybrid, 4 hybrid


Justin Thomas Hybrid Club

At the end of the day both clubs are good.

The 4 hybrid is slightly more forgiving and versatile compared to the 9 wood.

You just need to find out which one would work best for your game. As a high handicap, beginner, lady or senior golfer either one of them is a must in your bag.

If I had to choose I would go with the 4 hybrid. I personally prefer the shape, plus it is more forgiving and versatile. It is also slightly cheaper.