Hybrid Golf Club Buying Guide – Introducing The Rescue Club
Way back when I started playing golf, I had never even heard of a hybrid or rescue golf club but they have become all the rage in recent years and it is becoming difficult to find a serious golfers bag that doesn’t have one in it.
Hybrid Golf clubs have become so popular because they provide the distance of fairway woods with the accuracy and control of Irons. While many golfers tend to favor fairway woods over long irons due to their larger sweet spot on the face, the longer and heavier shaft of a fairway wood can be difficult to master. Hybrids mix the benefits of both clubs into one and while they won’t suit everyone, they make an excellent option for a lot of golfers.
Hybrids provide similar club head size and shaping as fairway woods to give golfers that added sweet spot confidence while mixing in similar shaft length and weight as irons to help hit shots with easier control than woods.
If you’re curious about what the best hybrids are, which hybrids replace which irons and what the cost of these golf clubs are, don’t worry we’ve got all those answers coming in today’s guide!
Let’s first dive into a more detailed comparison of Hybrid clubs vs Fairway Woods and then Irons to see where they might sit in your bag.
Hybrid Cubs Vs Fairway Woods
While it might seem like Hybrid clubs should come along and replace all of the fairway woods in your bag, it is important to note that both of these clubs provide different characteristics and benefits that suit shots from different lies, different distances and shots that need different trajectories, so don’t go throwing out your fairway woods just yet.
Fairway woods have longer shafts with heavier club heads that will tend to give you more distance and because they have less loft than hybrids, you will usually get more distance.
If you use all Hybrids, you might find a gap between your Driver and lowest Hybrid club and this can filled perfectly by a three wood.
Rescue Clubs Vs Irons
The Low Irons in the bag also have the lowest lofts out of any golf clubs and these can be the most difficult clubs to hit, especially for beginners.
Hybrids are designed to offer the same distance as their iron counterpart with more loft, making it easy to get into the air and avoiding the unforgiving nature of the long irons in your bag.
Hybrid clubs have only been around since 2002 so the technology is still relatively new but a lot of Iron sets are now coming with a 5 iron all the way up to a pitching wedge to leave space for Hybrids to fill the gaps between fairway woods and your longest iron.
What’s Easier To Hit A Hybrid Or A Fairway Wood?
It depends on the golfer but most golfers find that the hybrid is easier to hit than the fairway wood. They find it has better control and more forgiving to keep the ball flying straighter.
A fairway wood tends to have a larger club head than the hybrid but the hybrid can generate better backspin and higher ball flight trajectory making it ideal when you’re in the rough or hazard.
These conditions are more difficult to successfully hit a fairway wood so it’s recommended to carry both in your bag so you can choose based on your lie and difficulty of the shot. Fairway woods are a great option from tight, clean lies like the center of the fairway.
What Is Easier To Hit – A Hybrid Or An Iron
While most people will find a hybrid club easier to hit than a long iron, every golfer is different and it really depends on your personal preference.
A 3 Iron was always my favourite club growing up as an average golfer and I would much prefer it over my fairway woods because of the accuracy I could get consistently. I would even use my trusty 3 Iron off the tee when I wanted to play it safe because I knew that I could put the ball where I wanted consistently.
That was before I had even used a hybrid but know that I have, I think both clubs serve their purpose. I would prefer a 3 iron when the lie is perfect and a hybrid when I had rougher lie.
The higher loft of the hybrid will allow to get extra trajectory and the large sweet spot should be more forgiving.
That being said, the lower trajectory of your iron can serve you well for different type so shots or when it is windy.
To get a true impression of whether you want to use long irons, hybrids or a mixture of both, you need to test them out for a couple of rounds and see which one your prefer.
You can always rent the clubs to get a perfect idea of what suits you best.
Hybrid Lofts Vs Irons And Fairway Woods
The lofts of Hybrids should mirror your long irons pretty similarly. The 3 Iron might have a loft of 18 Degrees and the Loft of a 3 Hybrid might also be 18 or 19 Degrees.
Check out our list of Taylormade M2 lofts and lengths below for a typical example from one of the most popular clubs on the market.
Fairway Woods will generally have lofts of 15 – 24 Degrees with the longest shaft Length
Hybrid Clubs will generally have lofts between 19 – 28 Degrees with Mid Range Shaft Lengths
Long Irons will be the shortest clubs and have Degrees between 18 Degrees (3 Iron) – 28 Degrees (6 Iron).
It must be noted that loft is only one aspect of the distance and trajectory with each club. The Length of the shaft will determine how much force you can generate and the accuracy/control you can attain.
The size of the club, the lie and the offset will all have a significant impact on what kind of shots you can hit with each type of club.
TaylorMade M2 Loft, Length & Lie
|3 Iron (M1 Set)
As the technology in Irons has remained relatively static over the years, Drivers, Fairway Woods and Hybrids have been benefiting from improvements in technology and advancements like Adjustable Lofts.
Many top hybrid clubs are now adjustable meaning you can increase or decrease the amount of loft on your club by about 3-5 degrees +/-.
With an adjustable loft, you can the benefit of a full set of hybrids from a single club.
What About Driving Irons Vs Hybrids
A Driving Iron is a slightly different concept in the fact that is larger version of the longest Irons. The Driving Iron will have a large and forgiving head with a low loft similar to your 1, 2 or 3 iron.
The large head can come as a muscle back or cavity Iron and it is ideal to be hit off the tee on tighter courses where there is not a large amount of room for error. This is similar to how I used to hit a 3 iron off the tee when play strategically or for accuracy.
Driving Irons come with almost always come with a steel shaft making it a better option for High Swing Speeds and better players generally. They are perfect for where you need accuracy from the tee or to keep the ball low, like in the wind.
Driving Irons will typically have lofts between 15 and 22 Degrees.
Hybrid clubs usually come with lighter graphite shafts and are more suited to hitting from the fairway or rough on your second shot towards the green.
Hybrid clubs also come with graphite shafts and should be easier to hit and control for beginners and average players.
Again, your choice of clubs should be your own preference.
Best Hybrid Golf Clubs For 2020
Best Choice High End Hybrids
The TaylorMade M2 hybrid is still one of the most popular golf hybrids for beginners despite TaylorMade releasing new series of clubs like the M4 and the M6.
It’s also very affordable compared to the newest hybrids on the market. A feature you may enjoy about the M2 Hybrid is its versatility for hitting out of deep rough.
The face is designed similar to an iron with slanted face for giving the golf ball higher trajectory as compared to a wood which tends to have a flat face resulting in low ball flight.
The 3 hybrid starts at 19 degrees loft and the 4 hybrid at 22 degrees loft. TaylorMade is known as one of the best wood/driver/hybrid manufacturers so you’re getting a quality golf club at a great price.
- Great Price
- Low Trajectory
- Less Feel
- Might Not Suit People Who Already Draw The Ball
Check Out More Reviews Here:
Best Choice Hybrids:
TaylorMade RBX Rescue Club Review
Taylormade need no introduction in the world of golf and there name preceeds the high quality clubs and equipment that they are famous.
The Taylormade RBX hybrid clubs are no different and with their affordable price, accuracy and forgiveness, they are well worth considering if you are a beginner or high handicapper looking to dip their toes into the Hybrid club market.
The titanium club doesn’t just look amazing, it’s performance matches the slick design.
The Club comes with 3 Loft configurations – 19 Degrees, 22 Degrees and 25 Degrees to mimick your long irons.
The ‘Speed Pocket’ technology moves the sweet spot lower on the club which helps high handicappers to get a good launch angles and better carry distance consistently.
The Rocket Fuel, Graphite shafts are ideal for generating a swing speed and impact and you get a choice of regular, stiff and senior flex to suit every player.
- Perfect For Beginners
- High Launch Angle
- Accuracy & Forgiveness
- Large Sweet Spot
- Less Distance
- Less Feel Than Some More Expensive Models
Check Out More Reviews Here:
Best Budget Option:
Pinemeadow Excel CGI Hybrids
Pinemeadow are a name that are gaining popularity fast in the golf market for bringing high quality products at affordable prices.
The first thing worth mentioning about the Excel CGI set is that there is a hybrid club to replace every iron in your bag from the 3 Iron all the way to the Pitching wedge.
For people who really struggle with Irons but can hit hybrids well, this is a set that is definitely worth considering.
The clubs come with a large heads and sweet spots making them accurate and forgiven and the graphite shafts are excellent for slower swing speeds.
Where the Pinemeadow Hybrids come into their own is with their forgiving price tag. You can pic up a single hybrid for around $30 which is much cheaper than the leading models without giving up too much of the performance.
If you want to try out hybrids without spending too much or want to replace your full iron set, these are the perfect clubs for you.
Large Sweet Spot
Full Range Of Lofts
Less Distance Than The M2’s
Not As Durable
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Components Of A Hybrid Golf Club
The grip is essential for holding onto the hybrid club and it can come in many different styles and colors depending on the club manufacturer. Picking a grip that feels comfortable in your hands is important for hitting your best shots with the hybrid.
Keep in mind your playing conditions as well when choosing a custom grip. If the environment is hot and sweaty often consider a stickier grip that holds up with moisture.
Same goes for rainy environments if you’re going to be playing in the rain occasionally. A golf glove can also help you grip the hybrid better too.
The shaft length on a hybrid is similar to that of an iron though usually a bit longer. This gives golfers more feel and control by playing a shorter length golf club as compared to the fairway wood which has a longer shaft. For example, a 5 wood might have a 42 inch long shaft while the 5 hybrid may have a 39 inch shaft.
Shaft thickness is comparable to an iron and about 1/16 of an inch thicker than a fairway wood at the point where it enters the hosel. According to GolfWeek, this helps the hybrid twist less at impact which can result in straighter golf shots. One of the key reasons golfers tend to find hybrids hitting straighter, easier shots compared to woods.
Shaft weight is also lighter on a hybrid as compared to a fairway wood. This can help golfers swing the hybrid club faster to generate better club head speeds and with more control.
The hosel is where the shaft connects into the clubhead. Unlike fairway woods, most hybrid golf clubs do not have adjustable hosels. This means you won’t be able to adjust the loft or settings to account for draw & fade swing bias.
Instead hybrids have standard loft angles so you may want to consider adding a couple hybrids to the bag with different loft angles to cover different distance gaps between your driver and your irons.
However, recent club designs are starting to add adjustability to hybrids by adding adjustable weights that can be swapped out to manipulate the center of gravity and launch angle of your golf shots. Expect adjustable hosel golf clubs to cost more than the standard set lie clubs.
The clubhead of a hybrid is usually less volume (measured in CC’s) and less in overall size compared with a fairway wood but still features a rounded head shape like a wood.
The face on a hybrid is flat like an iron making it easier to hit the ball squarely. But it’s also a harder face like a wood which can help produce longer potential golf shots, even for slower golf swings.
The most noticeable feature on a hybrid is that its sole is much wider as compared to a skinny bladed iron. It’s about as wide as the sole of a fairway wood. This helps beginners make better contact and adds confidence because it feels like you’re playing a wood but you still get the loft of an iron.
So what is the sole? The sole is the underneath side of the club head.
If you picture the bottom of an iron, the width after the club face is only another inch or two making it a skinny club head in terms of width. But if you look at the bottom of a fairway wood or hybrid, there is lots of extra clubhead that extends after the face and it rounds out in shape like a driver.
Center Of Gravity
If you’ve ever wondered why a hybrid seems to launch the ball with higher ball flight trajectory compared to a fairway wood or iron from the rough and fairway lies, it’s due to the center of gravity placement in the club head.
In a hybrid the center of gravity is lower towards the bottom of the club and back deeper in the clubhead. This gives them that higher, softer flight and also helps them be more forgiving to keep shots from curving off line as severe.
What Degree Hybrid Replaces A 4 Iron
Depending on the club manufacturer a 4-iron could have a loft between 19 to 23 degrees with most being around 20 degrees. This would be equivalent to a 4 hybrid and in some cases a 3 hybrid if you were to replace your 4-iron with a hybrid golf club.
Check the club manufacturer specs that list all the loft degrees of each of their hybrids and match the one that is similar to the loft of your 4 iron.
Do Pro Golfers Use Hybrids
Yes. There are many golfers on the PGA, LPGA, and Web.com tours who have switched out longer irons and fairway woods for hybrid golf clubs.
Most common is the 2 iron and 3 iron that get replaced for a hybrid club, but some golfers like Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas still choose to play the 2-iron or 3-iron.
It really comes down to preference for each individual golfer and knowing their strengths and weaknesses. If professional golfers are playing tougher golf courses with very thick roughs (like the U.S. Open) they may find hybrid clubs easier to hit and add them to their bag for the week.
What’s The Difference Between A Three Wood And A Three Hybrid
The typical 3 wood golf club is 15 degrees loft but can vary with some 3-woods being 13 degrees loft. A 3-hybrid however is usually 22-23 degrees of loft according to GolfBidder.co.uk
This difference in loft will result in a difference in performance. The 3 wood will hit the golf ball further when struck with great contact and is better suited when you have a clean lie to hit from.
The 3 hybrid won’t go as far as the 3 wood but may hit the ball with better accuracy from different types of conditions (rough, sand, fairway, hazards) due to its beginner friendly design.
Whats The Difference Between A Three Hybrid And A Three Iron
A 3-hybrid is designed to replace a 3-iron since it has a wider sole and this makes it easier to get forgiveness when the club hits the ground.
Irons tend to have thinner soles and therefore are more prone to digging into the turf if you have a steep angle of attack into the golf ball. In other words, irons will leave bigger divots compared to hybrids.
The 3 hybrid’s wider sole gives it more bounce so it is less likely to dig and this helps beginners make better contact with the golf ball.
Are Hybrid Golf Clubs Expensive
If you are looking at hybrids from more popular brands like TaylorMade, Titleist, Callaway then you can expect to spend more money as opposed to lesser known brand names. If brand name doesn’t matter to you, then you can find individual hybrid clubs for as low as $30-$40.
Most popular golf brand name hybrids range from $99 to $199 for one hybrid club. If you plan to buy a few different hybrids to replace different lofted irons, then expect to budget a few hundred dollars.
This is still fairly cheap compared to drivers and fairway woods which can run $300 to $600 for one golf club! You can also shop used hybrids or older model hybrids to find them at a reduced price.
For example, buying a 2016 Titleist Hybrid is going to be much less expensive than trying to add a new 2020 Titleist Hybrid to your golf bag.
How Far Should I Hit A 4 Hybrid
For male golfers, the average distance for a 4 hybrid is around 180 to 200 yards which is also the similar distance golfers would hit their 4 iron.
Female golfers could expect an average distance between 130-160 yards with a 4 hybrid. These are averages however, so your results may vary but can give you an idea as a starting point.
This allows you to check your ball striking to see if you’re losing distance from not hitting center of the face well enough.
After reading today’s guide on hybrid golf clubs you now have a better understanding of all the different components that make up the hybrid club.
We have shared how hybrids differ from fairway woods and irons and why golfers choose to replace these clubs in their golf bag with hybrids.
The biggest differences are club head design and face design to help hybrids launch the ball higher while helping it hit the ball squarely to give beginners more control on longer distance golf shots. It can be easy to spray woods and long irons all over the golf course when facing shots beyond 175 yards away from the green.
The grip that comes standard on most hybrids is suitable for the average player but you can always change out the grip with your own custom grip that best fits your hands. The shaft is shorter and lighter to help you swing with more control like with irons. The hosel is not usually adjustable so pick lofts that relate to distances you face most often on the golf course.
We hope that choosing one or multiple hybrids for your golf bag can help make a difference in your golf game and lead you to scoring lower.
James Salmon is a sports writer from Melbourne, Australia, and has experience writing on a wide range of sports, including basketball, golf, tennis, cricket and surfing to name a few. He also holds an editorial role for Sydney-based digital media company CompareTV, and contributes significantly to the sports component of their website.