Hybrid golf clubs have been a revelation to many high- and medium-handicap golfers who have struggled with long irons for years. Hybrids, which are a mix between irons and woods, are much easier to hit and often produce more consistent shots than long irons. They are so effective that nearly all touring professionals carry at least one hybrid in their bag. Hybrids are much easier to control than long irons, and because they are easy to swing they can give the golfer more distance, too.
The amount of distance you can get on a shot is determined by such factors as the loft angle of the club and the ability of the golfer. Because the average golfer is able to make better contact with the hybrid than the iron is replaces, the hybrid can give the golfer an additional 4 to 12 yards of distance on average. Here are the average distances for an average male 18-handicapper with hybrid clubs and the clubs they are replacing:
16-degree hybrid, 198 yards; 5-wood, 194 yards 21-degree hybrid, 190 yards; 3-iron, 184 yards 24-degree hybrid, 178 yards; 4-iron, 174 yards 27-degree hybrid, 169 yards; 5-iron, 157 yards
The weighting of the hybrid club gives it an advantage over a long iron. Hybrid clubs have the majority of their weight toward the rear and bottom of the club, making it much easier for the average golfer to hit and providing more height on the shot.
Club Head Design
The hybrid club is a popular choice when hitting out of the rough. The size of the club head is small enough that it does not get caught up in the rough the way a wood might and it's large enough that the rough does not turn the face as it would an iron.
Hybrid clubs can be great equalizers for all golfers. Not only can they help the high- and intermediate-handicap golfers, they can help top amateurs and professionals as well. They are lighter and easier to swing and since they are rear-weighted, they are much more forgiving than standard clubs. Golfers still have to swing the club well to get good shots, but they don't have to be perfect. This promotes greater confidence and enthusiasm when preparing for the next shot.
Hybrids have gained favor around the green, where a golfer might have hit a chip shot in the past. To chip with the hybrid, choke down on the club and use a putting stroke. The ball will jump slightly (depending on loft) and roll to the hole. You can also use a bladed hybrid when your ball is up against a high collar. Again, use a putting stroke, but contact the ball just above its equator.