Hybrid golf clubs make a valuable addition to any golfer's bag, regardless of his skill level. Useful in a variety of situations on the course, hybrids are sold with several degrees of loft, making it easy to use them to replace some of your seldom-used clubs. The loft is the angle of the clubface in relation to the ground. Loft is expressed in degrees to help golfers quickly identify the club's loft, and thus its ideal use. A higher degree of loft means the ball will elevate more. Hybrids are usually lofted between 14 and 28 degrees.
Whether you're a skilled golfer looking to lower your handicap by a couple of strokes or a beginner seeking the satisfaction of getting the ball in the air, a hybrid club is a useful club to try. Hybrids are adept at helping a golfer keep the number of clubs in his bag to a maximum of 14, as required by the U.S. Golf Association, because one hybrid often can replace two or more traditional clubs. Hybrids are suitable off the tee, fairway and even out of light rough, depending on their loft.
A variety of manufacturers sell hybrid clubs with low lofts between 14 and 17 degrees. The clubs are suitable to replace your 3-wood or your 5-wood, depending on their loft. Hybrids don't typically replace drivers because of a driver's low loft and large clubhead for distance. Also, if you have a 1-iron or 2-iron in your bag, a hybrid club with a loft between 14 and 17 degrees is a viable alternative. In most cases, a low-lofted hybrid is easier to hit than a long iron off the fairway.
If you're not looking for a hybrid club to replace your 3-wood, select a hybrid with a moderate loft of between 18 and 22 degrees. These clubs are widely available from several leading golf-club manufacturers. If you use a 5-wood or a 7-wood, a moderate-lofted hybrid club also can replace that club. Likewise, this loft of hybrid is an acceptable alternative to a 3-iron or 4-iron.
Although adept at helping you on longer shots off of tight lies, some hybrids are built with higher lofts to help you make different types of shots, such as approach shots and even shots out of the first cut of rough. It's possible to get a hybrid with a loft between 23 and 28 degrees, and sometimes even higher. These clubs can replace a 9-wood if you have one, but more commonly, serve as a replacement for a 4-iron or 5-iron, depending on how far you hit your clubs.