In simple terms, a hybrid is a cross between a fairway wood and an iron, delivering both the forgiveness long irons lack and the control that fairway woods can’t offer. Last year over 50% of tour professionals played a hybrid, and an increasing number of amateurs are now joining them, turning to a club that can make those awkward 160-220 yard shots that little bit easier.

Hybrid buyers guide

Iron or fairway replacement?

The first thing you should consider is what you want your hybrid to do. Are you looking for more control than your 3-iron currently provides to find greens on long par 3s and par 4s, or are you looking to breach the gap between your fairway and current long iron set-up for more accuracy and options off the tee? If you are looking to replace a long iron then the added forgiveness and versatility of a hybrid will come as a welcome addition. If you are happy with your ball striking, but could do with an option that better suits the gap between your longest iron and shortest wood then a hybrid is also useful. They have the same smooth sole for sweeping strikes of the deck as a fairway wood, while the lofts often go as low as 15°, providing lots of options for your gapping requirements.

Loft
The loft you need will mostly be decided by what you want your hybrid to do. If you are looking to replace a 3-iron, for example, you’ll want to look at hybrids with lofts between 20-24°. However, if you are looking for a more controllable alternative to your fairway then you should consider something lower; 15° will traditionally replace a 3-wood, while 17° is the normally a 5-wood.

Try before you buy

A club’s shaft length can affect the overall distance as much as the loft. Some players will also find they hit hybrids further than irons with the same lofts due to the increased quality of strike, so if you are trying to reduce your gapping it can be especially important to try a few side by side.

Adjustability
If you’re not quite sure what you want your hybrid for, but know you could benefit from an easier-to-hit option, then choosing one with an adjustable element could be the answer. Adjustability can also be extremely useful if you play lots of different courses or in changing wind conditions.

Design
Another factor you may consider is the club’s design. With a range of bright colours hitting the market, the choice here will mostly come down to what inspires the most confidence in your game. The shape of the clubhead will also affect this. Some hybrids are more like fairway woods to advance the ball, while some are more compact and suited to approach shots.

This Month’s Best Hybrid Deals

Mizuno JPX900 Hybrid at Amazon.com | Was $249 | Now $179

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Showing reviews 81–100 of 117

Mizuno MX-700 utility review. Golf Monthly reviews the Mizuno MX-700 utility.

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Ram SDX hybrid review. Review of the Ram SDX hybrid

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Ben Sayers Benny hybrid review. Golf Monthly review of the Ben Sayers Benny hybrid

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A Golf Monthly review of the Mizuno MX Fli-Hi hybrid. A Mizuno MX Fli-Hi hybrid review from Golf Monthly.

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The distinctive look of the Niblick didn’t immediately excite many members of the GM team. The elongated clubhead has a thick topline and unusual alignment aid that requires some getting…

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The weight screws in the rear are designed to improve balance, reduce clubhead distortion at impact and help enlarge the sweetspot. A wide head design is intended to make it…

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This latest TaylorMade utility has a tour-inspired small clubhead, and minimal offset to promote maximum workability. It has a versatile shallow face and a centre of gravity that’s further forward…

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The triangular-shaped clubhead has a low and deep centre of gravity for a higher-launching ball flight. Fitted with a Fujikura RE*AX SuperFast shaft to promote a faster swing speed and…

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G10 hybrids feature sloped crowns and internal weight pads in the sole to push the centre of gravity low and back, facilitating an easy high-launching ball flight. The range of…

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