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.

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.

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.

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 | Was $249 | Now $179


Showing reviews 81–100 of 118

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