As the term 'hybrid' implies, the hybrid club is a design that brings the best of two worlds together in a new form. These new generation clubs have been able to bring the familiar feel and mechanics of the irons to the power and distance that the wood family delivers. This innovation explains why the hybrid club has been taking the golfing world by storm.
This guide will help you understand the use of these clubs and why they are so popular amongst amateurs and professional players alike. It will also help you understand whether these type of clubs are right for you.
To understand how these clubs originated, it is useful to take a brief look at the history of the golf clubs.
Since the 15th century when the Scots started playing a variation of the game that would become modern golf, the clubs with which the ball is advanced to the hole have evolved relatively slowly. For almost 500 years the woods, the heavy headed, long shafted clubs used for teeing off, and gaining maximum distance on the fairway of high-par holes, were actually made of wood. Commonly, they were made out of persimmon wood, and some manufacturers experimented with laminated woods. Irons were made of irons. Things were simple.
But in late 1970s, at the turn of the century, some manufacturers started experimenting with wood clubs that were actually made of steel. It is at this point that the evolution of the golf club really accelerated.
Nowadays almost no woods are made of wood. Advances in metallurgy meant that new age metals and composites could be introduced. Today, you can find woods made of titanium, carbon fibre, scandium and other high-tech composites.
Irons were called so because they were made of iron. Typically, these clubs would afford the player a great deal of precision control in placing the ball. The variation in distance between each number iron is granular enough to control the approach to the hole to a few yards. Numbered from 1 to 10, where the lower numbers yield more distance, the typical golfer would make use of irons 3 to 9 and include a sub-class of irons known as wedges.
Approximately ten years ago, a new type of club started appearing on the scene. A club that would combine the best features of irons and woods into a single club type. The hybrid. As the name implies, it is a class of club that combines the best of both worlds. Let's take a closer look at the attributes and design of the hybrid club.
A closer look at the design of the hybrid golf club reveals a club head that strongly resembles those of the wood family - made either of hollow steel or titanium and featuring a shallow convex club face. To resemble a similar lie angle to the irons it is designed to replace, the head is typically more shallow than a wood. Hybrid club heads also have flatter soles. Importantly, the weight and feel of the hybrid club closely resembles the iron, making the transition from the long irons relatively straightforward.
As this is still a very new class of club, there are variations to this design. Some manufacturers market their irons as hybrids by just adding a few features to make them appear like hybrids. These should be thought of more as "iron replacements" and not real hybrid clubs. The iron replacements perform almost exactly like a traditional iron, but thanks to its added weight increases the force with which the club makes contact with the ball. This characteristic may make iron replacement very useful for players with naturally slow swing speeds, like seniors or ladies.
The hybrid club, by its nature, increases the loft of the ball and the impulse on the ball which has an unintended, but rather useful effect: backspin.
Thanks to the wood style design of the club head, there is more force on the ball than with a comparable iron club. However the increased loft, with the increased impulse causes the ball to tumble backwards on itself during flight. As it lands it creates the same effect as a jetliner slamming on the brakes on the runway with reverse thrusters immediately pushing it backwards to slow it down.
This means that a player using a hybrid club on an approach shot to the flag can get the ball to almost bite into and stick to the green. Instead of risking an overrun, the ball will only roll a few feet before coming to a complete standstill.
Traditionally, on a medium approach shot, a player may choose a higher number wood or lower number iron to try and get the ball to roll towards the green. However, as many courses features water or sand hazards around the green, this may prove risky. With the hybrid, a new option becomes available. The medium approach shot can attempt to lob the ball over the hazards directly onto the green, using the backspin effect to prevent a long roll into another hazard.
This means the introduction of the hybrid club introduces a new style of play in the game of golf. More and more professional players are leaning on hybrid clubs to get on the green quicker - with better accuracy - thanks to the backspin effect of true hybrids.
Some manufacturers market their hybrid clubs as "rescue clubs".
The characteristics of the hybrid club is such that if your ball is in the rough, or on a tight driving hole, or in a tight lie that this would be the club you'd reach for.
The size and shape of the rescue club head gives you the best of two worlds: forgiveness; distance and height, but with the added dead stop effect of an iron shot. Add to this the fact that hybrid have shortened shafts and you have a club that can help your way out of trouble very quickly.
When you browse our selection of hybrids, you will notice that the most common types are numbers 2 to 5. An average golf player will be able to hit a ball between 160 and 210 yards. This places the hybrid set slightly above the irons on the yardage chart.
195 - 205
185 - 190
180 - 185
165 - 170
At this point you may you probably have a better idea how a hybrid club or a club set could benefit you in your unique circumstances.
* Beginner to intermediate players
Many players in this experience range struggle with their long iron play and will therefore enjoy a higher success rate with a hybrid club set. The club shaft is a comfortable length, has a similar feel and weight as an iron but with the increased power and sweet spot of a wood. Golf is a game of confidence and as you are getting into the game, getting great shots in will boost your confidence.
* Experienced and club players
The ability of the hybrid club to get the ball out of the rough, out of tough lies and down tight fairway shots, with a small swing radius, has led some manufacturers to market the hybrid club as a rescue club. For these more experienced players, having at least one hybrid club in the bag may mean the difference between a birdie and a par - even after a poor tee shot.
More and more professionals are starting to carry hybrid clubs for the same reasons as experienced club players. The hybrid club is a very hand way of breaking the glass in case of emergency.
Hybrid golf clubs are the next step in the evolution of golf clubs. They have the ability to change the shape of the game and to give players new strategies for getting the ball in the hole in fewer shots. Their innovative design, combining the familiar feel of the iron family with the power and distance of the wood has already proved a hit with thousands of beginners and intermediate players around the world. More professional players are waking up to the rescue and strategic options hybrid clubs afford them due to the unique flight characteristic these clubs lend to the ball.
The entire golfing world, from beginners to pro's, are finding use from these exciting new class of golf clubs. If you're serious about getting into golf, or if you're looking for a rescue option or to build your confidence, you should consider investing in a hybrid club or hybrid club set.
All types of hybrid golf clubs are available on eBay.