What Is a Hybrid Golf Club?

By Steve Silverman

Silhouette of Man Playing Golf during Sunset
A hybrid golf club gives a golfer options. Many golfers struggle to hit their fairway woods or long irons. They are longer and stiffer than medium irons and they are less forgiving when the shot is not struck perfectly. The hybrid club offers the distance of the fairway wood with the accuracy of an iron, and it has become one of the most popular clubs among top pros as well as amateurs.
 

 

Advantages

The hybrid club is considered easier to hit than many golf clubs. To the medium- and high-handicap golfer, this means that a perfect swing is not necessary to hit the ball extremely well. That's because the hybrid club has a lower center of gravity, meaning it will send the ball up in the air with relative ease and keep it on an accurate course.

Signficance

Golfers who struggle with fairway woods (the 3- and 5-woods) along with long irons (2-, 3- and 4-irons) may find the hybrid club easier to swing. The hybrid club weighs about the same as a medium iron (5-, 6- or 7-iron), yet it provides the distance of a well-struck wood. This allows the golfer to have a greater chance of being successful on a long par 4 or a par 5 hole.

Flatter Striking Area

The hybrid club offers a flatter striking area to the golfer. This means there is greater margin of error when the club is used. The average golfer may strive to hit the ball in the middle and center portion of the club head. That same golfer can still hit a successful shot even if he misses that "sweet spot" by an inch.

From the Rough

The hybrid club can be the most effective club in your bag when you hit from the rough on a longer hole. In the past, many golfers would try to get this shot back into the fairway because they feared that the long grass of the rough would hold up their club and not allow it to hit the ball with any significant force. The hybrid club allows the golfer to cut through the high grass because it is lighter and stronger than the average club and gives the golfer the best chance to attack from the rough instead of just trying to get the ball out of trouble.

Professionals

Many people think that the hybrid club is helpful to medium- and high-handicap players but not top professionals. That's not true. Many professionals carry a hybrid, often referred to as a utility club, including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker. Those golfers are all known for their shot-making skill, and they all use the hybrid to take advantage of that ability.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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