Hybrid clubs are “all the rage” these days and the theory being that most golfers will produce better shots using a hybrid equivalent rather than a long iron. The hybrids are assembled with iron shafts but are a little longer than an iron and not as long as a wood. The head resembles that of a wood more than an iron enabling one to feel the club head swing more than an iron. Because of the larger sole on the club they are also easier to get the ball out of rough.
However, some students I’ve worked with have had problems with them, and complained of “thin” or “topped” shots, and/or the tendency to hit the ball to the right. My general observations indicate these people seem to be playing the ball too far forward in their stances, probably responding to the “fairway wood like” appearance of hybrids.
When I’ve had these students “back the ball up” slightly in their stances, performance seems to improve. Try this if you have similar hybrid problems.
Now, only 14 clubs in a bag, what should I carry? With the advent of the hybrid this becomes a difficult decision. Hybrids equivalent loft to an iron are: 6 iron 28 degrees; 5 iron 25 degrees; 4 iron 22 degrees and a 3 iron 19 degrees. I may also add that this varies amongst manufacturers.
Since the hybrid can be hit longer than its equivalent iron, because it has a longer shaft, when I eliminated my 5 iron and replaced it with a 25 degree hybrid, there was gap between my 6 iron and the hybrid. Consequently, I put the 5 iron back in my bag as I also like to use it around the green and got rid of that gap.
Now not to forget some of those favorite fairway woods, the 9, 7 and 5, there will also be an overlap with some of these and your hybrids. It certainly gives you more options but can be confusing. The more you play the more will figure out what you want in your bag. The golf course can also be a factor as to which clubs you want to carry; length of the course, rough, hills and width of fairways.
Hybrids are great and everyone should have one or two in their bag. There is no one answer for everyone, you must experiment. Good Luck!
Susan Stafford, Roland Stafford Golf Schools