The hybrid can get you out of tough spots, out of the rough or if you need to cover a lot of ground to the hole. It's a versatile golf club that you can use for chipping, bump and runs, punches out of the rough or long par 3's. It could be your go-to tee club and help you get to the greens on longer approaches.
The long irons are so hard to hit and driving irons aren't for everyone. The hybrid golf club has come to save the day. Unlike irons, the hybrid has a smooth rounded edge to glide right through the long grass and get more club face on the ball. We’ve put together a list of some of those best hybrid clubs for high handicappers so you can change your game.
Best Hybrid Golf Clubs for High Handicappers
Excellent for gliding through long grass and preventing duffs
Cobra continue to make even better clubs that benefit the average handicap golfer every year. The Baffler rails under this hybrid have been used by them in the past and actually, surprisingly, do work.
They run parallel to each other on the sole and are intended to glide through turf so you don't get those shots where you hit it a little fat and the iron digs into the ground, leaving a major duff.
This is great news not only for tee shots, but also the trickiest part of hybrids, hitting them off the fairways. The Radspeed is easy from the fairway and is a perfect substitute for using an iron out of the long stuff as it glides through the tall grass instead of getting caught like an iron does and the sweet spot is easy to find.
Both JMac and BDog on the channel use this hybrid and it's legit one of the best golf clubs I have ever hit.
Simple point and shoot with wide range of lofts
Tour Edge are famous for making maximum game improvement solutions especially in the fairway wood and hybrid department. These hybrid golf clubs promote a high longer and soft landing ball but without the need to dig yourself a deep divot like a pro. If you struggle with arthritic hands and prefer sweeping the ball, you'll love these.
You'll find the Hot Launch range gets great distance on all shots even mishits from thin to fat to off center and slicing and hooking the ball is going to be difficult because these just want to go straight.
Tour Edge is a brand that you may not have heard of because of all the hoorah on the PGA Tour with big brands sponsoring everyone but Tour Edge is one of the best in the business when it comes to fairway woods and hybrids for forgiveness.
I tried this range when I was in the USA recently and was blown away. They look like premium clubs, sound and feel like premium clubs and perform like premium clubs - all at a fraction of the big name prices.
What's great with this range is you can replace so many clubs and fill so many gaps in the bag. They have a range of lofts from 19, 22, 25 and 28 degrees to choose from. Tour Edge are truly the every man's golf club.
Cobra have designed this club to be as forgiving as any hybrid on the market. It's aimed at players with slower swings, and is built to get the ball in the air fast, maximise carry distance and eliminate a slice. If you need these things in your game, look no further.
The best part about these bad boys is they come in so many lofts. You can get 19, 22, 25, 28 and 31 degree hybrids which pretty much replaces everything from 3 iron down to 6 or 7 irons!
Looking down at this club is not distracting at all. The Cobra logo simply painted on the top of the crown, making it easy to line the ball up to the sweet spot. Overall it just looks classic and not full of gimmicks. A real simple point and shoot. You probably won't even notice that there's anti-slice offset.
BDog and JMac from my channel both use Cobra hybrids and nothing will get them out of their bags. The 25 degree is like having cheat codes enabled on a golf club, it's almost impossible to hit a bad shot with that club.
This could end up being your go-to club off the tee on tight holes. By making the club in general lighter, you're able to make faster swings with the same amount of effort.
The sole of the club has guiderails which are a set of three rails similar to the Baffler rails on a Cobra hybrid. This plus the leading edge design are created to help with the way the club hits the turf and glides through it, without digging.
That specific design feature means it was created for the general high handicap golfer who spends some time away from fairways. You'll be able to glide through the rough and even sandy lies with this type of club.
On top, the crown is the Hi Bore (HB) design where Cleveland have lowered the center of gravity to get that low spin, high launch effect to get the ball flying higher and further with less dispersion.
There are two available lofts, 19 and 22 degrees. These 3 and 4 hybrids are so easy to slot into your bag. Joe who writes for this site has both clubs, slotting them in on top of the 5 iron in his bag. He finds these lofts to be perfect for the gapping up to his 3 wood.
If you want value and simplicity, the Cleveland Launcher Halos are the hybrids to try.
PING's G425 is the latest in their ever growing line of easy-to-hit hybrids. The big idea behind this one is the consistency of the spin and the huge ball speeds.
In 2021 they introduce Facewrap which is a thin but strong steel face that overlaps into the crown and sole. This is supposed to increase ball speeds across the entire face and it does.
Lower strikes in the face, which is common among high handicappers, go further than you'd expect and without that low stinker ball flight.
A three-dot alignment system on the crown makes it easy to line up out the middle of the face, and at address, the clubface sits square and doesn't look like it's pointing way to the left like a lot of forgiving hybrids do. PING removed the turbulator spikey things on the crown which a lot of PING players got used to.
The G425 hybrid is actually adjustable at the hosel with eight available positions on the adapter so you can move the loft 1.5 degrees up or down and make the lie angle up to 3 degrees flatter.
You can select one of three brands of shafts in the PING G425 hybrids to be able to suit your specific needs.
Impossible to hit a bad shot with these irons
These HB Launcher hybrid irons are the new Super Game Improvement clubs from Cleveland designed to help beginners and high handicappers hit more consistent shots with ease. We're talking straight to the target and way up in the air. They're almost impossible to mishit.
It's not the first time Cleveland have produced these weird looking clubs. The older Cleveland Altitudes won over a lot of golfers with their extreme forgiveness and consistent ball flight. This style of progressive hybrid and iron combination set's really easy to hit and the only thing stopping most golfers from switching over to them is ego. A lot of golfers want to look like the pros with standard looking irons in their bag.
But if you're struggling to get the ball to fly decent distances with standard irons, these clubs could revolutionize your entire golf experience.
The set starts with a 4 iron shaped exactly like a hybrid and as the set progresses toward pitching wedge, the hybrid back of the club gets smaller until you can't see it on the pitching wedge. The thick sole created by the hybrid design of the irons makes them easy to hit out of any lie. It just can't be stated enough how easy they are to hit.
Cleveland have colored the hybrid back of the irons black to calm down the appearance to give it a more streamlined look because it can be distracting if you're used to standard irons.
Do yourself a favor and try these clubs. You might find they're the most forgiving best high handicapper irons you've ever hit.
Factors to Evaluate High Handicapper Hybrids
To ensure you find the best hybrid golf club for high handicappers, consider your priorities and abilities. This will tell you which direction to take with the hybrid golf game. A lot of high handicappers are fighting a slice and also swing a bit slower than mid handicappers or advanced players.
This is not always the case and if you are a fast swinger but still a high handicap, your priority should be to control the ball, not speed.
Whichever hybrid golf club you decide on, it's always best to also consider a high handicap fairway wood just to be sure you've covered both options. In a fairway wood versus a hybrid comparison, you'll find different outcomes for each club and also your ability to hit one or the other. Some people are fairway wood fans and some people love filling their bag with hybrids. Here are some important aspects of hybrids to think about:
On a hybrid golf club, much like a fairway wood or driver, you want a larger surface area to hit the ball with. A larger clubhead and club face will give you a bigger sweet spot. When you mis-hit the ball, which will happen a fair amount, you want to be sure that the hybrid will deliver a decent enough shot. On long irons, they can be very punishing when they are mis-hit. That is why we like to put hybrids in our bags. It takes all that pain and stining hands out of the equation.
Some hybrids are made more for professional level swings. They are smaller and have narrower club faces. With a larger head and larger club face, you'll be able to get enough distance and consistent strikes on the golf ball from the rough. On approach shots, the forgiving hybrids have a very low center of gravity to get under the ball without you even trying.
The loft of the club will depend on the iron that you want to replace or the distance you want to cover after your longest iron. If your longest iron is a 6 iron, you want to find a 4 hybrid. That is usually 21 or 23 degrees. But if you want to hit it a bit longer and gain some distance off the tee and it is your priority to have a go-to tee club, then a 3 hybrid of 19 or 20 degrees will serve you well. Be very careful to hit them a few times to ensure which one you prefer. You can get hybrids in many forms and there are numerous with adjustable lofts.
You can turn your 4 hybrid into a 5 or a 3 hybrid by adjusting the shaft and hosel.
Shaft and Length
Normally at a higher handicap, regular shafts are preferred. Your swing needs to be under control first before moving to stiffer shafts. You may have a fast swing, but I would recommend learning to dial that power back and use a softer shaft. You can choose between regular, stiff-regular and stiff. Most of the time, if you're between 5'6 and 6'1 you can get away with a standard length hybrid shaft.
Currently most of the hybrids on the market come with a graphite shaft to increase club head speed. This will help you to generate enough speed to launch the hybrid much more successfully than a long iron with a steel shaft. Once you get a regular shape and consistent strike, you can upgrade your shaft to a stiffer one.
Changing the loft and lie angles is common in drivers and is now a feature of hybrids as well.
Do you want to spend the extra money for adjustable clubs to edit the type of shot you want to hit? Or are you scared of FOMO and just want a simple point and shoot hybrid? Most beginners and high handicappers would need to see a pro to get the correct settings to customize the ball flight for correcting a slice or a particular shot shape.
When it comes to a hybrid, it's similar to all aspects of the bag. You get what you pay for.
You can have the choice of a new or used one. Global Golf is great for used products but so is eBay. Just be sure to check the reputation of the seller before you purchase. Also knowing your specs beforehand will help you to find deals really quickly.
Should I get a hybrid?
You should get a hybrid if you think you know how to hit a hybrid:
- Can't reach par 3's with your current lowest number iron
- Hit a lot of irons from the rough very poorly
- Need a consistent tee shot that can get onto the fairway on tight holes
- Can hit a fairway wood but not a 3, 4 or 5 iron
- Have a 5 wood but don't want a 7 or 9 wood
How do I select the correct loft for my set?
Hybrids generally go a bit further than irons of the same loft. The manufacturers generally put the number of the iron on the hybrid to show which iron it replaces. So a 5 hybrid replaces a 5 iron.
Below is a chart to gauge which loft hybrid golf club to get in relation to your longest iron.
For high handicappers like yourself, I would recommend anything from 19 degrees (3 hybrid) and up. Feel free to have as many as you like. They really will change the way you attack the greens. For lofts lower than 19 degrees, I recommend fairway woods. These are some of the better fairway woods.
Hybrids and fairway wood setup in your bag
I'm a huge fan of fairway woods for low to mid to high handicappers. They glide through the long grass, get you onto greens from longer distances and can take the place of a driver.
But I always find a nagging difference between my 4 wood and my irons. That's where the hybrids come in to save the day. If you have a 5 wood and a 7 wood, you probably don't hit your 4 or 5 iron too much and when you do it's not performing as you'd like.
Hybrids are a complement and not a replacement for fairway woods. They can bridge the gap between your fairway woods and your irons or they can take the place of your irons. There is no magic recipe so look at your distances and your priorities to have a bag with both fairway woods and hybrids to give you an all-round solid game.
I suggest for a high handicapper:
- 1 x 5 wood
- 1 x 20 degree hybrid or 3 hybrid
- 1 x 23 degree hybrid or 4 hybrid
- 1 x 26 degree or 5 hybrid
Why are hybrids so much easier to hit?
First thing you notice in a hybrid is the body behind the face. With that extra booty in the back, the face can be made thinner like a fairway wood.
This means the manufacturer can redistribute weight to the sole to get more of the weight under and behind the ball so you can hit it in the air MUCH easier than ever before.
See, long irons are thin and look like butter knives. Most of the time, we think we need to 'help' the ball get in the air because the faces are so flat. The hybrid solves this problem and hitting the hybrid like you would hit your 7 iron is ideal!
Essentially you're getting a shorter shafted, higher lofted fairway wood that is easier to hit than a fairway wood and far easier to control. In today's game, they're no-brainers and if you don't have one, you're really losing out.
The graphite shaft also makes them lighter so you can easily generate enough clubhead speed which is essential to lift a ball off the ground with a lower lofted club.
Long irons (3-4-5) need a lot of clubhead speed to get airborne and really are best suited to mid to low handicappers who can feel confident that they can hit DOWN on the ball instead of trying to flip it into the air.
Distinguishing features of a hybrid club
- Loft of the hybrid can range from 16 to 27 degrees replacing irons 2 through to 6 or 7 iron
- Low center of gravity placed in the back of the club for easier launch than an iron
- Wider sole than long irons but not as wide as a fairway wood
- Club face is either titanium or steel for more trampoline effect then an iron
- Graphite shafts are most common compared to steel in irons
Are long irons hard to hit?
Funny thing though: did you know once upon a time standard golf iron sets had 3 and 4 irons?
Those days are long gone and hybrids have taken their place which is a very good thing. You'll struggle to find sets with 3, 4 and even 5-irons these days. Hybrids are that much easier to hit in the air that even the pros have switched out their 2 and 3 irons in favor of them. Even Tiger Woods started playing a driving iron during his comeback rounds in the Bahamas so as not to get punished too hard for off center hits.
The benefit to your game as a higher handicapper is four-fold.
You'll be able to hit more par 3's in one shot and you'll be able to hit longer approaches with a higher ball flight into the greens more easily. You could use it for basic bump and run chip shots.
The word choice is important and driving irons suitable for higher handicaps do exist. Driving irons sound like they should be long irons but the technology they use in them is similar to a hybrid but the driving iron is made to appeal to people who enjoy the look of a long iron, but want the forgiveness of a hybrid. Overall though, hybrids are easier to hit and help to correct the common shot that most high handicappers experience - the slice and the top.
What Are the Differences Between Hybrid and Fairway Wood?
You will find fairway woods and hybrids in the same loft category but the difference is the head volume. The fairway wood has a bigger head and thus can produce a bit more distance. You'll find that because of the bigger heads, the sole of the club is narrower in a hybrid. That means you hit the hybrid with more of a 7 iron swing than a fairway wood.
Fairway woods need to be swept off the ground a bit more than hybrids. The other major difference is that a fairway wood is only really used for approach shots or tee shots. The hybrid can be used for a tee shot, an approach, a punch shot, and even as a chipping club around the green when you lack confidence in your wedges.
What is the easiest hybrid to hit?
The easiest hybrid to hit especially for high handicappers or beginners is anything above a 21 degree hybrid. You can hit the 19 degree, but like with all golf clubs, the easiest hybrid to hit will be the one with more loft than the next.
More loft is always easier to hit. Keep that in mind when you look for hybrids as getting one that is too low-lofted can be very frustrating as it will be more difficult to launch and less forgiving on off center hits.
What is the best 5 hybrid for high handicapper or 3 hybrid for a high handicapper?
The easiest 3 or 5 hybrid for a high handicapper will be a Cleveland hybrid or a Ping hybrid. Cobra also make very good hybrids which can be adjusted up or down in loft so you can. adapt the ball flight higher or lower depending what you need. A 3 hybrid theoretically replaces a 3 iron but they always go further because they are easier to hit with thinner (more explosive) faces. The 5 hybrid is the replacement of a 5 iron which also will go much further than a standard 5 iron made of steel.
I have played a Taylormade, Adams, Ping, Cleveland and Cobra 3 hybrid and 5 hybrid before. The easiest to launch was the Cobra. The most adjustable was the Cobra. Cleveland have been the best options for my friends who have been high handicappers. Ping are harder to find but when you do, you should give it a try. Their fairway woods and hybrids are some of the easiest to get airborne.
There are tons of hybrids available from full sets to just the replacements for long irons. Either way you can get your game into perfect shape by incorporating a hybrid or three into your bag. Almost every beginner and/or high handicapper benefits from forgiving, simple to hit hybrids. Experiment with both hybrids and fairway woods but always think about your priority as a golfer. We want you to improve your score and have more fun. That's the name of the game.