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It was not that long ago that many purists looked down on players who used hybrids. They were often considered to be for beginners or newbies at best and cheaters by the more dogmatic traditionalists. While they certainly are a great help to beginners or lower handicap players, they are of immense value to any golfer. Continue reading this best hybrid golf clubs review to find out which the best ones are.
Slowly but surely, people have come around to the idea and hybrids are now a popular choice for many, including a number of those on the PGA. Even the diehards have come to realize the incredible benefits a hybrid has to offer and one can now unashamedly whip out your hybrid without fear of ridicule.
If people are that against the technological advancements in the game, why are they not still playing with Persimmon woods instead of drivers made of space age metals with more adjustments and options than an iPhone?
All golfing equipment has benefited from radical advancements in recent years and it makes perfect sense to take advantage of this as much as possible, budget permitting of course. We don’t still drive around in Model T Fords, why should we not use the latest golf equipment?
Modern World of Equipment
Drivers have seen the most development but all equipment has improved including irons, wedges, putters, and golf balls. Even the shoes and clothing have a hi-tech element to them these days. All of these make for a more enjoyable game and hopefully better scores. It also helps to encourage new people to take up the wonderful sport.
Hybrids are a fairly recent development and they too have improved impressively since they first appeared. Let’s be honest, how often have you seen people hit their 1 iron? To paraphrase Lee Trevino’s famous words, not even the Almighty can hit a one iron. Enter the Hybrid, the answer to your problem when you need a long iron but need a little help.
What is a Hybrid Club?
For those not entirely sure, a hybrid, as the name implies, is a combination of a wood and an iron, giving you the best of both worlds when you need it most.
They can be used in place of the longer irons, 1 through 4, and are often a great alternative to fairway woods, depending on your position and lie. The design, weighting, face and trajectory make them infinitely easier to control than the long irons and they are also way more forgiving.
Hybrid Club Technology
Much of the technology and terminology you will see in hybrids is similar to modern drivers. There is a wide range of hybrid clubs to choose from that are adjustable or weighted for specific requirements. They have also borrowed much of the face technology from top drivers to give even more forgiveness as well as higher ball speeds.
What To Look for When Selecting a Hybrid Club
While a short iron will give you good distance when struck well, hit it slightly off the sweet spot and you will suffer the consequences. The main advantage of the hybrids is the superb forgiveness they provide.
As with modern drivers, the forgiveness of the hybrid is achieved by increasing the size of the sweet spot and moving the Center of Gravity (CG) back and low. There are a few other tweaks that enhance the forgiveness but these are the two main factors.
Before deciding on the loft you should go for, you need to decide on exactly what you want the hybrid for. If you are wanting an alternative to your fairway woods, go for around 15° for a 3-wood or 17° for a 5-wood. If avoiding your longer irons is the goal, a higher loft of 20-24° is ideal.
Other factors to look out for are adjustability if you want more control and options available and shaft length and material.
Advantages of a Hybrid Club
We have already mentioned that forgiveness and the additional control are the main benefits but the hybrid has more advantages to offer.
The CG is better positioned than it could be in a long iron or even a fairway wood. This will give you a better trajectory (and again, much more forgiveness).
The shorter shaft will also assist with control. As with most drivers, you have an option of a standard or stiffer shaft or even extra stiff for the hard swingers. Shafts are generally available graphite or steel with the steel shafts being somewhat more rigid.
Best Hybrid Golf Clubs Comparison Table
Cobra BiO CELL Hybrid
Cleveland Golf 588 Hybrid Wood
Callaway Steelhead XR Hybrid
TaylorMade 2017 M2 Rescue Hybrid
TaylorMade JetSpeed Golf Rescue
Best Hybrid Golf Clubs Review
Based on the above criteria, countless reviews by professional testers as well as average golfers and literally hundreds of consumer feedback comments, we have come up with our top 5 list of hybrid clubs currently on the market.
1. Cobra BiO CELL Hybrid
Cobra has produced many great hybrids in the past but they have outdone themselves with the BiO CELL.
One of the main reasons for its top performance and popularity is the MyFly8 technology that offers a choice of 8 loft options. Even with these adjustments, it still manages to maintain a square face thanks to the SmartPad. You also have three draw settings.
The BiO CELL will give you a solid, high launch with good distance which is helped by the Bio Cells and E9 Face they borrowed from their effective driver and fairway technology.
The steel inserts also allow more face flex for added distance. Weight is positioned low and to the rear for optimal launch. Head color options are Black, Silver, Orange, Red, and Blue.
2. Cleveland Golf 588 Hybrid Wood
The Cleveland 588, which most people know as a great wedge, is now also one of the top hybrids on the market. The have used some amazing technology on the 588 hybrid to make it versatile, effective, and playable from pretty much any position.
One of the main technological advantages it offers is the Gliderail feature. Two rails run the length of the sole with a small keel in between. This minimizes drag on impact allowing for an easy, powerful launch from even the toughest conditions.
Added to this, they have also used variable face thickness technology, much like we see in many drivers. This means that center hits are incredibly long and slight mishits suffer very little in terms of distance. It works really well and the 588 is one of the longest hybrids available.
The 588 comes with the excellent Premium Matrix OZIK Altus Shaft. They have also kept the weight low to optimize the CG, further aiding your launch. It looks good, forgives easily, launches effortlessly, and hits the ball far. What more could you want?
3. Callaway Steelhead XR Hybrid
The most outstanding feature of the Callaway Steelhead XR is the large head size. Many do not find the look appealing but it makes the hybrid ultra forgiving which is obviously what you want.
The moment of inertia (MOI) is good as a result of the wide sole and high toe as well as a large, deep face. Ball speed and forgiveness are enhanced by Callaway’s Hyper Speed Face Cup technology.
They have also made use of the Speed Step Crown technology common to many of their drivers. This improves aerodynamics and leads to better distance through faster clubhead speed. There are two shaft options, the True Temper XP95 steel shaft or Matrix F16 graphite shaft.
4. TaylorMade 2017 M2 Rescue Hybrid
As one of the leading innovators and makers of some of the finest drivers on the market, it is no surprise that TaylorMade happens to make some of the best and most popular hybrids on the market.
The have a few variations but the M2 is one of their top performers. This is their latest offering and although it features a few added benefits to the JetSpeed, it comes at a heftier price.
They have gone for an all-black, steel head with a higher face for added forgiveness. They have further enhanced the Speed Pocket giving you great speed and distance.
With improved face flex, the M2 is arguably more forgiving than its predecessor so you really get the best of both worlds. TaylorMade has also improved the aerodynamics on the M2 for faster clubhead speed.
5. TaylorMade JetSpeed Golf Rescue
Another worthy contender from TaylorMade is their JetSpeed hybrid. The idea of the JetSpeed is an effortless launch with a fair trajectory, low spin, and high ball speeds. It is pretty much what you would want from a hybrid.
Distance is the main objective yet it is remarkably forgiving. They have used the Speed Pocket technology made famous by their drivers so this helps a great deal with ball speed and distance.
The Matrix Velox T shaft has a great feel and compliments any swing speed. Appearance wise, the matte black crown with modest graphics gives it an elegant, sophisticated look.
As with their popular and effective drivers, they have carried the speed pocket technology through to their hybrids.
The center of gravity is optimally positioned for maximum effectiveness. It is positioned slightly more forward than average which will not reduce forgiveness but will give you less spin and greater distance.
Another great feature of this hybrid is the price. For a quality club from a top manufacturer, it is incredibly well priced and great value for the money.
So there you have it. There are many great hybrids out there, these just happen to be the ones that really stuck out for us. They are top sellers and all highly rated by those who have bought them.
If you are not already using a hybrid, with more than half of PGA players already using them, it is time to invest in one. When you are facing that tricky second shot on a par 5 or a long par 4, or a range of other positions, you will be very grateful to have a quality hybrid you can rely on to get you where you need to be, much closer to the green.