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Golf Clubs 101: Golf club types – what is a hybrid club?

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When it comes to golf club types, seasoned golfers have no difficulty distinguishing a putter from a 3-wood. But with the number of people picking up golf for the first time growing exponentially in the last few months, we want to do our best to help answer some of the most basic questions beginners ask in their quest to better understand and enjoy the game of golf.

Golf club types: What is a hybrid? When do I use it?

Since hybrids are still the new kid on the block as far as golf club types go, let’s do a little history lesson before diving into which one you might need and how to use it.

The very first hybrid club was introduced by TaylorMade—it was part of the Firesole line and was called a “rescue” club. Like anything that is first to market, the name “rescue” became synonymous with a hybrid the same way Q-Tips are to cotton swabs.

They are meant to help launch the ball higher than long irons and help escape bad lies—hence the “rescue” name. Hybrids became an alternative to high-lofted fairway woods since they offered more “iron-like” control because of their shape and the length they are built at.

Before hybrids, among golf club types, the only alternative to long irons were higher-lofted fairway woods. In the ’90s, Callaway absolutely dominated the high-lofted fairway wood category making them all the way up to an 11-wood. The name “hybrid” comes from the fact that it truly is a combination of a long iron and hollow wood-style club.

Golf club types: What does a hybrid replace?

Hybrids replace hard-to-hit long irons and higher-lofted fairway woods. The easy way to figure out which one you might need can be done by looking at the loft or “stated replacement iron” on the sole of the club. Most companies will use both to identify their clubs, but if not here is a general guide

  • 1-iron: 14-16°
  • 2-iron: 17-19°
  • 3-iron: 20-22°
  • 4-iron: 23-25°
  • 5-iron: 26-28°
  • 6-iron: 29-32°

How do I use a hybrid?

A “hybrid” swing is essentially the same as your iron swing, you want to hit the ball with a slightly descending blow and have it placed more towards the middle of your stance. One of the best tips to offer a golfer new to hybrids is “try to swing it just like your 7-iron.” For most golfers, the 7-iron is a comfort club, and it’s just one way to help simplify the process of hitting the shot.

Among golf club types, hybrids can also be extremely useful around the green for golfers that either struggle with, or are learning to, chip, since the wide sole and iron-like length allow for the simplification of the chipping motion. You just have to grip near the bottom of the grip where it meets the shaft and make a putting motion.

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Shallowface

    Jul 23, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    The reason high lofted fairways never sold all that well is that people were never sure what they were supposed to replace. If Callaway had somehow managed to more effectively convey that the 11 Wood shown above should replace a 5 Iron (today it would be a 5H), they probably would have sold a lot more of them.
    For most people, the more woodlike the hybrid is the better. The leading edge being ahead of the hosel is a huge benefit when playing out of the rough.

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Whats in the Bag

Brandt Snedeker WITB 2020 (August)

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  • Brandt Snedeker WITB as of 2020 PGA Championship

Driver: Ping G410 Plus (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 X

3-wood: TaylorMade M6 “Rocket 3” (14 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 X

5-wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X

Irons: Srixon Z785 (4-9)
Shafts: Aerotech SteelFiber I95 S

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (48-10S, 52-10S, 56-10S) Vokey SM8 (60K)
Shafts: (48) Aerotech SteelFiber I95 S (52/56/60) True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey White Hot XG Rossie
Length: 34 inches

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X

Grips: Lamkin Crossline

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Bettinardi signs LPGA duo Muni He and Albane Valenzuela

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Bettinardi Golf has announced its partnership with LPGA rising stars Muni He and Albane Valenzuela.

Muni He, who qualified for the LPGA Tour in 2019 and is well-known for her large platform and fashion influence on social media, will use Bettinardi’s DASS QB8 Mid-Slant Tour Dept. putter.

He’s DASS QB8 Mid-Slant Tour Dept. putter is milled to 360 grams and features an oil rubbed bronze PVD finish. The flat-stick is constructed of double aged stainless steel and contains the brand’s F.I.T face milling.

The 21-year-old returned to action last week at the LPGA Tour’s Marathon Classic and will tee it up once again with the Bettinardi putter in her bag at this week’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open.

Speaking on joining Team Bettinardi, He stated

“I’m very excited to join the Bettinardi family. The putter gives me great confidence on the greens and hoping that I could bring out my best game for the rest of the season with the support of the Bettinardi team.”

The company have also signed the Chilean Albane Valenzuela to its tour staff, who will tee it up this week using Bettinardi’s INOVAI 6.0 Tour Dept. putter.

The 22-year-old joined the LPGA Tour after being awarded the Pac-12 Women’s Golfer of the Year while at Stanford University. Other accolades include representing Switzerland at the 2016 Olympics, twice finishing runner up in the U.S. Women’s Amateur as well as being an ANNIKA Award finalist.

Speaking after joining Bettinardi, Valenzuela said

”I am thrilled to partner with Bettinardi Golf as I begin my professional career. The company’s technology, craftsmanship and attention to detail give me the confidence that I will be competing with the best putters in my bag. The ability to work with Bettinardi’s designers to customize a putter that optimizes my stroke will be a huge asset for me.”

He and Valenzuela are the latest LPGA players to join Team Bettinardi which features the likes of Annie Park and China’s No. 2 player, Yu Liu.

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From the GolfWRX Forums: Ping putters at the 2020 Albertsons Boise Open

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This week on the Korn Ferry Tour it’s the 2020 Albertsons Boise Open, and in our forums, we have a jam-packed thread showcasing the array of Ping putters present at the event. Check out the new Ping flat-sticks below and let us know what you think.

For more photos, check out the full forum thread here.

Entire Thread: “Ping putters at the 2020 Albertsons Boise Open”

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