The Difference Between Hybrids and Irons
Thirty years ago, when you went to purchase a set of golf clubs, you had a very standard set of clubs to choose from. You would receive 13 clubs within a set, and those clubs would be a Driver, a 3 Wood and a 5 Wood. You would also have an iron set which consisted of every iron between a 3 and a 9, along with a pitching wedge and a sand wedge. Lastly, you would have a putter within the set, which you could exchange out for a different putter for a price. This left one spot open for a club of your choice, whether it was another wedge, or a driving iron, or perhaps a different fairway wood.
This was standard until the 1990’s with the invention of the hybrid club. Once this club became available to the public, you now had a large variety of options to choose from within each golf club set, as you could go with 1 hybrid club, or a whole mixture of hybrids. With the large assortment available to you, the question really became, what is a hybrid golf club, and should I use it within my own game.
To know this, you will need to know the difference between what a hybrid golf club provides you with versus an iron, and what might be advantageous about each club.
A hybrid golf club has a larger head compared to an iron, which allows it to have a bigger sweet spot compared to the iron. When you are looking at hybrid golf clubs, each one is numbered very similarly to an iron; for example a 3 Hybrid is the same as a 3 iron. After many studies have been conducted, it has been found that the average golfer hits a typical golf shot about 6-8 yards further using a hybrid golf club compared to the same iron club. Although 6-8 yards may not seem like a lot, on any given hole, this could be the difference of having a shot which is a yardage which is in between a club versus having the exact distance wanted to swing freely with a golf club. However, you might like the distance you currently hit your irons with, and in that case, if you went with a hybrid club you would replace an iron with a hybrid of the next number up – for example, you would replace a 5 iron with a 6 hybrid.
Because of the larger clubface head on a hybrid, you can typically control the golf ball a little bit better and hit a more accurate shot. Not only can the hybrid be more accurate, but the larger club face allows you to hit the sweet spot more often, meaning you will hit your maximum distance of a shot more often using a hybrid compared to a standard iron. The longer distances come from the fact that the hybrid will give each golf shot a higher trajectory compared to a standard iron, which means it will fly further in the air and have a softer landing, allowing the golf ball to rest near the area you are aiming for without too much spin or roll.
The head of the hybrid is closer to a look of a fairway driver, and therefor needs to be swung in a similar fashion. A hybrid should not be swung like an iron; if it is, you will not receive the performance you are expecting or hoping for. This is especially true when you are on the fairways on a long par 4 or a par 5. A standard iron might be a better option for you when are facing a long second shot, because with the lower trajectory the standard iron provides you, the golf ball will have a greater chance of rolling up onto the green and giving you a result you are hoping for.
With standard irons, the design of the clubface allows you to shape shots a certain way in order to best maximize what the golf course gives you. By utilizing a standard iron, you can add certain spin by digging into the ground a little bit and creating some extra leverage on the shot by creating a divot. However, this is a tough thing to always accomplish, as there is a greater chance of hitting more ground than ball, which will not cause your golf ball to go very far.
Both types of clubs can be fully customizable with their shaft length and grip in order to best suit your golf game and the swing you have perfected over time. By being able to customize each golf club, you can ensure you have the same kind of shaft and grip among all of your clubs, so you can keep the same kind of swing approach throughout your entire round.
Most hybrid golf clubs only go down to a 6 iron, as the closer you get to the hole, the more spin control and loft you want to be able to create on your own. Even if you decide you want to go with a hybrid clubs, you will need to still have some standard irons in your bag.
In Other Words
So, now that you know the difference between a hybrid and an iron golf club, which one is best for you? There is no way to truly know this until you test out both at a golf range, and see which one feels better in your hands. The overwhelming number of golfers out in the marketplace tend to prefer the hybrid, as you have a truer shot more times than compared to an iron, plus the ball will travel further and there is more forgiveness with the hybrid. However, from a traditional standpoint, it is tougher to give up on the standard iron set. We encourage you to go out to a golf store and at least put a hybrid in your hands and see how it feels. Even if you only replace your 3 iron with a 3 or 4 hybrid club, it will give you some more flexibility on the golf course you did not have before and give you the chance to hit a low score the next time you are out on the golf course.