Hybrids, Utility Woods, Rescue Woods… just some of the names given to hybrid rescue woods. More and more players are resorting to hybrids as an alternative to long irons but are these clubs really deliver on the hype?
Many golfers don't realise that hybrid clubs have been around for some time in one guise or another - so why are more and more hybrid golf clubs finding their way in to the bags of professional and amateur players?
The origins of the hybrid club amongst players is somewhat unclear - the general consensus says that hybrid clubs originated from Gary McCord a PGA pro - who observed his colleagues struggling with long irons. At that stage of his career McCord was sponsored by TaylorMade - who took the concept and developed a golf club which combined the features of a wood and an iron. In crude terms the manufacturer developed a new club-head based around the following properties of a golf wood: wide sole, low-back centre of gravity and increased mass and connected an iron shaft to the head.
The main difference between a hybrid club and a 5 or 7-wood is the shaft. The standard length of a 2-iron is roughly 39” and the length of a 5-wood is 42”. Hybrid golf clubs are somewhere in between. A longer golf club will deliver a greater distance through increased club-head speed; the additional speed will also increase the trajectory of the ball and will prove harder to control.
Hybrid golf clubs also feature thicker shafts than woods for increase stability and accuracy. Compared to an equally lofted wood a hybrid club is more accurate, easier to use at the sacrifice of distance. When compared to a long iron a hybrid club features a larger club-head with a lower centre of gravity to increase distance and carry and will deliver a softer landing. A hybrid club can also achieve better results from the bunker or rough.
The current generation of hybrids offer a rich variety of lofts with a choice of different sole widths and face heights available. Today's hybrids are alsoavailable in a variety of lengths - some larger or shorter than standard irons and others the same length as woods. Today's hybrids are best likened to fairway woods and irons. Popular brands like Prosimmon, Confidence and Texan Classics now produce hybrid iron sets which replace long 3 and 4-irons with hybrid golf clubs (21 and 24-degrees). Online retailers such as The Sports HQ can offer exceptional discounts on hybrid rescue clubs and hybrid iron sets (from pound 29.99 - per set) - sourcing direct from the manufacturer - online retailers can pass on savings of up to 85% to the customer whilst offering a greater number of lines compared to a retail shop.
Online prices can range from pound 7.99 to pound 29.99 per club - typically available in lofts of 15, 18, 21 and 24-degrees. Hybrid wood sets offer the best value for money and scope for improving your game - the Confidence HQ7 Square Hybrid Wood Set for example consists of four square profiled hybrid golf clubs (15 to 24-degrees) with matching head-covers and the choice of regular or stiff flexed shafts.