Do you agree that long irons are hard to hit? I know because I tried the game left handed and you can see the video here. I couldn't play with an iron longer than 7 iron - NOT A CHANCE.
But I got myself a 4 hybrid and it changed the game.
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 started playing a driving iron during his comeback rounds in the Bahamas.
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 into the greens more easily. You could use it for basic bump and run chip shots.
Actually, we could add that one of the best hybrids for high handicappers might become your go-to club for any tee shot.
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.
Should I get a hybrid?
You should get a hybrid if you:
- 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. <<check out my guide on fairway woods here>>
Best Hybrid Golf Clubs for High Handicappers & Beginners
- Cobra SpeedZone Hybrid (best for if you hit it fat a lot)
- Tour Edge Hot Launch C521 Hybrid (wide range of lofts on a budget)
- Cobra Golf F-Max (best for slower swingers)
- Cleveland Halo Launcher Hybrid (best distance option for all double digit handicappers)
- PING G425 Hybrid (best for high handicappers for forgiving distance boom)
- Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo iron set (Easiest to hit full hybrid iron set)
Excellent for gliding through long grass and preventing duffs
Forgiving and easy to hit off of fairways
Cobra continue to make even better clubs that benefit the average 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 SpeedZone 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.
Both JMac and BDog on the channel use this hybrid and it's legit one of the best gof clubs I have ever hit.
Simple point and shoot with wide range of lofts
Very straight shooting clubs
Tour Edge are famous for making maximum game improvement solutions especially in the fairway wood and hybrid department. These hybrids 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.
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.
Very good for slow swingers and for alignment
Cobra have made this thing very light but placed an internal weight pad low and in the back toward the heel to promote a higher launch and straighter flight. Off the tee, you'll find this one very accurate and forgiving, letting you start going for longer par 4's in two shots.
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!
Simple looking simple shooting
Looking down at this club is not distracting at all and the Cobra logo simply painted on the top of the crown makes it easy to line the ball up to the sweet spot and with minimal decal and lines on the face, it looks classic and not full of gimicks. A real simple point and shoot.
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.
Value for money club for high handicappers
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 only two available lofts with a 3 and 4 hybrid available but the easy of use means you can safely add another club on top of the 5 iron you have in the bag.
Excellent for more ball speed
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.
It's like legal cheating!
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 irons you've ever hit.
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
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. The Bazookas are a very good way to get into hybrids as a new player and as you get better, upgrade to bigger brands (if you really even need to).
Related posts of interest
- Best Fairway woods to complement your hybrids
- A guide to break 100 and then 90
- Best and most forgiving irons for high handicappers
- Escape bunkers first time
- Taylormade irons best suited to high handicappers
- Best golf balls for high handicappers
- Drivers to boom it as a high handicapper
- Wedges to stick it close as a high handicappers