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A trend that caught fire within the last five years and hasnít looked back, the hybrid club has found a comfortable niche in the bags of top professionals and lifelong amateurs alike. The search for an edge over the competition and the course is universal, and so are the principal benefits of hybrid technology, which combines the distance and forgiveness of a metal fairway wood with the workability of a long iron. Hybrids are an easy solve for the majority of golfers who have difficulty getting their long irons airborne. Visually, the larger crown (the top surface visible at address) of a hybrid club almost universally inspires more confidence than the thin topline of an iron. Scientifically, the hybridís wider sole and lower center of gravity promotes a higher launch and greater forgiveness without loss of distance. These characteristics make the club an ideal choice for trouble situations requiring a player to get the ball airborne quickly and land it softly.
The most obvious benefit of any hybrid club is its versatility. Whereas the length of a metal wood and the density of its face make hitting shots from the rough a challenge, the hybridís smaller head and lower center of gravity cut through taller grass with relative ease. Conversely, hybrids are less resistant to the twisting of the clubface than many golfers encounter when playing irons out of less-than-ideal lies. From the fairway, their lighter weight and shorter length enable slower swingers to achieve maximum distance while retaining relative accuracy and control. More experienced players typically find that a hybrid ensures greater accuracy off the tee than a fairway wood, with more overall distance than an iron.
Choosing a Hybrid Golf Club
To satisfy the growing demand for hybrid technology, most major brands have launched their own versions of the club. Adams Golf (Idea a12) has created some of the most technologically advanced models available, and boasts an entourage of fans on every professional tour. In recent years, TaylorMade (R11 and Rocketballz), Callaway (RAZR X), Nickent (6 series), and Nike (Victory series) have developed their own styles, suitable for use alongside their lines of fairway woods and drivers.
The key to choosing one club over the rest is to determine the void to be filled within your current bag. If you struggle with hitting long irons consistently, gravitate towards thinner and sleeker hybrids that generally resemble irons. For a club that will serve double duty off the tee and as a stand-in for your troublesome fairway woods, look for a hybrid with a slightly larger face area and crown. Above all, remember that for consistency throughout your set, the shaft flex of your hybrid should match the irons or fairway woods that you intend to replace.