I was recently playing at a par 3 golf course in Fl and was paired with a senior couple.
The lady golfer had a good swing and did well with her short irons, but struggled with her 4 and 5 irons, which were the longest clubs she needed at this par 3 course.
As we discussed winter in Florida (see golf blog re: Florida golf), and other things, including golf, she stated that she has difficulty with the longer irons. I asked her if she had considered using a hybrid club. She said that she had heard about them but did not know what they were or how they could help.
As I watched other seniors playing this course and others in Florida, I noticed that only a few persons had a hybrid club in their bag.
Obviously, despite the PR about hybrids on TV and in various golf magazines, there are still a large number of golfers who do not know or understand the value of hybrid clubs.
There is no doubt in my mind that if the lady that I mentioned above used perhaps a 29 or 25 degree hybrid instead of her 4 or 5 iron that she could have been on or near the green with most of her par 3 tee shots.
What really makes a hybrid the club of choice in this situation?
First, many golfers do not have consistent distance or accuracy with their longer irons. Many shots are off to the right, some are line drives low to the ground, and some are pulled left. Some shots are struck fat and have minimal distance.
And although using a hybrid will not cure swing faults, it is typically an easier club to use than a long iron and it allows the golfer to get the ball quickly up into the air.
Which brand of hybrid should you use?
I do not recommend or endorse any one brand. I base my decisions on 2 factors, (1) result, and (2) price.
First, hybrids are similar to all other clubs in that each one has a specific face angle that is used for specific distances. For example, if you hit a 5 iron 150 yards, then you need to use a hybrid that matches that distance for your swing. For you, this might be a 24 or 26 degree hybrid.
It is important to know how far you typically hit each club or hybrid with some level of consistency and accuracy.
The lady I mentioned earlier tried to hit her 4-iron like she hit her 8-iron (too steep of a swing for the 4-iron). When that did not work, she began to swing her 4-iron harder, to get the distance. The result was complete inconsistency.
Here in early spring, last year's model clubs are often found on sale. Many hybrids will be available at almost reasonable pricing (examples in alphabetical order include: Adams Idea; Hippo; Nickent, Nike CPR; Ram).
Talk to your golf store professional fitter about which hybrid(s) might be best for your needs. He/she should let you hit a few different hybrids with different degree of face angle to determine the distance and trajectory that you acquire with your normal swing. I suggest that you begin with something in the 24 to 29 degree range. Then choose the one that you need the most, for example, a 4-iron or 5-iron replacement.
Hit ‘em straight.