Golf Beginner Tips: Hybrids or Irons?
Hybrid clubs, sometimes called utility clubs, are a relatively new addition to the arsenal of clubs at a golfer's disposal. Most players new to golf struggle to hit fairway woods and long irons consistently well. Those clubs are longer, stiffer and less forgiving than medium and short irons and often, beginners have a hard time getting the ball airborne with those clubs. If you're a newcomer and looking for golf beginner tips to help with better ball-striking, here's one for you: consider carrying one or more hybrid(s) in your bag.
What is a hybrid club? A hybrid is a golf club that combines the elements of a wood and an iron that aid in getting the ball airborne and provide more forgiveness on mishits. A hybrid club has a flatter striking area on the clubface and a lower center of gravity than irons or fairway woods, providing a greater margin of error when the club is used. This means you can still get the ball airborne and hit a good shot even if you miss the "sweet spot" of the clubface when striking the ball.
When is a hybrid club most effective? Because a hybrid combines elements of a wood and an iron, it can be hit from just about anywhere on the golf course - tee box, fairway or rough (you could even putt or chip with it, but you should probably leave that to the professionals!). It has a lighter weight compared to other clubs but generally provides the same distance as a fairway wood. It can be particularly advantageous when hitting from the rough. Because a hybrid club is lighter and stronger than fairway woods or irons, it allows a golfer to more easily cut through the higher grass typically found in the rough.
Which clubs do hybrids replace in my bag? Most hybrids are designed to replace long irons (2-,3- or 4-iron) but they can also replace fairway woods (3- or 5-wood). One thing to remember in deciding which clubs to replace with hybrids is that, under the rules of golf, you are only allowed to carry 14 clubs in your bag. If you decide to put one or more hybrids in your bag, most likely you will have to take one or more irons or fairway woods out of your bag to meet the 14-club rule.
Here's another thing to consider regarding hybrid clubs - they're not just for beginners or high-handicappers. They have grown in popularity, even with touring professionals, because they are easier to hit for golfers of all levels. Watch the PGA tour pros on TV and you'll probably be surprised at how many carry at least one hybrid club in their bag.
In summary, if you're just beginning golf or relatively new to golf and looking for golf beginner tips to improve your game, consider replacing your long irons or fairway woods with hybrid clubs. You'll want to practice before taking the hybrids out on the course with you, but you'll probably find the hybrids easier to hit than irons or fairway woods.