What are the Best Hybrids in 2018?
It's not always easy to know which club you should pick to take a shot.
The Iron gives you control, but the Wood gives you distance.
This trade-off between distance and control is solved by Hybrids and one of the main reasons why Hybrid golf clubs are loved by many.
But how do you select a Hybrid?
They are available in many varieties, some are adjustable, others have the kind of face-flexing distance technology that has trickled down from drivers.
So we decided to write this article and reviewed the best hybrids available on the market right now.
Let's dive in.
Our Roundup Selection
Editors Choice: Callaway XR
The Callaway XR hybrid is a much-appreciated upgrade of the Callaway X2 Hot Driver. Unlike the previous version, the XR doesn’t have any moveable weights, gravity core or any center of gravity moving technology. Callaway optimized this hybrid club for extreme speed.
When it comes to adjustability, this model features the patented Callaway Optifit adjustable hosel that allows one to choose between two face angles as well as change the loft across a range of 3 degrees.
Also featured is the R MOTO face design, providing the face to flex better at impact. Due to this innovation, the weight that has been removed from between the ribs can be used elsewhere, hence reducing the backspin by up to 277rpm. The moment of inertia is also increased by 9% and the size of sweet spot by 16%.
Another desirable feature is the improved internal standing, which moves the weight closer to the front, thus increasing the speed of the ball and lowering the CG. The Speed Step Crown helps reduce turbulence, hence better trajectory and more speed.
The best thing about this hybrid is that it is plug and play, meaning you simply need to get the right loft, swing and it will take over. The retro head cover combined with the forgiving face make for a pretty good look too.
- Great look and feel.
- R MOTO face design allows for better flexing at impact.
- Reduced backspin compared to other hybrids.
- Offers great adjustability.
- Nothing, as the price is justified for the performance of the hybrid.
Best Seller: Taylor Made M2 Hybrid
The TaylorMade M2 is a tour inspired hybrid that comes with a Speed Pocket for longer distance as well as two adjustable sole weights for altering the shot shape.
TaylorMade combines new and old tech to deliver clean, tour look as well as maximize performance with this model. It is neither too heavy or too large, making the shape nearly perfect. The black finish certainly looks good. It offers plenty of adjustabilities to maximize ball flight.
The M2 comes with an adjustable 1.5-degree loft sleeve that allows golfers to swap a 3g and 25g weight, hence creating a neutral or a fade directional bias. This makes it one of the best hybrid golf clubs for high handicappers.
You can take balls a distance of more than 220 yards with the TaylorMade M2. It is equipped with a Fujikura Pro 80h shaft in M, S, R and X flex as well as a 1.5-degree loft sleeve. You can choose from four lofts including 2-17 degrees, 19 degrees, 21 degrees and 24 degrees.
All in all, the shape and size of this hybrid is something that both competent golfers, as well as advanced players, will appreciate. For such a small package, it certainly offers impressive distance and is workable when you need it to be.
The added adjustability allows for more accurate trajectories while the increased playability paves the way for improved versatility.
- Offers adjustability to allow for the optimal trajectory and maximum distance.
- Excellent shape and balance.
- Futuristic sound on impact may be disturbing to some.
Best Hybrid for Low Handicappers: Callaway Apex CF 16 irons
This Callaway Apex hybrid is popular in the golfing industry and understandably so.
It walks the line between game improvement irons and players clubs. The offset is not much while the soles and top lines are small. It is relatively compact, and the straight leading edge makes it appear longer.
Regarding the feel and sound of the club, the Apex CF 16 iron provides excellent feedback and doesn’t sting your hands on occasional mishaps.
The lofts are quite pronounced, and this hybrid golf club features the Club 360 face technology, which allows for faster club speeds and therefore a longer distance.
The True Temper XP 95 shafts are a welcome addition for those who need more pop that what you’d find on average iron shafts.
It’s important to note that the Apex CF 16 irons come in an incognito combo set whose 3-7 irons differ from the 8-AW. Combined with the CG height, progressive offset, as well as sole width means that each iron exactly performs as you need it. The scoring irons produce more penetrating trajectories as well as consistent distances.
- Combines good looks and feel with forgiveness and distance.
- Great trajectory and range.
- Comfortable use.
- Excellent build quality.
- Not ideal if you’re on a tighter budget.
Best Hybrid for Mid Handicappers: Cobra King F7
If there is one area where the Cobra King F7 excels, it is accuracy and forgiveness.
Everything is almost automatic once you tailor it to your swing.
The sensor in the grip that relays on-course data to your smartphone makes for a better user experience. It is quite easy to get moving with the F7 as it is rock steady on impact and doesn’t make sacrifices for speed. The added stability is a welcome feature as it allows for consistency while teeing.
This hybrid provides plenty of adjustments, particularly for longer distances and better trajectory. Compared to the previous F6 which comes with Speed Channel, this one utilizes a new PWRShell face that is thinner and does a better job of increasing ball speed.
The “Sweet Zone” is bigger than that on the F6 and thus more forgiving.
It has a Nickel Chrome look with subtle orange and black graphic is a pretty good change. The TOP medallion does a good job of dampening vibrations and dropping the center of gravity.
It is available in 5 Iron, 7 Iron, 9 Iron and GW. The 3- and 5- irons have a Full Hollow design while the 6- and 7- irons have a Half Hollow. The 8 iron comes with a traditional open Cavity back design, a welcome feature for a lofted hybrid club. The GW and SW have a Specialty wedge design with a small cavity that’s closed up in the sole.
- Excellent Weight adjustment options allowing fine grained control of spin, height and roll.
- Provides increased ball speed and better trajectory than the F6.
- Sleek look and fantastic build quality.
- Adjustments not flexible enough to correct offset.
- Higher cost compared to alternatives.
Worthy Alternative: Ping G-Crossover
This club is designed to provide the spin and flight of a long iron as well as the distance and ball speed of a hybrid.
While the company is quick to emphasize that it’s not a driving iron, the amount of the club clubhead one can see proves otherwise.
The height of trajectory is much higher than what driving irons offer. The thick topline and offset are features we have to expect from such a club.
The higher level of forgiveness compared to a driving iron or long iron means that this hybrid provides a golfer with more abilities. The distances achieved with the 2104 Crossover, totaling up to 235 yards.
This makes it a great option if you want to replace your 4-iron. Depending on your preferences, the Ping G-Crossover is available with either the Ping AWT 2.0 steel shaft or the Alta High Balance Point graphite shaft.
The loft options include 18-degrees for the 3-wood, 21-degrees for the 4-wood and 25-degrees for the 5-wood.
- Versatile and forgiving.
- Very suitable as a filler between your fairway wood and a long iron.
- Target golfers could benefit from a little less offset.
How to choose a hybrid golf club
Hybrid golf clubs combine the best of a fairway wood and iron into one. They have become increasingly popular over the past 10-15 years, a trend that’s attributed to the difficulty experienced when hitting the fairway wood or striking the 2-, 3- or 4-iron from the rough. A deliberate approach is necessary if one hopes to find a hybrid club that meets their needs. Some of the factors you should consider when purchasing a hybrid golf club include:
With a variety of designs and colors hitting the market, your decision will most likely come down to what inspires confidence on the golf course. The shape of the club will also play a role here. Some have a more compact design that’s suited for shots while others are more like fairway woods and are best for advancing the ball.
2. Try before purchase
It’s important to keep in mind that similar to the loft; the shaft length can affect the overall distance. For some players, hitting further distances with hybrids is easier compared to using irons. This tendency is attributed to the improved impact quality of the club. With that in mind, you should consider trying clubs side by side before purchase, particularly if you are trying to reduce gapping.
3. Fairway or iron replacement
The most important consideration is what you need your hybrid to do. Are you looking to breach the gap between the current iron setup and fairway for more options or accuracy? Do you require more control than what you get with your 3-iron on long par 3s or par 4s? The extra versatility and forgiveness that comes with a hybrid will prove a welcome addition if the idea is to replace your long iron. A hybrid will also prove great if you are looking to bridge the gap between the shortest wood and longest iron.
Another important factor that you should consider is adjustability, particularly if you aren’t sure about what you need your club to do. Something with an adjustable element will prove useful if what you require is an easier-to-hit option. Adjustability will also be great if you play in changing wind conditions.
The loft you go for will be, for the most part, affected by what you need your hybrid to do. For instance, a hybrid club with a loft ranging from 20 to 24 degrees will come in handy if you are thinking about replacing your 3-iron. On the other hand, something lower like 15 degrees to replace a 3-wood or 17 degrees to replace a 5-wood will provide more control.
6. Hybrid balance
Considering that every golf club has a different weight from the grip to the shaft to the head, the balance will play a vital role when it comes to how well a hybrid will work for you. Also, the weight of the head will impact how well you swing the ball. With that in mind, you will need to make a decision between an iron-head hybrid and a large-headed hybrid. The former is best suited for those who swing better with a driver as compared to an iron or professional golfers, since it offers more trajectory that a large-headed hybrid. But then again, it all comes down to personal preference.
As previously hinted, hybrid golf clubs come in many variations. To help you navigate the forest through the trees, we have outlined the most common ones to help ease your search. The following are the different types of hybrids on the market.
This variation is characterized by a small head and even weight distribution, which make swinging easier. You may want to look elsewhere if you intend to use your hybrid in tough areas.
This variation is rarer than the other hybrids but the flat sole makes them a great option for getting the ball out of the sand or water.
It is the most popular and one of the best options available. It eliminates challenges like having a small head or a longer shaft. Moreover, the weight and size can be adjusted for more accurate shots.
Like hybrid wedges, this is a rare hybrid. It is larger and more curved compared to the rest. In addition, the sole moves more freely.
This video will give you a brief intro on the distinct shifts in movement when playing with a hybrid as compared to a regular golf club:
Investing in the right hybrid golf club can significantly improve the quality of your game and provide you with equipment that can keep up with your increase in skill.
Given the vast number of options available on the market, this task may not be as simple.
This is the main reason why I created this guide – to recommend the best products out there and provide useful information to help you make the buying decision that is right for you.