With so many options in golf clubs these days, a very big question has become “should I be using irons or hybrids?” and “what is the difference?”.
Let’s look first at how hybrids and irons are designed differently and what their purpose originally was and build from there.
Irons or what they used to call blades have been around for quite some time in golf history and historically, have been the most versatile and most used club in your bag. It can be hit from anywhere on the golf course. Off the tee, in the fairway, from the rough, and as an approach shot onto the green.
Today, you can find hybrids to replace any one of your irons, as well as full hybrid sets or combination sets comprised of both irons and hybrids. The choices are endless.
Irons are designed to provide a clean, accurate high golf shot with a good amount of spin. With the number of irons in a golf bag, a golfer can pick and choose their distance accordingly.
Long irons (low numbered like 1, 2, and 3 irons) have always been much harder to hit as they are designed to produce more distance, but less lift in the air. These are not forgiving clubs meaning it is easy to skull or mishit these clubs. Hybrids were originally designed to be easier and more forgiving to hit, thus being referred to as a “rescue” club. The weighting and center of gravity of the bulb-like clubhead in a hybrid is designed to be heavier farther back in the clubhead, producing a more forgiving and higher launch.
Today, golfers can choose to carry as many hybrids as they want. Hybrids are offered in the same numbered clubs as irons. I would say the majority of golfers carry at least one hybrid and many carry even more because of how easy they are to hit especially for the average recreational or weekend golfer.
Why Should You Use Both Hybrids and Irons?
With 14 clubs allowed in your golf bag, it is best to carry at least one hybrid. The reason is that they are meant to help your game. They are truly a utility or rescue club that can help you in certain situations on the golf course.
Professionals on tour prefer to use their irons, but like to have a hybrid or 2 in the bag as an option. Since these players are pin hunting and need to be exact, they may find a situation where they need to fly a ball up over a tall tree and land softly on the green. A hybrid may be the perfect answer for this.
Lower handicap players may still use their irons, but replace their 3 iron with a 2 or 3 hybrid.
Why? Because hybrids are easier to hit and can help the ball get into the air.
But hybrids aren’t just a replacement for long irons. As I mentioned, I carry more hybrids than irons in my bag. I haven’t gone all hybrids though, as I like to still use my 8 and 9 iron for approach shots onto the green. Even if you prefer to hit irons, it is still smart to carry at least 1 or 2 hybrids to give you more choices and options on the course!