Why Can I Hit Hybrids, But Not Irons?

By Contributing Writer
Hybrids can help you hit the ball higher and longer than some of their iron counterparts.
Hybrids can help you hit the ball higher and longer than some of their iron counterparts.

Hybrid golf clubs, a cross between fairway woods and long irons, have become very popular in recent years. Nearly half of all golfers carry at least one hybrid in their bag. Many have given up even trying to hit long irons, instead switching to hybrids for mid-range shots to the green. There are several reasons why hybrid clubs work well for some golfers.

History

Golf irons were originally made in the early 1800s by blacksmiths. By the end of the 1800s, iron making had been refined and most golfers carried a set of irons. From the 1900s until the present day, irons have been refined by club manufacturers to take advantage of new materials and designs. In the 1990s, hybrids were introduced as an alternative to long irons and a way to escape difficult lies in the rough.

Loft

Long irons can be frustrating.
Long irons can be frustrating.

Most weekend golfers have difficulty hitting long irons because their faces have very shallow lofts and the shafts are relatively long. To hit a long iron properly, a golfer has to hit the ball square with a very small hitting surface. To make matters worse, in recent years long irons have been made with even shallower lofts. For instance, a 4-iron today usually has 23 degrees of loft, compared with 28 degrees of loft in the past. No wonder golfers find it harder to hit long irons.

Center of Gravity

Hybrid clubs are much wider and thicker than standard irons, allowing manufacturers to place more weight in the base. This additional weight makes the center of gravity for a hybrid much lower than in a standard iron. The larger size and lower center of gravity make hybrids easier for weekend golfers to hit solid and consistently get the ball up in the air.

Transition

Club manufacturers have made the switch from standard irons to hybrid clubs extremely easy. For instance, a 3-iron or 4-iron can be directly replaced with a 3- hybrid or a 4-hybrid. Golfers often see immediate results and more solid hits.

Swing Style

Irons require golfers to strike the ball with a downward motion. Many weekend golfers have a difficult time understanding this concept and insist on trying to sweep the ball off the turf with their irons. A hybrid is much more forgiving when it comes to the sweeping style of swing. Golfers can try to sweep the ball and and still hit the ball farther with hybrid clubs.

Photo Credits

  • Scott Halleran/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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