5 Hybrid vs. 5 Iron: Differences, Pros, & Cons

A 5-hybrid is easier to hit, but you could benefit from a 5-iron’s increased control. Knowing which one you should have in your bag could help you take a few strokes off your game.

So, let’s compare and contrast: 5 hybrid vs 5 iron? A 5 hybrid has a lower center of gravity, so it’s more forgiving and offers a higher launch angle. A 5 hybrid is better for high-handicap golfers. A 5 iron is more challenging to hit but can help you in more situations, so it is better for more skilled golfers. 

In this article, we take a look at the 5 hybrid vs 5 iron to understand how they differ, what similarities they have, and which club you might choose, depending on your style and experience.

5 Hybrid vs. 5 Iron: Differences 

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Understanding the differences between hybrids and irons, specifically the 5-hybrid and 5-iron, can help you set your bag up for success. There are some substantial differences between the 5-iron and the 5-hybrid. The differences include:

  1. Trajectory
  2. Loft
  3. Length
  4. Speed
  5. Carry distance
  6. Accuracy

Trajectory

The 5-iron produces a lower trajectory and thus can go under trees from the rough, whereas the hybrid is more likely to go higher and into the trees.

The higher trajectory of the 5-hybrid will provide more control and stopping power on your long approach shots, while the 5-iron shot will roll further.

Loft

There’s no industry standard defined for the loft angle of each club. Manufacturers experiments with the loft of the set to provide less gap between clubs. Your new set of clubs could have different launch angles that you have to get used to and map your bag from scratch.

A typical 5-iron loft angle is between 27 degrees and 28 degrees and is best replaced with a 24-27 degree hybrid.

Standard Length

The shaft length is also not standardized across all manufacturers. The shaft length is important, and an incorrect length will affect the effectiveness of your swing. When replacing your 5-iron with a 5-hybrid, keep to the same length shaft but try and avoid more than ½ inch difference.

The standard 5-iron length by most manufacturers for men is 37.5-inch steel shafts or a 38-inch graphite shaft. The shaft length for women is, on average, 1 inch shorter than the specifications for men.

Clubhead Speed

The club head of a 5-iron is manufactured from steel, making it heavier, which slows down your swing speeds and impacts the ball speed.

The average swing speeds of a 5-iron are approximately 80% of your driver’s swing speed. An average professional golfer on the PGA tour will reach a swing speed of 94 miles per hour, and a professional golfer on the LPGA will reach a swing speed of 79 miles per hour.

Accuracy

The clubhead design of a hybrid is very different from that of a normal 5-iron with a lower center of gravity and, thus, more tolerant of mishits.

Beginners and intermediate golfers will benefit tremendously from playing with a hybrid by hotting it further and more accurately than a 5-iron. As a bonus, you have a higher chance of hitting the sweet spot using a hybrid club.

Professional golfers are unlikely to play hybrids for distance but rather because they can hit more accurately. You are more likely to reach the maximum distance more consistently with a 5-hybrid than with a 5-iron.

Carry Distance

The carry difference can make the difference whether you go for the green or not if there is water in front of the green.

The carry distance that a ball travels is determined by the number and loft of the club. The lower the number of the club, the higher the loft and the shorter the distance that the ball travels.

Carry distance statistics used are from professional tours and serve as guidance only as the swing speed and distances are extremely different between all golfers.

The PGA tour average statistics determined that the 5 iron distance is between 195 yards and 205 yards and achieves an apex of 31 yards

The LPGA tour reports average statistics for a 5-iron to indicate that a professional can achieve 170 yards on average and achieve an apex of 23 yards.

The above-mentioned distances are carry distances only and do not include any roll.

Here’s a club distance chart of the fairway wood, hybrids, and irons, which includes the 5 hybrid distance and 5 iron distance.

Distance Loft
4 Iron 200-220 yards 25-28 degrees
5 Iron 195-205 yards 28-32 degrees
4 Hybrid 205-240 yards 25-28 degrees
5 Hybrid 185-205 yards 28-32 degrees
3 Wood 215-250 yards 15-18 degrees
5 Wood 200-240 yards 20-22 degrees

Want more information about the loft differences between irons? Read our full article.

5-Hybrid: What Is It, Pros, Cons, & Who It’s For?

hybrid club about to hit a golf ball

5-hybrids combine the features of irons and woods, providing golfers a more versatile and forgiving option.

Compared to irons like the 5-iron, a 5-hybrid features a larger club head and club face, making them more forgiving and easier to hit. The larger club face also provides a bigger sweet spot, allowing for better ball contact and fewer mishits.

One significant advantage of hybrid clubs is their lighter weight.

Most golfers can generate more club head and ball speed with lighter clubs. This increase in speed can result in longer and more accurate shots.

With a 5 hybrid there is typically a loft of approximately 25 degrees, although this may vary by a couple of degrees. This loft is similar to that of a 5 iron, but the hybrid is much easier to hit.

Advantages Of the 5 Hybrid

Here are a few benefits of using the 5 hybrids:

  • Lower center of gravity.
  • More trajectory and height on your shots.
  • Much more forgiving than irons.
  • Easier to hit for beginners.
  • A couple of more yards if you hit it right.

Disadvantages of the 5 Hybrid

  • Difficult to hit from rough and hilly areas.
  • Less control over the direction of the ball.

When Should You Use a 5 Hybrid?

Hybrid clubs are pretty versatile, and you can essentially use them in most cases around the golf course. You can even tee off with them on a long par 3 – and yes, I’ve done that a lot. They’re easy to hit, go straight, and create a beautiful high trajectory.

You can use your hybrid for an approach shot on a par 5, a second shot on a long par 4, or try to cross the ball over the trees when you’re stuck as well.

Hybrids are called rescue irons for a reason. They rescue you from narrow situations and roughs. So, you can also freely hit your 5 hybrids from the rough.

Why Does a 5 Hybrid Have a Different Shaft Than a 5 Iron?

Hybrid clubs have a longer shaft than their iron counterparts for a faster swing speed and increased distance. Hybrid shafts are around 0.75 inches longer than iron shafts, although the number can vary depending on your club.

A hybrid club has an adjustable weight, loft, and face settings. Irons can’t have these features. Because of this reason, the shafts of hybrids are different than iron.

Read more: Graphite vs Steel Shafts – Which Is Better & Why?

5-Iron: What Is It, Pros, Cons, & Who It’s For?

Golf club held by one of active men on green grass during outdoor leisure game

A 5-iron falls into the mid-iron category with a metal clubhead with a thinner clubhead than the hybrid version of a 5-iron. The 5-iron is most often used off the fairway, semi-rough, and sometimes from the rough.

A 5-iron is easier to hit than long irons such as 3-iron or 4-irons. Some people may even consider a 5-iron to be in the long irons.

When you’re on an uphill and don’t want your shot to balloon, the 5-iron comes in handy to keep a lower trajectory. Knowing how to hit a 5-iron can be extremely beneficial for your longer approach shots.

Advantages of Using the 5-Iron 

  • The 5-iron provides more control due to the increased thickness of the face.
  • Good for fairways, rough, and very hilly areas.

Disadvantages of Using the 5-Iron

  • Not suitable in very thick rough.

Read more: These are the most forgiving irons this year.

What Wood Replaces a 5 Iron?

Many golfers prefer fairway woods over irons because of the extra height you get, and the larger clubface allows you to achieve more distance without swinging too much.

If you’re considering replacing your 5 iron with a fairway wood, you should bring out your 9 wood or 11 wood.

When Should You Use a 5 Iron?

You should take your 5 iron out on approach shots on par 4s or short par 5s. You can also hit it off the fairway, semi-rough, or rough.

The 5 iron gives you a low trajectory and is great for hitting it low from the rough or when you get stuck in the trees. Once you learn to manage a 5 iron, it’s also great for longer approach shots.

Who Should Use Which Club?

Mature Golfer on a Golf Course (ready to start)

If you’re uncomfortable hitting your 5-iron it may be time to invest in a hybrid. Should you experience more mishits with the hybrid, it may be more beneficial to stick with your 5-iron.

When you decide to replace your iron with a hybrid, try and stay within a similar launch angle that may be a little stronger. This will keep the hybrid in a similar range as your iron and ensure that your bag mapping is not disturbed too much.

I recommend beginner golfers use a rescue iron since it’s more forgiving and has a lower center of gravity, allowing golfers to gain more height on their shots. 

Golfers with more experience can reap the true benefits of using the 5 iron since it’s a more versatile club.

So, if you’re a beginner golfer and you had to choose between the hybrid or mid to long irons, I’d suggest you get the rescue clubs.

And if you’re more experienced, you should use the irons. 

But if you can keep both in your bag for practice, why not? You can try both out and then choose the one that suits you.

Which Clubs Are Better for a High Handicap?

The 5 hybrid and rescue irons are better to hit for high handicappers. They have a lower center of gravity and are more forgiving in mishits. The larger clubface allows more room for mishits and errors.

So, if you’re a high handicapper, I’d suggest you grab your hands on a rescue iron and get comfortable with that before hitting long irons.

Hybrids vs Other Golf Clubs 

A closeup of golf club on a Fairway at a golf course

While you’re comparing the 5-hybrid and 5-iron, it’s also worth comparing the irons with utility irons and fairway woods.

Here are brief comparisons between them.

Utility Iron vs Hybrid

Controlling the ball and hitting fades and draws are challenging on a hybrid compared to other golf clubs like the utility club.

The utility club has a lower launch and less spin, making hitting fades and draws look like a breeze.

Fairway Woods vs Irons vs Hybrids

Fairway woods like 3 wood and 5 wood generally have more range than their counter irons or hybrids. However, getting a good height can be more challenging on these.

Fairway woods have the longest shafts out of irons and hybrids. Because of their long shafts, some golfers can find fairway woods difficult to hit when compared to other clubs.

Hybrids are like a gap between fairway woods and irons. You get to experience the feeling of irons and fairway woods while using the hybrids.

Final Verdict Between 5 Hybrid vs. 5 Iron

Hybrids and irons are great clubs, and both have their strengths and weaknesses. A 5-iron is a mid-iron that can be difficult to hit, and replacing it with a 5-hybrid will aid you in improving the consistency of your game.

When replacing your 5-iron with a 5-hybrid keep your distance mapping in mind and ensure that you are not creating gaps in the mapping of your bag. Take a stronger loft on the hybrid to create a higher trajectory but retain your distance.

FAQs

Can You Carry Hybrid and Irons Both in Your Golf Bag?

You’re allowed to carry hybrids and irons in your golf bag as long as they don’t exceed the golf club limit of 14 clubs. If you’re playing friendly, you can of course have more than 14, but during tournaments, you’re not allowed more than 14 clubs. So you need to choose wisely. I recommend having a rescue and your irons in your golf bag.

Is the 5 Hybrid and 5 Iron Interchangeable?

Just because two clubs share their numbers, it doesn’t mean they’re interchangeable. However, you can interchange the 5 hybrid and 5 iron mainly because of their similar lofts and ranges. But remember, your hybrids will go further and higher than your irons.

Will a 5 Hybrid Go Further Than a 5 Iron?

Keeping all factors constant, like swing speed, impact, launch, and other conditions, your 5 hybrids will go a few yards further than your 5 iron. This is mainly because of a longer shaft and your added height on hybrids.

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Nick is the founder of GolfSpan and an avid golfer. He's not quite a pro but has over 15 years of experience playing and coaching golfers worldwide. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience when it comes to choosing the right golf gear and finding the right setup for your game.

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