Beginner and high handicap golfers require every bit of assistance that they can get, and a hybrid is especially beneficial to their long game. Today we look at the best hybrid golf clubs for high handicappers, but first, a little background detail.
Hybrids are designed to offer golfers an alternative to long irons. These clubs are more forgiving on mishits while providing versatility from the fairway, rough, and around the green. It has the design characteristics and performance of both iron and a wood while it looks more like a wood.
The first version of hybrids was introduced in the 1970s as the Baffler and the Ginty but didn’t find acceptance amongst golfers. It was only in the early 2000s that hybrids were accepted by golfers and it is now standard in nearly every professional golfer’s bag.
It is not only long irons but also medium irons that can be replaced by hybrids. Some brands offer hybrids to replace up to a 6-iron.
Distinguishing features of a hybrid club are
- titanium or steel face
- Low center of gravity placed towards the back of the clubhead
- A wider sole
- Typically lofts ranging from 16 to 27 degrees
- Generally use graphite shafts
- Best Hybrid Golf Clubs for High Handicappers
What Are Hybrids?
- Increased forgiveness and less distance loss on off-center shots
- Lower center of gravity makes getting the ball in the air easier
- The higher loft of an iron for a soft landing on greens
- A shorter shaft of an iron for more control versus a fairway wood
- Less distance than a fairway wood due to shorter shaft
- Less control than a long iron
- Harder to hit out of thick rough than an iron
A higher MOI or moment of inertia adding forgiveness on off-center hits while the lower and back location of the center of gravity offers a higher trajectory and distance. You will get more distance from a hybrid than from an iron with a similar loft.
The higher ball trajectory is ideal for beginners and high handicap golfers that struggle to get the ball into the air.
Additional weight in the clubhead will enhance the feel during your swing. A rounded clubhead and wide sole make it easier to get the club to slide through the turf after impact.
This video will explain the benefits of hybrids over long irons.
How Many Should I Carry?
It is common for beginner golfers to carry between 2 and 4 hybrids to replace the 3-iron up to the 5-iron. Ultimately your swing and confidence level will determine the number of hybrids you carry in your bag.
What Can You Expect from a Hybrid?
This is the major advantage that hybrids have over irons. There is a larger sweet spot for those stressful mishits leading to less distance loss and accuracy. The lower and backward placement of the center of gravity adds to accuracy and consistency.
Hybrids come in various shapes and sizes that affect clubhead speed, the launch angle of the golf ball, and exit velocity.
Wide soled hybrids offer similar capabilities to fairway woods but slight amendments to the design allow the hybrid gets the ball airborne quicker.
Since the clubface of a hybrid is similar to an iron, it offers a larger sweet spot and offers the look and feel of your favorite iron.
Most beginner and high handicap golfers purchase their clubs off the shelve and do not take time to investigate the details of the shaft attached to the head.
Tempo plays a significant role in the flex of the shaft and the majority of beginners have a slower tempo making the regular flex most appropriate.
The first component of the shaft to address is the flex. Shafts come in a variety of flexes to suit your swing speed. Flexes are Ladies (L), Senior (A), Regular (R), Stiff (S), Extra-Stiff (X).
Other components to be assessed in the shaft includes the length, kick point, and torque.
The adjustability of hybrid shafts was unfathomable in the earlier hybrids, but it is becoming commonplace on the latest releases.
This allows you to adjust the shaft angles similarly as you would do on fairway woods and your driver.
Adjustability includes the clubhead weight, lie and loft angles, and the offset. This will enable you to keep the hybrid longer in your bag as you progress and improve your swing.
A plethora of hybrids make the selection of the best one for your requirements extremely difficult. Features that you should consider are
Hybrids come in a variety of body shapes that can be split into wide bodies and narrow bodies.
Ideally suited to beginners with slow to fast swing speed. The wider body allows the manufacturers to present a large head thus increasing the forgiveness while boosting your confidence. The larger head generates more spin.
This is aimed at more experienced golfers with a high swing speed. The narrower head increases the chance of a mishit. The smaller head generates less spin.
Best Hybrid Golf Clubs for High Handicappers
Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for The Best Hybrid Golf Clubs for High Handicappers
|Cobra Golf F9 Speedback||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Callaway Big Bertha||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Callaway Rogue X||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Cobra F-Max Airspeed||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Callaway Mavrik Max||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|TaylorMade SIM Max||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Cleveland Golf Launcher HB||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|TaylorMade M3||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Pinemeadow Excel EGI||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|TaylorMade RBZ||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Titleist TS2||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Honma XP-1||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
Another premium club in the Cobra stable is the F9 Men’s Speedback Hybrid that offers forgiveness and accuracy.
Cobra’s Speedback with Baffler Technology adds up to thirty grams of weight moving the center of gravity lower and back for a higher ball trajectory and lower spin making it ideal for beginners and high handicap golfers. Additional 15 grams of tungsten weight is added to the back of the clubhead.
With a bigger clubface that increased by 10 percent from the previous Cobra hybrids combined with the thin high-strength forged stainless steel face that adds responsiveness, you get increased ball speed and forgiveness.
Although on the high end of the price spectrum it is money well spent.
Big Bertha is associated with the Callaway brand for many years. This is one of three models that Callaway offers high handicap golfers.
The Callaway Big Bertha B21 hybrid shares many of the technologies used in the driver with the same name and added offset feature to promote a straighter ball flight.
Incorporate into the hybrid sole design is the dual MIM’ed (Metal Injected Moulding) tungsten weights for enhanced launch angles and ball flight.
As in many of the other Callaway ranges, the Big Bertha incorporates Callaway’s innovative Jailbreak Technology for a stiffer body resulting in more speed and distance.
Another common thread throughout the Callaway ranges is the ultra-thin 455 Hyper Speed Face Cup clubface. Manufactured from steel it delivers loads of power at impact.
A new OptiFit Hosel is available on the Big Bertha hybrid. It is lighter and shorter compared to older hybrids.
The distribution of weight creates the optimal center of gravity.
The clubhead of the hybrid is shaped progressively with wide soles and thick toplines to enhance your confidence while offering more forgiveness.
Although, as most of the clubs within the Callaway brand, the price is at the upper end of the spectrum, the price is justifiable.
Callaway is one of the highest-rated premium golf brands and offers hybrids with every range of irons that they bring to market.
The Callaway Golf Rogue X Hybrid forms part of the Rogue irons range although it is sold separately and not part of the set of irons.
Jailbreak technology used in Callaway woods has been incorporated into the hybrid for consistency across the whole range. This innovative technology incorporates two steel bars to stiffen the clubface and body for better distance and speed across most swing speeds.
Added to the jailbreak technology is an ultra-thin Hyper Speed Face Cup made from steel for durability. The thin face adds a trampoline effect for even more distance.
Internal Standing Wave proprietary technology adjusts the center of gravity for enhanced performance.
Although on the upper end of the price spectrum, you can expect value for money at any level of golf.
Cobra is a well-respected golf brand under the Puma umbrella that provides great hybrid golf clubs for high handicappers.
Cobra uses lightweight materials in the design and construction of their golf equipment making it ideal for beginners and golfers that require assistance in adding speed to their swing.
A well-balanced design makes the F-Max airspeed hybrid effortless to swing. The inclusion of 455 stainless steel with forged construction enables Cobra to produce a weight saving of five grams on the shaft.
Combined with the lightweight crown it enables you to generate more speed while the lowered center of gravity created by the low profile and shallow face design generates a higher launch.
Making it simpler for beginners the F Max Airspeed comes standard with an offset hosel to promote straighter shots.
Cobra produces some of the brightest and best-looking clubs in the business and the F Max Airspeed is no exception. The crown alignment adds visual appeal to the club while enhancing the alignment for more accurate shots.
The third option for beginners and high handicap golfers in the Callaway brand is the Callaway Mavrik Max hybrid. The Mavrik range is the first attempt by Callaway’s to use Artificial Intelligence (AI).
This combination of technologies offers a large sweet spot, increased forgiveness, longer distances.
The Max option in the Mavrik range offers an oversized head that is more likely to appeal to beginners requiring assistance in getting a high ball trajectory. It offers impressive levels of forgiveness in addition to the speed and high launch features.
As mentioned earlier it incorporates Callaway’s Jailbreak and Face Cup Technology for more speed across the entire face to neutralize mishits.
6. TaylorMade SIM Max
- Effective from various lies
- The “V” steel sole offers great turf interaction from varying lies.
- Similar face technology to that found on the Sim drivers and fairway woods.
- Helps get the ball off of the ground even from the rough while giving beginners and high handicap players an easier club to hit than a long iron.
- TaylorMade’s “Twist Face” and Speed Pocket
- The loft is not adjustable
- Top-end of the price spectrum
A relatively new addition to the TaylorMade stable is the SIM range and hybrids that have taken the golfing industry by storm.
It incorporates TaylorMade’s V Steel technology into a hybrid for the first time. The benefit of this technology is the improved turf interaction and reduced friction from various lies.
The reshaped leading edge adds to the whilst a more rounded toe and adjusted face angle offers beginners a more confidence-inspiring shape.
Twist Face and Speed Pocket technologies that have been used by TaylorMade for many years promote performance and forgiveness across the entire face making it ideal for beginners.
Cleveland Golf Launcher HB range of irons and woods are highly respected around the globe.
These clubs are aimed at high handicap golfers and beginners requiring versatility.
It is well designed and manufactured to precision with a turbo-charged and thin high-strength face that is extremely durable. The thin face promotes increased ball speeds and explosive impact.
The hollow construction feature adds forgiveness that is not available on cavity back clubs. Adding to the hollow construction is the innovative Hi-Bore Crown moving the wight deep into the clubhead. This generates extra distance and a penetrating ball flight at a relatively low tempo.
A silver and black finish makes it easy on the eye.
One of the most adjustable hybrids can be found in the TaylorMade stable with the M3 hybrid.
It offers a 30-gram moveable weight on a sliding track on the sole offers you an opportunity to set it to draw or fade bias, or somewhere in-between.
In addition to the bias adjustment, you get an adjustable hosel that allows you to adjust the ball trajectory by adapting the angle on the clubface
Its Speed Pocket technology reduces spin and increases distance and accuracy.
The eye-pleasing look of the two-tone finish improves confidence and alignment.
Pinemeadow offers an affordable hybrid in the Excel EGI that is available in various lofts making it easy to cover the yardages required in your bag.
Its affordability pushes it high on the list for beginners that want to experience the benefits of a hybrid without busting the budget.
It offers a plethora of features including a range of 8 lofts making it one of the biggest ranges of hybrids.
A bigger and wider sweet spot affords more forgiveness for beginners on those awkward off-center hits.
Added to the large sweet spot are its lightweight graphite shaft and stainless steel clubhead. The use of steel in the clubhead adds extra weight and balance to the clubhead.
TaylorMade is renowned for its quality golf clubs including continuous innovation to add forgiveness to game improvement clubs aimed at beginners and experienced golfers alike.
The RBZ range of clubs is not new to the market but retains its popularity due to the innovative designs with a low center of gravity with a mass pad behind the clubface makes it straightforward to launch the ball high thus it suits beginners to the tee.
TaylorMade’s Speed Pocket technology in the sole helps to increase the launch angle, reduces spin, and increases accuracy.
The brand is synonymous with reliability and durability making the price point of the RBZ rather tempting for beginners wanting to experience the benefits of hybrid technology.
Titleist is renowned for their drivers and fairway woods and it is no miracle that they produce some of the best hybrids available.
The TS (Titleist Speed) name reflects Titleist’s target to avail more speed to beginners for maximum distance without sacrificing forgiveness and accuracy. This is achieved via an ultra-thin crown and a 16% thinner face offering a forgiving profile for maximum clubhead speed.
There are 16 loft and lie settings adding to its versatility.
Honma is a lesser-known Japanese brand that is making inroads into the game-improvement golf equipment market offering a range of well designed and manufactured clubs.
Their game-improvement hybrid is designed for a draw bias.
Ultra-lightweight hand-made Vizard shafts offer more swing speed with a high launch trajectory.
The sole is engineered with a Double Slot Sole for increased ball speed. A 42g weight pad located near the back of the clubhead promotes a higher launch and increased forgiveness.
Although it is expensive its forgiveness makes it worth the investment.
Hybrids are aimed at making the game of golf easier, and everyone can do it with all the legal assistance that they can get to enjoy a solid round of golf. No matter your handicap.
Beginners will benefit most from putting a few hybrids in the bag in their quest to improve their swing and handicap.
The number of hybrids available at a wide range of price points makes it difficult to decide which is the best one for your swing.
The factors that can help you in making the best selection is described in this article.
Beginners are advised to select a club that offers great value for money yet offers the technology and features that will assist them in improving their scores and reduce their handicap.
Forgiveness is promoted by the center of gravity being lower and further back into the clubhead.
Although there are many good hybrid options available, I rate the TaylorMade RBZ as the best value-for-money hybrid offering the best of TaylorMade’s technologies while keeping the price affordable.
Please add your comments and feedback to the section below.
All the best if you go for a few hybrids in your bag. Chances are, you will not regret it. Keep them high, long, and straight.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.