Help from Callaway Golf's Director of Fitting and Instruction
For many golfers, deciding whether they should add a hybrid to their bag is a struggle. Then, deciding exactly what hybrid loft they want brings a new set of difficulties. For that reason, we stopped by the Ely Callaway Performance Center and sat down with Randy Peterson, Callaway Golf's Director of Fitting and Instruction, to get the scoop on how you can find the hybrid that's right for your game.
Callaway Golf currently offers RAZR X and RAZR X HL Hybrids. Deciding which one is for you (and, in particular, what loft) will depend on your game and your personal preference.
One reason to substitute a hybrid for an iron is if you are noticing that the ball flight from your iron(s) is too low to hold the green on an approach shot. "When you need additional trajectory, a hybrid is a good move because of the additional clubhead speed generated by the longer shaft as well as the lower center of gravity in the clubhead," Peterson points out. "The ball will have a steeper angle of descent when it hits the green and therefore hold the green."
That point in your iron set where you produce a ball flight too low to hold the green is different for every player. An amateur may not be able to hold the green with a 7-iron, so he or she may get a 7H. A tour pro, on the other hand, might hit his or her 2-iron too low to hold the green, so that pro will swap a 2-iron for a 2H.
The second reason to switch to a hybrid is because you start to lose distance or have no distance gaps between clubs (in other words, your distances are bunching up). The moment of inertia (MOI) of hybrids is much higher than that of irons. That means more forgiveness on off-center hits, which along with the increase in shaft length is the reason hybrids are easier to hit than irons. Due to the forgiveness of hybrids, you'll find that you lose less ball speed and less accuracy on off-center hits than you would with your irons.
"With the longer shafts found in hybrids, you'll generate more clubhead speed which will enable you to get that distance back as well," Peterson says. "That will also give you more of an appropriate separation between clubs. Irons are very penal compared to a hybrid or fairway wood."
"As your irons get longer and have less loft, your misses always get more penal," Peterson adds. "So, if you miss-hit a 6-iron a bit, it's still gets up and still spins. If you miss-hit your 4-iron or 3-iron, it doesn't have the spin so it starts to fall out of the air. That means your distance separation starts to compress. That's where you will see the benefit of a hybrid."
For more great golf tips from Randy, check out his articles on hitting better shots from the rough and tips to help your game.