If you haven’t already added a hybrid to your bag then you’re seriously missing out on some silky smooth golf shots. They’re one of the easiest clubs to hit, and in this post, we’ll be talking about some of the best options for high handicaps and beginners.
Here are the 5 best hybrids for average golfers:
- Cleveland Launcher Halo (best for slower swing speeds)
- Taylormade M6 (best for faster swing speeds)
- Cobra F9 Speedback
- Callaway Mavrik Max
- PING G400
I’m a big believer that the average golfer doesn’t need to go out and spend thousands of dollars on the newest tech. I really haven’t seen a huge difference in clubs over the past few years. I almost always buy something that’s a year or two old and that’s what I also recommend you do as well.
What Is An Average Golfer?
An average golfer is someone that shoots higher than bogey golf. These golfers are considered high handicaps and shoot above 90 on a par 72 golf course.
When I first found this out I was a little surprised but it does take into account all types and ages of golfers. An even more surprising stat is that the average golf score has actually gotten worse over the past number of years.
All you ever hear is how clubs and balls are getting better and better each year, but is that really the case? Plus, there are more training videos available so I really don’t know how it’s possible (but it’s true).
Here’s the way I break down golf scores and what group you fit in:
- If you shoot between 90-100+ = High handicap (average).
- If you shoot between 80-90 = Mid handicap
- If you shoot under 80 = Low handicap
Different people have different definitions but this is just a simple way of looking at things. Golfers in each of these groups should look for different features in a hybrid.
A beginner could use a club that’s designed for low handicaps but it’s not going to perform nearly as well.
So, if you normally shoot in the 90s or 100s then you’re in the right place. If you’re someone who consistently breaks 90, you might want to check out our hybrids for mid handicaps article instead.
When Should You Use A Hybrid?
Hybrids are a great all-around club because they can be used off the tee, in the fairway, from the rough, and around the green. They’re longer than the equivalent lofted iron and they’re more forgiving than a fairway wood.
Since 3-5 irons are shorter and harder to hit, you’ll want to use a hybrid instead of them. I don’t think you need three different hybrids, but you’ll definitely want to add one to your bag as a higher handicap player.
Here are the main things you’ll use a hybrid for:
- When missing the fairway is out of the question.
- If you can’t hit your longer irons consistently.
- When you’re in the rough and hitting from a tough lie.
- If you want to putt but have a long distance to the hole.
Sometimes when I’m teeing off and the fairway is super narrow or there’s water right (which is my miss), I might decide to hit hybrid instead. I could go fairway wood too but I’m a lot more accurate with my hybrid, and as I said before, having your second shot in the fairway is an easy way to lower scores.
Pretty much all beginners & high handicappers have a hard time hitting their longer irons (3-5). That’s why I stopped carrying them all together and just hit hybrids now. They launch the ball way higher, hit it longer, and that’s enough reason for me.
If you’re 190 yards out in the rough, there’s no way you’ll get there with your irons, and hitting fairway wood is 50/50. That’s when I’ll probably go with a hybrid. I’ll get the extra distance but it’ll also be way easier to make solid contact compared to your wood.
What I also like about hybrids is that you can use them around the green (like a putter). Sometimes when you’re on the fringe you’ll debate between putting and chipping. Most people aren’t consistent with their wedge but it might be tough to gauge the speed with your putter. Putting with your hybrid can be a simple solution.
Are Hybrids Easier To Hit Than Irons?
Since hybrids have a thinner face and have more weight behind the ball they’re going to be a lot easier to hit compared to irons. Hybrids will also launch the ball higher in the air without having as much speed throughout the swing.
Since irons are more compact and the weight is more forward, you’ll need to generate a lot more speed to get the ball in the air. That also means you’ll need to hit the sweet spot dead-on, and if you don’t, you’ll get low shots that don’t go more than 50 yards.
I’m sure you know that woods are a lot easier to hit because they have more mass behind and under the ball. That’s the same with hybrids but the shaft is actually a bit shorter and that makes it even easier to hit consistently.
One of the other things that make hybrids easier to hit is that they have graphite shafts. When a shaft is lighter, you won’t have to swing as fast to get the higher speeds.
Hybrids are pretty much just smaller fairway woods. The shorter shafts and higher loft are the reason you can hit them better. Think about what’s easier to hit, your 3 iron or your 7 iron. The same goes for woods and hybrids.
What Hybrid Clubs Replace Irons?
|Hybrid Loft||Hybrid Number||Iron Number|
What Hybrid Clubs Should You Carry?
The hybrid to add to your game is one that fits between your fairway wood and your longest iron. If your wood is 15 degrees and your longest iron is 26 degrees, your hybrid should be 20-21 degrees.
If you’re a higher handicap you really only need one hybrid. Most people have way too many clubs and I think one hybrid and one wood is all you need. You can get more as you work your way unto the low 80s and 70s but not right now.
What I recommend you do is get a hybrid that’s between your wood and your longest iron. If your wood is 16 degrees and your longest iron is 26 degrees, you’d want a hybrid that’s 21 degrees. If you’re looking at a hybrid that’s less than 19 degrees, I’d personally get a fairway wood instead.
I think all average players should play 5-wood instead of 3-wood. I read an article from Butch Harmon called “Bench Your 3-Wood” and how you should play 5-wood instead. The extra loft will be way easier to hit from the fairway and they should go the same distance.
That’s why I prefer having a 4 hybrid that’s 22-23 degrees.
If you’re trying to set up a new bag I’d recommend you start with 5 clubs as your foundation. That’s all you really need to shoot decent scores, and then you can add as you get better. Here are the 5 clubs you should start with:
- 175+ yard club
- 150-yard club
- 100-yard club
- Sand wedge
You can put up some solid scores if you got really consistent with these 5 clubs. My 175+ yard club would be 5-wood and then I’d add a couple of irons that get me those distances.
As I worked my way down into the 80s, I’d look to add a few more irons and a hybrid. Here’s what my bag currently looks like:
- 6 iron
- 8 iron
- Pitching wedge
- 50-degree wedge
- 56-degree wedge
You’ll notice that it’s essentially every second club. I saved some cash doing it this way and it’s never caused any issues. When I shoot in the low 80s consistently, I’ll add driver and the remaining irons.
What Hybrid Flex Should You Get?
Once you decide on your hybrid (we’ll talk about this next), one of the more important things you need to do is pick the right shaft flex. It’s arguably more important than the actual club itself.
You can use whatever shaft flex you want and it’ll work alright but you’ll run into a lot of inconsistent shots. What’ll end up happening is you’ll be spraying your shots all over the golf course.
Having a shaft that’s too flexy will give you a lot of pulls and hooks. If your shaft is too stiff it’ll give you a lot of low slices. Both, I don’t think are what you want.
Alright, the first thing you need to do is figure out your swing speed. This will give you a good idea of what shaft you need to get. If you don’t know your speed, figure out how far you normally drive the ball.
Here’s a general chart that will tell you what shaft to get based on your swing speed and drive distance:
|Swing Speed||Driver Distance||Shaft Flex|
|Under 80 MPH||Under 200 Yards||Senior/Ladies|
|80-90 MPH||200-240 Yards||Regular|
|90-100 MPH||240-275 Yards||Stiff|
|Over 100 MPH||275+ Yards||Extra Stiff|
Best Hybrids For Beginners & High Handicaps
You probably have a good idea of what to look for in a hybrid. All we need to do now is figure out what one will work best for you. All of them match what we just talked about.
If I was a high handicapper and was in the market for a new fairway wood, these are the ones I’d consider. It’s really not necessary to go out and throw a bunch of cash at this year’s clubs because a lot of them are similar.
Distances aren’t that different over the past number of years and that’s why I normally get something that’s 1-2 years old. I don’t know about you but I like saving money whenever I can.
Cleveland Launcher Halo (My #1 Pick)
If you have a slow to mid swing speed and want something that’s super forgiving, this hybrid is the one for you. Cleveland makes some of the easiest clubs to hit and that’s why this is my #1 pick for average golfers.
Cleveland found that most people hitting hybrids are shooting from the rough. It’s not always easy making solid contact in the rough so that’s why they wanted to focus on that.
It glides through the grass really well and that’ll also help if you hit a lot of fat shots. It’s not going to take a lot of speed to pop the ball up in the air and that’ll help more people get more distance.
I wouldn’t call this hybrid the longest or most forgiving hybrid, but it’s one of the best game-improvement options that aren’t too big and bulky. Plus, the price is fairly reasonable.
If you have a faster swing speed then this might not be the best option for you. You could still hit it really well but you could get a bit more distance with a slightly lower launching hybrid.
Also, if you normally draw/hook the ball then this might not be the one for you. It’s perfect for slicers, but there’s a good amount of offset that might cause more hooks.
- High launching.
- Very easy to hit.
- Great from the rough.
- Not ideal if you already draw/hook the ball.
- Not the best for shaping the ball.
Taylormade M6 (My #2 Pick)
If you have a mid to fast swing speed or you want one of the best all-around hybrids, this will be for you. It’s actually the hybrid I have in my bag right now and absolutely love it.
The reason I have it ranked #2 for high handicappers is that it’s not as straight and it’s not as forgiving as the Cleveland. These are the two things average players need the most help with if you really want to lower scores.
I’m a mid handicap myself and the reason I went with the M6 was that it’s solid in pretty much all areas. Its distance is good, it’s pretty forgiving, and it’s better for shaping the ball as I started getting better.
I haven’t always been the biggest fan of Taylormade clubs but the M6 is a big improvement for me. I like it way better than the M4, and if you did like those clubs, you’ll like the M6 even more.
The distance is pretty much the same as the previous M4 but the newer M6 comes with Twist Face. All that means is that the face is slightly “twisted” and that’ll straighten out toe and heel shots.
- The weight and balance are solid.
- It can be used by all skill levels.
- The distance and forgiveness are great.
- The alignment aid could be better.
- The face and head scratch pretty easily.
Cobra F9 Speedback
If you’re a fan of Cobra and you want a pretty all-around solid hybrid, this could be a great option for you. It’s also one of the cheaper options out there, which will be a big plus for a lot of golfers.
It seems to be 50 bucks cheaper than the M6 and around 100 bucks cheaper than the Callaway. It did come out in 2019 as well so it’s really not that old of a club.
It’s not going to be as forgiving as some of the hybrids on this list and it didn’t feel quite as good as the M6. That being said, it’s probably one of the longer hybrids I’ve tested.
If you tend to hit behind the ball a lot, this could be a club to look at. It might even be better than Cleveland for this and it’s also really easy to hit out of the rough.
What makes it easy to hit is the two rails on the bottom. They’ll stop you from digging too far into the ground (you know who you are) and will glide nicely through the rough.
I’ve noticed that Cobra makes some of the longer clubs on the market and that makes this club really fun to hit. It’s not miles ahead of the others but it was consistently 3-5 yards longer.
- It glides smoothly through the rough.
- One of the better options for the ground hacker.
- Its distance is awesome.
- None, for the price it’s at.
Callaway Mavrik Max
If you’re after a hybrid that has the most forgiveness possible and just want to hit it long and straight, this could be the one for you. It’s probably the most forgiving club I’ve ever hit.
It’s going to come in three different models (Standard, Max, Pro). The Pro model is for better players and won’t be the best for you. The Standard is a good club for all skill levels but I don’t think it’s right for you either.
The Mavrik Max is their game-improvement model that’s slightly bigger and easier to hit. It’s essentially a small fairway wood and that’s part of the reason I didn’t like it as much myself.
I’m not saying that’s a bad thing because some people will like the larger size. I just find a slightly smaller hybrid to be more versatile and easier to control the ball.
I believe it’s the most expensive hybrid on this list and it did come out in 2020. The weight and balance are really good as well, which always seems to be the case with Callaway clubs.
If you do have a slower swing speed then the Mavrik Max will really help with distance and getting the ball in the air. It’s also perfect if you hit a lot of slices (not for golfers who hit draws/hooks).
It does have a slight draw bias and that’s another reason it wasn’t for me. This just means that it’s going to try to move the ball from right to left for the right-handed player.
The way the Mavrik sounds is also what I’d be looking for. It’s not muted and it’s not going to sound like a car crash. This doesn’t impact the performance but a lot of people want something that sounds nice and crisp.
- It’s high launching and very forgiving.
- The head quality is really good.
- It feels and sounds great at impact.
- The price point is a little high.
- It’s not the best-looking hybrid.
This is the final option I wanted to talk about. PING is a bit overlooked when it comes to clubs but they actually do make some really good clubs for mid to high handicap players.
I think this club came out in 2017 but it still stacks up well to the rest. What you’ll get with this hybrid are high and straight shots. Those are the main things you should be after right now.
The head size of this hybrid is a little bit smaller than some of the others. I like that myself but beginners and above 100 shooters might prefer something a little bigger.
For some reason, it still has a decent price tag on it. PING clubs take a long time to depreciate but that’s fine as long as they’re putting out quality clubs.
PING does have their newer G410 out as well and that’s a great club too. They’re pretty similar overall but the G400 is a bit cheaper and that’s why I’m recommending it.
- One of the higher launching hybrids.
- It’s extremely easy to hit straight.
- Not the best for shaping the ball.
- Smaller head size.