It wasn’t that long ago when using a hybrid club on the golf course was shunned by practically every weekend golfer, the purists’.
Many golfers of varying handicaps refuse to put out a hybrid because “the putter is for the putting green,” “Tiger Woods doesn’t use one.” Or “it’s just not right,” and the other similar reasons.
Yet, the hybrid clubs have come a long way since the mid-2000s and throughout the 2010s. Nowadays, top PGA players like Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar, and Jason Duffner, among others, are known to carry at least one hybrid club in their bags. So the notion “pros don’t use hybrids” is no longer the truth these days.
So, if the best Tour players have them, then maybe you should too! After all, the hybrids are designed initially as the “beginner’s irons” for a more accessible lift.
Confused about which hybrid clubs you should get as a high handicapper? In this guide, we will review the seven best hybrid golf clubs for beginners:
- Callaway Golf Mavrik Max Hybrid
- Callaway Golf Rogue X Hybrid
- Callaway Epic Flash Hybrid
- TaylorMade M2 Men’s Rescue Hybrid
- TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue
- Cobra Golf F9 Men’s Speedback Hybrid
- TaylorMade RBZ Black Rescue
Before we begin, however, let us first discuss the basics about hybrid clubs and the essential things you should know before purchasing one.
Our Best Picks For Beginners
Callaway Golf Mavrik Max Hybrid (Best Review)
- High launch and easy-lift due to its C.G. placement
- A.I.-designed face allows higher launch
- Wide range of loft selections
- giving the hybrid a feel closer to an actual iron
Callaway Golf Rogue X Hybrid (Best Value)
- Perfect distance performance
- More Affordable compare to the others
- Pretty Decent look
TaylorMade SIM MAX Hybrid (Many Beginners’ Starter)
- Great distance performance
- State-of-the-art TaylorMade technologies
- frames the ball very well at address
What Are Hybrid Clubs?
As the name “hybrid” suggested, these clubs combine the qualities and characteristics of two different traditional club types: an iron and a fairway wood, while also differing from both. While designs might vary between other brands, typically, a hybrid features the large, forgiving face of the wood while having a shorter shaft like the irons.
It’s the background of why the hybrid invented is pretty simple. Long irons (1- to 4- irons) are notoriously difficult to hit well, even for experienced players due to their smaller faces. On the other hand, fairway woods feature larger clubheads and more prominent sweet spots, making them easier to use.
However, woods feature a longer shaft which will require more room to swing, making it unsuitable for tighter lies – where irons shine. In addition, the wood’s face designs to “skim” instead of digging into the turf, making it more challenging to make your shots from the rough with the wood.
Hybrid clubs are the answer to this dilemma:
Hybrids can outperform the fairway woods in the distance while also replacing the irons’ accuracy and ease of use. So, golfers can get the best of both worlds by replacing the 1- to 4- irons with the hybrids.
Design of Hybrid Clubs
In most cases, a hybrid will feature a clubhead design similar to a fairway wood, characterized by a shallow and convex face instead of the iron’s flat face. However, the head of a hybrid also differs from a standard fairway wood by being more superficial. It doesn’t extend as far back from the face as in a wood’s head, allowing a lie angle more similar to irons.
Modern hybrids also offer a similar “flexing” or “trampoline” face like modern woods, allowing easier launch and better distance performance.
To summarize, a hybrid’s face is more akin to a fairway wood. At the same time, the lie angle, shaft length, and overall weight are more comparable to an iron.
However, being a relatively new type of golf club, hybrid designs aren’t as standardized as other, more traditional club types like irons and woods.
So, there are manufacturers that don’t follow the above principles in manufacturing their version of hybrids.
For example, hybrids with club faces are more similar to muscle-back or cavity-back irons. It just with a slightly convex, bulging head on the back to make it more wood-like.
Benefits of Using Hybrid Golf Clubs
As we’ve discussed, a hybrid club combines the best parts of using a fairway wood with the benefit of using an iron, and here are some of those benefits:
- The shorter shaft of a hybrid is easier to control than a fairway wood. It is more versatile at tighter lies while at the same time offering a clubhead with a more prominent sweet spot and forgiveness without being too bulky.
- Hybrid clubs offer a higher MOI (moment of inertia), allowing less twisting when you hit the ball off-center. It’s resulting in less energy loss during mishits, producing greater distance.
- Hybrids offer a lower center of gravity (C.G.), with the club’s weight moved to the bottom and further back of the clubhead. It will allow us an easier time to produce a higher launch and softer landing. A lower center of gravity would also mean easier control of trajectory. A hybrid would have a higher course than the same lofted iron.
- Hybrids offer higher loft angles than the similarly-lofted long irons, which will allow softer landing on greens.
However, that’s not saying the hybrid is always better when compared to the iron and fairway wood counterparts, as some weaknesses might be worth considering:
- If you are proficient with a long iron, the iron will always provide more control than a hybrid
- Due to the shorter shaft, a combination will produce less distance than a comparable wood
- Long irons offer more versatility in tighter lies and thick rough than hybrid clubs
Things To Consider When Choosing a Hybrid Club for Beginners
By considering the key benefits of a hybrid you should pursue, here are some important considerations when choosing between different hybrid club models available in the market:
In most cases, your hybrids will replace your long irons (1- to 4- irons), so hybrids’ lofts tend to mirror these irons’.
With that say, most hybrids will sit between 16 to 27 degrees, with 16 to 18 degrees of loft being the most common for the 1-hybrid. However, it’s essential to understand that an 18-degree hybrid will not produce the same performance, distance-wise as an 18-degree iron or an 18-degree wood. The combination would travel in between the two, closer to the distance of the iron.
Generally, if you are planning to purchase a hybrid from the same brand as your irons, you can do a straight swap, for example, between a 2-iron with a 2-hybrid. However, if you are getting a hybrid from different manufacturers, check the loft angle of the irons you are replacing and get a combination with a similar loft.
If you are planning to get a set of hybrids, pay extra attention to loft spacing so they won’t waste space in your bag. Make sure there are at least 2-3 degrees of loft difference between two hybrids, which would translate to around 15-20 yards difference in distance.
Another important consideration in your hybrid is the shaft material and length. Most modern hybrids offer shafts made of graphite or other low-weight material. The lighter the post, the more it would flex, which would translate into a long distance.
However, the more flex you have, the harder it would be to control your shots, and the more tendency to produce a “hook” (your ball curving too far left for a right-handed golfer). On the other hand, too little flex, and your ball might go too far right or too low for a right-handed golfer.
A general rule of thumb is to use the same flex in your similarly lofted iron with the replacement hybrid. If you use a regular shaft in your 3-iron, you should also use a standard shaft in your 3-hybrid.
As we have also mentioned, hybrid clubs offer shorter shaft lengths than the comparable fairway wood, typically 2 to 3 inches shorter than similarly-lofted woods. But, again, the size might vary depending on the manufacturer. Still, typically 38″ is the shortest length for the highest-lofted hybrid and the longest being around 40″ to 41″ for the lowest-lofted club.
The shorter the shaft is, the easier you can control the shots, but the longer the post, the longer the distance. Keep this in mind and figure out whether you’d like more control or space with each hybrid.
Center of Gravity (C.G.)
In a golf club, the center of gravity, or C.G., refers to the point where the object’s weight is evenly displaced, so all sides are in balance. C.G. essentially determines how easy it will be to lift or launch the ball with the club.
A low and back CG-meaning the C.G. is closer to the sole and back of the head- would allow the golfer to hit the ball higher with more backspin. More backspin will equal more control.
Part of why a hybrid is easier to use than the long-iron is the head’s design. Which more resembles that of a fairway wood allows C.G. to place lower and further back from the face.
However, keep in mind that low and back C.G. would sacrifice distance. If you’d want more space from your hybrid, opt to get a club with a more forward center of gravity (while keeping it low for a more accessible lift).
Like modern drivers and woods, some hybrid models also offer adjustability, especially in loft angles. Some models, for example, offer the ability to adjust your loft angle between 3 to 5 degrees. As a result, it provides even more versatility to the club (and potentially eliminates the need to buy another hybrid in this loft range).
Some newer models also offer adjustability to the face angle. You can either adjust it to a neutral, open or closed look at the address. Although rare, some hybrids offer adjustable weight to manipulate the center of gravity and MOI.
Remember that typically the more adjustability features you have, the more expensive the hybrid would be. So, consider whether the additional versatility provided is worth the extra money.
Best 7 Hybrid Clubs for Golf Beginners
There are many manufacturers offering game-improvement hybrids for high-handicappers and beginners, each with various models. So, admittedly choosing the right hybrid club for you can be difficult.
With that say, we have tested various hybrid club models available in the market. And after weighing their pros and cons, here are our top 7 picks for beginner’s hybrid clubs.
1.Callaway Golf Mavrik Max Hybrid
- A.I.-designed face allows higher launch while also allow very long and straight shots.
- It’s a massive sweet spot on the face with very consistent ball speed across the whole look. It will allow great distance and accuracy even during mishits.
- High launch and easy-lift due to its C.G. placement
- A wide range of loft selections is available depending on your playing level and needs.
- The squared-off toe profiling is unique, giving the hybrid a feel closer to an actual iron.
- Relatively expensive
- Design-wise, not the best looking
Callaway is one of the biggest brands in Golf nowadays and shouldn’t need any introduction. Mavrik is Callaway’s new product line in 2020 for its driver, fairway wood, and hybrid. It builds upon the hugely successful Callaway Epic Flash product line that has been a massive hit in the past couple of years.
There are three different subtypes for the Mavrik hybrids: the standard Mavrik, which designs for mid-high to high-handicappers. The Mavrik Pro, with a smaller head shape designed for lower ball flight and better control. And the Marik Max, with a large head designed for maximum forgiveness.
Since our focus here is to find the best hybrid for beginners, then we will mainly discuss the Mavrik Max Hybrid, and here are some of its best features:
A.I. Designed Face Architecture
Callaway has used A.I. technologies to design the face of its drivers and fairway woods in recent years, but this is the first time the technology uses in a hybrid. Every loft is custom-tailored with the A.I. technology to optimize ball speed and distance. For example, the Mavrik Max used an A.I.-designed Flash Face SS20 with rigid steel, complete with Callaway’s famous Face CUp technology to allow very high ball speed.
Low and Back C.G. For Easier Launch
The A.I.-designed face also accommodates deep and back C.G. placement for easier launch. Of course, the mug itself designs for high ball speed and long-distance carry, but we can also get softer landings.
Callaway utilizes titanium bars to connect the crown and the sole, allowing more impact on the face, more ball speeds, and longer carry.
Squared-off Toe Profiling
The Mavrik Max features a large crown with a squared-off shape in the toe to give it more of an iron-like feel while promoting higher launch and more forgiveness on mis-hits.
The Callaway Epic Flash is genuinely the driver of the future. With all of this new technology, including being created by an A.I., I am excited to see what directions we will see clubs make in the coming years.
2.Callaway Golf Rogue X Hybrid
- More affordable than the Mavrik Max without too many trade-offs
- Excellent distance performance even during mishits
- With a wide range of loft selections down to 32 degrees, you can easily replace any of your long irons
- Pretty decent, all-black look for those who prefer modern-looking clubs
- The head looks very bulky, much closer to a fairway wood than an iron
- The Mavrik Max offers newer and better tech
The Rogue is another one from Callaway, an older product line from Callaway, released in 2018. As a result of being an older model, it is more affordable than the Mavrik Max. The Rogue X is the more forgiving version of the Rogue standard hybrid, much like the Mavrik Max to the standard Mavrik.
It utilizes older technologies than the Callaway Mavrik Max, so the question here is: what are the trade-offs?
The Rogue X hasn’t yet featured Callaway’s A.I.-designed face. Still, it does feature Callaway’s famous Hyper Speed Face Cup technology, combined with the Jailbreak technology. As a result, it’s allowing very high and consistent ball speed across the face. More full loft angles and more oversized clubhead while keeping it reasonably priced light.
The Rogue X is Callaway’s first hybrid to feature the jailbreak technology, allowing higher ball speed and longer carry.
It’s not as forgiving and not as long as the Mavrik Max. However, it’s still a perfect hybrid for beginners with decent forgiveness, easy enough launch, and consistent ball speeds across the face.
3.Callaway Epic Flash Hybrid
- Better-looking than both the Mavrik Max and Rogue X. In fact, one of the best-looking hybrids available in the market
- More adjustability than the Rouge X with the OptiFit hosel
- A wide range of loft selection
- Great forgiveness and overall performance
- It looks bulky, might not be for everyone
- For just a little bit of extra money, you can get the Mavrik Max if you are looking for performance and technology
It’s another older Callaway Model, this time from 2019. So, price-wise, it is somewhere between the Rouge X and the Mavrik Max hybrids, and it also offers tech that doesn’t introduce in the Rouge X model.
The whole Epic Flash line was a huge success back in 2019, especially the driver and the fairway wood. Again, the Jailbreak technology highlights here, where two internal titanium bars are placed between the crown and the sole to stabilize and strengthen the head. As a result, the extra stability would improve the energy transfer at impact.
The Epic Flash hybrid also features an improved version of Rogue X’s face, dubbed the Flash Face. With Callaway’s Face Cup technology, an ultra-thin face promotes forgiveness and consistency of ball speeds even during off-centered hits.
4.TaylorMade M2 Men’s Rescue Hybrid
- Great-looking hybrid club with TaylorMade signature modern look and color
- Low profile design, inspiring more confidence when hitting the ball,
- Great sound, much closer to a standard iron than a fairway wood
- Very forgiving with great distance performance
- Great price, being a somewhat older club
- Not the most forgiving, the Callaway clubs offer more forgiveness
- Older technologies don’t offer any adjustability
TaylorMade is another big name in golf equipment, on par with Callaway. The M2 is TaylorMade’s one of the most successful product lines. Although this is a 2017 club, which is arguably & old in today’s fast-paced world of golf equipment, it is by no means obsolete. It can still hold its ground compared to the newer Callaway clubs discussed above.
With that say, one of the key highlights of the M2 Rescue Hybrid is the low-profile clubhead, with a large recess in both the toe and heel. It improves the look and overall feel of the M2 Rescue and enhances the sound at impact.
TaylorMade has technology similar to Callaway’s Face Cup named Speed Pocket. It allows the face to & flex more during impact to promote more forgiveness and distance performance. In the M2 Rescue, the Speed Pocket is very long and thin, allowing more ball speed during off-center strikes.
Also, a pretty decent crown design with the black and white-stepped colors has been the signature of TaylorMade’s M clubs in recent years. It’s also not as large and bulky as the Callaway clubs above. So, suppose you are looking for a more compact hybrid without sacrificing too much forgiveness. In that case, the M2 Rescue might be an excellent choice for you.
5.TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue
- Great looking with one of the best designs in hybrid clubs, frames the ball very well at address
- Great distance performance, solid and straight ball trajectory when hit well, and acceptable during mishits
- State-of-the-art TaylorMade technologies
- Very versatile
- Expensive, being a newer club
- Not the most forgiving for beginners
SIM Max Rescue is TaylorMade’s newest hybrid club intended for beginners but surprisingly was used by Rory Mcllroy and Dustin Johnson in the early 2020 Tour season. It is a testimony of the SIM Max Rescue’s quality and the final nail in the coffin, arguing that hybrids are only for beginners and senior golfers.
A key highlight of the SIM Max Rescue is the new V-Steel sole, which mimics TaylorMade’s famous v-shaped sole in the early and mid-2000s. This v-shaped design allows better interaction, especially in tighter lies and when coming out of the rough.
Being a new club, it also features TaylorMade’s most unique face technology, dubbed the C300 steel face. Which is more stable and promotes more flex with its Twist Face technology, producing consistent ball speed to maximize distance during mishits. The Twist Face, TaylorMade claims, can help straighten up the ball’s trajectory during off-center hits.
While it’s not the most forgiving hybrid out there, it is a solid all-rounder hybrid with great design (not too bulky head). It’s excellent performance in the distance and great look and sound.
6.Cobra Golf F9 Men’s Speedback Hybrid
- Great distance with a very straight ball trajectory without sacrificing forgiveness
- Great adjustability with adjustable length and interchangeable weight to manipulate C.G.
- If you like modern-looking clubs, King F9 Speedback is an excellent look with black and mercury blue tints
- The bulky head might not be for everyone
- Only available in 19, 21, and 24 degrees loft
Cobra is known as the brand that’s not afraid to experiment with rather unorthodox approaches and technologies. The F9 Speedback Hybrid also offers these unique technologies.
The key highlight here is the namesake Speedback technology, which claimes to optimize both forgiveness and distance. In most cases, you’d have to sacrifice forgiveness to get more space, and vice versa, but that’s no longer the case with Speedback. As a result, the F9 Speedback is one of the longest hybrids out there with perfect forgiveness.
There’s also Cobra’s famous baffler rail to further improve forgiveness and distance and a pretty large face for higher MOI and more prominent sweet spots – for more forgiveness.
7.TaylorMade RBZ Black Rescue
- Price, very affordable today, being an older club.
- Great, iconic look, doesn’t look obsolete at all with the black and yellow color scheme.
- Versatile, available in 19, 22, and 25-degree loft angles, you could use all three in your bag to replace your 3- to 5- irons
- Not very forgiving according to today’s standard
- Carry/distance performance is sub-par
Although the RBZ Rescue is a reasonably old club, it is arguably the most famous hybrid club in the past decade. While it certainly doesn’t offer the newest technology compared to the more unique, more expensive clubs, the RBZ Rescue is still used by many golfers today. Many even swore by it as the best hybrids available.
A key reason why RBZ Rescue is so popular is that it is very versatile, with various loft and flex selections available. You also consider the excellent price point and TaylorMade’s build quality. You get a very reliable hybrid club with decent forgiveness and performance.
How and When To Use a Hybrid?
The fundamental principle in using a hybrid is to remember its function as a replacement for your long iron. It can help adjust your expectation when swinging it: It’s to get the most of your hybrid clubs, hit the ball with a descending blow just like you would with an iron. Let the loft of your hybrid do the work, just like an iron. On the other hand, make the most of the giant face and low-back center of gravity while making contact on the descent of your swing.
A hybrid is also pretty versatile in how you can use it on the course. The most basic use case is long-iron replacements. The combinations will primarily operate in the long-range and mid-range games. However, if you’d like, you can also use them off the tee when you need a bit more forgiveness and precision.
Hybrids also have their use around the putting greens, where you can use them for the chip or get around an obstacle. While forgiveness is the key highlight of the hybrid clubs, their versatility also cannot be underestimated.
Should I Replace My Long Irons With Hybrids?
You might benefit from replacing your long irons with hybrids if:
- You are generally deficient in hitting the irons from the rough
- You can’t reach par 3’s with your lowest-lofted iron
- You are pretty consistent in hitting your fairway wood but aren’t compatible with your 3-, 4- or 5- iron
- Need more consistent tee shots that can get onto the fairway on tight holes
- You currently have a 5-wood but don’t want to get a 7- or 9-wood
Selecting just the best hybrid club for beginners is challenging, with so many options available in the market. Each product offers its unique take in making the club more forgiving while promoting higher launch and longer carry. However, each also has its disadvantages.
However, based on our tests, we are confident that the seven hybrid clubs we have reviewed above are the best available in the market this year.
Now, choosing the very best out of the 7 is an even more terrifying task. Still, in our opinion, the Callaway Mavrik Max offers the best balance between forgiveness, distance, and price. Yes, it is one of the most expensive of the bunch, but the features and technologies you get from the price made it a worthy investment.
Since a hybrid can be a long-term investment, you are willing to spend a little more for the extra carry distance. However, it’s better to control, accurate, and maximum forgiveness; the Mavrik Max is the way to go.
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