If a senior golfer hasn’t taken the plunge and snapped up some hybrid clubs, they could be missing out on a host of benefits.
Hybrids, originally termed rescue clubs, have revolutionized the way amateurs play the game. Professionals have also begun to use hybrids in ever increasing numbers, especially on the seniors and ladies tours.
The refinement of hybrid clubs has also changed the way manufacturers create and sell club sets. Major brands now only tend to release 4 iron to pitching wedge sets, as most golfers select a hybrid club in place of the 3 iron.
It’s not possible for manufacturers to deepen the cavity on long irons as much as they can with hybrids. With hybrids, because there is more room within the club head, manufacturers can move more weight to the perimeter. By shifting the weight to the perimeter, a greater moment of inertia (MOI) is created at impact. With a greater MOI, the effects of off centre hits are mitigated and the ball generally flies higher and further through the air.
The wide sole of hybrids also help lift the ball from poor lies such as deep rough and even sand. Being able to combine forgiveness and versatility was the ultimate goal when crossing a fairway wood with the playability of an iron. This is how the ‘hybrid’ got its name.
How to hit the hybrid
When using hybrids, there’s no need to make massive adjustments at set up. The senior golfer can play the hybrid club like a long iron. If the hybrid has a middle iron loft (5 iron or 6 iron), they can set up for a middle iron shot. Most hybrids are designed to take the place of long irons (2,3,4 iron) as these are generally the most difficult clubs to hit.
1. Set up to the ball with a hybrid as you would with a long iron of equivalent loft.
2. The alignment and body positions are also the same with feet, hips and shoulders all square to the ball-to-target line.
3. The senior golfer wants to recreate an iron action, hitting down and through the ball. With a fairway wood, the senior would want to ‘sweep’ the ball away.
4. The senior golfer doesn’t want to produce a large divot but rather ‘bruise’ the ground after the ball. If a big divot is created, the senior golfer has come too steep into the ball.
The amount of hybrids a senior golfer wants to incorporate into their bag depends on individual needs but most prefer between two and four. Hybrids can even take the place of traditional fairway woods, with hybrid lofts going as low as 15 degrees. Many seniors are more concerned with generating more height with the longer clubs and hybrids are a great way to do this.
However, senior golfers who like to shape shots will tend to find their ball flight harder to manipulate into a draw or fade when using hybrid clubs.