Finding a Spot in Your Set For Hybrids

When you make the decision to add at least one hybrid to your set of clubs, you will obviously need to determine which club is going to lose its spot. The rules only let you have 14, and assuming you are already up at that limit, adding a hybrid means taking something else out of the bag. Even if you have some clubs in your set that you don’t love, it will still be a bit tricky to determine which one should go.

To start with, the first target should likely be your longest iron. If you do carry a three iron (or even a two iron), start there. What would your game look like if you swapped out that longest iron in favor of a hybrid? Would you lose anything valuable, or would the change be only for the better? As long as you feel like the overall change would be positive by switching the long iron out for a hybrid, you can go ahead with the move.

While it will usually make sense to get rid of a long iron in favor of a hybrid, you might not have a long iron available to swap out. For example, if you are already carrying no irons longer than a five, you may not have this option. In that case, you will have to take a look at your fairway woods. Are you carrying any high-lofted fairway woods, like a seven wood or nine wood? If so, you may benefit from changing out one of those in favor of a hybrid. While these kinds of clubs are easier to hit than long irons, they may not be as versatile as a hybrid.

One surprising option you may want to use to open up a spot in your set is dropping a wedge. If you currently carry four wedges, you might be able to reduce that number to three in order to make room for a hybrid. It is certainly possible to get by with only three wedges, especially if they are spaced appropriately. For instance, you could carry a pitching wedge, 52* wedge, and 58* wedge. That would provide you with nice distance gaps, you’d have plenty of options for chipping, and you would suddenly have an extra spot in your bag for a long club. If you don’t want to get rid of any irons or fairway woods, but you do want to add a hybrid, consider the possibility of cutting out a wedge.

Even once you have decided that you are going to eliminate a certain club, you will still need to determine the loft of the hybrid that will replace it. You shouldn’t necessarily try to match up the loft of the hybrid with the loft of the old club, as this might not be an even swap. For instance, if you are getting rid of a long iron to add a hybrid, it doesn’t matter what loft the iron may have had. Instead, the only thing that matters is finding a hybrid which is going to fit nicely into your set from a distance perspective. You want to keep your distance gaps as even as possible throughout your set, so that you can cover as many situations as possible.

As an example, let’s imagine that you are trading out your three iron for a hybrid. When you strike your three iron nicely, you hit it 180-yards. No matter what loft that three iron may have had, your goal when shopping for a hybrid is to find one that will allow you to carry the ball in that 180-yard range. That way, it should still slot in nicely behind your four iron, while not hitting the ball as long as your shortest fairway wood. In order to get the best possible performance from your new hybrid, you will need to make sure that it fits logically within the context of the rest of your clubs.