I once heard it said if you were on the golf course and got stuck in a lightning storm all you had to do to was hold up your 1-iron because not even God can hit one of those. Like so many other recreational golfers, I have taken those demanding clubs out of my bag and replaced them with hybrids. Hybrids combine the best qualities of an iron and a wood into one club, but with literally dozens of them on the market, it can be difficult to know which ones are the best.
So, if you’re looking to replace those hard-to-hit low irons in your bag, here are five of the best hybrid golf clubs for 2016.
I begin with the latest from TaylorMade. I’ve used TaylorMade drivers and 3 woods for a long time, and I found the feel familiar from this hybrid. It has several choices in loft and I enjoyed my 19° model when I managed to find the sweet spot, but that was a tougher task than I expected. However when I did the feel was crisp and powerful, much like my TaylorMade Burner 3 wood. This is a decent choice for a golfer with accuracy.
My second option is a Nike hybrid. I currently use a Nike Rescue Iron set that included a 22° and 26° rescue club instead of a 3 iron and 4 iron. This club had a familiar shape and feel and felt like a hammer in my hands. I did sneak a little more distance out of the 20° loft, but my shots - even the off center ones - came down nice and soft. As one of the most forgiving hybrid golf clubs on the market, this one might be replacing my current 22 rescue. A great choice for those of us who like to swing hard and might not hit the center of the club every time.
This club is the stealth bomber of the group with a nice matte black finish on top and cool graphics on the sole. I also like some of the angular lines of the club head and pleasant looking face. Upon swinging this club, I was struck immediately by its non-Callaway feel. It did not remind me of other Callaway woods I have used, but I couldn’t decide if it was the feel or the sound. It gave me a nice ting on a great shot, but off-center hits just didn’t sound right. However, I was able to control height and distance pretty effectively. This might be a good choice for a higher handicapper.
Cobra is famous for making sneaky good clubs and honestly with the King F6, they may have made the best hybrid golf club I’ve tested so far. Each club has an adjustable loft allowing you to have fewer clubs in your bag and still get the distance you need. I tinkered with the plethora of settings and found I could do anything I wanted to with this club and the ball would go exactly where I wanted it to. It’s a beautiful, rounded club and feels like a solid, quality piece of craftsmanship every time you strike the ball.
A good friend of mine swears by Mizuno, so I felt I had to include one for this article. Picking up the JPX-EZ Hybrid reminded me of an old-style, compact fairway wood. It looked, felt and struck the ball that way as well. It did have a nice, high ball flight, but didn’t seem to fit in with the rescuing qualities I look for in my hybrid clubs. It wasn’t my favorite sounding club with more of a clack than a ting, but it did get the ball off the deck. I’m not sure I’d actually call this one of the best hybrid golf clubs but more like a great wood replacement. It’s very good at what it’s made to do.
The world of hybrids is diluted with so many choices that it can be tough to decide which is right for you. But they are so much easier to play than those difficult low irons. My advice is to take a few of these out for a test drive and see which ones get you closer to your target.