Do Golf Pros Use Hybrid Clubs & Should You?

The rules of golf state that you can carry up to 14 golf clubs and the choices you make will impact your scorecard.

A hybrid versus a long iron is the most difficult decision when determining your set.

PGA tour players can lose money if they make the wrong decision. The natural question – do golf pros use hybrid clubs?

They are playing for millions of dollars and you have a small side bet. This might be a good place to follow their lead!

With this in mind, let’s take a deeper look at “do golf pros use hybrid clubs?”.

Below we will answer this question and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this type of club. Should you add one to your bag today?

do golf pros use hybrids. A golf club bag

What Is A Hybrid Club?

Do golf pros use hybrid clubs? We can’t answer this question until we provide the definition of a hybrid club.

It is called a hybrid because it is a combination of two club types. It is part “long iron” and part fairway wood.

A relatively new concept in the world of golf, the hybrid club started to become popular in the early 2000s.

At first, they were seen as game-improvement clubs. Long irons (2-iron, 3-iron, 4-iron) are hard to hit and a hybrid was a better option for high handicappers.

The shape of a hybrid (looks like a small fairway wood) makes it easier to hit out of the rough and get into the air.

Fairly quickly golfers started to see the value of replacing their 3-iron or 4-iron with a hybrid. You will now see them in the bag of scratch golfers.

Regardless of how good you are at golf, it is always a smart idea to make the game easier.

Do Golf Pros Use Hybrid Clubs?

It didn’t take long for hybrid clubs to make their way onto professional tours around the world.

The answer to “do golf pros use hybrid clubs” is “Yes, sometimes”.

Let us explain.

For the casual golfer, the 14 clubs in their bag don’t change very often. This isn’t true for professional golfers.

On the PGA Tour, a couple of strokes can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are looking for any advantage that could help them be more successful.

A professional golfer will work with their caddy and coach prior to each event to determine the “right” 14 clubs for that specific tournament.

They consider many different factors prior to selecting their set. Course design, course setup (length, rough height, etc.), and the weather forecast.

These factors will help the player decide if they want a 2-iron or a hybrid or if they don’t need either one and would like an extra wedge in the bag.

So if you ask “do golf pros use hybrid clubs” you might get told, “not this week, but next week definitely”!

Now let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid golf clubs.

cameramen taking pictures of a golf pro

Do Golf Pros Use Hybrid Clubs? 5 Advantages

1. Larger Sweet Spot

The larger the sweet spot the hard it is to miss. Hybrid golf clubs allow you to hit great golf shots even when you miss the center of the clubface.

Do golf pros use hybrid clubs? Wouldn’t you prefer some forgiveness if you were playing for millions of dollars?

Yes, a perfectly struck 2-iron is beautiful to watch, but if you hit it off the toe of the club it will come up 50 yards short of your target.

50 yards short of the target could be in a bunker or even a hazard (penalty area). That same swing with a hybrid may miss the green but will be close enough for you to save par.

There is less room for error with a long iron.

2. Increase Trajectory

Another common challenge when hitting a 3-iron or 4-iron is holding the green. The ball travels at a low trajectory and doesn’t have enough spin to stay on the putting surface.

The design of hybrid clubs will help you get the ball in the air. A 3-hybrid has the same loft as a 3-iron, but your trajectory will be higher.

You may notice on TV that players like Rory and Tiger use long irons, but they have tremendous clubhead speed.

The hybrid will help you make up for your lack of speed.

Do golf pros use hybrid clubs? The answer most likely depends on their clubhead speed. Just like you, many professionals need help to get the ball in the air.

3. Distance

Let’s be honest. We could all use more distance throughout the golf bag.

If you hit your 4-iron 180 yards, but a 4-hybrid 200 yards, this difference alone might be worth making the change.

The combination of a larger sweet spot and a higher trajectory will help you hit hybrid clubs further.

We are betting you could use more distance in your long irons!

A golf club bag next to a basket of golf balls.

4. Swingability (Weight)

This may sound weird at first, but hybrid clubs are easier to swing than long irons. It has to do with the weight of the clubs.

The head of a hybrid is larger and it helps you make an aggressive swing through impact. A more confident swing produces better golf shots.

Do you ever look at your 3-iron and think it is a butter knife? The look of a long iron can cause golf nerves and you become tentative.

It is quite simple. A hybrid looks easier to hit and is easier to swing aggressively. This combination is why they are so popular with amateurs and professionals.

5. No Hosel – No Shanks

Is there anything worse than hitting a shank? It is embarrassing and it will immediately cause you to make a double or triple bogey.

What is a shank? It is when your ball hits the inside of an iron and makes contact with the hosel. This creates a wild shot that violently flies directly to the right.

Here is the thing about hybrid golf clubs – they don’t have a hosel. This design feature makes it impossible to hit a shank with one.

Do golf pros use hybrid clubs? Yes, but most don’t worry about hitting shanks. This benefit is more impactful to the weekend warriors that are all too familiar with this shot!

A golfer prepares ti take a shot

Do Golf Pros Use Hybrid Clubs? 3 Disadvantages

1. Offset Can Turn A Draw Into a Hook

What is your typical golf shot? Do you naturally play a draw? A draw is when your ball curves from right to left (right-handed golfers).

Hybrid golf clubs are offset to help you avoid a slice, but if your natural shot turns to the left, you might hit hooks with them.

Do golf pros use hybrid clubs? Yes, but professionals that like to sling the ball from right to left (Patrick Reed is a great example) might find it hard to control them.

If nothing else, you need to be aware of this fact before adding one to your set.

2. More Spin, More Curve

We talked about in the advantages section that hybrids help you get the ball in the air (higher trajectory) and help you hold the green.

The downside of that is they create more spin. Do you know what happens when your ball spins more?

Spin is what creates curve, so more spin means more curve. All of a sudden your small fade is a slice or your slight draw is a hook.

You can learn to play this additional curve, but you need to be aware of this behavior.

3. Less Control In The Wind

Do golf pros use hybrid clubs? Yes, but probably not at the Open Championship.

This is a great example of how the weather forecast impacts the 14 clubs a professional brings to an event.

Hybrid golf clubs are harder to control in the wind. Higher ball flight in the wind? Bad. More spin in the wind? Bad.

A 3-iron is like a bullet cutting through the wind, while a 3-hybrid will have the tendency to float.

On a windy day, you are better off with long irons. Hybrids can still work during a stiff breeze, but you have to be careful to control your trajectory.

A golfer makes a swing

Should You Use Hybrid Golf Clubs?

Do golf pros use hybrid clubs? Our honest answer is, “who cares”. The more important question is “should you use a hybrid golf club?”.

Of course, we don’t know you personally and we have never watched you hit a shot, but for the vast majority of players the answer is “YES”.

It is quite simple. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Hybrids are just easier to hit.

Unless your goal is to make golf harder, you should replace your 3-iron and 4-iron with hybrids. You might even want to consider retiring your 5-iron.

There is no shame in using several hybrid clubs in your bag. You will hit more great shots and your bad ones won’t be as bad.

The hybrid golf club was probably the best game-improvement invention in the game in the last 50 years. You should take advantage of it!

Up Next: How Do You Become A Golf Professional?

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Ray has been playing golf for 35+ years, including being part of his High School and College golf teams. While he still enjoys playing in amateur tournaments, Ray now focuses on growing the game of golf through teaching and coaching. He has two sons that both play golf competitively and loves spending time watching them compete. Ray continues to play in local amateur golf events and currently has a +2 handicap.

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