Hybrid golf clubs have been one of the greatest advances for golfers with slower swing speeds. Trying to hit long irons with a slow swing speed will cause you a lot of frustration and extra shots.
Here’s why: To hit the 3,4,5 long irons, you need to have good club head speed to be able to launch the ball at high enough loft to be able to hit the ball farther than you would hit a mid-iron. For instance, if you have a swing speed of 90 mph or less, you might not be able to hit your 3 or 4 iron further in the air than a 5 iron!
To overcome this loss of distance, many golfers that we see try to muscle their long irons. And every once in a while they will catch the ball clean and hit the ball a long ways. This occasional success often justifies, in their mind, that they should keep these clubs. But you and I know that gripping it tight and trying to muscle a golf shot leads to a lot of inconsistency.
Golf is a game of finesse and rhythm. You shouldn’t be short of breath and sweating when you are hitting golf shots!
A hybrid overcomes this problem by launching the ball further in the air, with your current swing speed, so you can achieve not only distance, but stopping power on the greens. Best of all, you don’t need to ‘kill the ball’ to get great results.
This is a chart comparing loft and launch angle with the driver but the principle applies to our topic as well. As you notice from the graphic, in most cases, the lower the loft the longer the golf ball will go. However, there is a limitation to that principle. The blue line represents a shot at a lower launch than the black line but it falls well short of the distance of the black line.
Meaning that once you are unable to hit a golf ball at a certain launch angle, you will lose distance with that shot. In regards to long irons, if your swing speed is not fast enough to launch the ball high enough in the air to optimize your carry distance, you are losing distance with that club. You need to change to a hybrid that will launch the ball higher in the air.
The hybrid is able to accomplish a higher ball flight because the clubhead has a heavier mass than the head of an iron.
More Benefits of A Hybrid for Golfers Over 50
Not only does heavier mass help you hit the ball higher and further, it can also help you escape difficult lies such as deep rough. Plus, hybrids also have a better sole design that allows the club to slide through deep grass where as an iron will tangle in deep grass.
MOI stands for Moment of Inertia. Simply stated, having more MOI means more forgiveness. You probably know from experience that long irons are not very forgiving! Increased MOI will not only keep your ball flight straighter, but will also give you more distance on miss hits.
In summary, when you compare hybrids to long irons the benefits to your game include:
1. Longer and higher golf shots
2. Better results out of the rough, sand, and tight lies
3. More forgiveness
4. Improved distance on miss hits
In fact, hybrids are so easy to hit that many golfers are replacing their 5-woods with 3-hybrids!
Here is How You Can Replace Your Irons with Hybrids
Hybrid Loft : Equivalent Iron
14-16 : 1 iron
17-19 : 2 iron
19-21 : 3 iron
22-23 : 4 iron
24-27 : 5 iron
29-32 : 6 iron
32+ : 7+ irons
How many hybrids should you carry in your bag? If your swing speed is slower than 100mph, I would recommend replacing your 3 and 4 irons with 3 and 4 hybrids. If your swing speed is slower than 90 mph, I recommend replacing your 5 iron with a 5 hybrid. After that, I would recommend replacing any iron that you are struggling to get up in the air or get distance with.
Read this next: Improve your flexibility to improve your golf swing
Hybrid golf clubs are fantastic tools that you should be using to improve and enjoy your golf game.
Dr. Ryan York is a physical therapist and since 2008 has been working exclusively with golfers between the ages of 50 and 75. He co-directs Age Defying Golf, which is dedicated to improving golf performance, reducing the effects of aging, and resolving golf-related pain in golfers .