Best New Hybrids
Golf Digest equipment editors Mike Stachura and E. Michael Johnson discuss the award-winning hybrids on the 2016 Hot List.
Released on 2/2/2016
I really think the hybrid's one of the greatest inventions
in golf in the last 15 to 20 years.
In terms of helping everyday players play better golf.
I think what happened, unfortunately,
to the hybrid over the last decade,
particularly four or five years ago,
is that there was this crazy emphasis on distance
and we started seeing hybrids that were too long to be hit
from the fairway and frankly, that's where you hit hybrids
Because if you're like me, you're left with 180
to 210 yards to the grain
and you need a club that might go that distance.
For me, it's obviously my driver, but...
o I tee it up in the fairway, but that's the fact.
You can't feel comfortable with a traditional 3-iron
or 4-iron. That's what the hybrid should be.
It should be a better version
of the long-iron it's designed to replace.
I mean, the original hybrids were exactly
what they're intended to be.
Most of the shaft lengths corresponded with the shaft length
of the iron they were replacing.
If you had a 3-hybrid, it was the length of a 3-iron.
If you had 4-hybrid, it was the length of a 4-iron.
Then, I remember one year during the Hot List,
we had one submission where the hybrid was 42 inches long.
That's a 3-hybrid, that's 3-wood length.
Everybody got caught up in the distance chase.
The shafts got longer, the club heads got bigger,
but you know what, it's starting to finally
come back the other way a little bit.
The number of hybrids that you carry in your bag,
I mean, there are players on tour that had
three or four hybrids in the bag.
Well, Y.E. Yang has four.
And then, as we've always talked about,
a lot of people can learn more from an LPGA player
than a PGA tour player and you look at people like
Lydia Ko and Inbee Park.
They start their iron set at the 6-iron.
So, that's what I think people should be looking at.
Unless you're really a skilled player,
maybe look at starting your set at the 6-iron
and then using hybrids for your five, four,
and if you were considering a three, even a three.
Having three hybrids, there's no shame in that.
Yeah, I don't see any reason that anybody
who plays golf and can't break 80 consistently
should not have at least two hybrids in their bag.
At least two. I mean, I've used one for the better part
of the last 15 years, but late last year I even
put one in for my 5-iron.
And you know what, that par three at Rock Ridge,
fifth hole Member-Guest, instead of having it hit
and roll over the green, it's nice to see it hit
and stay on the green.