Hybrids are crosses between fairway woods and traditional irons. A set of hybrid clubs is something of a misnomer. Women can buy a set of clubs with as few as one hybrid or a set of clubs with mostly hybrids. Although golfers use hybrids mostly to replace the difficult-to-hit long irons, hybrids are often substituted for fairway woods as well. Choosing the best-performing set of clubs containing hybrids depends on your skill level, your swing and your personal preferences. All the major manufacturers make hybrids geared for women golfers.
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Replacing Fairway Woods With Hybrids
The first hybrids, commonly referred to as rescue clubs, were created to replace fairway woods. These hybrids are built with plenty of loft to get the ball into the air more easily. The clubhead tends to be smaller and the length of the club a little shorter than a traditional fairway wood, making it easier to maneuver if you are in the rough or the trees. A woman golfer who struggles using fairway woods to get airborne is likely to play her best by replacing them with hybrids. In addition, equipment guru Tom Wishon, writing at "Links Magazine," recommends hybrids for golfers with steeper swings who tend to take divots with their fairway woods. A hybrid is designed to bounce off the turf instead of digging into it.
Replacing Long Irons With Hybrids
According to Wishon, almost every golfer should replace their 3-iron, 4-iron and perhaps 5-iron with hybrids. He notes that manufacturers have been reducing the loft of long irons for years, which gives you more distance but makes the clubs more difficult to hit. In fact, Wishon writes that today's "3 and 4-irons have so little loft that they are virtually unhittable for the average golfer." In addition, most women generate relatively low levels of clubhead speed. Hybrids are designed to compensate by enabling you to launch the ball off the ground more easily to give you more distance, and they feature a larger sweet spot to improve your accuracy on mishits.
Replacing Other Irons With Hybrids
If you are a beginning women golfer or generate very low levels of clubhead speed, you might play your best with almost all hybrid irons. Your set could contain hybrids that replace all of the traditional irons except your wedges. More proficient golfers who hit the ball consistently in the center of the clubface tend to do better with traditional short irons, which offer pinpoint control and feel.
Fitting Hybrids to Your Game
Given the profusion of choices and the complexity of golf equipment, many women and men throw up their hands and buy a set of clubs off the rack. But you're unlikely to obtain the best set for your game by doing so. There's no substitute for testing hybrids and comparing the results to fairway woods and irons in order to compile the best set of clubs. A good club fitting at a golf shop or pro shop allows you to test hybrids with different shafts, weights, materials and clubheads and hit the links with confidence, knowing you're toting the set of tools that enables you to play your best.