No doubt, hybrid clubs are the most popular category of new clubhead purchases. These clubs are a cross between a wood and an iron. Hybrids and offer improved weight distribution, more forgiveness than low lofted irons and are a mainstay in golf bags ranging from high handicappers to the best golfer professionals in the world!
Many times when speaking with customers, I am often asked which clubhead will hit the ball both high and long based on their requirements. Often this comes down to what distance gaps they may have or what particular club they are trying to replace. In many cases, they really don’t need a hybrid, but rather a club that has been around for some time and that is the high-lofted fairway wood. Believe it or not, these clubs can be more advantageous for many golfers who may struggle not only getting the distance they need, but also stopping the ball on the green.
The reason is simple; high lofted fairway woods are typically broader from face to back than a hybrid. One of the touts of a hybrid is the center of gravity is rearward or some refer to it as “deep”. With most fairway woods being just as shallow as a hybrid, the center of gravity is actually deeper in a high-lofted fairway. Couple this with a smaller 0.335” tipped shaft that is usually more flexible than a 0.370” hybrid or iron shaft, and the result is even higher trajectory than a comparable lofted hybrid.
The one thing to understand, however, is the length of a fairway wood has a factor in the distance one hits the ball. A 21° fairway wood will, in almost all cases, be built longer than a 21° hybrid. The extra length provides greater leverage and speed resulting into a longer distance. In fact, a 24° high-lofted fairway wood would provide a closer approximation of the distance of a 21° hybrid. When you factor that in, the fairway wood will create a higher trajectory at the same distance. This will enable one to land the ball with less roll on a green for long approach shots.
The next time you are in a market for a hybrid club; don’t forget to give a high lofted fairway wood a look too.