If you are new to golf, statutory warning this is not a postmortem of a match between two teams, named Hybrid and Fairway woods and in fact, it’s more inclined towards what every player uses or prefers to use. The type of the clubs and it’s construction!
I know you landed on this page because you are well aware of what this is about, so sorry for the poor sense of humor and let’s deep dive.
With the elements of both wood and iron the hybrid golf clubs help golfers of all standards make their game better.
Hybrids are versatile which is also used for driving off the tea or chipping near the green and also serves for various other situations that might arise.
Many golfers claim that they can swing a hybrid with more ease as compared to a fairway wood, only when the hybrid is used correctly.
The clubhead of a hybrid is made denser and comes along with a lower and deeper center of gravity as compared to the fairway clubheads.
Also, the fairway wood comes with a broader sole as compared to the hybrid which is almost twice when compared to the hybrid. With these constraints’ hybrid becomes much easier to shoot the ball in the air reducing the possibility of mis-hits!
3-wood vs 3-hybrid
Let’s understand the difference between the two clubheads and how it affects the shot.
Commonly called woods or fairway woods are used for shooting from the fairway and these clubs are mostly used for playing in short distance shots.
Their build comprises a short shaft and a metal head, which also resembles the drivers but in a smaller size.
Now let’s take a look into the physics applied. In a fairway wood, the center of gravity (COG) is always located at the back of the head and that becomes the perfect combination of accuracy and the distance traveled.
Having said that the preference changed over time and much recently golfers prefer more precision over a shorter distance.
Hybrids take its precedence here because it acts as a hybrid between a fairway wood and a traditional iron. In this case the design is such that the center of gravity (COG) falls on the front of the head.
This structure provides a much better control while hitting the shot. If we take a scale of 1:5 to compare the differences between the two, a 3-hybrid club will create shots with the accuracy level of 4 and if we compare that to a 3 wood it would somewhere be around 2.5.
Having said that, the major difference lies with the fact that a ball hit by a 3 hybrid will travel a much smaller distance as compared to the 3 woods.
5-wood vs 3-hybrid
We often cross through this dilemma while selecting the right club for ourselves that which one would be better than the other but let me tell you it’s a myth to think one is better than the other because it’s not.
They are just different and provide a different experience while taking the shots.
Most 5 woods have about 18* of loft, 3 hybrids have approx. 21* which makes the 5 wood pretty similar to the 2 iron.
Due to this design difference in the head design, the 5 wood hits the ball farther than the 3 hybrid and can be used for fairway or tee shots where you would want to have more control over the shot.
Professionals also use it around the green when a wedge becomes difficult to use.
The 3 hybrids were originally created to replace the 3 iron as this provides control over hitting a shot to cover a specific distance.
Although this is found useful to cover tee as well if needed and for chip shots as well, players are often seen carrying both a 5 wood and a 3 hybrid.
Hybrid or wood
Now, this is the big question and we would chalk out some major differences keeping in mind the use and benefits of both of these clubs.
Elements of both woods and irons are combined in the hybrid golf clubs. Several golfers prefer to use hybrids to let go of the long irons.
Also, many weekend golfers can hit a fairway wood more easily as compared to a long iron while others find swinging a hybrid more easily when compared to a fairway wood, when used correctly.
Let’s further break-down the mechanism of the two techniques to figure out the differences:
The difference in how they swing:
The way the two clubs swing on standard fairway shots makes it so different in their performance.
A fairway wood game is played where the ball is played forward in the stance, generally about 3 inches inside the left heel for a right-handed golfer.
The hybrid’s game however is more aligned to that of the iron.
The ball is placed in the middle of the stance and the swing is steeper as the player hits down on the ball. On a perfect fairway shot with a hybrid club a divot is taken by the golfer just beyond the spot where the ball seats.
The stance of the player
The hybrids are originally designed to replace the irons which is why it appears to be of the same length as compared to an iron.
On the other hand, woods come with longer shafts which is why the golfers need to be careful of the ball when swinging a hybrid which might not be the case while playing with a fairway wood.
Woods and fairway both have significant places in the game although some claim the fairway wood to be a better preferred club due to its flat bottom skims the low grass with ease. Having said that in a thicker rough, the heavier comes to the rescue.
The hybrid is designed to lift the ball with ease in the air. Also, the lifting ability of a hybrid makes it a better selection than a wood if you land in a fairway bunker.
To conclude most weekend golfers, prefer the 3 wood when playing in a clean green and also when they are playing into the wind. However, while playing in a rough or an uneven surface, combined with downwind the 3-hybrid will be the best fit and most preferred.
While the debate between the performance of a 3-wood vs. the 3-hybrid continues among golfers, both of these clubs are globally accepted and appreciated depending on the preferences.
With over 70% of PGA Tour champions using these for their games, it makes both of these the most desired clubs of the ever-changing game of golf.