Best Hybrid Golf Club Review

Rescue 911: The Best Hybrid Golf Clubs of 2018

Looking to buy a new hybrid this year?

First off, you've made a good decision in that you have decided to carry a hybrid instead of a long iron.  

With so many choices on the market, picking the right one is very difficult.  

The key is to match the right hybrid to the type of player you are.  

That means you need to be honest about your skill level.  If you are not an aspiring tour player, these are the hybrids currently on the market that fit you best:

Best Hybrids for Mid to High Handicap Golfers
Comparison Table

Distance

Forgiveness

Escapability

Price

Overall

Longest Hybrid

Very Good

Good

Moderately Priced

Long

Very Good

Best Hybrid out of the Rough and Bunkers

Moderately Priced

Very Long

Easiest Hybrid to hit for most Players

Good

Moderately Priced

Long

Very Good

Good

Best Value Hybrid

Long

Very good

Average

Very Reasonable

Above Average

Average

Below Average from the Rough

Pricey

For those of you that are playing at a higher level than the rest of us, you'll want to look at these hybrids:

Best Hybrids for ​Good Players
Comparison Table

Distance

Accuracy

Notes

Price

Overall

Long

Very Good

Fully Adjustable, excellent out of High Rough

Moderately Priced

Long

Most Accurate Hybrid, Plays More Like an Iron

Fully Adjustable

Pricey

Long

Very Good

Very Workable for a Hybrid, not adjustable

Moderately Priced

Mizuno CLK Hybrid

Low Spin and very long

Very Good

No adjustabilty

Moderately Priced

But for those of you who are not sold on the idea of a hybrid yet, let's break down why you should reconsider.

Why use Hybrid Golf Clubs?

Hybrids combine the best qualities of both fairway woods and long irons. At address, hybrids feel like an iron but, the larger head provides the distance of a fairway wood. 

If you're little more than a scratch golfer, you should have a hybrid or four in the bag and learn how to hit hybrids. They're designed to provide higher launch, more spin, and land the ball softer, all good qualities in a golf club.

According to industry research, the number of golfers using hybrids has nearly doubled over the past fifteen years. Nowadays, more than eighty percent of players carry at least one hybrid, while on average the majority of players carry two. 

Even professional golfers occasionally swap out an iron for a hybrid, depending on course and weather conditions.

Hybrid Golf Clubs vs. Irons

The three, four, and five irons (a.k.a. the long irons) have always been considered the hardest clubs to hit for the average golfer. Their lower lofts require good contact to avoid serious punishment. 

To solve this problem, club makers design hybrids to yield the same distance as their iron counterpart but, with more loft. The longer front-to-back sole of a hybrid also helps players swing through the ball without catching and digging into the turf. 

In addition, many manufacturers nowadays, infuse most, if not all, of their driver and wood technology into their hybrids as well. 

Which Hybrid Clubs Replace What Irons?

In theory, you should be able to replace your irons with the same numbered hybrid. A straight-up swap works well if you're staying within the same model line of clubs, say M4 to M4 for example. 

If you're a beginner or high handicapper and rarely get the same distance from shot to shot with any given club, then you should also replace your irons with the same numbered hybrid as distance gaps won't come in to play as they would for someone with a grooved swing. 

But, because lofts vary from one manufacturer to the next, better players with consistent yardage throughout the bag, may need to do a field test, or try a hybrid with an adjustable loft, before swapping out an iron for a hybrid. 

Take a look at the chart below and notice the difference in lofts between the hybrids and irons from each of the four club makers listed. 

Notice that TaylorMade and Ping don't even make a three with their game improvement sets. While the Titleist 3H and three iron have the identical loft, the TaylorMade 5H and five iron have a three-and-a-half degree gap, quite a difference for two clubs expected to produce the same distance.

Hybrid and Iron Loft Comparison Table

3 Hybrid / 3 Iron

4 Hybrid / 4 Iron

5 Hybrid / 5 Iron

TaylorMade M4

19°/ na

22°/ 19°

25°/ 21.5°

Callaway Rogue

19°/ 18

22°/ 21.5°

25°/ 23°

Titleist 818 H2 / 718 AP3

19°/ 19°

21°/ 22°

23°/ 25°

Ping G400

19°/ na°

22°/ 20.5°

26°/ 23.5°

Hybrid Golf Clubs vs. Woods

You probably think that if I have hybrids, then I don't need woods. That may be partially true but, woods and hybrids are two different clubs. 

Woods have wider soles, heavier heads, and longer shafts than hybrids. Because they usually have stronger lofts than their same numbered hybrid cousins, you can expect lower ball flight, less spin, and more distance from the wood. 

Most players carry at least a three wood to bridge the distance gap between their driver and their first hybrid. For the most part, players find hybrids easier to hit than woods. 

Which Hybrid Clubs Should I Carry?

That comes down to skill level, budget, and what's in your bag now. 

If you're a beginner or high handicapper, carry as many as your budget allows. Most manufacturers make hybrids starting at two or three and ending at either five or six. 

But, the Cleveland HB Launcher Hybrid Irons come in lofts from four to gap wedge. They're an excellent choice for beginners looking for a new set of clubs and may also be the best hybrid golf clubs for high handicappers as well. 

For the average golfer, club makers recommend swapping out the three, four, and five irons, for hybrids. You may even see a 2H in the bag of someone with a great swing. 

I Already Have Hybrids That Play Well, Why Should I Upgrade?

Modern hybrids fly higher, go farther, and land softer than those of just a few years ago. 

Also, as you read our rundowns on the major brands, you'll see that technologies, once only available in drivers and fairway woods, have made their way into many of today's hybrids.

Is There That Much Difference from One Brand to the Next?

Possibly more than any other types of club, hybrids differ the most from line to line and brand to brand. As you read on, it will quickly become apparent that the best hybrid golf clubs for high handicappers, the best hybrid golf clubs for better players, and the best hybrid golf clubs for the average player, are three distinct types of club. 

TaylorMade, Callaway, and Titleist each make two models of hybrid within the same line, one for the average golfer and one for the better players. 

Cleveland targets beginners and high handicappers with their HB Launcher hybrids and hybrid irons, as does Cobra with the F8 One Length line.  

Ping and Mizuno make hybrids that appeal to everyone from beginner to single-digit handicappers.  

To better answer this question, we've put together a quick rundown of the major players in the world of hybrids, the features that make them stand out, and which ones are most likely to help you shave some strokes.

 TaylorMade M3 / M4 Hybrids

TaylorMade M4 Hybrid

 If you like TaylorMade drivers and woods, you're going to love their M3 and M4 hybrids. Just as with the driver line, the average player should opt for the M4, while the lucky shot-shapers out there will prefer the more compact head of the M3.

Pros

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    TaylorMade's "Speed Pocket" technology provides added forgiveness and consistent distance on low-on-the-face mishits.
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    Both the M3s and M4s sound and feel solid thanks to TaylorMade's "Geocoustic" technology.
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    Two internal weights increase ball speed and forgiveness across the entire clubface.
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    A sliding center-of-gravity weight adjusts to increase fade or draw or to correct a slice or hook (M3 model).
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    Twelve-Way Adjustable Loft Sleeve allows users to adjust the loft and lie by as much as plus or minus one-and-a-half degrees, in half-degree increments, and face angle by plus or minus one degree in one-degree increments (M3 model).
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    A wide range of custom shafts available at no extra charge.

Cons

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    Adjusting the center-of-gravity weights and the twelve-way adjustable hosel requires a TaylorMade torque wrench (M3 models).
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    No "Twist Face" technology, TaylorMade's new face design is missing in the hybrids.
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    No 5h or 6h for left-handers. pricey.

TaylorMade's M4 has about everything the average golfer could ask for in a hybrid. It's forgiving, long, and launches the ball as well as any iron. 

Shot-makers will appreciate the incredible adjustability and more compact head on the M3. Plus, TaylorMade calls their hybrids "rescue clubs" for a good reason. 

Both excel out of fairway bunkers and thick rough.  Read our full review of the TaylorMade M3 Hybrid and M4 Hybrids.


Callaway Rogue / Rogue X Hybrids

Callaway Rogue Hybrid

With available lofts from 2h to 5h in both left and right hand and a 6h in right, Callaway covered all the bases with the Rogue hybrids. 

They didn't forget the ladies either with lofts available for righties from 3h through 8h, and 5h and 6h for lefties.

Pros

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    Jailbreak - Just as in the Rogue Driver, Callaway employs their "Jailbreak" technology in both the Rogue line of hybrids.  Two internal vertical bars that join the heel and sole (picture prison bars), and serve to stiffen the face on impact, thus the name "Jailbreak." The stiffer body improves energy transfer to the ball and increases distance considerably.
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    Face Cup - Through extensive testing, Callaway engineers pinpointed one-hundred-and-seven unique impact locations on the clubface and determined which areas suffer the most and the least stress on contact. This new data allowed them to create a selectively thinned out face which flexes more on impact, improves ball speed, and therefore increases distance.
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    Internal Standing Wave Technology - Internal Standing Wave technology allowed Callaway engineers to position the CG, low and forward, with incredible precision. This promotes the rare combination of high-launch and low-spin.
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    Available in a Wide Variety of Lofts
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    Comes in Both Standard or "X" Versions
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    Exceptionally Long and Forgiving

Cons

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    Nonadjustable hosel
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    Fixed CG weight
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    Some Might Find them Pricey

Callaway follows the current trend in driver/woods/hybrid making by offering one model in each line for the general population, and one targeting pros and low handicappers. 

For most of you out there, the Rogue X will elevate your game quite nicely, while those in complete control of their game should opt for the standard Rogue version. 

If you are a Callaway guy, read our an in-depth review of the Rogue Hybrid and Rogue X Hybrid next.


Ping G400 Hybrid Review

Ping G400 Hybrid

Ping breaks ranks with the G400s and offers only one version of their hybrids for all range of players. 

With the additions of their proprietary "maraging steel" face and progressive center of gravity weighting, the G400s promise better launch, more distance, and softer-steeper landings.

Pros

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    A cascading sole increases launch.
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    Ping's "Turbulators" make alignment easy.
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    Sounds and feels exceptionally solid on impact.
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    Stable, with good feedback on mishits.
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    The thinner and more flexible "maraging steel" face improves ball speed and distance.
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    Exceptionally forgiving thanks to the textured finish on the face which reduces sidespin and leads to straighter ball flight.
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    An interchangeable Center-of-Gravity weight helps increase MOI and allows players to find their optimal swing weight.
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    An Ultra-thin stainless crown let designers move weight to the sole and increase MOI.
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    The G400s sit lower, which allows you to make contact higher on the clubface.

Cons

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    Only one version for every level of player.

The G400s are an excellent all-around hybrid option. The semi-wide head provides easy launch off the turf works great out of the rough and low-lipped fairway bunkers. 

It may not be the absolute best choice for beginners, or scratch golfers but, it is an excellent club for everyone else in between.


 Cobra King F8 Hybrid Review

Cobra King F8 Gray/Black Hybrid

For 2018, Cobra now makes their newest hybrid offering - the King F8s – available in a one-length version. And, good news for you tech lovers out there, the F8 hybrids, just like the rest of the F8 line, come fitted with Cobra Connect Arccos sensors in the grips.  

Pros

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    Cobra's variable depth Baffler rails get deeper as the lofts get higher. This increases playability, especially from longer grass and helps the clubhead stay lower to the ground for improved contact.
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    Cobra Connect - The Cobra Connect app recognizes over forty-thousand courses worldwide. It pairs with Arccos sensors in the grips and lets players track their distance on every shot. It also analyzes this data and points out a player's strengths and weaknesses.
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    A wide range of availability with standard length options from 2h to 5h, one length choices from 3h to 5h, and women's from 4h to 7h.
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    Great looking and easy to line up correctly.
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    Extremely accurate and forgiving on mishits.
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    Competitively priced.

Cons

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    No model available for Top Level Players

Well, if you're wondering if the F8s will suit your game, Cobra has the answer right on their website at www.cobragolf.com. "Who's it for - 5 to 25 handicap golfers with moderate to higher swing speeds seeking easy launch and higher peak trajectories for more stopping power into greens."


Titleist 818 H1 / 818 H2 Hybrid

Titleist 818 H2 Hybrid

Along with the title of most played irons on tour, Titleist also comes in first as the most played hybrid on tour. They do this by designing their hybrids as scoring clubs, not rescue clubs. 

For this latest release, they've incorporated a mix of old and new technologies that should push one or both of these clubs to the top of every player's wish list. 

Pros

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    SureFit Hosel Technology - Titleist's adjustable "SureFit Hosel" features four separate loft settings and four different lie settings that allow you to choose one of sixteen loft/lie combinations.
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    SureFit CG Technology – Lets you move the center-of-gravity lower or add draw or fade, depending on your specific needs. It works by inserting a metal cylinder, the size of an AA battery, into the sole of the club, parallel to the club face. Weights come in neutral (balanced on both ends), or unbalanced (one end slightly heavier than the other).The unbalanced weight, depending on which way it gets inserted, promotes or corrects draw or fade.
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    Active Recoil Channel™ 2.0 – A new channel design and a flexible polymer insert behind the face produce recoil on impact and increase distance significantly.
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    Extremely Customizable
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    Can Replace Both an Iron and a Fairway Wood at the same time (818H1s)
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    Most Players Will See an Increase in Both Distance and Launch Angle

Cons

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    Lacks the Feel and Shot Making Ability Better Players Require (818H1s)
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    Tend to Play More Like a Fairway Wood and Less Like a Hybrid (818H1s)
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    Not the Best Club in Deep Grass (818H1s)
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    Could be more forgiving (818H2s)
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    Not for the average golfer (818H2s)

Is it a hybrid or a fairway wood? The 818H1s have a larger front-to-back profile than most hybrids and almost look like a small fairway wood at setup. 

Either way, their flexibility, forgiveness, and distance make the 818H1 a great club for beginners and mid to high handicappers. 

For the highly skilled among you who swing a hybrid like an iron and take a steeper angle of approach to the ball, Titleist makes the 818H2s. 

The H2s have a compact, square-toed shape that cuts through the turf for iron-like control, precise distance, and plenty of ball height. 

For more details, check out our detailed guide to the Titleist 818 H1 and 818 H2 Hybrids.


Mizuno CLK Hybrid Review

If you prefer hybrids that sound and feel more like irons than woods, take a good look at the Mizuno CLKs. The CLKs also offer as much tech as anyone these days with a "maraging steel" face, an eight-way adjustable hosel, and Mizuno's proprietary "Wave Sole Technology."  

Pros

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    The sleek matte black finish makes it one of the sharpest looking clubs on the shelf.
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    A taller than average face makes the CLK easier to hit from awkward lies.
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    Solid sound and feel on contact.
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    Consistently low spin produces serious yardage.
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    An eight-way adjustable hosel makes it easier to fill yardage gaps between woods and irons.
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    Come with Fujikura Speeder Evolution HB as the stock shaft.
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    Exceptionally forgiving thanks to Mizuno's "Amplified Wave sole Technology."
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    Available in four lofts of 2H(16°), 3H(19°), 4H(22°), and 5H(25°) 

Cons

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    One of the higher priced options on the market. 

The tall face of the CLK's makes them a great rescue club while the low spin they produce makes them an excellent choice off the fairways as well. Mizuno markets the CLK Hybrids towards players with mid and low swing speeds claiming that they're perfect for filling the gaps between your highest wood and lowest iron. 

The CLK's are another club that may not be for an exact level of golfer but, a pretty good choice for the majority of players. 


Cleveland Launcher HB Hybrid Review / Launcher HB Hybrid Irons Review

Cleveland Launcher HB Hybrid
Cleveland Launcher HB 7PC Iron Set - Graphite

Cleveland kept it simple with the HB Launcher line of hybrids and irons but, in a good way. As with their driver of the same name, Cleveland skipped the adjustability and configured the HB Launchers for the all-around best performance. 

As their name suggests, both the Launcher hybrids, and the hybrid irons, get the ball up quickly, forgive most mild to moderate mishits, and are easy to hit.     

Pros

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    The Flex-Fin sole increases ball speed and forgiveness on low heel and toe strikes.
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    Cleveland's lightweight HiBore crown allowed them to move the center of gravity low and deep, which promotes a higher ball flight.
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    Launcher HB's lightweight hosel design also helped to move the CG low and deep in the clubhead.
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    "Flex-Fins," Cleveland's face flexing technology launch the ball with incredible speed, even on heel or toe miss-hits.
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    One of the most reasonably priced options on the market.
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    Solid sound and feel for both the hybrids and the hybrid irons. 

Cons

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    Limited availability for the hybrids as they only come in 3H, 4H, and 5H for righties and 3H and 4H for lefties (same for men and women).
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    Some players could outgrow the hybrid irons after only a few years.
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    No model for better players.

The HB Launcher Irons may be the ultimate in super-game-improvement clubs. They look like an iron at address but offer the height and distance of a hybrid. 

Plus you can get them from four to gap wedge lofts, whereas conventional hybrids only go from 2H to 6H. The Cleveland HB Launchers and their cousins the HB Launcher Irons are probably the best hybrid golf clubs for beginners. They're clean and simple, launch the ball as promised, and their generous head size makes them easy to hit off the fairway and out of the rough as well.  

And the Best Hybrid Golf Clubs are....

As you can see, the answer to the question "who makes the best hybrid golf clubs for 2018" depends largely on who's asking. 


Newcomers to the sport can't go wrong with the Cleveland HB Launcher Irons. They provide beginners with the help they need throughout the set. 


High handicappers will appreciate the simplicity, playability, and modest pricing of the Cobra F8s and the Cleveland HB Launcher Hybrids. 


Low, mid, and high handicappers will find the Callaway Rogues (standard model), the TaylorMade M4s, The Ping G400s, the Titleist 818H1s, and the Mizuno CLKs the best option for their level of play. 


For those of you lucky enough to consistently land the ball where you aim it, Titleist makes the 818 H2s, Callaway makes the Rogue X, and TaylorMade makes the M3s.

2 thoughts on “Rescue 911: The Best Hybrid Golf Clubs of 2018”

  1. Awesome reviews some of the best on the net so far, very helpful.
    narrowed it down to the M4…or the H1…..depending on whether i hit the H1 that much better i can warrant the extra cost!!

    1. Thank you so much for the compliment Ian. The M4 is tough to beat for the price, good luck on your selection!

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