If you’re in a hurry and just want to find the Best Hybrid Golf Clubs for Beginners and High Handicappers in 2023, here’s what we recommend:
Once considered the red-headed step child in your bag, hybrids have come a long way! Im probably giving away my age here but do you remember Corey Pavin and PRGR?!
While Corey was definitely in the minority back then, when you look at PGA Tour bags today, you’ll start to see more and more hybrids being carried by the pros. That’s pretty simple then, if the best players in the world have them, then you should too!
Herein lies challenge, what then are the best hybrid golf clubs for beginners and those with high handicaps?
In this article, we’re going to be reviewing the following hybrids:
- Callaway Big Bertha B21
- Cobra RADSPEED
- Titleist TSi1
- Ping G425
- TaylorMade SIM2 Max Rescue
- Wilson Staff D9
- TourEdge Hot Launch E521
To see our other top clubs for beginners and high handicappers in 2022, check out this article: Best Golf Clubs for Beginners and High Handicappers in 2022!
Well we’re glad you asked that question! But before we begin, let’s dive into a little bit more about these game changing clubs.
Beginners Guide to Hybrid Golf Clubs
What Are Hybrids?
As the name already implies, a hybrid is a type of golf club that has the design characteristics and performance of an iron and a wood.
Basically what you’re getting is a short shafted, high loft fairway wood. If you were to compare the mishit of an iron to the mishit of a hybrid, the hybrid would be remarkably better. This is due to higher MOI or moment of inertia.
MOI is a technical term that refers to the amount of twisting that occurs at impact on off center hits. One of the primary goals of the golf swing is transfer as much energy from the club head to the golf ball at impact. When you strike a ball off center, there is a significant amount of twisting and therefore loss of energy transfer. Hybrid design allows for higher MOI, which results in less twisting and loss of energy at impact, and greater distance on mishits.
Another added feature of a hybrid is the lower center of gravity. Without going into a whole physics conversation, the added size of a hybrid allows the center of gravity (CG) to be located farther from the face. When the CG is located lower and farther from the face, the higher trajectory you will get. In other words, if you were to compare an iron and hybrid with identical lofts, the hybrid will get the ball up in the air on a higher trajectory than the same lofted long iron.
Now when it comes to beginners and high handicappers, one the biggest problems with long irons, is getting the ball in the air.
So here’s a quick summary:
Pros of Hybrids
- Increased forgiveness and less distance loss on off center shots
- Lower center of gravity makes getting the ball in the air easier
- Higher loft of an iron for soft landing on greens
- Shorter shaft of an iron for more control versus a fairway wood
Cons of Hybrids
- Less distance than a fairway wood due to shorter shaft
- Less control than a long iron
- Harder to hit out of thick rough than an iron
How Many Should I Carry?
If you have 2, 3, or 4 iron in your bag, you should definitely be looking to swap these out. The 5, 6, and 7 iron you may way want to keep but this is up to personal preference and confidence. If you struggle with hitting any of these consistently, you may want to consider replacing them with a hybrid.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Hybrid Golf Clubs for Beginners and High Handicappers
As mentioned above, more forgiveness is an important feature for beginners and high handicappers since sweet spot contact is inconsistent.
By replacing long irons that have less forgiveness, you can see the added benefit of better mishits that land closer to the green and can still allow you to save par or at worst make a bogey.
Swing speed is a key factor in being able to hit a long iron and get the ball into the air quickly. The higher your swing speed, the easier it is to launch a ball high. With most beginners and high handicappers achieving a high swing speed can be a challenge but having a low CG (center of gravity) can help.
A hybrid design allows weight to be placed lower and further from the face which overall helps get the ball up quickly.
More Shaft Flex
The shaft flex plays a large role in creating the ideal angle at which the ball leaves the clubface at impact (launch angle).
When you have too much flex, your ball may go too high or too far left (right handed golfer). When you have too little flex and your ball is going too low or too far right (right handed golfer). Let’s be honest, for most of us, we have a tendency overestimate our swing speed and therefore tend to pick a club that is too stiff.
Not to beat a dead horse but since beginners and high handicappers normally have slower swing speeds, having more shaft flex will generally help create the ideal launch angle and get the maximum distance from your shots.
When you’re replacing your long irons, keep in mind the loft your of the hybrid you’re choosing. If you’re going with a hybrid from the same manufacturer you should be pretty safe swapping out 3 iron with a 3 hybrid.
If you’re going with a hybrid from a different manufacturer of your irons, then you need to figure the loft of the irons you’re replacing.
You probably want to avoid replacing a long iron with a hybrid that has the same loft as another iron in your bag that you’re keeping. You want to make sure there’s 10-15 yards in difference from one club to the next.
You’re starting to see more hybrids with customization you might see in a driver. While this is a nice feature to have, it may not make sense for the added cost. If you’re a tinkerer, than selecting an adjustable hybrid may make sense but if you’re anything like me, I prefer my hybrids to be just the set it and forget it type.
Hybrids are good clubs to keep in your bag but in our opinion, probably fits in the middle of importance. We feel you should definitely be investing the most in your putter, driver, wedges, and irons first before spending money on hybrids. You can expect to shell out several hundred dollars on a single hybrid.
The good thing is that with modern golf technology, its making the game much easier to hit solid shots but the bad thing is that it’s getting more expensive.
Now there’s a couple ways you can approach buying a hybrid; buy new or buy used.
When you buy used you’ll definitely be paying less but a drawback is that you won’t be getting the latest technology. It’s kind of like an iPhone, do i want to go brand new and get all the bells and whistles or can I get by with a functional flip phone?
The good news though is that there’s a large second hand market for used clubs so you’ll always be able to get some cash for that old hybrid in the future.
Whatever way you choose, pick something that fits in your budget and doesn’t cause you to miss next months mortgage.
Best Hybrid Golf Clubs for Beginners and High Handicappers Reviewed
Callaway Big Bertha B21
The Big Bertha brand has gone back to its “super game improvement” roots, and beginners and high handicappers will benefit from this new hybrid. The sole is huge and cuts through the turf effortlessly. You get a noticeable offset which sets up well on the ground, but then also translates into a draw bias that most higher handicappers need.
This is a solid and straight club that helps make the game fun. It is a pure “point and shoot” club that gives you enough forgiveness and a big enough sweet spot to just swing the club and watch it go.
The tungsten weight are placed inside the sole to give you a super high launch, and Callaway’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology was used to create the “Flash Face” for faster ball speeds across the entirety of the club.
That same flash face technology also gives you great forgiveness that goes along with the increased head density for a straight and penetrating ball flight.
- This will immediately be one of the easiest clubs to hit in your bag.
- Multiple loft options so that you can fill your bag and replace the clubs that are the most difficult for you to hit.
- The Flash Face SS21 gives you high end ball speed and it does not really matter where on the face you make contact.
- The tungsten weighting gives you a towering ball flight, one of the highest of any hybrid you will find.
- You get premium shaft options.
- A very wide sole and high density head. It is big, but it is not overly heavy either.
- The offset is quite noticeable even at first glance, and it helps “slicers” straighten the ball out while giving many players an option to draw the ball.
- It is more expensive than most.
- The offset look may be a little overstated for some golfers, and it is not great if you have a natural draw.
If your top 3 reasons for wanting a hybrid are speed, speed, and a little more speed, then the Cobra RADSPEED is a great choice. The focus of this line of clubs is on creating as much ball speed as possible and the RADSPEED hybrid does just that.
The radial weighting, which essentially means they put as much space between the back and front weights as possible, is one way that extra speed is provided. You also get the extra flex of the hollow rails which are both visibly pleasing and highly effective.
In short, the RADSPEED has a huge focus on ball speed, but you also get a lot of forgiveness and a lot of stability as well. One of the things Cobra realized is that if you can swing the club harder and with more confidence, you get more distance.
With the RADSPEED, you get a big enough sweet spot and a lot of forgiveness so that you can do just that.
- Gives you as much or more ball speed as any hybrid on the market.
- Radial weighting helps with lower spin, more forgiveness, and a lot of extra ball speed.
- The hollow split rails that Cobra is known for in their drivers is found in this hybrid as well. You get a lot more flex from head to toe which gives you more ball speed and higher energy transfer weight.
- An emphasis on extreme front weight placement to lower spin rates and give you more ball speed.
- The high strength steel face insert promotes a more ball speed and a higher launch.
- The baffler rails interact well with the turf and really help you strike the ball solidly from any lie.
- Distance + forgiveness = a good hybrid for most beginners and high handicappers.
- Only 4 loft options.
- On the expensive side.
The TSi1 hybrid has something for almost every golfer out there. It is very lightweight, easy to launch, has a lot of forgiveness, and looks great at setup. As a beginning golfer, it checks almost all of the boxes. The entire TSi lineup features ultra low weight designs.
This hybrid is no different, and that lighter weight results in higher swing speeds. This club has a “wood-like” look which most higher handicappers prefer, and the head is a slightly larger profile than most hybrids.
The sole is big and wide and the MOI is Titleist’s highest yet. You also get a 455 carpenter steel forged face which is very thin, very lightweight, and provides a lot of extra ball speed.
- 20g lighter than the average hybrid.
- Players with moderate and low swing speeds will find the most benefits from these hybrids.
- Ultra lightweight construction.
- A very low center of gravity gives you a high launch and extra clubhead speed.
- The 455 carpenter steel forged face is thin, hot, and produces some really good ball speed.
- Even though it is lightweight, the clubhead is oversized and gives you great stability and high MOI.
- Long and very forgiving.
- One of the most expensive on the list.
- Produces higher spin rates than most of the other hybrids on this list.
Very sleek looking hybrids with a smoothed out crown and matte finish, the Ping G425s look as great as they perform. Ping’s major distance improvement is their “Face Wrap Technology,” and I mention it first because it really does give you added ball speed and it looks great in the process.
It is basically a single piece of maraging steel that wraps around the crown and sole more providing increased flex across the face and especially on flush shots. The head is slightly smaller than others which looks great at setup, and the face is so forgiving that the smaller size does not affect performance.
Ping also invented a great new word and technology called “Spinsistency.” The creativity is great, but the complex face curvature that is being described gives you much better consistency across the face.
Usually hybrids are mishit either up high or down low on the face, and “spinsistency” gives you less spin on the bottom and more on the top so that they play and travel more like a center strike. From the looks to the performance, you get a sleek, long, forgiving, and consistent hybrid.
- They look as good as any hybrid on the market.
- The new 3-dot alignment aid that replaces the “turbulators” looks and performs better than its predecessor.
- The pear shape is pleasing to the eye and inspires confidence.
- The “Face Wrap Technology” works both for added distance and forgiveness.
- A tungsten weight in the sole lowers the center of gravity and raises the launch and trajectory.
- Really high MOI.
- An adjustable hosel and multiple loft options.
- Spinsistency helps keep your spin and distance consistent across the face of your club.
- More expensive than most.
- Not as easy to hit as some of the other hybrids.
- The smaller head is not ideal for beginners and high handicappers.
TaylorMade SIM2 Max Rescue
The SIM Max Rescue clubs, when they first came out, made their way into the bags of Tour players and amateurs alike. With the help of golfers like Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlory, both of whom started using the SIM Max, TaylorMade developed the new clubs to minimize the “left miss” that many low handicappers and golfers with higher swing speeds struggle with when hitting a hybrid.
They updated the leading edge and changed the geometry of the sole to give it a straighter ball flight and to take away the extra draw bias from the original SIM.
These changes would cause this hybrid to move up the list of hybrids for mid and low handicappers, but it has made it less viable for many beginners and higher handicappers.
You still get the high end distance quite a bit of forgiveness along with the “V” shape that cuts through the turf and helps you make consistently solid contact. The head is a little smaller than most, and the club in general has been developed more for better golfers.
- The Twist Face technology makes it one of the most forgiving hybrids out there.
- It is a very easy club to hit and to get off of the ground.
- You still find the speed pocket and thin face for increased distance.
- The “V” sole design helps it to cut through the turf and make solid contact.
- You can hit it straight and high no matter the lie.
- The ultra-strong steel face gives you a lot of extra ball speed and distance.
- Very low spin rates.
- It as long and forgiving as any hybrid out there.
- Found success with low handicappers in the SIM, so they started pushing more features geared at these golfers.
- No loft adjustability.
- Less offset and a push towards straight and long may cause higher handicappers to hit the most hated shot in golf…The slice.
- A smaller head than most.
Wilson Staff D9
When a club looks and feels right, it is just easier to hit. When you see and hold the new D9 hybrids for the first time, they just seem to be right. They have an eye-catching profile and design and they are not too big and not too small.
When you step up to the ball, they sit on the grass naturally and look like a high end hybrid. They were creating using AI so that thousands of small changes could be made in seconds and the results could be calculated so that the right face architecture, club head design, and features come together.
The resulting D9 is long, forgiving, looks great, and gives you effortless distance and accuracy.
- A high end hybrid for a low end price.
- AI technology allows Wilson to get the details right.
- Variable Face Technology gives you great launch angles and increased speeds across the entire face of the hybrid.
- The custom 455 carpenters steel face gives you great ball speed and incredible forgiveness.
- Progressive head shapes mean that as you move up and down lofts, you get consistent ball striking and features that are designed to go along with the loft.
- These hybrids are long, forgiving, and give you a high MOI.
- Not as long as some of the other clubs on this list.
- Not setup for a draw bias so that it is easier to slice.
TourEdge Hot Launch E521
The TourEdge Hot Launch E521 was created to be the easiest hybrid to hit on the market. While we cannot say that they succeeded in that goal, we can say that for beginners and high handicappers, this is hybrid could easily improve your game for a very small investment.
It has a supreme offset to fight against the dreaded slice. A shallow cup face design gives you added heat, distance, and a high launch angle. Even the graphite shaft helps to add some extra torque at the bottom of your swing for a little extra distance.
The “Houdini Sole Technology” is what TourEdge seems to be the proudest of. It consists of a raised steel mass in the rear of the rear of the club that reduces drag and helps your interaction with the turf.
It works well, and it especially works well for higher handicappers. The E521 is all about making it easy to hit the ball, and that is exactly what the features do.
- Easily the lowest priced club on this list.
- A very easy club to hit, especially for beginners.
- The supreme offset helps with what most high handicappers struggle with…A slice.
- The Houdini Sole gets the club through any lie and helps you to make solid contact with the ball.
- A very aerodynamic club for extra speed.
- The shallow cup face design gives you some heat and some extra ball speed.
- A supreme game improvement club that will probably not work once you have a “calculable handicap.”
- Not as much distance, forgiveness, or MOI as some of the other clubs.
Final Thoughts On The Best Hybrid Golf Clubs for Beginners and High Handicappers in 2023
Best Overall: Callaway Big Bertha B21
The Big Bertha B21 hybrid was an easy choice this year. There are other good hybrids out there, but when it comes to a pure game improvement club, this is a great choice.
It is easy to hit, and it makes golf that much more fun starting out. You get great distance, incredible forgiveness, a huge draw bias, high MOI, and towering ball flight. If you are just starting out or if you struggle with fairway woods or long irons, this club will improve your game.
Most Affordable: TourEdge Hot Launch E521
A basic and forgiving hybrid, you cannot beat the price and the game improvement features make it worth a look for beginners and high handicappers.