Hybrid golf clubs have really made a big change to the world of golf. Originally a club which wasn’t taken up by the professionals, and seen somewhat as an ‘easier’ club to hit than long irons or a fairway wood, we’re now seeing more Golf Pros using hybrid clubs in their bag! Some would argue that the hybrid club has been the biggest innovation to the golf industry in the past 20 years.
Adding a hybrid to my bag has really helped my scores significantly. I struggle with any clubs lower than a 5 iron, and I’m not a particularly big fan of hitting a fairway wood off the deck. That’s where my hybrid comes in. I carry one which puts itself in between my fairway wood and my 5-iron. I use it on Par-4’s as my second shot after the tee shot for the most part. That awkward distance where I’m probably still 300 yards from the pin, and I don’t feel confident enough to try my fairway wood. It often puts me in a perfect pitching wedge position to the green.
The key problem with hybrids is that the main brands charge an arm and a leg for them! So, I’ve gone out and tested a load of cheaper hybrids which should hopefully fit into your budget.
Overall Best Value: Wilson Deep Red Maxx
This isn’t going to be suitable for those of you with a rapid swing speed, as I could only find it with a regular shaft configuration. However, what a club for your money! I’m always harping on about how great some of the Wilson products are. I think they’ve really positioned themselves well as a good budget, but high quality brand in recent years.
Not only does this hybrid perform well, but I think it looks fantastic too! In my opinion it is the best balance of all the essential characteristics of a great golf club.
For me, it performed well off the tee and the ground. My most common usage came from a slightly rough area just off the fairway on my local course’s longest par-4. Due to how thin the fairway is, I often end up amongst the sticks and tree roots at the side of the fairway. But the Wilson performed well here, and often got me to my ideal spot for a nice lay-up about 100 yards from the pin.
As I said, my main criticism would be if you have a fast swing speed.
Best for Adjustability: MacGregor MACTEC X
For the price, there is nothing else you can buy with an adjustable loft at the hozel. The MacGregor MACTEC X really is in a class of it’s own here. This could be perfect for those of you who are really on a budget and would rather get one club instead of two. As long as you keep your adjustment tool in your bag, you have the potential to make little adjustments on the course depending on your requirements.
My main criticism is that some will either love or hate the matte finish all over the club. I also found that the base of the club scuffed up quite easily when hitting off non-perfect surfaces. Arguably this doesn’t matter too much, as long as the club performs well.
Due to the shallow face profile of this club, it was great at hitting off the ground. But I took a while to get used to hitting it off the tee. I almost found there wasn’t enough face profile off the tee initially, and I practically had to put the tee all the way to the ground to get the best result. Those of you with better club face control than me won’t find this to be a problem though!
Best Hybrid for Seniors: RIFE RX5
It is very possible that you have never heard of RIFE. I hadn’t until I gave this club a go for this hybrid test.
The club has been designed in order to get as much distance as possible with the minimal effort. That is why I believe in this budget range, it is the best hybrid for senior players with a slower swing speed, or those who may have injuries stopping them from hitting a ball quite as hard.
The clubhead is a simple black design which some will really appreciate in this day and age of wacky colours and designs. Attached to the clubhead is a very lightweight graphite shaft, which really allows you to maximise your swing speed if you struggle usually.
Honestly, I was very impressed by the RIFE RX5. It isn’t the highest quality product on this list, but the performance for slow swing speeds is unmatched. It literally made the ball explode off the face with very little effort.