How Far Should I Hit My Hybrids? 2 vs 3 vs 4 Hybrid Distances

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Golfer hitting a hybrid golf club off the tee

When it comes to advances in golf clubs over the last couple of decades it is difficult to think of many more transformative things for regular amateurs than the almost mass adoption of hybrid clubs.

Long gone are the days of amateur golfers struggling to get long irons off the ground as hybrids with their larger heads and lighter shafts have made longer clubs easier to hit.

Indeed so good have hybrids proved to be that they are now also a tried and tested option for the pros!

And with every new club type questions then inevitably follow as to how far you should hit them and hybrids are no different.

In total the average golfer with a 15 handicap and swingspeed of 93mph hits a 2-hybrid 170 yards, a 3-hybrid 165 yards and a 4-hybrid 156 yards. According to Arccos, golf’s first AI shot tracking system better golfers hit hybrids longer off the tee than for approach shots but this trend is reversed for high handicappers.

As this information shows however looking at the question as to how far you should hit your hybrids is not as simple as it may first appear.

When it comes to looking at driver distances we all know that pretty much 100% of the time all standards of golfers will be trying to hit the ball as far as they can.

When it comes to hybrids though they are going to be used for a much wider variety of shots.

2-hybrids, 3-hybrids and 4-hybrids especially for example are going to be used by many amateur players both off the tee as well as for approach shots into the green.

So looking at the question of how far you should hit your hybrids is clearly not as straight forward a question as it is for a driver and therefore in the remainder of this post we look at the topic in detail, analysing hybrid distances both individually and compared to each other.

Close up picture of a hybrid golf club

How Far Should You Hit a 3-Hybrid?

Ever since golf began to be played arguably the biggest struggle for all standards of golfer has been the quest to hit long irons consistently well.

And for the vast majority of golfers in the world that struggle has generally started with the 3-iron.

So it is not hard to see why the invention of the 3-hybrid, with it being amongst other things more forgiving and easier to hit, has proved so popular with amateurs and even the top pros.

But when it comes to replacing any club with another the first question people ask is how far you should hit the replacement club – in this example a 3-hybrid?

On average scratch or 0 handicap golfers hit a 3-hybrid a total distance of 193 yards. By comparison 5 handicap amateurs hit a 3-hybrid 183 yards on average with 10 handicap golfers reaching 176 yards. The average 15 handicap golfer 3-hybrid distance is 170 yards while 20 handicappers average 163 yards in total.

When it comes to the pros there is never any shortage of statistics as to how far they hit each club, both carry and total distance, alongside any other numbers you care to think of.

Reliable amateur data on how far the average player hits a hybrid is however harder to come by but thankfully one of the benefits of the explosion in golf tech has been platforms such as Arccos and Shotscope, as well as any number of GPS watches and devices, which have given us a much clearer idea.

The above data is taken from Arccos, golf’s first artificial intelligence shot tracking platform and is shown again in the chart below alongside a comparison of how far different handicapped golfers hit a 3-iron compared to a 3-hybrid.

While these numbers are based on Arccos’ analysis of millions of the golf shots hit by their users (they say they have over 500 million golf shots played across over 10 million rounds in close to 200 countries in their database!) there is one small caveat the average golfer should probably consider.

Arccos users are likely to be more serious golfers, as the majority of amateurs are probably not going to spend a couple of hundred dollars or so on a shot tracking system, so it is likely that these yardages are slightly above how far all the ‘average golfers’ in the world playing with these handicaps hit their 3-hybrid.

Given the amount of data Arccos has collected however across so many rounds it is still an excellent estimate to base any comparisons of how far you hit your own 3-hybrid against.

[Note – and if you are interested in checking what hybrids clubs the top 100 PGA Tour players use check out our detailed analysis on the makes and models here.]

3-Hybrid vs 4-Hybrid Distance (Including Chart)

The problems with hitting long irons consistently well obviously don’t stop with the 3-iron.

All standards of golfer, but especially high handicappers, frequently also struggle with 4-irons up to mid-irons, and now that hybrids provide an alternative to all irons throughout the bag it naturally follows that golfers want to know how the distances between different hybrids compare.

And that comparison is most relevant for most golfers when it comes to the distances amateurs hit 3-hybrids versus 4-hybrids.

On average 11 to 15 handicappers hit a 3-hybrid a max distance of 170 yards versus 4-hybrids which go 159 yards. 0-5 handicappers hit a 3-hybrid up to 22 yards further than a 4-hybrid. The 3-hybrid vs. 4-hybrid distance gap for 6-10 handicappers is 12 yards, and 19 and 10 yards for 16-20 and 20+ handicappers respectively.

The data above is again taken from Arccos whose devices by measuring ‘smart distances’ remove abnormal short duff shots or long downhill/downwind to give as an accurate average as possible of how long amateurs should hit a well-struck shot with their 3-hybrids and 4-hybrids.

But while these numbers come from Arccos’ analysis of millions of golf shots hit by their users they highlight the difficulty of simply comparing the ‘average’ distances the ‘average’ golfer of different standards hits their hybrid.

The distance gaps between the different handicap groups when comparing 3-hybrid distances vs 4-hybrid distances clearly varies across them and that is partly because hybrids are used for all manner of types of shots in different circumstances by different players.

One of the key reasons hybrids have become so universally adopted by golfers of all standards is their versatility.

They can be hit from the rough, from bad lies, off the tee, from the sand, from pine straw and can even be used to chip with!

So a distance comparison between hybrids is clearly not an easy task and beyond the obvious conclusion that every standard of player should hit a well-struck 3-hybrid further than their 4-hybrid we would be wary of making anything more than making a rough ‘rule of thumb’ comparison with these hybrid distances.

The key thing always is to know how far you hit your 3-hybrid compared to a 4-hybrid and ensure the distance gaps between these and your other clubs give you a good coverage of distances to be able to cover when you reach the course.

Stacked row comparison chart of average hybrid golf club total distances broken down by handicap groups

[Note – If you want to know how many and which hybrids you should carry, including what simple experiments you can try to help you make your decision check out our article on this topic here].

2-Hybrid vs 3-Hybrid vs 4-Hybrid Distance By Handicap

To complete the picture of how far you should hit your hybrids it makes sense to also include a 2-hybrid alongside a 3-hybrid and 4-hybrid.

Hybrids are unquestionably now an option to replace any iron in the bag and for many high handicapped golfers carrying a large number of hybrids can be a great option but when it comes to the vast majority of amateur golfers the focus is typically on the hybrids that replace the longest irons in the bag.

As such distance comparisons between the 2-hybrid to 4-hybrid range are typically the most useful.

So in the table below we list Arccos data for the average ‘total’ distances their tens of thousands of users hit 2,3 and 4-hybrids broken down by handicap groups.

0 – 5187 to 204 yards175 to 193 yards169 to 171 yards
6 – 10175 to 184 yards171 to 176 yards162 to 164 yards
11 – 15165 to 172 yards159 to 170 yards152 to 159 yards
16 – 20151 to 156 yards147 to 163 yards140 to 144 yards
20+138 to 143 yards132 to 141 yards128 to 131 yards
Source: Arccos

So detailed are the stats collected by systems such as Arccos that their analysis is able to pick up the differences in yardages amateurs hit their hybrids when using them off the tee or for approach shots and these ranges are what are shown in the numbers above.

And this is again another good illustration of the complexity of comparing hybrid distances between golfers.

Arccos’s analysis for example found that better than average players hit hybrids longer off the tee compared to approach shots while this trend is reversed for high handicappers.

This trend is shown below in Arccos’ comparison graphs of their users’ 4-hybrid distances for example.

Arccos comparison graph of 4-hybrid vs. 4-iron average tee shot distances
Arccos comparison graph of 4-hybrid vs. 4-iron average approach shot distances

The eagle-eyed among you also have also probably spotted that the average distance range Arccos report for 2-hybrids hit by the 16-20 handicapped range is less than the range of distances they hit with their 3-hybrids.

There could be a number of explanations for such anomalies, including potentially the most likely that despite the millions of golf shots in their database the number of higher handicappers using a 2-hybrid consistently is quite small and so the number of shots tracked in this group is far less than in the others.

Whatever the explanation there is one clear conclusion which is inescapable when you look at the distances the varying handicap groups hit their hybrids.

And that is better players hit the ball longer with their hybrids compared to higher handicapped players.

The need to hit your hybrids further, alongside all your other clubs, if you want to improve and lower your scores is therefore a must if you are serious about getting better as the link between increased distance and lower handicaps is clear across all the distance data throughout the bag.

Don’t forget though the one caveat we mentioned above when looking at these yardages concerning what type of golfer is likely to be using platforms such as Arccos or Shotscope or wearing a GPS watch to track the distances they hit the ball.

Chances are users and wearers of these devices are more serious about their golfer than most regular amateur golfers so it is more than likely that these numbers are higher than they would be if they included every amateur golfer that plays the game.

So if you are not hitting the ball these distances when using these clubs the picture may not be as bad as you think!

[Note – If you are interested in Arccos – Golf’s first artificial intelligence shot tracking platform – and getting an exact idea of how far you hit the ball so you choose the right club every time click here to get 15% off when you use our discount code – GOLFINGFOCUS15. Recognised by Golf Digest Editor’s awards 5 years running Arccos’ members improve by an average of 5 strokes in their first year of membership!]

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Graeme Hay

Graeme Hay is the owner of Graeme started playing golf when he was only 4 years old and has loved the game ever since. A single figure golfer all of his adult life he lives in London and still enjoys playing whenever he can with friends and family.

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