Since hybrid golf clubs burst onto the scene they have proved to be a saviour for all standards of amateur golfer as they helped to solve the age-old difficulty we all have of hitting long irons consistently well.
But surely the best in the players in the world don’t need any such help and they can hit long irons as well as they want to and don’t need to resort to using a hybrid?
Well in reality all standards of golfer, including the pros, struggle with the longest irons and detailed analysis of the clubs used by the top 100 pros on the PGA Tour confirms that the hybrid is as key a part of their long club set up as it is for average amateur players.
37% of the top 100 PGA Tour pros use a hybrid club and 3% use two. Titleist and Callaway hybrids are the most popular with 11 of the top 100 each using their models while Callaway’s Apex hybrid is the most used. The loft on the hybrids used by these pros varies from 15.5 degrees up to 23.5 degrees.
With over 1/3 of the very best players in the world using hybrids it’s comforting to discover that they are also taking advantage of the help that hybrids provide over traditional long irons in an effort to hit their long shots consistently better.
As is the case with everything though when it comes to the pros the story doesn’t stop there and a more in-depth look at what specific hybrids they use highlights once again the attention to detail that the top players put into selecting their clubs.
[Note – If you are interested in a hybrid you can check out the clubs used by the top 100 players on the PGA Tour mentioned in this article on Amazon through the links added in the table below.]
Hybrid Club Breakdown of the top 100 PGA Tour Golfers
When it comes to alternatives to long irons the pros have a few options whether that be a hybrid, driving iron or higher-numbered fairway wood such a 5-wood or 7-wood.
We took a similar in-depth look at both the fairway woods and driving irons being used by the top 100 PGA Tour players and although 5-woods are a more popular choice, hybrids are a definite mainstay amongst the best pros on Tour with more than a third of the top 100 using them.
Some of the very best players in the world use them such as Jordan Speith, Patrick Cantlay, Lee Westwood and Patrick Reed. And some players such as two-time major winner Zach Johnson even carry two hybrids in their bag as does 2012 US Open Champion Webb Simpson and serial PGA Tour winner Matt Kuchar.
The complete breakdown of which hybrids are used by the top 100 PGA Tour players is as follows:
|MANUFACTURER||HYBRID MODEL||NO. OF TOP 100 PGA TOUR GOLFERS||SELECTED PLAYERS|
|Titleist||913||1||Webb Simpson (20°)|
|915||1||Webb Simpson (23.5°)|
|816 H2||1||Patrick Cantlay (21°)|
|818 H1||1||Sungjae Im (19°)|
|818 H2||2||Jordan Speith (21°)|
|913 Hd||2||Charley Hoffman (20°)|
|TS3||2||Robert Streb (21°)|
|TSi3||1||Peter Malnati (20°)|
|Callaway||Apex||6||Patrick Reed (18.8°)|
|Apex Pro||3||Marc Leishman (19°)|
|Big Bertha Alpha 815||1||Talor Gooch (19°)|
|Mavrik Hybrid||1||Emiliano Grillo (20°)|
|PXG||0317 GEN1||1||Wyndham Clark (15.5°)|
|0317 GEN2||2||Zach Johnson (19° & 22°)|
|0317 X GEN2||3||Kevin Na (19°)|
|PING||Anser||2||Matt Kuchar (20°)|
|G410||1||Austin Cook (22°)|
|G425||1||Lee Westwood (19.7°)|
|Cleveland||Launcher DST||1||Russell Knox (20.5°)|
|Adams||Idea Pro Tour||1||Andrew Putnam (18°)|
|Wilson||Staff FG Tour||1||Kevin Streelman (17°)|
|Bridgestone||Tour XD-H||1||Matt Kuchar (18°)|
|TaylorMade||SIM||1||Adam Long (19°)|
Callaway’s Apex hybrid is the most used among the top 100 PGA Tour players but our analysis also shows 22 different models of hybrid being played by the 37 players choosing to use them. The use of such a large number of different hybrid clubs points to no one model being dominant among this elite group.
The lesson to be learned from this is that the top pros who do use hybrids clearly find the individual characteristics of particular hybrids, in combination with specialised shafts, suit their particular swing and no one model meets the requirements of every type of player.
[Note – Check out our in-depth analysis of the fairway woods being used by the top 100 on the PGA Tour here. A complete review of the driving irons used by the top 100 can also be found here.]
Hybrid Lofts are Not All the Same Among the PGA Pros
One of the intriguing things when looking at the hybrids used by the best PGA pros is that there is no set loft attached to an individual number of hybrid.
While most tour players with hybrids in the bag will use them in place of a traditional 2 or 3-iron it is not simply a case of automatically choosing a H2 or H3 hybrid.
A hybrid has the distance capabilities of an iron, but the ease of flight and the dynamics of the way a wood plays … so, there’s a combination of a lot of different things which is making them easier to hit.Former World Club-Maker of the Year Derek Murray of Fore Golf
There is no really set hybrid lofts which compare directly to irons and this is born out when you look at the hybrids used by the top 100 on the PGA Tour.
An analysis of that group finds different pros using hybrids of loft 15.5 degrees – close to the standard 15° loft of a 3-wood – all the way up to 23.5 degrees which comes close to the loft of a normal 4-iron at 24 degrees.
Among the top pros we even find hybrids lofts as precise as 19.7 degrees (Lee Westwood) and 18.8 degrees (Patrick Reed), which highlights the importance of not paying too much attention to the number on the hybrid itself.
The most important thing when it comes to hybrids is distance rather than loft and each of these pros will spend a huge amount of time choosing a hybrid loft, rather than a hybrid number, to let them hit the ball the exact yardage they want and with the correct gap yardage to the club immediately above and below it in the bag.
For example while it may appear odd at first look that Matt Kuchar uses one hybrid at 18 degrees and another only 2° more at 20 degrees, given both lofts will be categorised by some manufacturers as ‘H2’ hybrids, you can guarantee that choice of lofts will give him the precise yardage gap he is looking for between them irrespective of what the hybrid number stamped on the club is.
So if you are playing hybrids yourself, and we would recommend the vast majority amateur golfers carry at least 2 if not 3 hybrids in their bag it’s worth paying attention to the yardage gaps you hit between them rather than automatically swapping out your 2, 3 and 4-iron for example for a H2, H3 and H4.
Other great articles related to this topic:
- Are Hybrid Irons Easier to Hit? 7 Reasons to Choose the Easy Way
- What Hybrids Should You Carry? It’s All About Ego
- What Driving Irons do the Pros Use on the PGA Tour?
- The Fairway Woods Used by the Top 100 PGA Tour Pros
- What Driver is Most Used On the PGA Tour? Top 100 Player Analysis
- What Golf Balls Do the Pros Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Players Breakdown