The Hybrids Used By the Top 100 PGA Tour Pros (2023 update)

Marc Leishman teeing off with a hybrid club at the Arnold Palmer Invitational

When we covered what clubs the best pros on Tour preferred throughout their bag we decided not to stop there.

So we went deeper into the individual club types they are using and in this post take a look at hybrid clubs – the club which has proved to be the saviour for all standards of golfers struggling to hit their long irons consistently well.

31% of the top 100 PGA Tour pros use a hybrids but none use more than one. Titleist and Callaway models are the most used hybrids with 10 of this group choosing them. Callaway’s Apex UW hybrid is the most popular on Tour with 6 pros using it including Xander Schaufelle and Sam Burns. 19º is the most common hybrid loft.

With close to 1/3 of the very best players in the world using hybrids it is comforting to know that they are also taking advantage of the help hybrids offer over traditional long irons when it comes to hitting 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.

Callaway's Apex UW hybrid golf club model
Callaway’s Apex UW hybrid is the most popular hybrid among the top 100 PGA Tour pros. Check it out at the PGA Tour Superstore

Do Pros Use Hybrids? The Top 100 PGA Tour Pros Certainly Do!

When it comes to alternatives to long irons the pros have a few options whether that be a hybrid, driving/utility iron or a higher-lofted fairway wood such as a 5-wood or 7-wood.

We took a similar in-depth look at both the fairway woods (click here) and driving irons (click here) being used by the top 100 PGA Tour pros and although 5-woods are a slightly more popular choice, hybrids are a definite mainstay amongst the best pros on Tour.

While 54 of the top 100 use a 5-wood or 7-wood (36 choose 5-wood while 18 play a 7-wood) six of that group still choose to also add a hybrid to their bag.

Matt Kuchar for example carries a 20º hybrid PING Anser hybrid in addition to his TaylorMade Stealth 18º 5-wood.

So while more often than not it is the case that the top pros will be choosing between adding a higher numbered fairway wood or driving iron to add to their bag in preference to a hybrid it is not always a binary decision.

Further the fact that the near 1/3 of the top 100 that use hybrids includes some of the very best players in the world – such as Jordan Speith, Xander Schaufelle and Sam Burns – shows they are a potential option for anyone.

And while Callaway’s Apex UW hybrid is the most used among this elite group our in-depth analysis also showed 20 different models of hybrid being played by the 31 pros choosing to use them.

The use of such a large number of different hybrid clubs therefore points to no one model being dominant among the top 100 pros.

(inc. Xander Schauffele, Sam Burns, Keegan Bradley, Denny McCarthy, Adam Hadwin)
Apex UW

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(inc. Jordan Speith, Sungjae Im, Tom Hoge, J.T.Poston, Russell Henley)

View at PGA Superstore
(inc. Lucas Herbert, Aaron Wise, Abraham Ancer, Adam Long)
Stealth Plus

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(inc. Corey Conners, Matt Kuchar, Joel Dahmen, Brendon Todd)

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(Russell Knox)
Launcher DST

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(Andrew Putnam)
Idea Pro Tour
(Kevin Streelman)
Staff FG Tour

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[Note – Top 100 rankings based on money list at the end of the 2022 season. No data for Adam Shenk]

[Note – Just so you know, and we are upfront as an affiliate program participant, Golfing Focus, at no cost to you, earns from qualifying purchases made through links on this page.]

Why Don’t More Pros Use Hybrids? Shaping Shots and Conditions

We have already noted that 31 out of the top 100 pros on the PGA Tour use hybrids so when it comes to the question of do pros use hybrids the answer is clearly yes.

It has to be acknowledged a higher number among this elite group choose a 5-wood or 7-wood (54 out of 100) but the fact that nearly one third use hybrids shows it is a trusted option for even the very best players in the world.

But why don’t more pros use hybrids?

The answer to that of course comes down to personal preference but specifically what it usually comes down to is whether a player is prioritising being able to ‘work the ball’ over higher launch, spin and distance.

Long irons – and often utility/driving irons when it comes to the irons in the bag hybrids typically will replace – are frequently preferred by pros who like to be able to draw the ball right to left or fade it left to right when they choose to (i.e. ‘work the ball’).

With their increased thickness and centre of gravity further back from the clubface hybrids are not as effective in letting even the best players do that so some pros will choose long irons over hybrids on that basis.

But with their lower lofts and forward centres of gravity long irons are correspondingly not as effective as higher numbered fairway woods or hybrids in letting players hit the ball high.

And that can be a major problem on firmer courses where the pros need to be able to launch the ball high with high spin rates to hold very fast greens on a long par-3 or two shot par-5.

To solve this pros will most often either opt for a high lofted fairway wood or hybrid and as the numbers show more among the top 100 prefer the fairway woods options.

The reasons for that are again often related to personal preference.

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

But more precisely it can be because higher swing speed players, which the top pros are, often find hybrids make the ball turn left due to their slight draw bias as a result of them having more weight in the heel of the club.

Higher lofted fairway woods by comparison will be more neutral at impact due to their larger heads and so will go straighter which pros can prefer especially off the tee.

But with close to 1/3 of the top 100 using hybrids it is a reasonably close run thing and luckily for the pros they can swap hybrids and high numbered fairway woods in and out of their bag whenever they want and more importantly at no cost!

And at certain courses that means many of them will choose to add more hybrids rather than less.

At the high rough and firm East Course at Oak Hill for the 2023 USPGA for example former US Open Champion Matt Fitzpatrick replaced his 4-iron with a hybrid to help him tackle both the rough and the fast fairways and greens.

Other pros of course opted instead for a 7-wood and even tested 9-woods to tackle the same course but this shows in certain conditions more pros than normal can end up playing hybrids.

Interestingly an article published a decade ago in GolfWRX suggested hybrids were on their way out because the top pros would increasingly prefer the ability to ‘work the ball’ offered by utility/driving irons over the benefits of hybrids.

Given the numbers of the top 100 on the PGA Tour still using hybrids however that day seems a long way off still yet!

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 an H2 or H3 hybrid.

There are really no exact set hybrid lofts that 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 17 degrees – most closely aligned to a 2-iron or 4-wood loft – all the way up to 22 degrees which comes close to the loft of a normal 4-iron at 24 degrees.

Golfing Focus infographic breakdown by brand and loft of the number of hybrid clubs used by the top 100 pros on the PGA Tour.

Among the top pros we even find hybrids lofts as precise as 17.25º (Patrick Rodgers) and 17.9º (Adam Hadwin), 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 yardage they want and with the correct gap to the club immediately above and below it in the bag.

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 is 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.

Before you go …

Golf hybrids have been one of the great success stories of golf club designers over the last number of years as they helped ease the pain of long shots for all standards of player.

But the inevitable question which follows is – what hybrids should I have in my golf bag?

Read our next article to discover some practical guidelines – including the ’24/38 rule’ – to help you answer the question about how many hybrids you need.

What Hybrids Should You Carry? It’s All About Ego

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