If you are new to golf, you might have experienced some difficulty hitting your fairway woods and low irons — mainly the 2 through 4 irons, and, perhaps, your 5. More and more players have turned to rescue and hybrid golf clubs to remedy that problem. And if you’re a beginner, it might be wise to start carrying one or two in your bag in place of those hard-to-hit lower irons.
Hybrids are just that — a mix between an iron and a fairway wood. They are designed to be easy to hit, featuring a club head similar to a wood, but with a face lie angle like an iron. Often referred to as utility clubs, the hybrid’s purpose is to help get easy launch and extra distance, while providing maximum forgiveness — all aspects of the game most beginners need for consistency and confidence. You can use rescue clubs in the fairway or in deeper rough.
Browse a wider selection of rescue and hybrid golf clubs if list doesn’t have what you’re looking. But keep reading below to see some of the most popular and effective hybrids for beginners below:
1. Callaway Steelhead XR Hybrid
If you’re a golfer — even a beginner — you’ve most likely heard of Callaway. And if not, they have a reputation for making some of the best clubs in the business, including hybrids. The Steelhead XR has everything you’re looking for in a hybrid — a larger club head and face, a large sweet spot, and a deep-back center of gravity. All of these features encourage easy launch, high flight, and forgiveness on off-center hits. Callaway’s innovative Next-Gen Hyper Speed Face Cup Technology and Speed Step Technology promote faster club speed and extra distance. A 2017 Golf Digest Hot List Gold selection, the Steelhead XR is a club you can use both on and off the fairway and expect consistent results.
One drawback might be the cost, but you’ll be getting one of the easiest-hitting and consistent hybrids on the market today. It comes in a variety of lofts — 3H (19 degrees), 4H (22), 5H (25), and 6H (28) — for men, women and seniors. Check out our post of the best Callaway irons for beginners and high handicappers if you’re in the market for new clubs.
Price: $169.99 (23 percent off MSRP)
- Large face and Next-Gen Hyper Speed Face Cup Technology leads to more distance
- Increased forgiveness from re-engineered head shape
- Available in 4 lofts — 3H (19 degrees), 4H (22), 5H (25), 6H (28)
- Available for men, women, and seniors
- A little on the pricey side
- The 3H and 6H only available for right-handers
2. TaylorMade 2017 M2 Men’s Rescue Club
The 2017 M2 Rescue Club brings performance and consistency in a sleek design unique to TaylorMade. The rescue/hybrid features an improved Speed Pocket, which has been made longer and more flexible than the last model, and that helps you generate more club speed on each swing. The new two-tiered sole design improves turf interaction on any part of the course — on or off the fairway — for an extra smooth feel on impact. All of that will add up to easy launch, extra distance, and excellent forgiveness, even on off-center shots. Exactly what beginning golfers need to build on-course confidence.
Like the Callaway Steelhead XR, the M2 is roughly $200, but you’re going to get a very unforgiving, high-quality club you can use for years. It comes in four lofts — 19 degrees (3), 22 degrees (4), 25 degrees (5), and 28 degrees (6). Browse a wider selection of TaylorMade golf clubs here if this model isn’t what you’re looking for.
- Two-tiered sole design for better turf interaction
- Modified Speed Pocket for more ball speed and forgiveness
- Geocoustic technology for improved sound
- Available in 4 lofts — 19 degrees (3), 22 (4), 25 (5), 28 (6)
- On the pricey side
- Can’t change the weight/loft in the club head
3. Pinemeadow Golf Men’s Excel EGI Hybrid Golf Club
Coming off of two clubs which will cost you $200, the Pinemeadow Golf Excel EGI Hybrid can be had for under $60. While some players have trouble hitting the low irons, Pinemeadow has taken into consideration that some players don’t do so well with their high irons. So the Excel EGI Hybrid is available in 8 different lofts — 19 degrees (replaces 3-iron), 22 (4-iron), 25 (5-iron), 28 (6-iron), 32 (7-iron), 36 (8-iron), 39 (9-iron), and 45 (pitching wedge). Hybrids were designed to be very easy-to-hit clubs, while helping out with distance, launch, and forgiveness. If you have trouble hitting traditional irons, a hybrid could be the answer in giving you consistency and confidence on the course. And with Pinemeadow, you have the ability to switch out all of your irons — including your pitching wedge! — for utility clubs.
As for the clubs, the EGIs feature balanced weight throughout the club with a widened sweetspot. That means you’ll get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to off-center hits. It features a low-torque Pinemeadow Hybrid graphite shaft, which will give you more flexibility than a standard iron. Each EGI Hybrid includes a headcover.
Price: Starting at $54.82; price varies depending on loft and availability
- Available in 8 different lofts, enabling you to switch out all your irons
- Comes with a headcover
- Features a low-torque graphite shaft
- Club will be heavier if you trade out your traditional iron
- Higher loft clubs — 7, 8, 9 — could take a while to get used to hitting if you previously played with high irons
4. Tour Edge Golf Men’s Hot Launch 2 Series Individual Iron-Wood
Tour Edge’s Hot Launch 2 Iron-Wood does just that — launch. The heavy sole design naturally promotes launch on the ball, something new golfers tend to have a hard time doing. A new, larger club head has a bigger sweetspot, which is more forgiving, and the thin club face and hollow construction creates faster ball speed, which leads to more distance.
And like the Pinemeadow’s listed above, you can get the Hot Launch 2 Iron-Woods to replace all your irons and wedges. They are available in the following loft degrees (with iron/wedge it replaces) — 18 degrees (2), 20 degrees (3), 23 degrees (4), 26 degrees (5), 29 degrees (6), 33 degrees (7), 37 degrees (8), 41 degrees (9), 45 degrees (pitching wedge), 50 degrees (approach wedge), 54 degrees (sand wedge), and 59 degrees (lob wedge). The shaft, which is a UST Mamiya graphite, is available in regular, senior, and stiff.
- Thin, forged club face generates faster ball speeds
- Heavy sole helps with high launch
- Available in 12 different lofts
- Might sacrifice some distance on higher loft hybrids compared to traditional irons
- Some clubs might take getting used to hit compared to traditional irons
Find more Tour Edge Golf Men’s Hot Launch 2 Series Individual Iron-Wood information and reviews here.
5. TaylorMade Men’s AeroBurner Rescue Club
TaylorMade’s second addition to the list is the AeriBurner Rescue Club. This club was released in 2015, but it has every a new golfer needs to have success. The Speed Pocket increases the size of the sweetspot and reduces spin, offering maximum forgiveness. The advanced aerodynamic shape has a shallow face and a raised crown, which helps promote extra club speed and distance. Another nice touch is the white matte finish on top of the club head and the black club face. That offers a great contrast with the green grass of the course, which will help with alignment and focus for a consistent stroke. The AeroBurner doesn’t come with interchangeable weights or loft adjustments like more advanced hybrid clubs these days. That way you can just concentrate on your swing without overthinking.
It comes in a variety of lofts — 19 degrees (3R), 22 degrees (4R), 25 degrees (5R), and 28 degrees (6R) — with different types of flex. The AeroBurner comes with a Matrix Speed RUL Z 70 shaft and a TM Speed Grip. If you’re in the market for a new bag, read our post on the best TaylorMade golf bags for 2017.
Price: From $118.98 (8 percent off MSRP)
- Aerodynamic shape with a shallow face
- Speed Pocket helps reduce spin
- Matte white finish
- This model is a few years old
- Some users did not receive a headcover as advertised