The Hybrids Used By the Top 100 PGA Tour Pros (2023 update) - Golfing Focus (2024)

The Hybrids Used By the Top 100 PGA Tour Pros (2023 update) - Golfing Focus (1)

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.

The Hybrids Used By the Top 100 PGA Tour Pros (2023 update) - Golfing Focus (2)

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)

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(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 – 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.

The Hybrids Used By the Top 100 PGA Tour Pros (2023 update) - Golfing Focus (3)

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

Other great articles related to this topic:

  • What Clubs Do Pro Golfers Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Player Guide
  • What Driver is Most Used On the PGA Tour? Top 100 Player Analysis
  • The Fairway Woods Used by the Top 100 PGA Tour Pros
  • What Hybrid Golf Clubs Do the Top 100 PGA Tour Pros Use?
  • What Driving Irons Do the Pros Use on the PGA Tour?
  • What Irons Do the Pros Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Player Guide
  • What Wedges Do the Pros Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Player Analysis
  • What Putters Do the Pros Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Player Guide
  • What Golf Balls Do the Pros Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Players Breakdown
  • What Golf Grips Do the Pros Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Player Guide
  • What Shafts Do Pros Use? Top 100 PGA Tour Player Breakdown
  • Do Pros Use Regular or Stiff Shafts? They’re Stronger Than That!
  • Do Pros Use Graphite or Steel Shafts? It Depends Which Club
  • Do Golf Pros Wear Metal Spikes? But They are Banned!
  • Most Popular Driver on LPGA Tour? Top 50 Player Guide
  • What Irons Do LPGA Players Use? Top 50 Pros Analysis
  • What Golf Balls Do LPGA Players Use? Top 50 Player Breakdown
  • What Drives the Senior Tour Pros? Most Popular Driver on Champions Tour
  • From Tee to Green: Analyzing What Golf Balls Champions Tour Pros Use
  • Hybrids vs. Fairway Woods – FULL Distance and Comparison Guide
  • How Far Should I Hit My Hybrids? 2 vs 3 vs 4 Hybrid Distances
The Hybrids Used By the Top 100 PGA Tour Pros (2023 update) - Golfing Focus (2024)


What hybrid replaces a 3 and 4 iron? ›

19 or 20 degree hybrid would be equivalent to a 3 iron golf club. 21 to 23 degree hybrid would be equivalent to a 4 iron golf club.

Do any pros play a hybrid? ›

That set off a surge in hybrid use on the PGA Tour. By 2010 it wasn't uncommon to see 130 to 140 hybrids in play and only a handful of utility irons at any given tournament. Since that peak, however, hybrid usage has slid to where they now number in the 30s at most events.

How many hybrids should a senior golfer carry? ›

How many hybrids should you carry? We most commonly recommend that golfers carry at least one hybrid in their golf bag. Whether it's a traditional model or something that resembles a utility or a driving iron, having one in the bag will simply provide you with more options on the golf course.

What is the leading edge of a hybrid golf club? ›

The leading edge is located at the bottom of the clubface. Precisely, it corresponds to the border of the sole as it meets the clubface, or in other words, the area where the clubface meets the sole.

Will a 3 hybrid go further than a 3 iron? ›

Arccos players with zero to five handicaps still perform at a high level with their 3-irons, and even hit the ball slightly further with them than with their 3-hybrids. For example, scratch golfers (zero handicaps) average 198 yards with their 3-iron and 193 yards with their 3-hybrid.

Does Tiger Woods use a hybrid? ›

Woods occasionally carries a hybrid, but when he opts for a long iron or two instead, he goes for the TaylorMade P770, which is slightly larger and more forgiving than the P7TW. Check out our breakdown of the best TaylorMade irons.

Does Jordan Spieth use a hybrid? ›

He then carries a TSi2 hybrid whe he used to use a T200 driving iron, before moving into a full set of T100 irons from 4-iron to 9-iron. The American put them in play just before flying across to St George's for The Open in 2021. Jordan opts to use four wedges, they are all in the Vokey SM10.

Why don't tour players use hybrids? ›

It's because hybrids typically have a left miss bias compared to higher lofted fairway woods, driving irons, and long irons.

Are two hybrids hard to hit? ›

A hybrid 2 golf club will have the length of the 2-iron it's designed to replace, along with the larger shaped head of a fairway wood. Both these qualities make them much easier to hit.

How many golf balls can a golfer carry? ›

A PGA Tour player can carry as many golf balls as they desire. More than likely, they carry between 6-10, depending on how often they like to switch balls to avoid playing a ball that is too torn up from on-course wear. One note here is that PGA Tour players may only play one brand and model of golf ball.

Are 3 hybrid and 5 wood the same? ›

Generally, a 3-hybrid with the same loft as a 5-wood will produce more spin while a 5-wood will generate less spin and a higher flight with a steeper descent angle. High-spin golfers can consider a 5-wood while those struggling with low spin might find a 3-hybrid more suitable.

Can you hit a hybrid club out of the rough? ›

Hybrids are also great from the rough

The shoulder tilt will help the club make contact with the ball at a steeper angle, and then hit the ground. The increased angle will help the club make more direct contact with the ball, rather than having the grass get stuck between the ball and the face.

How do I choose a hybrid club? ›

Before picking up a new hybrid, you should have a general idea of ​​the distance gaps currently in your bag. You should always consider your skill level, power and accuracy when purchasing a new club. A reputable fitter can also help you choose which loft and shaft flex will best suit your swing speed and playstyle.

What should I replace my 4 iron with? ›

A 4-hybrid is the 4-iron equivalent in the hybrid family, although players could opt for a slightly lower-lofted 3-hybrid if they want a little more distance or a little lower launch. Meanwhile, players who want to replace their 4-iron with a wood might consider a 9-wood or a 7-wood.

What is a 5 hybrid golf club? ›

The 5-hybrid (the clue is in the name) is the best of both worlds. It is smaller than the fairway wood so it can glide through longer grass easier, but bigger than the iron for easier launch and increased forgiveness. The 5-hybrid (the clue is in the name) is the best of both worlds.

Does a 5 wood replace a 3 iron? ›

If the fairway is relatively open without many obstacles, and you need to attack longer holes, a 5-wood may be a good choice. But if the fairway is narrow or has a lot of obstacles, you might prefer a 3-iron because it's easier to control and performs better through the rough.

What does a 24 degree hybrid replace? ›

Hybrid and Iron Loft Comparison
Hybrid loftEquivalent iron
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