8 Best Hybrid Golf Clubs In 2021: Buyers Guide

A good hybrid golf club becomes a true utility club on the golf course, and is easily one of my go to clubs that I know I can hit well on command. If I feel like I’m struggling with my fairway woods or even driver, substituting with my hybrid is a safe option to get onto the fairway or onto the green consistently.

Hybrid clubs have become increasingly popular over the last 10 years, and are no longer considered clubs that are meant solely for beginners. At it’s core, a hybrid is a cross between an iron and a wood. Hybrids are generally easier to hit than a long iron or a driving iron, and produce comparable distance, ball trajectory and accuracy.

A good hybrid is an essential club, and should be in every golfer’s bag. There are some great options on the market, and we’ve rounded up the top 8 best hybrid golf clubs and give details on how you should choose your next hybrid. Check out our full review below!

Short on time? Here are our top picks:

Best Hybrid For Beginners: Cleveland Launcher Halo

Best Hybrid Overall: Callaway Apex Pro 21 Hybrid

Our Premium Pick: Taylormade SIM MAX Hybrid

Value Pick: Wilson Staff D7 Hybrid

Best Ball Speed: Cobra RADSpeed Hybrid

Buying Guide: What to Consider

While it’s the versatility that makes hybrids appealing to all types of players, there are a few essential buying factors to consider for an informed decision. 

Forgiveness

Most players use a hybrid to get out of tough situations on the golf course, so having a forgiving club in your hand is priority #1. Ultimately, forgiveness in these clubs will be derived from a lower center of gravity and a larger sweet spot. The lower CG helps you get the ball into the air naturally.

Most hybrids on the market should offer plenty of forgiveness, however there are a few out there that are made for the low handicap crowd.

Shaft

Shaft flex is always worth considering in driver, fairway wood and hybrid golf clubs. If you have a fast swing, make sure you get a Stiff or X Stiff shaft; this will help you find more consistency and hit more accurate shots. If you have a slower swing speed, Regular or Senior flex will help you achieve greater distance without much sacrifice on accuracy.

Shaft flex has a big impact on both distance and accuracy, so make sure you know what shaft you need based off of your swing speed.

Balancing Out Your Bag

Because of the fact that a hybrid is a mix between an iron and a wood, it’s important to make sure the hybrid you pick fills a gap in your golf bag. You’ll want it to produce a longer shot than your longest iron, while being about 15 yards shorter than your highest fairway wood. This will ensure you don’t have any distance gaps in your bag.

Most players will use their hybrid to bridge the gap between their 3 wood and their 4 or 5 iron. If you’re a higher handicap player, you should have more than one hybrid and use them to replace your long irons.

Price

Hybrids are generally some of the more expensive clubs in your bag, so be ready for that. The typical hybrid costs anywhere between $100 and $300. If you’re not able to spend at least $100-$175, it may be worth waiting until you have the funds.

I always recommend trying to get the newest hybrid you can get your hands on, and buying brand new will pay dividends for your golf game.

Best Hybrids on the Market in 2021

Best Hybrid for Beginners: Cleveland Launcher Halo

Cleveland Launcher Halo Golf Hybrid

Cleveland’s newest hybrid has landed itself on a shortlist of the best hybrids for the year, and has proven itself to be one of the most forgiving hybrids on the market. Cleveland unveiled an original hybrid in the mid 2000s called the Halo, and it was one of the best selling hybrids they’ve ever made.

Cleveland include 3 rails on the sole to help golfers get out of the rough easily through better turf interaction, helping make cleaner and more efficient contact. The Launcher also includes Cleveland’s signature HiBore Crown, which helps lower the center of gravity for the club and improve launch angle. The club has unique perimeter weighting that makes it more forgiving and easier to hit, only further helping their target of mid and high handicappers.

Overall, this is a great hybrid that makes it easier to get out of the rough, and produce great ball flight from tough situations. If you’re looking for an option packed with forgiveness without sacrificing quality, this is a great option. While beginners and high handicap players will see the biggest benefit from using this hybrid, this is still a viable option for a mid handicapper who wants maximum forgiveness out of their hybrid.

Features at a Glance:

  • Available as a 2, 3 or 4 hybrid
  • HiBore Crown helps improve launch angle
  • Perimeter weighting helps improve forgiveness
  • High Strength Steel Variable Face designed to increase ball speed

Best for Ball Speed: Cobra RADSpeed Hybrid

Cobra RADSpeed Hybrid Golf Club

The first hybrid I put into my bag was a Cobra Baffler TWS circa 2009, and their technology has improved substantially since then. The 2021 RADSpeed is the latest Cobra hybrid to hit the market, following up an already impressive King SPEEDZONE hybrid. The 2021 version features a sleek and traditional crown, with an electric looking sole design. Beyond the design, there are a few things that make this Cobra hybrid stand out this year.

Cobra points to is the strategic Radial Weighting of the club as a key improvement of this years’ release. Cobra increased the space between the front and the back weights in the club, in order to create a balanced low-spinning high launching ball flight. This is also one of the only hybrids on the market that features a forged face insert, which is a huge plus for the low and mid handicap crowd. That forged face produces some excellent feel, higher launch and faster ball speeds. The classic Baffler Rails on the sole of the club allow this hybrid to glide through tough turf- a technology they’ve used a few times, and for very good reason. It just works.

Cobra has always produced great hybrid golf clubs, and this is definitely one of them. If you want the fastest possible ball speed, this is absolutely worth a look.

Features at a glance:

  • Baffler technology helps get through chunky shots and thick rough
  • High MOI shape
  • Forged stainless steel face for increased ball distance and velocity
  • Optimized rail design
  • Back Tungsten Weighting provides stopping power, allowing you to hold a green
  • Lower center of gravity for higher launch and lower spin

Best Hybrid Overall: Callaway Apex Pro 21 Hybrid

Callaway Apex Pro 21 Hybrid

Callaway have been at the forefront of innovation in golf club technology over the last couple years thanks to their A.I. driven approach to producing golf clubs. With their advanced approach, it only makes sense that they produce just about the best hybrid golf clubs you can find in 2021. Callaway have made 2 hybrids for this year: the Apex 21, and the Apex Pro 21. We like the Apex Pro this year for a few reasons, starting with the fact that this is a more compact players hybrid for the low and mid handicap crowd.

Callaway deploys their Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades, which is a new technology for their hybrids to stiffen the face of the club, producing faster ball speeds coupled with more forgiveness. Callaway has again relied on their A.I. driven approach for the Flash Face of the golf club; this Flash Face approach allows them to optimize the performance and ball speeds on their hybrids, making them as fast as possible. They’ve used a Forged Face Cup on the Apex Pro this year as well, for better feel and additional speed. This is one of the best long iron replacement clubs you can find, and is expected to be one of the hottest hybrids on the PGA Tour this year. If you want a hybrid that maximizes performance in a more compact package, this is an excellent pick, and our favorite hybrid for 2021.

Features at a Glance:

  • Compact clubhead design for a more iron-like top line view
  • Jailbreak AI Velocity Blades to stiffen the clubface
  • Flash Face technology for maximum ball speed
  • Forged Face for exceptional feel and speed off the face

Our Premium Pick: Taylormade SIM MAX hybrid

Taylormade sim max hybrid golf club

TaylorMade’s 2020 lineup is centered around the SIM clubs (we reviewed the SIM MAX Driver here), and the SIM Max hybrid stands out as the best of their options. Rather than use rails, TaylorMade deploys a V Steel sole design that helps improve turf interaction, and helps you out of difficult lies.

Much of the technology that is put into the SIM Max driver is used in the hybrid as well. The Twist Face is used to produce straighter shots on mis-hits, and is made of Ultra Strong C300 steel for better ball speed. Lastly, the Speed Pocket technology provides even more forgiveness and ball speed. If you’re looking for a premium hybrid, this is our top pick for 2021.

Features at a glance:

  • Twist Face technology which utilizes corrective angles for straighter shots
  • V Steel Sole Design for improved turf interaction in tough lies
  • C300 Ultra-Strong Steel Face
  • Speed Pocket Technology for forgiveness and ball speed

Budget pick: Pinemeadow Excel EGI 

Pinemeadow hybrid golf club

Pinemeadow is well known for their competitively priced yet well-made golf clubs. The Excel EGI is their newest hybrid line, and it comes in 8 different loft options. This club is not going to break any sort of ball speed records, and I wouldn’t recommend this over a SIM Max or similar, but if you don’t have a big budget this is an OK option.

The Excel EGI is well-rounded, built from sturdy materials and has a big sweet spot that makes it easy to hit. The Pinemeadow hybrids are somewhat comparable to brand name golf clubs in performance. If you’re on a tight budget, this is a great option to consider.

Features at a Glance:

  • 8 different loft options
  • Wide sweet spot
  • Comparable performance to name brand hybrids

Value Pick: Wilson Staff D7 Hybrid

Wilson Staff D7 Hybrid Golf Club

The Wilson Staff D7 Hybrid is the 2019 option from Wilson, and has proven to be a great bang for buck option, coming in cheaper than other premium hybrids on the market.

The D7 series is designed to maximize distance and performance for mid to high handicap players, and the hybrid delivers. The clubhead is relatively heavy, and feels solid and stable during your swing. While the clubhead itself is heavy, the entire club feels light and produces a high straight ball flight. Overall, this club delivers high end performance in all playing conditions, yet has a reasonable price tag.

Features at a glance:

  • 6 different loft options
  • Carpenter Custom 455 Face
  • Lightweight design for faster club head speeds
  • New crown construction to reduce weight even more

Worth a Look: TaylorMade M6 Hybrid

Taylormade M6 golf hybrid

The M6 Hybrid is one of the best hybrid golf clubs in 2021 that generates a piercing flight while providing plenty of rollout. The M6 is easy to hit, and loaded with TaylorMade’s premium technology. The M6 is great for forgiveness on mis-hits, and delivers consistently straight shots.

The M6 was the first hybrid TaylorMade produces that introduces their innovative Twist Face Technology, which is naturally corrective and produces more consistent ball flight. The club has a low center of gravity for easy launch, and has a faster thinner face for better ball speed. All in all, this is a great option for golfers of all skill levels.

Features at a glance:

  • First Taylormade Hybrid to feature Twist Face Technology
  • Thin, fast face for better ball speed and greater distance
  • Improved slot flexibility for better off-center shots
  • Advanced SpeedPocket design for optimal turf interaction

Callaway Men’s Big Bertha hybrid

Callaway Big Bertha Hybrid golf club

The Callaway Big Bertha line has been a staple for Callaway, and their 2019 hybrid is another great option on the market this year. Callaway uses Jailbreak Technology for faster ball speeds, and the progressive shaping of the club face makes the club forgiving on mis-hits. Overall, this is another solid hybrid to choose from.

Hybrid FAQ

What are Hybrids Used for in Golf?

Hybrids are there to give you versatility and options in your club selection when you get to your longer clubs. Hybrids are designed to combine the easier swing mechanics of a traditional iron and the forgiveness and distance you’d find in a wood. There’s no set “stock shot” that a hybrid is best for, instead a hybrid is just another option in the bag. If you struggle to hit your longer 3, 4 or 5 irons, a hybrid is a great replacement. In the same token, I think a hybrid is much easier to hit than a 5 or 7 wood, while still producing comparable distance.

Use a golf hybrid when you need a club you can hit confidently.

What Are the Differences Between Hybrid Golf Clubs and Fairway Woods?

The biggest difference between a hybrid and a fairway wood is that a hybrid is a much more forgiving club. A hybrid has a much more compact, dense clubhead design than a wood does, and that compact design naturally creates a lower center of gravity and higher MOI. That lower CG helps a hybrid be a more forgiving club when you don’t hit the sweet spot perfectly, and at the same time launch the ball higher into the air. The actual swing mechanics are different too; you swing a hybrid like an iron, where a fairway wood is a totally different set up.

Hybrids tend to be shorter, more forgiving and way easier to hit than their fairway wood counterparts.

Which Hybrids Should I Carry?

Which hybrids make the most sense will depend on your current bag set up, skill level, and of course your budget for golf clubs. If you’re in the beginner or high handicap crowd, it makes sense to have as many hybrids as possible, because they’re so much easier to hit than the longer irons in a club set. Ideally as a new player, you’d have a 3, 4, 5 and possibly a 6 hybrid to replace each of their corresponding irons. Once you make the switch you’ll find you hit your shots further and straighter more frequently.

If you’re in the mid or low handicap crowd, this is going to be more of a personal preference. A 3 or 4 hybrid will probably be good enough, and offer you a few options when you’re executing a longer shot. At the minimum you should have at least one hybrid in the bag.

Final Thoughts

If you don’t already have one, buying a hybrid can be an absolute game changer for your golf game. Hybrids are easy to hit from almost any lie, and produce high and straight shots that can hold greens from a great distance. One of our top picks is definitely the Cleveland Launcher Halo for the high handicap crowd, due to it’s overwhelming forgiveness and top performance.

Thanks for reading! if you enjoyed this post, check out our post on the Most Forgiving Drivers!