Picking the Right Hybrid Shaft
Picking the right hybrid shaft is very important, especially when replacing long irons. According to our current poll, 35% of our golfers say the WORST club(s) in their bag are their long irons. So, maybe new hybrids are in order. (see our related blog post on long irons here).
While buying a hybrid off-the-rack is the most common purchase, the shafts offered very likely do not fit the majority of golfers. Most hybrid shafts that we test during a fitting are too soft (flexible) and too light of weight. This can cause very poor ball contact, wide shot dispersion and a loss of distance.
So how do we determine which shaft is best for your swing dynamics? Our BGF Fitting System has modeled thousands of golfers swings and will dynamically recommend the proper shaft length, weight, flex, swing weight and profile (trajectory and spin) to optimize your hybrid performance based upon your unique swing dynamics.
The longest, lightest, yet stiffest club in you bag is your driver. The heaviest, shortest and most flexible clubs will be your wedges. As clubs get shorter from driver to fairway woods to hybrids, the shaft weights will get progressively heavier. This varies based upon your strength and swing profile (tempo, transition and release) but in general, hybrid shafts will be 10 to 20 grams heavier than your driver shaft weight. In some instances, the hybrid shafts will be the same weight as your irons but never heavier. If you have very poor ball contact on either the heel or toe, if is probably because the shaft in your hybrid is too light. If you have difficulty getting the ball in the air your hybrid shaft could be too heavy.
Just like shaft weights get heavier from driver to wedges, shaft flexes should get softer from driver to fairway woods to hybrids. This again is determined by your strength and swing profile. In general, your hybrid shaft flex should be slightly stiffer than your iron shaft flex. This is because the hybrid shafts are typically .75 inches longer than the equivalent iron and will need to play slighter stiffer than the iron in order to provide more control. If your shot dispersion is very wide and you tend to hook your shots, your hybrid shaft is more than likely too flexible. If you tend to push your shots or slice them, the shaft could be too stiff. By all means, do not trust the flex stated on the shaft, i.e. R (Men’s Regular) or S (Men’s Stiff), as the shafts usually play much softer than stated. In some cases a shaft marked R will play as soft as Ladies flex.
Hybrid shaft lengths are usually .75 inches longer than the equivalent iron. This is typical for hybrid clubs with graphite or light weight steel shafts. So, a 22 degree 4 hybrid will typically be 39.5 inches but a lot of manufacturers are making hybrids up to 1.25 inches longer than the equivalent iron. Be careful not to get your hybrid shafts too long as this can create more shot dispersion and poor ball contact.
Well fit hybrids can become some of the best clubs in your bag for versatility. Whether it is off the tee, from fairway or rough, the right shaft length, weight and flex in your hybrids will create some of your best shots!