Fairway Wood Vs Hybrid – What’s the difference?
Hello fellow golfers! Today, in this article, I am going to discuss the topic Fairway Wood Vs Hybrid. Please read until the end to understand which one is meant for you.
Fairway Woods are commonly known as Golf Woods. Their heads were traditionally made up of hardwood (such as persimmon). However, with the advancement in technology and the requirements of the players, the modern wood heads are made up of either the composite material (such as carbon fiber) or metal (such as titanium) also.
However, irrespective of the made of the Fairway Wood club heads, they all serve the same purpose of hitting the ball to cover the longer distances. Hybrids, on the other hand, are a combination of wood and iron. It helps the golf players of varying experience to enjoy the sport to its fullest by maintaining a good score while improving on it.
The Fairway Wood is numbered based on the lofts. They are numbered from lower to higher, starting with 1-wood, also known as the driver. 1 represents the lowest loft, which ranges from 9 to 13 degrees. The higher wood number has more loft. Interestingly the odd-numbered Fairway woods are most commonly used by the golf players. It is important to note that the number and the corresponding loft vary from brand to brand. Therefore 2-wood of brand-A may have different lofts of 2-wood of brand-B.
On the other hand, the hybrids, as the name suggests, are the amalgamation of irons and woods. They are optimally engineered to give the desirable qualities of both the irons and woods. Thus, Hybrid offers swing mechanics of irons with the distance and forgiveness of woods. Golf players use a combination of woods, irons, and Hybrids in their golf bag to manage the requirements of different lofts and other settings. Given the long trajectory offered by the Hybrids, one can use Hybrids off the tee on a par-5 golf course.
Do I need a Fairway Wood or Hybrid?
A club in the sports of golf is mainly evaluated on the basis of technical differences and non-technical differences. However, it is worth noting that a few of the features are overlapping. Nonetheless, they are discussed as follows. The following discussion should give you a good knowledge base for understanding the differences between the two, that is, Hybrid vs Fairway wood.
The following are the main pivotal technical differences between Fairway Wood and Hybrids.
- Center of Gravity
- Moment of Inertia
The following are the main pivotal non-technical differences between Fairway Wood and Hybrids.
- Sole of Clubface
- Design and Feel (Aesthetics)
A brief account of these differences is given below.
Technical Differences Fairway Wood vs Hybrid
The main technical difference between Fairway Wood and Hybrid are discussed below.
Center of Gravity
The center of gravity of the Hybrid is lower than the center of gravity of Fairway Wood. Further, the center of gravity of Hybrid is deeper than that of Fairway Wood. This combination of the lower and deeper center of gravity of Hybrid clubheads makes them a good choice to hit the ball and more forgiving. The lowered center of gravity in Hybrid makes the better ball trajectory than the Fairway Wood by applying the same effort.
Moment of Inertia
In order to understand the Moment of Intertia, it is important to remember that a higher moment of inertia results in a stable clubhead as it reduces twisting when the sweet spot is not hit. The wider sole increases the moment of inertia, in woods, long irons, and Hybrids. In Fairway Wood vs Hybrid, the moment of inertia is higher for Fairway Wood than it is for Hybrid as Fairway wood has a wider sole than that of Hybrid. Thus, the chances are that when a golf player hits the ball with the Fairway Woods than with the Hybrids, it will be more targetted, and forgiving.
Bottom Line – The moment of inertia of Fairway Wood makes them a better choice over Hybrid.
Hybrids are one of the best things that have happened to golfers with medium and high handicaps. The Hybrids are easy to hit. They are effective and produce consistent shots than the Fairway Woods. The Hybrids are easy to swing, which makes the amateurs, handicappers, and experts equal opportunity to cover the distance.
Bottom Line – Hybrid provides better support to Handicaps than Fairway Woods from hitting the ball to the flagpost.
Non-Technical Differences Fairway Wood vs Hybrid
The main non-technical difference between Fairway Wood and Hybrid are discussed below.
Sole of Clubface
The sole of the clubface of a Fairway Wood and Hybrid is equally wide. However, the sole of Hybrid is flatter than that of Fairway Wood. The sole of Fairway Wood is generally flattened. It gives a smooth slide over the ground, without digging, while hitting the ball.
The Fairway Woods are longer than their Hybrid counterparts. However, they are shorter than the long irons. However, the Hybrids are either equal in length or a bit longer than the irons. For instance, a 5 wood is 42 inches in length, while the equivalent 2-iron is 39 inches in length. The length of Woods range from 40 to 48 inches. On the other hand, the Hybrid length range from 36.5 to 43.5. The maximum allowable length is 48 inches as per United States Golf Association (USGA) and R&A rules.
The bottom line of forgiveness in Hybrid and Fairway Woods is that the Hybrids are more forgiving than either the Fairway Wood or the iron. This is the reason why the Hybrids are known as the utility clubs. The tour pros and the players of all skill levels have found them as one of the most important clubs in the golf bag. Generally, the Hybrids are substituted for 2-, 3-, 4- or 5- irons. Thus, a typical golf bag contains a good number of Hybrid clubs than the iron clubs or the Wood clubs.
The wood clubs are heavier in weight than the Hybrid and the irons clubs. However, the weight of the Hybrid club is comparable to an iron.
When discussing the distance covered by a ball, easier to hit, remember the fundamental rule.
Lower = Longer (more distance)
That is to say that lower the number of a club, the longer the distance the ball will cover. For instance, a golf ball will cover more distance when hit by a 3 wood than when it is hit by a 5 wood, keeping the other things constant. Similarly, a 2 wood club will hit farther than the 3 wood club, however, in terms of comparison between the Hybrid and fairway wood, which offers a greater distance. If a golf player hits the ball with the same technique, force, and in the same course, the 3 Hybrid offers less distance than a 3 wood, while the 3 Hybrid offers more than a 3 iron.
The prices of each club, be it the Wood, Iron, or the Hybrid vary from brand to brand. But generally, the Hybrids are cheapest from among them all.
Feel and Aesthetics
The name of the Hybrid confirms that the Hybrids are easier to hit, and offers better feel and aesthetics than their counterpart in Irons and Woods. It is mainly because the Hybrids have been engineered to have the cherry-picked qualities of both the Irons and Woods.
Typical Combination in a Golf Bag
According to the United States Golf Association, a golfer can have up to 14 clubs in his or her bag. The USGA allows this with different combinations which include the following
- Only three woods (driver, 3-wood, 5-wood)
- Eight Irons (pitching wedge and 3-9 iron)
- One Putter
These are a total of only 12 clubs in a golf bag. Interestingly, the Hybrids are counted as clubs, but they can serve multiple purposes on a golf course. For instance, a Hybrid can be used as long iron, and sometimes, it can be used as a chip shot. A smart golf player can get rid of a fairway wood and 3-iron with a Hybrid, thus giving way to add wedge in the bag. If a golf player starts with fewer number clubs in his or her golf bag, the golfer can add to the number of clubs until he or she reached 14.
For a golfer of varying experience and skill level, the following set of clubs are proposed in a golfers bag. Remember that these are not the must-haves. Rather, they have been proposed on the basis of reviews, and the best combination in one’s golf bag depends on the golfer satisfaction and comfort.
For an Experienced Golfer
Following sets of golf clubs is proposed for an experienced golfer
- 3 Hybrid, 4 Hybrid, 5 Hybrid, and 6 Hybrid
- 3- wood
- 7-. 8-, 9- irons
- A putter and a Pitching wedge
Moderately Experienced Golfer
Following sets of golf clubs is proposed for a moderately experienced golfer
- 3 Hybrid 4 Hybrid, 5 Hybrid
- 3- wood
- 6-, 7-. 8-, 9- irons
- Driver and Putter
- Pitching and Sand wedge
Following sets of golf clubs is proposed for a novice golfer
- 2 Hybrid or 3 wood or a wedge
- 3 – 9 iron
- Gap wedge and Pitching wedge
- Putter and Lob wedge
Both the Hybrids and the Fairway Woods offer a great deal of differing experience and come up to the expectations of many golfers. The best way to capitalize and take leverage of the Hybrids and woods is to have a combination of the two types of the clubs in your golf to have the maximum gains.