The hybrid is one of the most versatile clubs in golf that can get you out of many sticky situations on the course.
If you’ve landed on this article, it means you’re considering adding one of these rescue rods to your bag – and, trust me, you’re making the right decision.
I bought my first hybrid, a Callaway XR, many years ago and I can’t tell you how many times it’s saved me from disaster when hitting from thick rough or from bare, sandy lies at my former local course (which is aptly named ‘Sandy Creek’).
Similarly, my hybrid has come in very handy when I’ve needed to play bump-and-runs from tight lies when off the green, especially when I’ve had the chipping yips (if only I had room in my bag for a chipper, too).
Hybrids have come a long way since I bought mine, and in this article I’m going to detail the best options on the market today to help you decide which club is best suited for you.
In summary, here are the best hybrids available today:
- TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Rescue (top pick)
- TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue
- Callaway Apex Pro Hybrid
- Cobra Radspeed Hybrid
- Cobra Radspeed One Length Hybrid
- Callaway Mavrik Max Hybrid
- Cleveland Launcher Halo Hybrid
- Callaway Big Bertha B21 Hybrid
- Cobra Speedzone Hybrid
- Titleist TSi3 Hybrid
- Titleist TSi2 Hybrid
- PING G425 Hybrid
- PING G410 Hybrid
- Wilson Staff Launch Pad Hybrid
- TaylorMade GAPR Hybrid
In compiling this list, I’ve tried hitting as many of these clubs as I could down at my local golf store, and where I haven’t been able to test it in person, I’ve spent many hours researching online to give the most informed verdict possible.
Table of contents
What is a hybrid in golf?
A hybrid – otherwise known as a ‘rescue’ – is essentially a blend between a fairway wood and a long iron. Its sole is wider and rounder than an iron, yet smaller than the clubhead of a fairway wood making it easier to hit but also extremely effective from many lies.
The reason hybrids often get nicknamed a ‘rescue’ club is because they can be used in all sorts of scenarios, whether it’s out of the rough, from a fairway bunker, chipping from just off the green or from the tee.
More and more pros are using them on the PGA and European Tours because of their versatility and forgiveness, however there are still players who prefer driving irons or woods (such as a 5 or 7 wood).
Hybrids also come in all different kinds of lofts, and have subtle variations in their feel and design depending on the manufacturer. This brings me to the next question…
Which golf hybrid is best?
Without question, the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Rescue is the best hybrid you can buy today.
I own the TaylorMade SIM Max 3-Wood, so immediately I was drawn to this club and I can safely say it didn’t disappoint when trying it out.
Keeping in line with TaylorMade’s SIM series (which boasts driver in addition to fairway woods), this hybrid feels extremely solid off the tee and makes a fantastic ‘crack’ off the clubface when striking the ball flush.
It looks great – I love the trademark white, black and blue color scheme – and felt comfortable in my hands.
You honestly can’t go wrong with this hybrid, as I’ll explain in greater detail further down this article in my list of reviews.
What is the most forgiving hybrid in golf?
The most forgiving hybrids in golf are the clubs with the most loft. For example, the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Rescue comes in lofts ranging as low as 22 degrees or as high as 31 degrees. The most forgiving option would be the model with the highest amount of loft.
As is the case with all golf clubs, the more loft the club has, the more forgiving it is.
In my list of hybrids further down this article, I’ll outline the available lofts for each club to help distinguish which brands/models are the easiest to hit.
Is a 2 hybrid harder to hit than a 3 hybrid in golf?
Yes, a 2 hybrid is harder to hit than a 3 hybrid as it has less loft (typically 18 degrees versus 21 degrees). The greater the loft of the club, the more forgiving it is as the rotational forces you impart on the ball – such as draw spin or fade spin – will have less impact on it, due to it spending less time in flight.
It’s why hitting a wedge is far easier than hitting, for example, a 2 iron.
Not only is the club shaft shorter, giving you more control, but the more-lofted clubface puts less spin on the ball and sends it higher into the air – meaning the chances of it drifting greatly offline are reduced.
The same principles can be applied when hitting a 2 hybrid versus a 3 hybrid, with the higher-lofted club being easier to hit and control.
Best hybrid golf clubs in 2023
So, now that we’ve touched on what hybrids are in golf and which are the most forgiving, it’s time to reveal the best ones you should consider adding to your bag.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not it’s worth buying a hybrid, let me reassure you it absolutely is – while long irons are a strength of mine, I still pull my hybrid out regularly during a round, especially when the lie is a bit suss.
Let’s take a look at some of the best hybrids on the market today.
TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Rescue
The TaylorMade SIM Max 2 rescue ticks every box when it comes to the perfect hybrid.
The larger, almost wood-like head afford extra forgiveness – which is exactly what you want considering hybrids are often used for poor lies – while its specially-optimised centre of gravity generates high launch, allowing you to land shots softly.
The higher flight the SIM Max 2 creates is particularly important as it means you can hold more greens from long distance, which is key if catching flier lies or hitting your second shot into a Par 5.
The SIM Max 2 Rescue comes with all the features seen in TaylorMade’s driver and 3-wood models, including Twist Face technology for limiting mis-hits, V-Steel sole for improved turf interaction and a Thru-Slot Speed Pocket to preserve ball speed and distance from off-centre strikes.
But details aside, what I love most about this club is how solid it feels off the clubface – the same feeling I get when hitting my SIM Max 2 3-wood.
While it’s a little pricier than some other hybrids out there, the SIM Max 2 Rescue is without question my top pick for 2022.
TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue
If you’re not someone who needs the ‘latest and greatest’ hybrid or are on a budget, then the TaylorMade SIM Max rescue is virtually identical to its successor in every way – except it costs less.
Honestly, unless you’re a pro golfer with the feel of Tiger Woods, it’s unlikely you’ll notice any difference between hitting the SIM Max Rescue and the SIM Max 2 Rescue and can save yourself a few bucks by getting the slightly-older model.
There are, of course, some subtle differences with the SIM Max having an earlier (or, one could argue, less optimised) version of the V-Steel sole and Thru-Slot Speed Pocket.
It does still come with TaylorMade’s trademark Twist Face technology for increased forgiveness.
But, in terms of feel, I’d be surprised if you noticed any difference between the SIM Max and SIM Max 2 and there are savings to be had if you’re happy grabbing the earlier model.
Callaway Apex Pro Hybrid
As someone who used a Callaway hybrid for a long time, I can say with certainty they are great – and the latest model, the Callaway Apex Pro, is no different.
First of all, I love the sleek, jet-black look of this rescue club. While appearance doesn’t affect functionality, it can impact performance as you need to feel comfortable with what you’re holding while standing over the ball.
It’s fair to say the Callaway Apex Pro passes this test with flying colors.
In terms of features, this hybrid is packed full of game improvement technology that is worth your consideration.
Callaway’s Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades are engineered to increase vertical stiffness near the sole of the club, creating more speed on shots that are struck low on the face.
Working in conjunction with this is the Flash Face upgrade, which also assists with off-centre strikes to increase forgiveness – perfect for mid-to-high handicappers who may not be be consistent ball-strikers.
Another thing that really stood out as a big positive for the Apex Pro is its high launch trajectory – made possible by the tungsten weighting in the sole – that increases the chances of you holding the green from long range.
Lastly, the lack of offset gives an iron-like appearance that may appeal to higher-skilled players.
If you’re a fan of Callaway gear (or are maybe looking at changing manufacturer), this rescue won’t leave you disappointed.
Cobra Radspeed Hybrid
If you’re a fan of fairway woods, then the larger-looking head of the Cobra Radspeed hybrid will probably appeal to you.
While the size difference compared to other rescues on this list is probably negligible, the clubhead does appear bigger in size at address than say the Callaway Apex Pro.
But the standout feature Cobra boasts with the Radspeed is its ‘Radical Engineering’ technology, which it says creates the optimal blend of low spin and faster ball speed – while maintaining forgiveness – due to increasing the distance between the front and back weights relative to the centre of gravity.
Also setting the Radspeed apart from its competitors is front-biased radial weighting (with 12g at the front and 7g in the back), hollow split rails that allow 70 percent more face flex for higher launch and speed, plus a forged face insert for greater stopping power into greens.
So, if you want to start hitting it like Bryson DeChambeau, the Cobra Radpseed is a great hybrid to add to your bag.
Cobra Radspeed One Length Hybrid
If you wish to move into truly ‘Mad Scientist’ territory, then Cobra’s Radspeed One Length hybrid is exactly what you’re looking for.
DeChambeau causes plenty of stir on the PGA Tour when first announcing he’d be gaming a full bag of one-length clubs in his pursuit of mastering a one-plane swing like Canadian golf legend Moe Norman (who many regard as one of the greatest ball-strikers of all time).
The concept is that using clubs that each have the same length shaft – rather than longer shafts for lower-lofted clubs, and shorter shafts for higher-lofted clubs – will generate greater consistency as you can address the ball in exactly the same manner each time.
In theory, less variables means better, more regular results.
DeChambeau swears by this method, so if you’re someone who also uses one-length clubs and is searching for a rescue to add to your bag, then the Radspeed One Length hybrid is the best pick.
Callaway Mavrik Max Hybrid
If I could describe the Callaway Mavrik Max hybrid in one word, it would be: forgiving.
The Mavrik Max has all the latest Callaway features of the Apex Pro – including the Jailbreak and Flash Face technology – but what sets it apart is its larger clubhead and deeper centre of gravity.
This hybrid really is designed with the amateur golfer in mind.
The larger body gives far more margin for error in terms of strike (which many beginners and also mid-handicappers struggle with), which means off-centre hits won’t be round destroying.
The Mavrik Max also has a squared-off toe which Callaway says adds to the club’s “confidence-inspiring shape” – after all, you need to feel comfortable with club in hand when standing over the golf ball.
Lastly, the deep Centre of Gravity created by the larger-clubhead design improves ease of launch, which is also a big benefit for golfers who struggle getting much height with their longer clubs.
As far as forgiveness and usability goes, the Callaway Mavrik Max is right up there with the best of them.
Cleveland Launcher Halo Hybrid
When it comes to rescue clubs, Cleveland’s selection is pretty limited – however, the Launcher Halo hybrid is definitely one worth your consideration.
Like all golf club manufacturers, Cleveland has its own unique technology that it uses to promote this club.
The Launcher Halo hybrid comes built with a set of three ‘gliderails’ which help improve turf interaction (making it easier to hit out of long rough); a HiBore Crown that lowers the Centre of Gravity to produce higher launch; and a High Strength Steel Face that helps maintain ball speed with mis-hits.
These three elements combine to create a hybrid that is easy to hit, but without the price tag of some other options on this list (mainly because the Cleveland Launcher Halo was first released in late 2019).
So, if you’re on a budget but still want a rescue club that feels good to hit and performs well, this club ticks all the necessary boxes.
Callaway Big Bertha B21 Hybrid
If the Callaway Apex Pro is forgiving, then the Big Bertha B21 hybrid takes forgiveness to a whole new level.
Released in late 2020, this hybrid is the easiest of the Callaway range to hit – thanks, mostly, to its larger head volume that also generates greater distance and puts the ‘big’ in Big Bertha.
Callaway has added more offset at the hosel to reduce the massive misses, along with two Jailbreak bars (which are different to the Velocity Blades built into the Apex Pro) connecting the sole and crown so that the face can take on more load at impact.
The split Tungsten weights fixed to the sole also helps create balance in the clubhead.
While the Callaway Big Bertha B21 is certainly geared more towards mid-to-high handicappers, it would still suit golfers of all abilities.
Cobra Speedzone Hybrid
The Cobra Speedzone hybrid is very similar to the Cobra Radspeed, however with some subtle differences.
The Speedzone champions four unique features – high speed rails, a forged face insert, baffler rails and low back weighting.
Personally, I reckon Cobra just had to come up with some special names for the technology that separates the Speedzone and Radspeed as it all serves the same purpose – to create a hybrid that launches high, stops fast and glides through all lengths of turf with ease.
While these clubs look similar, the Speedzone has a slightly larger head which makes it the better option for amateur players who haven’t yet gained single-handicap consistency with their ball-striking.
It looks great, feels great and is nicely priced, making it a great rescue option.
Titleist TSi3 Hybrid
The Titleist TSi3 hybrid is the sleeker, less forgiving but more compact option of the two Titleist rescue clubs featured on this list.
Designed with a squarer toe and minimal face progression, this club boasts SureFit CG Track Technology which allows you to shift the bias slightly to either the toe or heel (promoting a fade or draw).
Similarly, the less bulky look of the TSi3, and shallower face, enables you to shape the ball easier than what you might with the Titleist TSi2 (the chunkier sibling of the pair).
Some other features include the SuperFit Hosel – offering 16 independent loft and lie settings – plus head weight adjustability to generate a more consistent ball flight.
If you like Titleist clubs, this rescue will make a great addition to your bag – however, the smaller clubhead may be better suited to lower-handicap players.
Titleist TSi2 Hybrid
The Titleist TSi2 hybrid, by comparison, is easily the more forgiving of the two Titleist rescues I’ve featured in this article.
The larger clubhead compensates for off-centre mis-hits regularly seen with mid-to-high handicappers, without skimping on the cutting-edge technology seen in the TSi3 (it has all the same features).
The price point is pretty similar, too, meaning the only thing you really need to decide if tossing up between this club or the TSi3 is whether you place a higher premium on forgiveness, or workability.
This is because the TSi2 will definitely be more generous in regards to poorer strikes, however the deeper face makes it harder to shape the ball.
PING G425 Hybrid
The PING G425 hybrid is built on one key foundation: consistency.
By all accounts, this is up there as the most reliable rescue clubs on the market today, following in the same footsteps as PING’s G425 driver that produced similar results.
This hybrid is extremely forgiving – perfect for golfers of all abilities – and this is largely thanks to some of the technology PING has packed into the clubhead.
A thin, high-strength maraging steel face wraps into the crown and sole to increase flex for faster ball speeds, with its unique curvature helping to optimise spin.
Tungsten weighting on the sole helps lessen mis-hits, while the Trajectory Tuning 2.0 hosel has eight custom settings that allows you to choose the trajectory that best suits you.
Honestly, the versatility of the PING G425 is super impressive and puts it right up there with the best on the market.
The only negative is the somewhat loud, tinny sound the ball makes when struck – compared to the solid ‘clunk’ of the TaylorMade SIM Max 2 – which may annoy some players.
PING G410 Hybrid
The PING G410 hybrid is in many ways the earlier version of the G425.
Released in early 2019 – almost two years before the G425 – the PING G410 was the manufacturer’s first rescue club to feature adjustable loft and lie combinations for “consistently better results”, according to their website.
It features a similar maraging steel face for extra ball strength and a tungsten weight for higher launch (however, it is positioned more to the rear of the clubhead than the G425).
However, what I really liked are the crown ‘turbulators’ that combine with the face grooves to align the centre of the clubface to the ball, which gives you added confidence at address.
Being a slightly older, yet still new model, you’ll likely be able to pick up the PING G410 at a slightly cheaper price than the G425, but without sacrificing on performance.
Wilson Staff Launch Pad Hybrid
The Wilson Staff range is often highly underrated (as I spoke about when listing my best drivers for beginners), but their strong track record should not be overlooked.
While it may not have the prestige or notoriety of the TaylorMade SIM Max 2, the Wilson Staff Launch Pad hybrid is still a very strong performer and probably won’t damage your bank account as much either.
The club is designed with a moderate hosel offset which, in conjunction with 13g of weight added into the sole, promotes a slightly closed face and draw shot shape (while negating a slice).
This is perfect if you’re someone who tends to slice the ball, but may be a deterrent for players who have a draw as their natural shot shape (the last thing you want is it turning into a big, roping hook).
The Wilson Launch Pad has a lighter feel than some of the other hybrids on this list, which helps generate extra clubhead speed without significant added effort – great if you’re someone who doesn’t swing that fast.
While it doesn’t have the flashy features of, say, the TaylorMade or Callaway rescue options, the Wilson Staff Launch Pad is still a great, cost-effective hybrid that will do the job just fine.
TaylorMade GAPR HI Hybrid
Released in late 2018, the TaylorMade GAPR HI hybrid is a little older in terms of technology when compared with the SIM Max clubs, but still packs a real punch.
The HI was one of three shapes released by TaylorMade (the other being MID and LO, which made our list of best driving irons) and has some easily recognisable features.
These include the revolutionary ‘Speedfoam’ material (which has been injected into the clubhead to enhance ballspeed and feel), plus the easily adjustable ‘Long Sleeve’ provides even more options to tweak your loft, lie, and trajectory to match your ideal set up.
The TaylorMade GAPR HI does, however, have a noticeably slimmer look to it than some of the more forgivable hybrids on this list, which may be appealing or for higher-skilled players but intimidating for beginners.
Personally, I think this club is better suited for golfers who have a good handle on their ball-striking and can find the centre of their clubface more often than not.
More and more players on the PGA Tour are adding hybrids to their bag, so it makes sense that you should too.
Not only do they give you another option off the tee if your driver or 3-wood aren’t behaving, but they can also get you out of sticky situations when you miss the fairway.
Hopefully this article, and my research, will assist you in finding the perfect hybrid that will shave strokes off your game in no time.