Hybrid Fitting

In the past two decades, hybrid golf clubs have gone from a newly created clubhead category to replace hard-to-hit long irons and bridge the gap between fairway woods and mid irons to now reshaping the traditional set make up. Not only can hybrids be beneficial to less skilled players, but it is quite common to see a golfing professional carry at least one or quite possibly more in their bag. Fitting for hybrids is like fitting fairway woods in certain cases and irons in others. This is the reason why hybrids will deserve their own chapter. As such, some of the information may be repeated to avoid flipping back and forth between chapters.

Beginning the Process of Fitting for Hybrids

Where and how will you be conducting the fitting?

One important consideration is where would you conduct your hybrid golf club fitting? Every shop is different. Some shops will operate in a retail environment where the customer is only able to hit the ball into a net with the aid of a launch monitor, swing analyzer or simulator. Conversely the fitting may be conducted outdoors at a range with or without the assistance of computerized equipment. Lastly, the fitting could be all done over the phone or internet as an on-line transaction or surprise gift for someone. In all these situations, how the fitting is performed will vary.

Personal Interview and Specification Check

You would want to conduct the personal interview if you were fitting for the hybrids separately and you had not already completed this step when fitting any of the other categories previously. For a review of the personal interview process and a list of possible questions, please refer to chapter 3. Except for golfers brand new to the game, I would strongly suggest the customer have their current hybrids (if they own any) ready for you to inspect, such as wear patterns, and gather information by measuring their specifications.

Again, if the player comes to you with a right handed club that will obviously mean they will need right handed models. But for a golfer brand new to the game, you may need to ask or test them for handiness by having them hit a few balls.  The main reason for asking handiness first is if they are left-handed, there will be far fewer options to choose from.

Choose the Set Make Up

One fundamental rule of fitting is to replace any club that a player does not hit well with another model that will. This is where hybrids really shine as they are often part wood and part iron. So there is overlap between these categories. In the traditional sense of the hybrid as we will see when we discuss shafts, we are looking at the lower lofted models that might have the number 2 through 5 or possibly a 6 engraved on the sole. The major equipment brands generally drive the market as this is often all they offer. But for some component companies, such as Hireko, you might find an entire set of hybrid golf clubs to replace anywhere from what was once a #1 iron all the way to the equivalent of the sand wedge.

Chances are if you are reading this chapter, you have a customer who is not hitting their current fairways or irons well and looking for an alternative. So the first question you need to ask yourself is how many hybrids does the golfer need to carry in their bag? Will it be just one or two to cover a certain weakness in their game? Or do they need several all the way down to replacing all the irons and even wedges? This is something you will need to discuss with your customer. There are both pros and cons when choosing between a hybrid, fairway wood or iron for what might be best for your customer.

Let us look at where the crossovers are on the more common hybrids offered. We saw in the Fairway Wood Fitting chapter that following pairing of fairway wood and hybrid (including lofts) would produce the same overall distance.

Fairway Wood Hybrid
4 Wood / 17° 1 HY / 15°
5 Wood / 18° 2 HY / 16°
7 Wood / 21° 3 HY / 19°
9 Wood / 24° 4 HY / 22°


However, hybrids do not always correlate to the same number iron as you might expect. Often a player may assume if they cannot hit their 4 iron well they go to a 4 hybrid, and it will fill the distance gap left behind, but they provide for more solid contact. In fact, they may end up with a club that goes much further than what they wanted. The reason for this is two-fold.

Distance is a function of several parameters, but the speed and the loft are the key components. If you look at hybrids in general, they are often made at a longer assembly length than a matching iron. Why? For one, they are often lighter than the corresponding iron number and will require the additional length to achieve a normal swing weight range. Secondly, right, wrong, or indifferently hybrids are for the most part graphite-shafted and irons are steel-shafted, again requiring the addition of length to achieve a target swing weight. Lastly, in most cases hybrids (with wood profiles) will have lower centers of gravity than an iron, thus the manufacturer will reduce the loft by a degree or two to normalize the initial trajectory.

That is an awful lot of information in that one paragraph. But when you look at it one component at a time you can understand why a hybrid that might be engraved with a #4 on the sole might hit the ball further than a #4 iron. Swing speed is a function of length and weight with the hybrid often being at least longer and quite possibly lighter depending on what material or weight the shaft is in the player’s irons. The lower loft will propel the ball more outward as opposed to up in the air.

diagram of a hybrid and iron superimposed over one another and their relative center of gravity location in relation to a golf balldiagram of a hybrid and iron superimposed over one another and their relative center of gravity location in relation to a golf ball

But there is one more consideration and that is solidness of contact. Let us say a golfer has a nice 10 yard separation between their consecutive mid and scoring irons. Many times the golfer will stop having that same solidness of contact and confidence when hitting their long irons and end up with smaller gaps. By replacing the club with an easier to use clubs, distance almost assuredly goes up. This is why it is important for the fitter to put a hybrid with the proper loft to fill a particular gap and length progression.

chart depicting the distances someone may hit with their irons as compared to a hybrid golf clubchart depicting the distances someone may hit with their irons as compared to a hybrid golf club

How Hybrids are Fit Today

If you look at many of the fitting carts found at your local pro shop or off-course retailer they comprise of drivers and a selection of mid-irons. Occasionally you will find a few with hybrids and a small assortment of shafts to interchange. Unlike fitting for the fairways, which is often nothing more than selecting the matching model(s) to the driver along with shaft, grip, and length (like standard, -0.5”, +0.5”, etc.), a player may match the irons or search out a hybrid based on its own merits.

It takes a strategic approach to fit that is both economical for the club fitter but also comprehensive enough for the end consumer. For instance, the fitter may have a few demo #3 hybrids (even though you may be fitting for another number). These might be made up with the same type shaft for players to hit and judge the performance of the head only. Or there may be models for sale in a display rack in which a retail associate may add a protective tape to the face and crown to keep it looking as new as possible while the player hits the ball into a net or out on the range. Beware if the fitter is using a launch monitor to fit if there is any tape on the face as that can skew the results.

The fitting may involve no hitting whatsoever. Rather the head is selected by picking them out of a box or display of sample clubheads so the customer can hold them in their hand and see and feel it and the fitter can explain the differences amongst them. The alternative is looking through a catalog or surfing through the hybrids listed on a particular manufacturer’s or clubmaker’s website to read the description and examine the specifications to see which type may benefit or interest the customer.

Choosing A Hybrid Golf Club Based on Performance or Need

As we saw in the Fairway Wood Fitting chapter there are also all-stainless steel hybrids and performance-driven hybrids that utilize specialized materials. Manufacturers are very adept at making excellent quality hybrids wholly from stainless steel. The compact size gives the manufacturer all sorts of options for weighting – often time concentrating on adding as much to the sole. Stainless steel is more than adequate to make a durable club which is cost effective for both the manufacturer and end consumer.

Hybrids have also progressed much in the same way as fairway woods by boasting specialty materials such as carbon for the crowns and the family of maraging steel for the face which will be very thin to provide greater ball speed and distance. Titanium is extremely light. You may see a titanium face and crown combo-brazed (a patented process) to a heavy stainless steel body. If all-titanium, nearly 100g of additional weighting (usually tungsten) will need to be added which would allow that discretionary weight to be used elsewhere like in the sole plate where it would be easier to get the ball aloft.

Maraging faced hybrids will be higher priced than an all-stainless steel hybrid, but a titanium hybrid will cost considerably more. If added distance and forgiveness (only possible by the increased discretionary weight) is a priority, it may outweigh the cost. One important consideration is the extremely limited variety in styles and lofts for your customer to choose from if looking for a model that would fall under the performance-driven category.

Clubhead Selection

Once we have decided on the set make up and whether the customer wants a model which is performance-driver or for need, now we can narrow down the model that would make the most sense to use. Following is the most logical order of items to consider.

Hosel Configuration

Often the primary consideration for hybrid selection aside from the loft is the type of hosel configuration it has. There are three categories which consist of non-offset, semi-offset and offset. The reason for selecting the correct one is directly related to direction one might hit the ball.

Let us go over each of the different styles of hosel configuration. The first one in the diagram features a non-offset hosel. This is like how a fairway wood is designed with the main difference being the breadth of the club is much more compact. Here you can clearly see how far forward the leading edge of the face is forward of the front of the hosel (as depicted by the dotted line). This is also known as a face forward design or onset, which is just the opposite of offset.

The semi-offset is analogous to an offset fairway wood. Technically they are not offset like an iron, but the gooseneck hosel typically creates 0.25” less face progression as compared to the non-offset version. The leading edge of the face is forward of the front of the hosel meaning it is also a face forward design or onset design but not nearly as much as the non-offset category.

Lastly we have the offset model (also called hybrid irons). This is feature you would see on almost any game-improvement iron in which the front of the hosel is indeed forward of the leading edge of the face.

diagram of a non-offset, semi-offset and offset hybrid golf clubdiagram of a non-offset, semi-offset and offset hybrid golf club

The offset may be the easiest to explain for whom it is designed. We understand in iron design that the more offset an iron is the more it will benefit someone who pushes, fade or slices the ball. The reason why can be observed by the following diagrams.

Each of the hybrids is super-imposed over one another using the hosel as the point of commonality. There is a legend below to depict which hybrid matches the hosel configuration. In our example the non-offset hybrid has 12mm of onset, the semi-offset hybrid 5mm onset and the offset hybrid has 5mm offset. Remember, onset is negative offset.

diagram of an offset, semi-offset and non-offset hybrid superimposed over one another in front of a golf balldiagram of an offset, semi-offset and non-offset hybrid superimposed over one another in front of a golf ball

If we did not change the ball’s position the non-offset hybrid would be the very first to contact the ball. You may not realize this, but the face will be slightly more open without manipulating the club closed in the address position and may cause the golfer to push or fade the ball. If you have a hard time understanding, imagine trying to hit an offset iron with 10 pennies stacked and epoxied onto the face. This is equivalent to 2/3” or the range of face progression you can find from one #3 hybrid to another! As you can imagine you will be striking ball prior to when you normally would or the same as if we moved the ball back further in your stance leaving the face more open at impact.

Remember back in chapter 6, we talked about the hub of the swing and the path that went along an arc? By delaying the impact the club face would in fact be more closed. In this case, the semi-offset hybrid will be next to contact the ball 7mm or a little more than ¼ of an inch later.

diagram of 1.3° open non-offset hybrid, 0.5° open semi-offset hybrid and 0.5° closed offset hybrid at impactdiagram of 1.3° open non-offset hybrid, 0.5° open semi-offset hybrid and 0.5° closed offset hybrid at impact

Let say the face angle of our non-offset hybrid is 1.3° open at impact. Waiting another 7mm until impact because the face is further behind the centerline axis of the shaft, the semi-offset hybrid might only have a face angle that is open 0.5° at impact.

Our offset hybrid would be the last to reach the ball. This time the face is further behind the centerline axis of the shaft 17mm (2/3rd of an inch) compared to the non-offset hybrid. That extra time delays contact with the ball so the face may very well be 0.5° closed at impact. In all these cases, it will influence the direction the ball would go if no adjustments are made by the golfer and if the face angles were all square and the ball’s location in the stance were the same.

While that may not sound like much, on a 185 yard shot to a green, that would be a 17 foot difference in the direction before we start factoring in the extra dispersion caused by the slice (open face) or hook spin (closed face). That is often the difference of hitting a GIR and missing the green entirely.


Loft, in conjunction with the club’s center of gravity, is one of the components to the ball’s height and distance that it can be hit. The greater the loft the greater amount of spin created too. If you look at the chart, you might find some cross-over when you examine the clubs’ loft and number engraved on the sole (if there is even one). That is correct! There are hybrids on the market that give only the degrees of loft which makes it difficult for a customer to figure out what loft they need.

  Strong Normal Weak
2 Hybrid 16° 17° 18°
3 Hybrid 18° 19° 21°
4 Hybrid 20° 22° 24°
5 Hybrid 23° 25° 27°
6 Hybrid 26° 28° 30°


This chart shows only the most popular range of hybrids found, but you can also find #1 hybrids and higher lofted models below the #6. The stronger-lofted hybrids will typically be your performance-driven hybrids which may justify their lower loft. The weaker loft hybrids are often ones that resembled more of an iron profile (sometimes referred to as iron-woods). The iron-wood category will typically feature the face profile of an iron and often will have a higher center of gravity than a wood profile hybrid. 

The normal column shows lofts are typically 1° lower than the corresponding iron. This again may be justified by the differences in the center of gravity. That is why it is important not only to look carefully at the loft of the hybrid but also any irons that you are trying to match the hybrids with. Not factored in are the hybrids available with an adjustable shaft sleeve system like drivers, which can alter the effective loft.

top, hybrid with an iron face profile, bottom, hybrid with a wood face profiletop, hybrid with an iron face profile, bottom, hybrid with a wood face profile

Another giveaway as what kind of launch angle the club may have is to take a close look at the club head’s height. Pictured are hybrids with a wood profile. However, iron profiles will often be taller at the toe than they are in the center of the face where you are encouraged to hit them.

diagram of a shallow-faced, medium height, and deep-face hybrid golf clubdiagram of a shallow-faced, medium height, and deep-face hybrid golf club

Many manufacturers may list face height as a specification to get a feel for how tall or shallow one model is compared to another. One word of caution regarding face height is the juncture where the crown and the face meet may have a large amount of radius. A head with more radii reduces the effective face height. I personally prefer to use crown height to make comparisons.

Remember that the center of gravity follows the geometry with the shallower the crown the lower it will be unless it has been offset with a lightweight carbon crown, weighted screws, or dense materials such as tungsten inlayed in the sole. The lower the center of gravity (given the same dynamic loft at impact), the higher the ball flight will be.


Hybrids in general are all forgiving at least in comparison to irons as the heads are hollow shells pushing the weight to the outer perimeter. However, certain hybrids are more forgiving than others on miss-hits. The key is to look at the breadth or the distance between the leading edge and the rear of the head. As shown in the diagram are three side views of a narrow, medium, and wide body design.

The wider body will typically shift the center of gravity with it. Whenever this occurs, we also see an increase in the trajectory as the shaft will bend further forward to align itself with the CG will all else being the same. A lateral shift in the CG will also create different spin rates.

diagram of a narrow. medium and wider profile hybrid golf clubdiagram of a narrow. medium and wider profile hybrid golf club

One important thing to understand are the personal preferences that the golfer may have as you do not want to give a player something they will not like the looks of when they set the club in the address position. Better golfers may not want to see a hybrid quite as large as a typical fairway wood nor need all the forgiveness as a less experienced golfer would.

Clubhead Bias

First, we had to settle upon the set make up, which may partially be based on the lofts of the clubs as strong or weak lofts can cause some overlap. Next we looked at the trajectory components such as loft and the high or low or forward and rear center of gravity plus any additional discretionary weighting that may have been added by the manufacturer to lower the CG. Our next step is to take in account the flight bias for directional control. To a certain degree we have already factored this in when we looked at the hosel configuration and you will understand why in a moment.

We learned in the Driver chapter how face angle influences ball flight with a more closed face angle directing the ball more left (for a RH golfer) and an open face directing the ball more right as compared to a square face angle. However, almost all hybrids are designed with a square face angle. Due to cost, fewer models will be equipped with an adjustable adapter to change the face angle. While it might be possible to bend certain models if the hosel is adequately long enough and the insertion depth of the shaft is not too deep, few clubmakers have the proper equipment to adjust for face angle. So how do we ensure that a club will correct for a deficiency that a golfer might have like slicing or hooking the ball?

diagram of the vertical centers of gravity and gravity angles of an offset and non-offset hybriddiagram of the vertical centers of gravity and gravity angles of an offset and non-offset hybrid

If we look at this diagram, let us try to put together all we have learned so far. First, the hybrid on left has a higher center of gravity. It would most likely hit the ball lower if the loft were not increased to compensate for it. Next, look at the CG offset or the distance the CG is away from the centerline axis of the shaft. The club on the left has a greater CG offset meaning it would rotate around the shaft axis slower with all else equal than the club on the right. But all things are not equal.

If you were to balance the two heads on the sole using a pin punch or other object to identify the center of gravity, the two clubs might have the CG rearward of the leading edge by approximately to 0.95.” The hosel position becomes especially important as the head on the left has an offset hosel. The center of gravity is offset more rearward from the centerline axis of the shaft. This creates a greater gravity angle than the club on the right which is a non-offset model.

In previous chapter we saw that a club with a greater gravity angle will be easier to close. This is easy to check as you simply lay the club on a workbench with the clubheads overhanging and noticing how the far rotates upward.

We can increase or decrease our gravity angle very easily by manipulating the hosel position and the CG offset. Take notice all the different hybrid clubs on the market. You can find hybrid clubs that come in many different shapes than you would any other club category aside from putters.

Hybrid Club Bias

CG Offset Hosel Offset Bias
Increased Reduced Fade
Increased Increased Neutral
Reduced Reduced Neutral
Reduced Increased Draw


If we wanted to find a fade biased hybrid we would look for a model that would be elongated from heel to toe to increase the CG offset and one that is non-offset. We could also look for a narrow clubhead as the center of gravity would be less likely to be positioned far behind the centerline axis of the shaft.

If we want a draw biased model, first look for one with more of an offset hosel and one with a reduced CG offset or one more compact from heel to toe. To further assist, one that had a wider breadth would also shift the CG further behind the centerline axis of the shaft and create even more draw bias.

If a hybrid has screw weighting capabilities, then it might be possible to control the CG offset. By placing a greater amount of weight out near the toe, it will increase the CG offset and decrease the gravity angle. Move that same amount of weight toward the heel and it will decrease the CG offset but increase the gravity angle.

However, the limited volume of a hybrid as opposed to a driver will show a much lesser of an effect on ball flight correction as the weight cannot be shifted as far away, not to mention is will take an ample amount of weight (10g or greater) to even notice a difference.

Lastly, if the clubmaker stock multiples of the same club head and number, they could hand sort by measuring them in their specification gauge to find one that is more open and taking advantage of the manufacturing tolerances even though most hybrids are designed with a square face angle. Clubhead bias will go hand in hand with our next subject, which is shaft selection.

Shaft Selection

If you had not measured swing speed, this would be the time. In the case of a static fitting situation you may have to estimate what it may be assuming the player is able to make solid contact and the distance is truly reflective of their swing speed. There is one small problem with recording swing speeds with a hybrid. They will be in-between that of a driver and a mid-iron that is typically tested. Plus, most hybrid shaft fitting charts are based either on driver swing speed or distance or a mid-iron distance or both, so you will have to pay close attention to which speed (or distance) to use.

At the same time you want to also examine the length of the player’s swing (3/4 or a full swing) and their tempo (fast, moderate, or slow) as these two items factor into the final flex the customer needs. Remember, the shorter the swing and/or the faster the tempo, the stiffer the shaft should be given the same swing speed. You can look at the conversation factors in the Shaft Fitting chapter for the length of the swing and the player’s tempo and apply it to the player’s swing speed to choose an appropriate swing speed range from which to select the shafts.

If you have various shafts installed into a selection of fairway models or have an interchangeable clubhead and shaft demo program, you can use that now to find a shaft which produces the best results.

Hybrid Tip Diameter

Before we can select a shaft, we first must know what head we are working with as not all hybrids use the same tip size. This is especially true if you are retro-fitting an existing hybrid for your customer. Certain tip diameters are associated with woods (0.335” and 0.350”) while others denote irons (0.370” and 0.355” taper). You can find hybrids on the market that will use all. This is why you first need to know what hosel dimension you have as the number of options for a 0.355” taper tip or 0.350” parallel will be more limited, which is important if you are retrofitting a name brand hybrid. For instance, a brand name manufacturer may have worked closely with a shaft manufacturer to make a proprietary shaft that would work in unison after blind testing a number of golfers.  The shaft manufacturer may end up making 10,000 units for their customer to their specification but offer nothing in their product line like it for the aftermarket.

Even selecting hybrids from the various component suppliers may prove to challenging as some believe in using 0.370” hybrid or iron shafts and other feel that there is a benefit to using a 0.335” tipped shaft typically used for a wood. The premise for using a wood tip size is that it produces a higher launch angle due to its small diameter and reduced tip stiffness. The component supplier may also design and market their own house brand shaft to fit their own hybrids.

If you offer a mix of hybrids from various components suppliers you may not be able to use an interchangeable clubhead and shaft demo program as the shafts may not be compatible with all heads. Not only that, but we must factor in our next topic which will be directly related to the club length you will need to set them up with.

Shaft Weight

One of the conundrums for a club fitter or the customer is what weight should the hybrid shafts be? Should the weight be the same weight as the driver or fairway shaft for distance or heavier weight like the irons for more control or somewhere in-between? These might be partially answered from the personal interview as well as any specification check performed on the golfer’s existing hybrids.

If you look at shafts labeled as hybrid-specific, they are usually heavier than shafts designed for woods. Oftentimes they are 75, 85, 95 grams. Examine the name brand manufacturers do with their standard stock offerings. If the driver shaft is 65g, then the fairway wood shaft in that same family of shaft might 75g and the hybrid shaft might be 85g.

On the other hand, if the golfer has a relatively smooth swing and distance is more of a goal as many slower swinging golfers, then it may be perfectly acceptable to use the exact same weight shaft as in the driver. Another observation is you see very few steel shafts sold in modern hybrids, but there is no reason you could not use one if you use the appropriate sized tip. This might be a consideration for a golfer with very compact or quick swings help to pace out their swing or require shorter lengths to gain added control. There are few hybrid-specific models available to choose from, but you can always use models designed for irons or woods, again depending upon the tip diameter.

Tip Stiffness, Torque, and Stiffness

In the Driver chapter, we spoke about how the shaft and clubhead parameters should work in unison. For instance, face angle and clubhead bias might help the ball go left or right, but at the same time, the shaft’s stiffness distribution and torque may contribute to the face attitude just prior to impact, which ultimately will change ball direction as well.

We saw how much of a variety if hybrids are available in terms of clubhead bias. So you need to be cautious of choosing a shaft that may negate the bias of the head or choose one that may overcompensate.

There are three shaft parameters to look at once you have a general range of shaft flex and weight you feel the customer needs. Those three parameters are tip stiffness, torque, and frequency. We saw the cause and effect relationship as we increased or decreased tip stiffness and torque in the Driver Fitting chapter when the butt frequency and weight were the same. The lower torque inhibited the clubhead from rotating closed and the stiffer tip created less forward bend. That is why golfer’s with a later release or tend to pull, draw, or hook the ball are encouraged to look at shafts with reduce torque and a stiffer tip section when all else is the same.

However, with hybrids it becomes a little more complicated than that. Most driver heads are manufactured to the maximum volume (460cc) allowable by the USGA. Even those sold as new advertised as smaller are not that much smaller. If you look at hybrids collectively from all the various manufacturers they can be compact (80cc) to close to the same size of a fairway wood (160cc). The most common size hybrid would be in the 115cc range.

We saw in the fairway wood chapter how some of the fairway-specific shafts may have a lower torque and stiffer tip section as the center of gravity of the fairway wood is closer than that of the driver in relationship to the centerline axis of the shaft. From a performance standpoint, certain shaft parameters may work more in harmony and why you find that name brand manufacturers will often select a slightly different shaft for the hybrids as they would for the matching driver, fairway woods and irons in the set.

diagram of center of gravity locations looking down on a driver, fairway wood, hybrid and iron headdiagram of center of gravity locations looking down on a driver, fairway wood, hybrid and iron head

One parameter that may mystify fitters is flex or frequency. If you measure the frequency of hybrid-specific shafts you will find they tend to be much weaker than the iron shafts. A common set make up you might find being sold is a 3 and 4 hybrid, matched with the 5 iron through wedges. I have found over the years I could use a much more flexible shaft in the hybrid than with an iron. Part of that can be explained by the fact a hybrid is often much more forgiving than an iron.

The other part of this can be explained by the fact that shaft manufacturers are designing their products to be put into name brand clubs which their weights and lengths are different than an iron. More hybrids are offered with a 0.370” shaft than any other diameter. As such, a fitter could elect to use a shaft designed for an iron into the hybrids meaning one of the options the club fitter has is to use the same shaft so the hybrids and irons will match. If the hybrid is more like an ironwood or more like a bulbous iron, then this is perfectly acceptable. However, if the hybrid is more wood shaped and the weight and center of gravity vastly different from the iron, you may find that a shaft which is more flexible might be necessary.

Only by pairing the head and shaft combination and letting the player hit the ball will you know for sure if it will match the player – no guessing. This is why it is important for the club fitter to know this shaft or that head is most likely to go what direction based on at least them hitting the ball or other players they have fit. The shaft specifications should complement the inertial properties of the head rather than fight them. As we said before, club fitters are less likely to have an interchangeable fairway wood and shaft system as they would with the driver.

Determine the Shaft in a Static Fitting Situation

One way to fit for shafts when a player is not capable of hitting various shafts and evaluating the results such as an internet fitting or surprise gift is to use the fitting charts by the shaft manufacturers or Hireko’s “Shaft Fitting Addendum” to “The Modern Guide to Shaft Fitting,” a companion books that contains thousands of shaft specifications that you will find of invaluable use in your custom club fitting and shaft selection work.

We recommend starting any shaft fitting session by recording the golfer’s average swing speed, tempo and length of swing and then refer to the procedural outline Charter 10: Shaft Fitting. After finding the player’s recommended swing speed range, one can narrow down the list of shaft choices based on ball flight, brand, cost, color, etc. Again, make certain which diameter shaft you need first.


Most clubs fitters are not going to fit hybrids for length by using various length test clubs in conjunction with impact spray or decals on the face to see which length provided the most solid impacts. Rather they may rely solely on a mid-iron (if they previously did this during the fitting session) or use their current irons as reference.

For instance, if you had fit the player for the irons and they needed ½” shorter than standard, then I would also base the hybrids off the same ½” under “standard.”  I would be hesitant to use the driver as the basis for suggesting the hybrid length.

Fitting for hybrid length is a little confusing because you need to first know what the “standard” length the manufacturer had in mind when they designed it. Hybrids can vary in weight from one manufacturer or model to another. Depending on what shaft weight you have selected will also influence the balance or swing weight with a heavier shaft (for control) possibly suggesting a slightly shorter length. Therefore we need a starting point.

For name brand manufacturers base their suggested lengths on a target swing weight. Once we know what the head weight and shaft weight are, it is easy to factor what length it needs to be. As stated not all hybrid golf clubs with the same number engraved on the sole weigh the same, but their recommended lengths are tied directly to their weight. The following chart does not include a column for club head number for that very reason.

For instance, we could have a 229g hybrid club head which very well be engraved with a #1, 2 or 3 on the sole. If we want to achieve a men’s standard swing weight (D0-D2) and using a 75g shaft (there are no standards, but we will use it in our example) then the recommended men’s length should be 40.5”. To put that in perspective, 229g would be what the 1-iron of yesteryear would have been.

Suggested Hybrid Length Based on Head and Shaft Weight

Head Weight Men's Ladies
216 g 41.5" 40.5"
223 g 41" 40"
229 g 40.5" 39.5"
236 g 40" 39"
243 g 39.5" 38.5"
250 g 39" 38"
257 g 38.5" 38"


Shaft Weight Suggested Club Length
55 g 1/4" over standard
65 g 1/8" over standard
75 g Standard
85 g 1/8" under standard
95 g 1/4" under standard
105 g 3/8" under standard
115 g 1/2" under standard


However, if we wanted to maintain the same swing weight but use an 85g shaft instead, we could make the length 1/8” under standard or at 40 3/8”. As we mentioned before, if the irons were fitted to the player at +1/2”, then you would add this amount to the total or 40 7/8” (229g head and 85g shaft).

Club fitters may elect not to change length using different weight shafts. Instead, they may want to adjust the head weight. Remember it is impossible to remove weight from a hybrid clubhead unless it is equipped with screws and lighter weight screws are available. There are limitations in adding weight with tip pins and not exceed the top of the hosel to prevent breakage. Or the clubmaker will have to add hot melt down through the hosel and into the hollow cavity to increase the weight.

Using another example (39.5” hybrid), whenever we change 10g of shaft weight, it requires a change of 2g in head weight to maintain the same swing weight assuming there is no shift in the balance point of the shaft as shown on the left hand side of this table.

Hybrid Swing Weight Matrix (39.5" Length)

Head Weight Shaft Weight Swing Weight
247.5 g 55 g D1
245.5 g 65 g D1
243.6 g 75 g D1
241.6 g 85 g D1
239.6 g 95 g D1
237.6 g 105 g D1
235.7 g 115 g D1


Head Weight Shaft Weight Swing Weight
243.6 g 55 g C9
243.6 g 65 g D0
243.6 g 75 g D1
243.6 g 85 g D2
243.6 g 95 g D3
243.6 g 105 g D4
243.6 g 115 g D5


If not, look at the chart on the right to see the change of swing weight when the head remains the same weight and we are just adjusting shaft weight. For reference, a 115g shaft (cut weight) would be a standard weight steel shaft and 55g would represent the lightest weight shafts on the market at the time of writing this text. A lighter swing weight will result into a stiffer clubs and a higher-than-normal swing weight will reduce the stiffness. The club fitter could always adjust the length +/- ½” to increase or decrease the swing weight by 3 points, respectively.

This is the reason length is so important to the balance of the club. For club fitters make sure to weigh the head or find out the weight by examining the specifications in a catalog or manufacturer’s website.

Determine Length in a Static Fitting Situation

This is where you will have to make a judgment call based on the player’s height, wrist-to-floor, and any information they provided during the personal interview process. This may require a quick trip to the internet to find what length the manufacturer originally built their hybrid to. The reason for this is most end consumers do not know the proper technique to measure the length of their own clubs.

Hybrid Length by Height Chart

Height Height (inches) Height (centimeters) Length Relative to Men's Standard
4' 7" 55" 140 cm 2 1/2" under standard
4' 10" 58" 147 cm 2" under standard
5' 1" 61" 155 cm 1 1/2" under standard
5' 4" 64" 163 cm 1" under standard
5' 7" 67" 170 cm 1/2" under standard
5' 10" 70" 178 cm Standard
6' 1" 73" 185 cm 1/2" over standard
6' 4" 76" 193 cm 1" over standard
6' 7" 79" 201 cm 1 1/2" over standard
6' 10" 82" 208 cm 2" over standard
7' 1" 85" 216 cm 2 1/2" over standard


Whenever working with hybrids you want to base the assembled length relative to the length the manufacturer designed it for. For instance, we have a 3 hybrid that weighs 236g and designed for men’s standard length of 40” (with graphite). If you have a 6’ 2” golfer and the chart suggests ½” over standard men’s length you might consider a 40.5” length. If you are using a much heavier or lighter weight shaft than what you typically see offered, then you may want to adjust the length according.

Lie Angle

We mentioned this much earlier in the text that altering the face angle of a hybrid is extremely limited and the same holds true for the lie angle. This could be due to the fact the hosel is too short or the insertion depth is too deep to effectively alter the lie. Or the clubmaker does not have access to a loft/lie machine that is capable to clamping the club head safely and securely.

There are more hybrid models where lie can be altered compared to fairway woods and a few of those are the ones that use an off angle adapter system. At the same time they may also altering the face angle and effective loft depending upon the position. While face angle will have a more profound effect on direction, the added loft of a hybrid can add to the dispersion angle if the lie angle is off. If the ball flight is straight or toward the golfer’s desired path (like a fade or a draw), I would leave the lie angle alone. However, if the direction is off, adjustments can be made.

Using a hybrid with an off angle adapter system, you may find two positions that offers the same face angle but one lie flatter than the other.

In this diagram you can see simulated impact marking on the face. The one on the left shows a lie that might be perhaps too flat. By moving the adapter to the more upright setting, the player may align the fairway wood closer to them and that might be enough to move the impacts with the ball closer to the center of the face and toward more solid and longer shots.

diagram of two hybrids with simulated impact marks on the face, one with too upright and one with too flat of a lie anglediagram of two hybrids with simulated impact marks on the face, one with too upright and one with too flat of a lie angle

The opposite would occur on the image on the left. By flattening the lie the club may be pushed further away from the golfer and now allow impact to be made closer to the center of the face. That is the beauty of these adapters is to immediately find out if this is the case. If so, the adjustment can be made quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively.

You can usually observe ball flight rather than having the player hit off a lie board to indicate whether the lie is correct or not. If the ball is more of a pull, that might also indicate the lie is too upright whereas a fade might indicate a lie that is too flat. Of course the lie would only pertain to the club head at the exact length and with the shaft the player is testing it with.  If either the shaft or length will be altered because of your final fitting, the correct lie angle could be different.

Grip and Grip Size

Take the time to fit your customer not only for grip style and brand that may be their favorite or chosen from your grip display, but also check they have the proper size. For a complete discussion of grips and grip sizing, please refer to the Grip chapter.

Remember the cause and effect of grip weight as some jumbo grips can be considerably heavier than others, plus you have lighter weight models available that can reduce the overall weight of the club and increase the heft of the club at the same time. Demo clubs are really the only way to test for this.

Determine the Grip in a Static Fitting Situation

In cases when a player is not in your shop to demonstrate the different type of grips and sizing or capable of hitting various clubs and evaluating the results such as an internet fitting or surprise gift, use the grip sizing charts in the Grip Fitting chapter. Make sure to ask if the player has a favorite grip (or size) too. If the player’s hands sweat considerably or play in hot and humid conditions on a regular basis, know what types of grips you stock that would be the most beneficial.

Weight Distribution and Final Adjustments

If you are using an interchangeable club head and shaft system to fit your customer, you can add smaller amounts of weight to the hybrid to fine tune swing weight. If your demo clubs have holes in the butt ends of grip, you use any counterweighting system to see if alternative weighting may stimulate a difference in the comfort level and performance at the given length and shaft weight you fit for. It should only take a few swings by the golfer to see if counterweighting has any positive response. If not you can rule it out and at least your customer had experimented with something few golfer ever do.

If you are not using an interchangeable club head and shaft system, you most likely will be fitting based on a myriad of demo clubs where you are isolating one parameter at a time (or none like in a static fitting situation). If that were the case, few of the specifications would be all on one club where you can fine tune or optimize swing weight or any alternative weighting for best results. By using the principles discussed in the length segment will often take care of producing a club that is too heavy or light.

Hybrid Fitting Summary

Once you have completed your hybrid fitting, it may off to the next club category to fit your customer or to begin to order and build the club(s) to those specifications. The total time to fit your customer will vary depending on how involved you want to get or just how badly they were fit before. It may be as simple as a new style grip and size or an alteration of length to one or all their existing hybrids. On the other hand you might have a customer with a unique set of challenges that you have to go through every aspect of the fitting until you settle on what will help them perform their best from the fairway or from the rough.

  • Choose a hybrid to replace any iron or fairways wood the player does not hit consistently and make sure to select the proper loft(s), so the player does not end up with two multiple clubs in the bag that go the same distance.
  • Not only choose amongst hybrids for need or performance but also by their level of forgiveness. The breadth and volume of the head are key indicators.
  • Make sure to look carefully at the hosel configuration as this will influence the direction the ball might go. An offset or semi-offset offset hosel is bound to help from hitting the ball with as much of a push or fade than a non-offset hybrid.
  • Understand the relationships between the length, head weight and swing weight as manufacturers do not always use the same head weights.
  • Determine what hosel I.D. you are working with from which to narrow your shaft selection.
  • Consider a shaft weight that may be perhaps different from the irons and fairway for control purposes as well as seek out shaft parameters that match up to the size and shape of the head which will not negate or overcompensate for the ball flight.
  • Make sure to select a grip and grip size that will match the driver or irons so there is uniformity within the set.

Modern Guide to Golf Clubmaking

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