Hybrid Irons vs Fairway Woods – A Golfer’s Guide

One common question we encounter is when to use hybrid irons vs fairway woods. Since our club bags are limited to 14 clubs, we cannot help but use certain clubs as alternatives to others.

For example, the versatile hybrid irons can sometimes replace fairway woods. In this article, we will discuss when to use a hybrid over a fairway wood. Then we will dive deeper into the different types of fairway woods.

Hybrid Irons vs Fairway Woods - A Golfer's Guide

Hybrid Irons vs Fairway Woods – Brief Definition

Hybrid irons and fairway woods can be two very different types of clubs. Before we can go any further, let us first have a quick introduction to each of these types.

The Fairway Woods

First, let’s talk about the fairway woods. The fairway woods are part of the woods family, going after the driver in size. Because they are shorter, you can control the fairway woods more easily than the driver.

Thus, some golfers prefer to use a fairway wood than a driver when hitting off the tee. The fairway woods range from 3 wood to 7 wood.

And for a while, golfers only used the 3 wood, 5 wood, and 7 wood. However, the 4 wood is gaining popularity these days as an alternative to either the 3 wood or 5 wood.

The Hybrid Irons

Next are the hybrid irons, more succinctly known as the hybrids. They are called hybrids simply because they are a hybrid of the irons and the woods.

Hybrids became popular in recent years due to their versatility. They are known to be easier to control but still have the distance of the woods.

Difference between Hybrid Irons vs Fairway Woods

So, how do we compare these two types of clubs? First of all, hybrids and fairway woods differ in construction. Hybrid irons typically have a denser clubhead, with the center of gravity being lower and deeper in the clubface.

As a result, the hybrid can be more forgiving. Hybrid irons also have a shorter shaft than woods. Because of this, you would have better control of a hybrid than a wood.

So when will you use the hybrid irons vs fairway woods? You need to consider the following: the location, the wind direction, and the distance you want to cover. Hybrids are typically better than woods when you’re playing from the rough.

When you are playing against the direction of the wind, use the fairway wood.


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In general, hybrids are more comfortable to control so you can have more precise shots with it. However, if your purpose for the club is to cover as much distance as possible, you need a fairway wood.

Since there are several types of fairway woods, we’ll discuss them further below. We’ll introduce what is a 17 degree fairway wood, what is a 15 degree fairway wood, and what degree is a 7 fairway wood.

We will also briefly introduce what is a 16 degree fairway wood, and what is a 19 degree fairway wood. Finally, we’ll let you in on what is the easiest fairway wood to hit.

What Degree is a 7 Fairway Wood?

The 7 fairway wood can also be called the 7 wood. It is often used to replace a 3 iron or a 3 hybrid. But what degree is a 7 fairway wood? With 20-24 degrees of loft, the 7 wood has the highest loft among the fairway woods.

It has around 8 degrees more loft than a 5 wood, making it easier to hit on the rough. Also, the 7 wood is an inch shorter than a 5 wood, which should allow for a little more controllability.

Comparing the hybrid irons vs fairway woods, the woods have a larger clubhead but may be harder to hit. With this, you might be better off using the 7 wood for long-distance shots.

On the other hand, use the 3 hybrid for more precise shots.

However, the 3 hybrid would have a lower loft angle than the 7 wood. This angle, coupled with its longer shaft, the 3 hybrid can easily cover more distance than the 7 wood.

Sometimes, golfers also use the 7 wood as an alternative to the 4 hybrid. The 4 hybrid has a shorter shaft than the 7 wood, allowing for more accurate shots. The 4 hybrid may also be better than the 7 wood when being hit off the rough.

However, it also highly depends on your swing speed. For example, if you have a steep swing, you might be better off using a hybrid.

What is a 17 Degree Fairway Wood?

Sometimes the 7 fairway wood can have too much loft to cover enough distance. This is where the other fairway woods can come in. After the 21 degree fairway wood, or 7 wood, the next popular loft is 17 degrees.

But what is a 17 degree fairway wood?

The fairway wood that usually has 17 degrees of loft is the 4 wood. However, nowadays, the 3 wood with a 17 degree loft is becoming popular as well. With a higher loft, this type of 3 wood is the most forgiving among all the 3 woods.

When comparing a 17 degree 3 wood to a 17 degree 4 wood, it all boils down to the shaft length. A 3 wood is longer than a 4 wood so that it may cover a larger distance.

Some golfers even prefer it over a driver when hitting off the tee. However, the shorter shaft length of the 4 wood allows for more control. And at 17 degrees, a 4 wood can keep the ball in the air for a while.

What is a 15 Degree Fairway Wood?

If higher-lofted fairway woods simply aren’t fit for you, you might prefer using a 15 degree fairway wood. So, what is a 15 degree fairway wood? Traditionally, a 3 wood would only have 13-15 degrees of loft.

Sometimes, golfers would use a 3 wood with 13 degrees loft to replace the driver. However, most golfers are more comfortable with 15 degrees of loft as the higher loft makes it more forgiving.

When hitting from the tee box, you might be better off with using a 15 degree wood. The 3 wood can be an alternative to the 3 hybrid if you still need to cover some distance.

However, if you need a precise shot with no room for spin, you might choose to use a hybrid. Ultimately, It all depends on where you are hitting and how comfortable you are with the clubs.

Other Fairway Woods

In general, fairway woods have a loft angle ranging from 13 degrees to 22 degrees. We’ve already discussed what is a 17 degree fairway wood and what is a 15 degree fairway wood. We’ve also already discussed what degree is a 7 fairway wood.

So, what are the other frequently used fairway woods? There are two other fairway woods commonly used by golfers: the 16 degree and the 19 degree fairway woods.



What is a 16 degree fairway wood?

So, what is a 16 degree fairway wood? A 16 degree fairway wood would either be a 3-wood or a 4-wood. If you find that the 17 degree loft affects your ball speed, try the 16 degree wood.

Check what is the 16 degree fairway wood going to do for you, especially if 15 degree wood is too hard to hit.

What is a 19 degree fairway wood?

Next, what is a 19 degree fairway wood? The fairway wood with a loft angle of 19 degrees would be the 5 wood.

The 5 wood is usually used as a second shot from the fairway. Due to its loft angle, it can still cover quite a bit of distance. But due to its shorter shaft, you can control the 5 wood easier than the 4 wood.

What is the easiest fairway wood to hit?

With everything we’ve discussed, you might be wondering what is the easiest fairway wood to hit. Generally, a fairway wood can be pretty hard to hit.

If you are a beginner, you can try to use a fairway wood with a higher loft and a shorter shaft. The higher loft would provide more forgiveness when being hit. The shorter shaft would give you more control.

Therefore, the 7 wood might be the easiest fairway wood to hit in general. However, you might want to consider other types despite their difficulty if they will serve your purpose (e.g., cover distance).

Hybrid Irons and Fairway Woods as Alternatives

To conclude, you can use hybrid irons vs fairway woods as they can be an alternative to each other. Take note of your skill level and level of comfort with either club. Observe the wind direction and the grass. Ultimately, it will all depend on which club you are more comfortable with.

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