Last week, I wrote about the 19 degree hybrid. This week, I want to cover the 20 degree hybrid.
For whatever reason, there is a small group of golfers who enjoy memorizing technical details about all of the golf club variations on the market.
This may surprise you, but I’m not one of those people.
I take a more pragmatic approach to golf equipment, choosing only to learn about new golf equipment if it has the potential to improve my game.
And as I’ve covered before, hybrids have the potential to improve my game.
If you’re an average golfer and want to know whether or not a 20 degree hybrid can help you, then this write-up is for you.
What is a 20 Degree Hybrid Golf Club?
A 20 degree hybrid fits the look of other hybrids. It has a face similar to that of an iron, but a club head similar to that of a wood. The “20 degree” refers to the angle of the clubface as it runs perpendicular to the ground. See the illustration below.
If you’re new to hybrids altogether, these clubs can be very helpful as a substitute for the long irons in your golf bag.
Long irons require a more technical golf swing, while hybrids offer more yards to the average golfer. That’s good news for chaps like me and you.
Thanks to a larger sweet spot, we can still get good distance on the golf course with a less precise or slower swing speed.
Much like irons, hybrids offer a variety of club face angles.
Generally speaking, the higher the angle, the more loft a golfer can expect. A lower loft typically results in more total distance with a lower ball flight.
So if you’re following along with that principle in mind, a 19 degree hybrid would send the ball further than a 20 degree hybrid.
A driver would send the ball further than both of these options, since most drivers have an angle of 8-11 degrees.
What is a 20 degree hybrid used for?
A 20 degree hybrid is great for approach shots (and occasionally tee shots on shorter holes). It’s also is easier to hit out of the rough thanks to the larger club head.
What Club Does a 20 Degree Hybrid Replace?
A 20 degree hybrid is a good replacement for a 3 or a 4 iron.
These long irons are often the least used in an iron set because they are tough to hit well.
Once you get used to the slightly longer hybrid shaft, you may find that you can hit the golf ball more consistently with a hybrid than you would with a long iron.
Side note: TGW.com also suggests that the 20 degree hybrid can be used as a substitute for a 5 wood. This is true, but I often think of hybrids as replacements for an iron, not a fairway wood.
A 20 Degree Hybrid Equals What Iron?
A 20 degree hybrid equals a 3 or a 4 iron for most golfers.
If you want a more precise assessment, get a club fitting or stop by a TopTracer range for some unofficial testing. The chart below may also be helpful.
|Degrees of Loft
How far does a 20 degree hybrid go?
This is the million dollar question, of course.
For men, the 20 degree hybrid should go anywhere from 176-222 yards (average distance of about 204 yards). For women, the 20 degree hybrid should go anywhere from 104-176 yards (average distance of about 137 yards).
These distances vary by swing speed, skill level and other factors.
With those numbers in mind, it may be worth using this club for a tee shot on a shorter hole or an approach shot in the middle of the fairway.
Who Should Use a 20 Degree Hybrid?
Going back to my cute little introduction…
I only care about golf equipment if it’s going to improve my distance and confidence on the course.
Hybrids do that.
You don’t need 5 different hybrids in your golf bag, but you should choose one as a rescue club of sorts. The 20 degree hybrid is a good option if:
- You struggle to hit your long irons (3-4 iron in particular)
- You don’t have the best swing speed
- You are willing to sacrifice some control/shot shaping for a more generous sweet spot
20 degree hybrids are best utilized by beginners and mid handicappers (though some pros use hybrids as well).
If you’re unsure whether or not a 20-degree hybrid will help your game, I would encourage you to schedule an appointment with a club fitter.
Have them test your skills using a variety of hybrids to determine which lie angle will help you the most.
My Favorite 20 Degree Hybrids
If you’re ready to buy a 20 degree hybrid, here are some of my favorite options:
Callaway Rogue ST Max
For better or worse, 2023 was the year of artificial intelligence.
While some lawyers were busy using ChatGPT to do their work for them, Callaway harnessed this energy to design golf clubs that perform better than their predecessors.
Kudos to you, Callaway.
TaylorMade Stealth 2 Rescue
If you have the money to spend, this offering from TaylorMade is the best looking option on the list.
But more importantly, this club performs when you need it most. Read the reviews on the TaylorMade website…golfers love this 4-hybrid.
Mizuno ST-Z 230 Hybrid
If you’re like me, you probably enjoy killing two birds with one stone (not literally, of course).
This adjustable Mizuno hybrid does that and more, offering golfers like me 4 different loft options in one club.
20-Degree Hybrid Comparisons
Before I close things out, I know that some readers want to know how this club compares to other members of the hybrid family.
Here are a few examples:
18 Degree vs. 20 Degree Hybrid
Is there a difference between an 18 or 19 degree hybrid and a 20 degree hybrid?
The short answer is yes.
As the angle of the club increases, so does the loft of the shot. The higher the trajectory, the shorter the distance the ball will carry.
Assuming you were able to make the same exact swing with each club, here’s what you should expect:
- 18 degree (lowest trajectory, furthest distance)
- 19 degree (low trajectory, less distance than the 18 degree)
- 20 degree (higher trajectory, least amount of distance out of the clubs on this list)
This is why a driver (in theory) offers the greatest distance. It has the lowest club face angle (8-11 degrees), and consequently, the lowest trajectory.
20 Degree Hybrid vs. 5 Wood
Some of you might wonder: why would I hit a 20 degree hybrid when I can just hit my 5 wood?
That’s a fair question.
If you hit your 5 wood really well, I would just keep using it. No need to reinvent the wheel (or your golf game).
Because the 5 wood has a longer shaft length and more weight, some golfers might find that club is more difficult to hit accurately.
If that’s been your experience, a 20 degree hybrid can take some of those variables out of the equation while offering similar results.
Again, you know your game better than I do, so it’ll be up to you to make that final call.