iron and hybrid golf clubs with title "5 iron or 5 hybrid"

5 iron or 5 hybrid?

5 Irons vs 5 Hybrids

Hybrid clubs have become much more popular due to their increased forgiveness and varied playability. The difference between irons and hybrids confuses those unfamiliar with the concept.   

Most players want to use some irons and hybrids instead of replacing all irons with a whole set of hybrids. The 5 Iron may be a good place to start.   

While the 5 Iron and 5 Hybrid have a number in common, that is almost where their resemblances end. They have a similar loft at around 21 to 27 degrees. When comparing the two, 5 Irons will have a lower trajectory and shorter carry distance but more roll and control than a 5 Hybrid.   

Most iron club heads are made of carbon/stainless steel with coatings like urethane. Hybrids have a different construction with hollow heads and are made from titanium or steel. The club head and face are larger than iron but much lighter. You will get a lot more speed out of a hybrid, that's for sure.   


The average golfer needs to prep correctly, or else they don't hit square. I used to have a lot of issues with hitting square on the face until I figured out what clubs help and hurt me, depending on the shot I am going for.   

Hybrids work because they combine the best aspects of a fairway woods, and irons, creating the highest trajectory.  

Hybrids have bigger sweet spots. The bigger club head helps with the design, so you can hit the ball almost anywhere and generate good momentum. A hit on the heel or toe is far less costly with a hybrid than any iron. Irons have smaller heads; therefore, the weight is heavily concentrated in the middle of the club. Hybrids disperse the weight better and generate power from a wider area.   


If speed is your biggest challenge, choose the Hybrid. If your swing speed is below 90 mph with your driver, there is a good chance your irons only make it to 60-70 mph. Juniors, seniors, and ladies with slower swing speeds should make the switch as you could gain the height you need to hold greens.   

Below are the max distances for the average male golfer for both irons and hybrids 


max iron distance graph with irons 1 through 9
max hybrid clubs distances graph



The high-end golfer who is almost scratch or single digits handicap may like the precision provided by a 5 Iron. The golfer using the 5 Iron is looking to control ball flight and land the ball on the green.   

Those with high swing speeds and who aren't worried about hitting off-center should have no problem with a 5-iron. These golfers also want to be able to fly the ball above or below the wind, which is better suited for a five iron.   

5 Irons summary 

5 irons fall into the mid-iron category and are generally used from the fairway and rough for longer approach shots, between 130-210 yards, depending on the club, player, and course.   

  • Provides more control due to increased thickness in the face  
  • Works well in hilly areas  
  • Not suitable in extreme rough  

5 Hybrid summary 

  • Provides more speed for low-speed hitters 
  • Easier to hit higher and farther 
  • Works for more lies 

So who should use a hybrid? 

A general rule is new players or those with the issues outlined above should use a 5 hybrid. With this addition, you should see a lowered handicap quicker than with standard irons. If you want to utilize both hybrids an Irons, try out a combo set. This Cobra LTX ONE set has 6 irons and one hybrid. 


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