2016 Best Hybrids

Our favorite 2016 Hot List hybrids offer multiple versions and types of adjustability that allow both better and developing players to optimize their respective talents and mitigate their mis-hits, all while sharing the same head.

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Is the modern hybrid a replacement club for your hard-to-hit long irons or a more accurate substitute for your higher-lofted fairway woods? Well, as a matter of fact, yes. In our review of the best new hybrids in the game, we see that the hybrid category is now filled with a variety of options, some that look like downsized metalwoods and others that take on some shot shape and even head style that look like irons with the forgiveness you get from a hollow construction and beefier backside.

The top hybrids today offer a compelling marriage of distance and accuracy technologies. First, many incorporate high-strength steel alloys in the face or flexible sole features that add a little extra zip to those scary shots from those faraway distances where you still think you can go at the green. New internal weighting ideas help shots launch with optimized spin for better distance, but there's also a trend toward centers of gravity that yield a more controlled ballflight. Hybrids aren't immune to the rush to all-out distance technologies like variable face thickness and wraparound cupface designs, but several new models offer compact shapes and feature slightly higher centers of gravity to produce shots with plenty of initial velocity and a steeper landing angle to hold more greens.

Our favorite hybrids this year offer multiple versions and types of adjustability that allow both better and developing player to optimize their respective talents and mitigate their mishits, all while sharing the same head. The existence of multiple models within the same family of hybrids, and an ever-expanding range of lofts means the long iron and even in some respects the mid-iron has been relegated to history's scrap heap.

But don't mourn the loss for a minute. Better shots start with a better tool and hybrids are a more useful option than almost any corresponding iron out there.