Former U.S. Open champ explains why you should use a steel-shafted hybrid, just like he does

February 15, 2020

Webb Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champion, is a firm believer that most golfers should use at least two hybrids in their bag setup.

As he recently told GOLF.com in a Q&A, Simpson says that hybrids allow golfers to hit the ball in the air more easily than the iron equivalents. That’s why he suggests golfers — aside from scratch players who hit the ball too high, or with too much spin — replace 3- and 4-irons with hybrids.

“Unless you’re a scratch handicap or better and have really high spin rates and hit it high, you need a 3-iron hybrid and you need a 4-iron hybrid,” Simpson told GOLF.com. “The hybrids, in my opinion, are way easier to hit up in the air, and that’s what I was seeing with my 4-iron of my regular set.”

Don;t be set on using a graphite shaft, either. Most golfers and fitters in the current era automatically assume that hybrids, due to their similar nature to fairway woods, should be equipped with graphite shafts. While graphite, in most cases, can provide greater distance with a hybrid, Simpson started using a 4-iron hybrid with a steel shaft for more control.

When Simpson was using a 4-hybrid with a graphite shaft, he said that he found the golf ball traveled too far for the distance he wanted. Ahead of the 2016 PGA Championship at Baltusrol, however, Titleist Tour rep Jim Curran suggested he try a steel shaft and a shorter length.

“Hey, let’s cut it down a little bit,” Curran told Simpson. “Let’s put a steel shaft in it and it will decrease the distance a little. You’ll get more control, and it will kind of act more like a 4-iron. It will feel more like a 4-iron versus another hybrid.”

Since the switch to a steel-shafted 4 hybrid, Simpson says he doesn’t care what new technology comes out, he just “can’t get it out of the bag…I love it.”

Keeping in mind that Simpson is a six-time PGA Tour winner and U.S. Open champion, he says that he hits the steel-shafted hybrid into greens “quite a bit each week.”

“Some weeks I hit it 3 or 4 times a day into greens,” Simpson said. “It’s been a huge asset to my bag.”

He especially enjoys having two hybrids in the bag during the Masters, where Augusta National plays increasingly long.

“Augusta is a place where my hybrids have helped me so much,” Simpson said. “You go through the golf course, and I may hit a hybrid into 1, 4, 5, 11, 13, 15, and even 18. You need height and you need softness around that golf course, maybe more than any other golf course we play all year…it’s just nice to have those hybrids there.”

Moral of the story: Don’t be too prideful to put multiple hybrids in your bag, and if you feel they’re flying too far and you’re giving up control, don’t be afraid to try out a steel shaft.

To hear more gear insights from Jonathan Wall and True Spec’s Tim Briand, subscribe and listen each week to GOLF’s Fully Equipped podcast: iTunes | SoundCloud | Spotify | Stitcher