What Is Golf Rescue (Hybrid) Club? When You Should Use It, Loft, Distance.

Rescue clubs have become extremely popular in the last 20 years among the golf community.

They’re a lot simpler to hit than long irons that usually produce mishits.  

In this article, we will detail the best times to use a rescue (also called a hybrid) club, how to hit them and outline our top picks on the market.

What is a rescue golf club?

Rescue clubs are hybrids and are also known as utility clubs. They are a combination of both an iron and wood mixed into one club. 

Long irons, especially 2, 3, and 4-irons, can be extremely difficult to hit on the screws and consistently. Many golfers hit long irons thin or fat and slice or hook them often. 

Fairway woods can be difficult to hit off the deck for certain golfers.

The mix of the two is supposed to make rescue clubs easier to hit and more forgiving, leading golfers to lower scores. 

📢 Need To Know: Why is it called a rescue club? These clubs were created to “rescue” golfers from not being able to hit long irons or fairway woods as well as tricky situations.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Rescue Clubs

Benefits of rescue clubs

  • Easier to hit off of the ground than long irons and fairway woods (especially the 3-wood).
  • Can be hit low to get underneath trees and out of trouble.
  • Can be used for chipping around the greens to clear the fringe and prevent skulling the golf ball.
  • Can be hit off the tee for distance or to layup.
  • Are good replacements for long irons such as the 2, 3, and 4-iron.
  • Easier to hit out of the rough than long irons and lower lofted fairway woods.

Drawbacks of rescue clubs:

  • Can take a while to learn how to hit since you can’t employ a traditional iron swing with them.
  • Won’t make every golfer better, especially scratch golfers who are great at hitting long irons.
  • Have less control than irons. It’s harder to shot-shape cuts and draws with hybrids than long irons.

Rescue club vs hybrid: Is there a Difference?

Many golfers ask the question: Is a rescue club the same as a hybrid?

The answer is a simple yes. Rescue clubs and hybrids are the same exact clubs. Some people even combine the names and call them rescue hybrids. A hybrid is just another name for a rescue club.

If you went to the golf store and asked to purchase a rescue club, the clerk would show you to different numbered hybrids. 

💡 Golfible Tip: If you are thinking of purchasing one, make sure to check the loft and try it out at a launch monitor. 

When to use a rescue club?

Rescue clubs can be used in a variety of different scenarios. Lower lofted ones can be used off the tee on tight fairways to help with accuracy.

They can also be used from the rough, or fairway to attack a pin or layup. Even when facing a poor lie in deep rough or in a bunker, a rescue club can be used to escape the trouble when it would be hard to use a wood or long iron in one of these scenarios. 

One example would be if you drove your ball on a long par-5 into the bunker and need to layup but attain a good distance to leave your third shot shorter and more manageable. Instead of hitting a 3-wood and risking hitting the lip of the bunker, hit your hybrid to lift it out and still hit it a respectable distance. 

What degree of loft are rescue clubs usually?

There are many different types of hybrids available. Many come from 2-hybrids to 5-hybrids. This brings in many different loft possibilities ranging from 16 degrees (2-hybrid) to 27 degrees (5-hybrid) with the other three options between. 

📋 Keep in mind: There are even rare 6 and 7-hybrids available too but they are recommended mainly for seniors. 

Rescue Club Distances Compared To Irons

According to statistics from shotscope.com, hybrids travel an average of 8-12 yards longer than irons when hit. 

Due to the lower center of gravity on hybrids, you will get more spin on them compared to irons with a noticeable difference, especially with lower-lofted hybrids. A 2-iron for example, will rollout much more than a 2-hybrid. 

Rescue clubs have a lot more forgiveness than irons thanks to the weight being placed at the perimeter of the clubhead. This allows for a higher moment of inertia leading to better results from off-center hits. 

It’s a lot easier to hook or slice a long iron than it is a hybrid.

How to hit a rescue club

The following video by renowned golf instructor Rick Shiels shows golfers how to properly hit a hybrid.

What Rescue Club Should You Buy?

At Golfible, we recommend purchasing the TaylorMade Sim Max Hybrid if you’re looking for a quality club with many unique features.

TaylorMade actually was the first major company to release a rescue club in 2002. Many golfers have raved about the brand’s hybrids and have left positive reviews for each model released in the past two decades. 

The Sim Max Hybrid is available in 19, 22, and 25 degrees. It is equipped with a stock Fujikura Ventus Blue shaft that comes in a regular, stiff, or senior flex. 

The club features Twist Face technology that allows golfers to mishit the ball off-center and still produce long and straight shots. 

A V Steel Sole design improves smoothness against the ground at impact and limits friction while making it ideal to hit from challenging and tight lies. 

The ball springs off the clubhead thanks to its C300 Ultra-Strong Steel face. A speed pocket was added by TaylorMade to increase ball speed and make it more forgiving when hit on the bottom portion of the face. 

The white, blue, black, and grey look makes for a sleek and attractive design when lining up a shot.


Why use a rescue club in golf?

Golfers use rescue clubs because they offer more forgiveness and versatility on the course than traditional long irons. They have a lower center of gravity, wider sole, and larger clubface, making them easier to hit from various lies and situations on the golf course, while still maintaining distance and accuracy.

What does a 4 rescue club replace?

A 4 rescue club can replace a 4-iron or 7-wood in a golfer’s bag, but it depends on your personal preference and playing style. It is designed to provide the distance of a long iron or fairway wood with the accuracy and versatility of a hybrid club. It can be a valuable addition to your bag.

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Lawrence Smelser has been part of the Golfible writing staff since 2019 and is a freelance golf journalist. Smelser has covered the PGA Tour including the U.S. Masters with Augusta.com. He holds a journalism Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M and a Master’s journalism degree from the University of North Texas. Learn more about our team at Golfible on our About Us page.

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