Should These New 'Super Hybrids' Replace Your Fairway Woods?

The re-emergence of new ‘super-hybrids’ or hybrid-fairways offers a versatile alternative to traditional three and five woods, Matt Moore picks three to try this year

Should these new 'super hybrids' replace your fairway woods?
(Image credit: Future)

A trusty fairway wood has many benefits. It can stand in for driver off the tee on wayward days and help you reach par fives in two. It can even help you get up and down from light rough and tightly mown aprons around greens. Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson are two of golf’s biggest names who famously rely on fairway woods to keep the ball in play.

Not everyone can hit even the best fairway woods off the deck and many older golfers struggle to generate the speed to launch fairway woods high enough to stop them on greens. If this is you, you might benefit from putting a ‘super hybrid’ in the bag and leaving out three or five wood. Super hybrids are clubs that look and feel like a hybrid but provide the distance and power of fairway woods. Here are three of the best hybrids to try in 2022.

Callaway Apex UW

Callaway Apex UW

(Image credit: Callaway Golf)

Callaway has released a new high-performance Apex Utility Wood which is getting a lot of love out on the professional tours. Built with feedback from Phil Mickelson, it is billed as a multi-purpose club that better players can rely on from the tee, fairway, or rough.

The Apex UW features many of the mainstays of Callaway wood innovation, including Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades, a Flash Face designed using A.I. (artificial intelligence) and a Forged C300 Face Cup to deliver high ball speed, distance and accuracy in an easy-to-hit package.

Tungsten weights (18g per club) have been used to fine-tune the club’s COG (centre of gravity) and promote a higher launch, a combination Callaway says delivered 17% tighter dispersion in testing. The head itself is visibly more wood-like than hybrid but is still compact and deep enough to inspire real confidence. 

Read our full Callaway Apex UW review.

Cleveland Launcher XL Halo Hy-Wood

Cleveland Launcher XL Halo Hy-wood

(Image credit: Cleveland Golf)

This club’s name says it all. The Cleveland Hy-Wood sets up like a hybrid but is designed to produce fairway wood style speed and distance. It is available to buy in golf shops and online from March 25th and a full review will follow later on our website.

The Cleveland XL Launcher head design features an MOI of 2,961 g-cm² - the most ever in a Cleveland Golf hybrid. MOI is ‘moment of inertia’ and is a measure of the club’s stability and resistance to twisting at moment of impact. Three rails on the sole help keep the clubface straight for better strikes regardless of lie quality. Gliderail technology helps cut through rough and turf without loss of speed or power.

The HY-Wood also utilizes Cleveland’s Rebound Frame, a flex zone in the face and a second flex zone in the body of the club that sequence together to direct impact energy into the ball to maximize ball speed and distance. Finally, a 'HiBore Crown Step' reduces the height of the crown, helping lower the centre of gravity and increase launch height.

Titleist TSi1 Hybrid

Titleist TSi1 hybrid

(Image credit: Titleist)

Titleist is known for making beautiful drivers, fairway woods and hybrids with classic head shapes that appeal to purists. This TSi1 hybrid “is a totally new shape for Titleist,” says Josh Talge, vice president, Titleist Golf Club Marketing. “It has a bigger sole, the highest MOI, and is the most forgiving of any hybrid we’ve ever made. It has an extremely low CG and is 20 grams lighter than a standard hybrid.”

TSi1 Hybrid has a larger profile head, more wood than hybrid, engineered for higher launch and mid-spin. A 455 Carpenter Steel Forged Face gives a deeper CG, higher MOI and increased speed and stability from the clubface. It comes in lofts closer to traditional long irons, ranging from 20º to 29º but due to its design and larger head profile, we consider the lowest lofted models a suitable replacement for a four or five wood.

These super-hybrids are a realistic alternative to carrying fairway woods and offer greater versatility and playability from the tee, fairway and rough and can effectively close the distance gap between drivers and long irons. As with all golf clubs and golf swings, it’s highly personal and subjective, so test gear on the range, launch monitor and course to get a feel for how it performs for you. The rise of the ‘super-hybrid’ deepens the options for more golfers and is a welcome addition to the top end of the bag.

Matthew Moore

Matthew Moore fell in love with golf hitting an old 3-iron around his school playing field imagining rugby posts were flags and long jump pits as bunkers.

He earned golf scholarships to the University of St Andrews and Emory University, Atlanta, U.S.A and dreamed of playing professionally before training as a journalist.

He has worked at Golf Monthly and CNN Sports as well as covering golf news, features, products and travel as a freelance writer and TV presenter for newspapers, magazines and corporate clients. Matthew has interviewed Ryder Cup Captains, Major Champions and legends of the game and rates sharing a glass of rioja and a bowl of nuts with Miguel Angel Jimenez as his favourite moment. Matthew plays off 1, has won five club championships and aced the first hole of Augusta National’s Par-3 course in 2002.