What Is A Rescue Golf Club? [Explained And Why Use One]

Perhaps you’ve seen your mate at the club talking about his shiny new rescue in their golf bag and you’re thinking – what are rescue clubs?

Well, you wouldn’t be the only one who is a little unsure of the type of club. Golf is full of different clubs, all of which don’t really sound like something that would be used to play golf. Irons are for removing creases from your clothes, right?

But when it comes to rescue clubs, what is it and how do you hit one? In this article, I’ll go through and look at what a rescue club is so you know can understand the next time your buddy is bragging about his £300 new purchase.

Let’s get into it and find out a little more about what are rescue clubs.

What Is A Rescue Club

What Is A Rescue Club In Golf?

What Is A Rescue Club?

A rescue club (more commonly known as a hybrid golf club) is a type of club that is in between a wood and an iron. Combining both the wood with a long iron is where you get the name ‘hybrid’ from. And as the name suggests, it’s there to ‘rescue’ a golfer from a more challenging lie either in the rough or the fairway.

Great for situations where a little support is needed from the deep rough, as an iron tends to be less forgiving to hit than hybrid golf clubs. This is because of the shape of rescue clubs. Built slightly differently from both an iron and a wood, a rescue is basically the two merged into one.

A rescue features a much more rounded shape, with a deeper and wider cavity. With the extra room at the back of the club, this means that extra weight can be added to the cavity which in turn creates a higher Moment of Inertia (MOI). This technical term is basically a way of saying that the club is easier to hit.

At impact, a club with a higher MOI won’t be as prone to twisting on off-centre strikes, which also prevents loss of distance. When you look at a bladed iron, for example, this is usually much harder to hit as its MOI is a lot lower.

The club head shape varies depending on type of club.
The club head shape varies depending on type of club.

Why Use Rescue Golf Clubs?

A rescue club is basically there to replace a long golf iron. Therefore, instead of having to hit a 2, 3 or 4 iron for example, you can have a golf club rescue that will be much easier to hit and still go the same distance.

Because they’re much easier to hit than those classic longer irons, many amateur golfers will carry a few of these in their bag as it gives them a much better chance of hitting the longer distances required.

The rescue club also makes life much easier for the average golfer whilst playing from the rough. With the technology behind them and more weight in the back of the club compared to an iron, it will help golfers glide through the longer grass more easily and get the golf ball higher up in the air much quicker.

They also make great clubs for use around the green, for little chip-and-run shots. With so much bounce on the club, it prevents any leading edge from digging into the ground.

I always found when I was just getting into the game, the rescue is much easier than using a wedge around the greens. It takes a little bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, a rescue can be a great addition to the short game.

Of course, most good players will tend to favour the long irons over a golf rescue club. This is because an iron will offer more feel than a golf hybrid and they’re more likely to strike a long iron well enough to hit the required yardage.

However, you will still see a few of the top professional golfers in the world using a rescue on the course, especially on courses where they feel they need a little more assistance. Tod Hamilton even won the 2004 Open Championship playing a golf hybrid from around the green to chip.

What Loft Are Rescue Clubs Golf?

Rescue clubs can replace many long irons in the bag, some models even going up to a 7-iron loft. This makes them great for beginner players as they’re a lot easier to hit than an iron.

More traditionally, most amateur players will have one or two hybrid clubs in their bag – with a focus on the 3 to 4 iron loft. However, this doesn’t mean that you couldn’t have a full bag full of rescue clubs if that’s what you found easiest to play with. These clubs will go the same distance as the irons but will be much easier to hit.

The following table shows the standard lofts you would expect on rescue clubs:

Rescue LoftEquivalent Iron

Do I Need A Rescue Club Golf?

So you don’t have to have a golf rescue club in your bag if you don’t want one. However, depending on your level of golf it might help improve your game.

A golf club rescue is there to ‘rescue’ you from certain tricky lies and positions, but it’s also there for when you’ve got 200 yards left in and don’t really fancy hitting a 3-iron off a bare lie.

We’d all love to hit those low 2 iron stingers which you’ve seen on YouTube or Instagram, but the simple fact is my golfers will never be able to do that. So instead, we opt for a club that doesn’t need to be struck right out of the sweet spot every time for it to go the required distance.

If you’re unsure whether a rescue is right for you, picture yourself 190 yards to a green over a pond. Do you want to stand up and try to hit a 4iron as purely as you can hit it? Or would you prefer a smooth rescue club that does most of the work for you?

And even if you’re a good golfer, don’t feel like you have to have that long iron in the bag just to save face. Anytime you can make golf that little bit easier is a major win in my eyes.

What Is A Rescue Club

How To Hit Rescue Golf Clubs?

As they’re the same loft and length as the equivalent long iron, a hybrid golf club needs to be played similarly to a long iron.

A combination of a fairway wood and an iron, a rescue swing won’t want to be the sweeping action used for a fairway wood, neither will it need to be a steeper angle of attack like for an iron.

Instead, a slight bruising of the ground just after the ball is the required divot and strike.

Set up with the ball a couple of inches inside the leading foot (left for right-handed players) and focus on getting the strike just a glance off the grass.

Final Thoughts

There we have it, a look at what’s a rescue club. As explained, it’s a great club for making shots easier for a golfer due to the fact it replaces a long iron which tends to be much more difficult to hit well. These include tee shots and shots from the fairway or rough.

The golf rescue club also allows you to play more easily from the long grass as the technology behind it will improve strike and get the ball airborne more quickly.

Not every golfer needs a rescue club in their bag, but a lot of beginner to average players will definitely benefit from having one and will be a big part of many golfer’s bags.


When would you use a rescue club?

Rescue clubs can be used from anywhere on the golf course, from off the tee to even around the green. However, rescue golf clubs are best used from the rough where the lie isn’t the best because they’re much easier to hit than irons and help ‘rescue’ you.

What is the difference between hybrid and rescue club?

There’s no difference between a rescue golf clubs and hybrid golf clubs, they’re just different terms to explain a type of club that basically combines a fairway wood and a long iron. Also known as utility clubs, they’re much easier to hit than irons and are great from the rough.

Why do they call it a rescue club?

A combination of a wood and a long iron, the rescue club has its name because it’s there to ‘rescue’ a golfer from difficult lies or situations on the golf course. It’s easier to hit than an iron so it allows players to hit from long rough on the course.

What is the difference between a rescue club and a fairway wood?

Both clubs have a more rounded shape compared to an iron, but a fairway wood tends to be slightly longer than a rescue with a wider back. The more shallow rescue club can cut through grass easier than a fairway wood and has more MOI than an iron.

What does rescue mean on a golf club?

The rescue club in golf is a combination between a long iron and a fairway wood which is designed to be hit from rough and other more difficult lies on the golf course. The design of the rescue makes it easier for the ball to get off the ground.

What’s easier to hit hybrid or fairway wood?

A hybrid club is usually easier to hit than a fairway wood because it’s designed with a smaller head and a shorter shaft length.

What is rescue club in golf?

A rescue club in golf is one that is a combination of an iron and a fairway wood, with a head that is slightly smaller than a fairway wood, but a shaft length the same as a long iron. It’s a great club for tougher lies such as the rough or long grass.

What are rescue clubs used for?

A rescue golf club can be used for many shots on the golf course, including tee shots, long shots from the rough or fairways, or chip shots around the greens where you don’t need to hit a wedge shot.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

Scroll to Top