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Hardballs

Am I right in thinking...?

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My bag is 4-aw, sw, lw, 5w, 3w driver, traditional set up, no hybrids. My pal uses 5-pw, sw, hybrid, driver. We are both the same hc, currently 20, and average low 90's. My 150yrd club is 7i His is 5i, anything bigger he uses hybrid, with good results! My theory is to improve and get my handicap lower, ie, shoot 80's regularly, I need to improve my iron play and land more greens in approach, which is why I chose my current set up to encourage me to use my irons, The question is.. (Long term, over the next couple of years) Can he improve much more with his current set up? To be shooting low 80's, or would I be more likely to improve more with my set up? Obviously there's no correct answer to this, but just interested on different views? I recently tried another friends hybrids on the range recently and I have to say they are easier to hit than my 4i, but I want to get efficient with all my irons eventually!
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My bag is 4-aw, sw, lw, 5w, 3w driver, traditional set up, no hybrids.

My pal uses 5-pw, sw, hybrid, driver.

We are both the same hc, currently 20, and average low 90's.

My 150yrd club is 7i

His is 5i, anything bigger he uses hybrid, with good results!

My theory is to improve and get my handicap lower, ie, shoot 80's regularly, I need to improve my iron play and land more greens in approach, which is why I chose my current set up to encourage me to use my irons,

The question is.. (Long term, over the next couple of years) Can he improve much more with his current set up? To be shooting low 80's, or would I be more likely to improve more with my set up?

Obviously there's no correct answer to this, but just interested on different views?

I recently tried another friends hybrids on the range recently and I have to say they are easier to hit than my 4i, but I want to get efficient with all my irons eventually!

Are you right?  Only partially.....

You're right in that in order to improve, you need to improve your full swing ball striking and ultimately hit better approach shots and GIR.

You're wrong in thinking that there's a difference in doing that with an iron or a hybrid.  I play with 2 hybrids and know a plenty of players much better than me that do too.  I only know one really good player who doesn't play any hybrids at all.

Between the two of you, all things being equal (skill, practice time, determination, etc.....) the one that will improve the quickest is the one who is playing the set best suited to his game.....the clubs that he hits best and in which he has the most confidence......not the ones that he thinks he should be able to hit better.

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My bag is 4-aw, sw, lw, 5w, 3w driver, traditional set up, no hybrids.

My pal uses 5-pw, sw, hybrid, driver.

We are both the same hc, currently 20, and average low 90's.

My 150yrd club is 7i

His is 5i, anything bigger he uses hybrid, with good results!

My theory is to improve and get my handicap lower, ie, shoot 80's regularly, I need to improve my iron play and land more greens in approach, which is why I chose my current set up to encourage me to use my irons,

The question is.. (Long term, over the next couple of years) Can he improve much more with his current set up? To be shooting low 80's, or would I be more likely to improve more with my set up?

Obviously there's no correct answer to this, but just interested on different views?

I recently tried another friends hybrids on the range recently and I have to say they are easier to hit than my 4i, but I want to get efficient with all my irons eventually!

I used to play with irons all the way to 2I.  Now my longest iron is a 5I.  Not only are hybrids easier to hit for most players, they are also much more versatile.  I can hit my 22° hybrid from lies where a 3I or 4I would be useless.  I also don't carry a LW.  I just never got any real benefit from it.  Club selection is just personal choice, and should be made from experience.  Use what works for you - what you are comfortable with and what helps you lower your score.  It doesn't hurt to practice with a 4I or a LW if you really feel that you need to learn to use them, but if it doesn't work out, that doesn't mean that you have failed at the game.   Golf is just chock full of choices and options.  Sometimes it takes a while to figure out which ones are most appropriate for your game.

Don't be fooled by my 16 handicap either - I played to a 9-11 for nearly 20 years.  The head pro at my home course carries a hybrid, as do many touring pros.  Hybrids aren't just beginner's clubs.  Don't you think that it could make more sense for you to drop the 4I for an easier to hit hybrid, then spend the time you used to use with the 4I to practice your short game, or driver, or any other area you think is deficient?  All I'm doing is trying to encourage you think about the many options which are available.

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I play 5i thrust gap wedge and I rarely hit my 5i, I carry two hybrids one is the loft almost a 6i ( 26.5) and the other is 22 degrees. the shafts are longer than irons, the ball flight is higher and they land softer. Choke down and inch and you can take 12 yards off using the same swing, you can choke down more also. The hybrids are also known as rescues, and they can rescue a wayward drive for par. My suggestion for you is to leave the 3 and 4 iron home in the garage Matt Kuchar last year wn a tourney using 6i thru wedge with graphite shafts and 2 hybrids! The moral of the story is simple: anything goes as long as it works and in your case with 20 handicap you should be deciding how many hybrids you should be bagging. I say atleast two. Good luck
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I agree. Play what suits your game. I personally Carry 1 hybrid and 6-gw and 54 and 58 wedge. The 54 is Almost never used now that I have a gw. Driver always used. 4 fw rarely and 4 hybrid a lot.
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Are you right?  Only partially.....

You're right in that in order to improve, you need to improve your full swing ball striking and ultimately hit better approach shots and GIR.

You're wrong in thinking that there's a difference in doing that with an iron or a hybrid.  I play with 2 hybrids and know a plenty of players much better than me that do too.  I only know one really good player who doesn't play any hybrids at all.

Between the two of you, all things being equal (skill, practice time, determination, etc.....) the one that will improve the quickest is the one who is playing the set best suited to his game.....the clubs that he hits best and in which he has the most confidence......not the ones that he thinks he should be able to hit better.

Well I agree to some extent that a club that has less forgiveness will hone in a more precise swing because it will focus the club to a more singular striking point. YET!!! I do not discount the use of hybrids :-D . I have one in my bag, and honestly I use it more for driving than anything. Short hole that requires accuracy, hybrids are a godsend for me. It is seriously automatic. I am thinking my next buy will be a very low lofted hybrid to replace my 3-wood. I just think they are easier to hit.

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I believe club selection is just a personal choice and over time you'll figure out what club mix in the bag works for you.  I personally carry three hybrids (19, 22, & 26 degree) and 4 wedges (PW-LW).  The hybrids are a lot more versatile than long irons and I often use them to chip with from tight lies.  My advice is to just keep playing and use what ever club mix works for you.

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The question is.. (Long term, over the next couple of years) Can he improve much more with his current set up? To be shooting low 80's, or would I be more likely to improve more with my set up?

I don't feel that your club setup will effect your score as much as improving a few aspects of your game.  I use a similar setup to you, 4-pw, strong sw, lw, driver, 3w, 4w, and 19° hybrid.

The biggest way to lower your score would be to improve your short game. With an 18 handicap you are probably around, but not on, the green in regulation. The more you get up and down, the better your score will be. So, I would invest my time with shots from 100 yards and closer to the green, as well as improving my putting.

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