Originally Posted by inthehole
I went down this road, comparing a 15° hybrid vs a 15° fairway wood. I found the hybrid exponentially more difficult to get the ball up in the air, even with a shorter shaft. I've come to love hitting the 3 wood off a nice fairway lie ... my fave shot in the game. Just don't think I have the swing speed to get a 15° hybrid way up in the air like a 3 wood ...
I have a 13.5˚ wood and a 15˚ hybrid and I find they both fly about the same height. I can hit my 17 degree hybrid higher than either one, but the longer clubs are mainly for off the tee and they are designed to have a lower flight; I agree that a 15˚ hybrid is a low flighted club as it should be. I also think a 4 wood is a spot on suggestion, my 17 degree hybrid goes plenty far off the deck and it's a lot easier to hit shots with because of its reasonable length and loft, but I can still flight it low if I choose. I'd think that's as long a club as many amateurs should carry, and it's often the longest club I'll use on a given day if my ballstriking's a bit rough around the edges. The only reason I have anything longer is because I have enough distance to create about a 40 yard gap between it and my driver, although that's more a problem on tee shots than approaches.
Only 2 of the 3 go in my bag at the start of the round though, and I will have the 17 degree buried with me. That leaves a choice between the 15 and the 13.5, so whichever one is behaving better. In theory I planned to hit the 3 wood for fades and I consider it the longest total club off the deck I can hit; The hybrid is almost as long but it has a bit shorter shaft and more loft, in addition to a neutral face angle. This makes it a bit easier to hit a controlled draw. I could hit a pull fade extremely far with the 3w last season because I was very shallow into impact, but I realized it was damaging my iron play and it's better to push everything with every club and hit down more, now I hit either a push fade or a push draw with the same setup and swing path, just aiming the club and my feet at various spots to accommodate the flight I want. At my course from the middle tees, it's crucial to be able to hit both shots in order to get a good position because the fairways are so tree lined.
These long clubs are really hard to hit without a lot of curve; you need to get your ball position and AoA right and it's tougher with their long shafts. I also determined for me that it's important to have a lower swingweight than my irons for control; if it's too heavy at these lengths it's impossible to make a normal swing and too hard to maintain tight control when I'm applying extra power the way I can with my long irons. So for me it was necessary to take the weight screw out of the 1h and shorten the shaft on the 3w (which I chose to do by tipping). They are without question the hardest clubs to hit in the bag and lack the user friendliness of most drivers, so I don't consider either one worth the effort it takes to learn unless you really want to do so. They're the first to be eliminated from my bag if I'm carrying less than a full set, and most courses really don't require them unless you play in 30mph winds.