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Hybrids vs Long Irons

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I'm a 14 handicapper and have been using 3, 4 and 5 hybrids in lieu of the longer irons for about 12 months  because I just don't feel comfortable with the irons.  I have been told by my "expert" mates that I should go back to using the longer irons as you have more shot making options available. I currently TaylorMade RBZ Max irons which have the wider sole so as far shot options are concerned I'm reasonably restricted. Given todays technology, can someone in the know tell me what I could do with an iron that I can't achieve with a hybrid? Other turning to Blades of course.

post #2 of 19

I think the biggest difference is trajectory.  I've had better golfers tell me the same thing you've been told and the common argument is they can control their trajectory with irons from different lies better than they can with hybrids.

 

It hasn't influenced me to take out the hybrids, just sharing what I was told.

post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by OB53 View Post
 

I have been told by my "expert" mates that I should go back to using the longer irons as you have more shot making options available. I currently TaylorMade RBZ Max irons which have the wider sole so as far shot options are concerned I'm reasonably restricted. Given todays technology, can someone in the know tell me what I could do with an iron that I can't achieve with a hybrid? Other turning to Blades of course.

 

You can basically "work" a game improvement iron as well as a blade but that's for another thread.  I think the advice from your mate is a bit silly.  The goal for a long iron for most golfers, even good golfers, is to advance the ball close to the green and hopefully get on the green.  If a golfer hits every other shot is a bit thin, bit heavy, off the toe, they tend to have a slower swing speed, then a long iron isn't going to be very beneficial.  I don't think you're missing out on anything, if you feel more comfortable with the hybrids then stick with those.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post
 

I think the biggest difference is trajectory.  I've had better golfers tell me the same thing you've been told and the common argument is they can control their trajectory with irons from different lies better than they can with hybrids.

 

It hasn't influenced me to take out the hybrids, just sharing what I was told.

 

Agree, with an iron you can hit it different trajectories or not balloon the ball like you can with some high launching hybrids.  For most golfers this isn't an issue, heck there are a decent amount of pros that don't even have a 3 iron in the bag anymore.  Yes, Tiger hits the stinger and that's cool but the dude swings at 120 mph and hits it really solid most of the time.

post #4 of 19

Like the others have said, the design of hybrids wants to hit the ball higher up into the air, so its more difficult to control your trajectory with them.  However, if you lack confidence with long irons, does that really matter?  Perhaps your mates should focus on their own games instead of trying to give you advice.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys for your insight and tips.  I'm comfortable with my hybrids at present and will stick with them until I gain a bit more confidence.

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaijinGolfer View Post
 

Like the others have said, the design of hybrids wants to hit the ball higher up into the air, so its more difficult to control your trajectory with them. ... 

 

The shaft on a hybrid also affects trajectory. At a May demo day, I hit several different models of hybrids. I ended up settling on the Adams Idea V4 with an R.flex Mitsubishi Rayon Bassara shaft. It's a low-mid launch shaft - ball reaches decent height at peak, but starts off lower. Holds well into the wind.

 

Most other hybrids I hit that day seemed to hang the ball up a bit high.

 

The V4 is a 22* 4H, and fills the distance gap between the 7W (higher launch) and the 4i.

post #7 of 19
I think the real deciding factor is how well you play your current longest iron. Hybrids have their place. If you feel comfortable playing your current longest iron then try mixing in a regular 5 iron at the range or on windy days. You should always play what you're comfortable with, but as your iron play improves adding longer irons will help out your game.
post #8 of 19

I absolutely loved my 3 iron for tee shots - worked awesome for tight fairways.      Struggled with it off the fairway.    I recently switched to a 18° hybrid - almost as long off the tee, and hit it far better off the fairway - not even close.      I was one of the last holdouts - I'm officially sold on hybrids ....

post #9 of 19

Agree with the above about stock shafts -- some are designed to "help" the golfer too much. When that happens, maybe it's time to re-shaft.

post #10 of 19
Long irons do give you a lot more shot options: hooks, skulls, blocks, toe-thins, and fans being among them. Not saying you can't replicate all of these shots with a hybrid, but it is more difficult.

(The point being that you shouldn't compare hybrids v long irons based on what your best shots look like, but rather that middle 50th percentile.)
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by k-troop View Post

Long irons do give you a lot more shot options: hooks, skulls, blocks, toe-thins, and fans being among them.

 

Haha, yes they're very versatile 

post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post
 

 

The shaft on a hybrid also affects trajectory. At a May demo day, I hit several different models of hybrids. I ended up settling on the Adams Idea V4 with an R.flex Mitsubishi Rayon Bassara shaft. It's a low-mid launch shaft - ball reaches decent height at peak, but starts off lower. Holds well into the wind.

 

Most other hybrids I hit that day seemed to hang the ball up a bit high.

 

The V4 is a 22* 4H, and fills the distance gap between the 7W (higher launch) and the 4i.

Likely thats why you are seeing tour pros going back to driving irons.  Hybrids are great for us mere mortals but for the pros, who almost have a problem with hitting the ball to high; a hybrid isnt a good thing for them.

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaijinGolfer View Post
 

Likely thats why you are seeing tour pros going back to driving irons.  Hybrids are great for us mere mortals but for the pros, who almost have a problem with hitting the ball to high; a hybrid isnt a good thing for them.

Don't know about that … driving irons have been around for a long time in some form or another. You see them in specialty situations for a particular course.  I still see lower lofted hybrids on the tour and the use of 4 or 5 woods, which launch higher than hybrids. Heck, Tiger has carried a 5 wood forever.

 

It's probably a mixed bag, but I took a quick look at the past couple of winner's what's in the bag - it's a lower lofted hybrid or a fairway in a higher loft than a 3 wood.

post #14 of 19

I personally like my 5-iron because I can hit it with a fair degree of consistency, but I carry 3 and 4 iron hybrids in my bag. My bad shots with a hybrid are no worse than a bad shot with an iron, and it can be easier to get a good result with a hybrid.

That being said, I will switch to my 4-iron when it's windy out since that doesn't go straight up in the air like my hybrids do. But if the winds are calm to non-existent I will always take my hybrids just because they're the more consistent club for me.

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post
 

I absolutely loved my 3 iron for tee shots - worked awesome for tight fairways. ...

Last year, I would put a 3i in the bag for if I played one particular course in the area. Like ith, I used the 3i as a driving iron on two windswept par 4s, and one longer tight par 3 into the wind. (3i put ball just short of heavily bunkered par 3 green, and I would try to chip up for a par.)

 

Off the tee, the 3i produced a low draw that ran out pretty well.

 

I have since picked up an Adams V4 model 4H (22*), and it has fully replaced the 3i. I can also hit a low draw with 4H, plus it is much more versatile.

post #16 of 19

I have been hitting Hybrids 3,4,&5. I like them. That said, I had a guy let me hit his 3 iron (some old forged iron from the late 80's) and I smashed it with a mild draw. Figuring it was a fluke, I repeated twice more with almost identical results. I am a High Handicap player myself and how I can hit a long iron baffles me. Ive tried in the past with horrible results. So, am I going to change to long irons? Not a chance. When I get my score consistently in the mid 80's or less, I may reconsider. As for now, Ill stick with what I got.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robspectre View Post
 

I have been hitting Hybrids 3,4,&5. I like them. That said, I had a guy let me hit his 3 iron (some old forged iron from the late 80's) and I smashed it with a mild draw. Figuring it was a fluke, I repeated twice more with almost identical results. I am a High Handicap player myself and how I can hit a long iron baffles me. Ive tried in the past with horrible results. So, am I going to change to long irons? Not a chance. When I get my score consistently in the mid 80's or less, I may reconsider. As for now, Ill stick with what I got.

Did you hit the iron...

 

Range or course?

 

Pressure or no pressure?

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaijinGolfer View Post
 

Likely thats why you are seeing tour pros going back to driving irons.  Hybrids are great for us mere mortals but for the pros, who almost have a problem with hitting the ball to high; a hybrid isnt a good thing for them.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond View Post
 

It's probably a mixed bag, but I took a quick look at the past couple of winner's what's in the bag - it's a lower lofted hybrid or a fairway in a higher loft than a 3 wood.

 

This summer I got put into a foursome as a "tour guide" for a young club pro and his friends. The pro would play our course the following week for his Playing Ability Test.

 

He was about 6-foot-2, quick through the ball, and carried his drives about 270 yds. His "go to" club, however, was a 17* hybrid with 92-gram low-launch XS graphite shaft. (Can't remember the shaft model, but it was not stock.).

 

He did a good job of flighting the ball with the 17*, keeping it low for tee shots, and getting it up coming out of the rough.

 

One problem with hybrids for the average golfer can be if the shafts are too light. A Golf Digest article a few months ago said that superlight shafts work better for good ball strikers: many average golfers have trouble feeling "the top" with superlights, and dropping the club into the slot.

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