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Newbie: Hybrid or Fairway Woods?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

So I have been golfing for a little over 2 months now.  When I first started out, I was atrocious.  I shot in the 170s and couldn't make it in the fairway to save my life.  Recently I just shot my best game at 125.  I am finally starting to hit the ball off a tee with a little confidence, all be it I have a pretty horrible tendency to push straight right...I still haven't had a club fitting for shaft flex or anything, but being this new I don't think that I need to worry about that yet...

The push issues are mainly with my driver, and with my 3 wood I hit it much straighter off the tee.  I can usually get it around 200-220 with roll off the tee, which is fine for shorter holes, but once I am on the fairway on a long par 4 or par 5, I really struggle hitting a decent shot with my 3 wood or 5 wood off the grass I am finding.  So I guess my question is, should I start looking at a hybrid for these situations?

Right now if it is a longer hole, I just go at it with one of my woods and hope for a clean shot, or take the shorter shot with my 5 iron.  I have more confidence with my 5 iron than I do any of my woods right now, but I know that if I connect clean with a wood, I can get to the green in 1 less shot usually.

So, in short, should I just keep practicing with my 3w/5w and get more comfortable with it off the deck, or should I be looking at hybrids for once I am off the tee box? If hybrids are something to look into, any suggestions on some good beginner clubs I should be looking out for?

post #2 of 15
I like hybrids because I mostly practice with a 6 iron and the mechanics are the same for irons and hybrids. I like to hit down and take a divot. I carry a 3w but it's much closer to a hybrid in terms of design and I hit it the same way as I hit my 3h and 4h. I think hybrids are great for beginners and pros alike. I would suggest you look into bagging a 3 and 4 hybrid as they'll be easier to get in the air than your 3 and 4 irons.

As far as brands and models there are a lot of great options out there. Adams makes some very forgiving hybrids that are perfect for beginners. Nickent Ironwoods are awesome hybrids albeit a little tougher to find since the company went under.
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post

I like hybrids because I mostly practice with a 6 iron and the mechanics are the same for irons and hybrids. I like to hit down and take a divot. I carry a 3w but it's much closer to a hybrid in terms of design and I hit it the same way as I hit my 3h and 4h. I think hybrids are great for beginners and pros alike. I would suggest you look into bagging a 3 and 4 hybrid as they'll be easier to get in the air than your 3 and 4 irons.

As far as brands and models there are a lot of great options out there. Adams makes some very forgiving hybrids that are perfect for beginners. Nickent Ironwoods are awesome hybrids albeit a little tougher to find since the company went under.
Perfect response, totally agree. When I started out I focused a lot more on my hybrids rather than fairway woods. Once I was able to consistently hit them and confident I migrated over to hitting a 3 wood. The hybrids out now are fantastic and extremely forgiving as long as you remember to hit them as an iron, not a wood. Once you've successfully been able to hit them then venture out to your woods and see what yardage gains you muster up.

I game a 21*hybrid and if hit perfectly I can get up to 230 yards with it. Obviously that's not always the case but my 3 wood is my 220-245 club so I really do utilize my hybrid frequently.
post #4 of 15
I guess I look at it differently. You are new to the game and improving a lot. If I were you, I would continue to hit fairway woods. By continuing to play (and hopefully practice) them, you'll get better. I've been golfing for 15+ years and couldn't imagine not gaming a 3 wood because I gave up on it after my 2nd month of golf. Now, if you have an actual 3 iron in the bag, definitely replace it with a hybrid!

Maybe others will prove me wrong, but I don't think hitting a fairway wood off the ground is any different than hitting a hybrid, or even a 3 or 4 iron. While the ball placement may be a bit more forward in your stance, you still want to hit the ball with a slight descending blow. My 3 wood swing is the exact same as my 3 hybrid swing...
post #5 of 15
Are you taking lessons?
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks Everyone For The Quick Replies!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by inthecup View Post

Are you taking lessons?

 

I had two swing lesson sessions with a PGA accredited teacher, but no I am not currently taking lessons.  Just playing golf and enjoying the game.  I don't worry too much about the score, I just use it as a gauge in which to see how well my game is developing.  With that being said, one of my goals is to break 100 by summer's end.   

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturday View Post
I game a 21*hybrid and if hit perfectly I can get up to 230 yards with it. Obviously that's not always the case but my 3 wood is my 220-245 club so I really do utilize my hybrid frequently.

 

This is exactly the kind of gap and distance I am trying to fill!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boil3rmak3r View Post

I guess I look at it differently. You are new to the game and improving a lot. If I were you, I would continue to hit fairway woods. By continuing to play (and hopefully practice) them, you'll get better. I've been golfing for 15+ years and couldn't imagine not gaming a 3 wood because I gave up on it after my 2nd month of golf. Now, if you have an actual 3 iron in the bag, definitely replace it with a hybrid!

Maybe others will prove me wrong, but I don't think hitting a fairway wood off the ground is any different than hitting a hybrid, or even a 3 or 4 iron. While the ball placement may be a bit more forward in your stance, you still want to hit the ball with a slight descending blow. My 3 wood swing is the exact same as my 3 hybrid swing...

 

I don't plan on getting rid of my 3 wood.  I still use it off the tee on almost every hole and will develop it.  I am just looking for something that I can use now on the course to fill my gap.  Also, being new, I find myself in the rough enough times where hitting a 3 wood isn't practical anyways, and I know the added loft of a hybrid would probably help me out a lot.   I plan on getting a 4 hybrid I would guess and ditching the 3 iron.

 

When I swing my irons, I take divots and have a very downward trajectory overall.  When I swing my 3 wood, I try more to sweep the ground and keep the ball towards my front foot.  Any time I use what I would call my "iron swing" on a 3 wood, I end up hitting a lot more ground than I do ball...

post #7 of 15
I hit every club exactly the same way in the same place in my stance except driver, Greg Norman suggested it, it tried it and have never went back.

Regarding 3 wood, it's the hardest club in the bag to hit, but goes forever when hit well. I have a 3 hybrid which I can hit 95% of the time for long shots and I play this the vast majority of the time. When I am feeling confident, I pull 3 wood to gain extra distance.

You had to use it conservatively, otherwise it can cost you strokes. The way I think of it , if you hit it bad and it rolls 50 yards, you might as well just hit a pitching wedge.

You will definitely enjoy hybrids, but if not ready to buy yet, just use the longest iron you feel comfortable with. Remember as long as you are progressing down the fairway, you will see a lot of strokes come off your game.

Hope this helps.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clutchshot View Post

I hit every club exactly the same way in the same place in my stance except driver, Greg Norman suggested it, it tried it and have never went back.

Regarding 3 wood, it's the hardest club in the bag to hit, but goes forever when hit well. I have a 3 hybrid which I can hit 95% of the time for long shots and I play this the vast majority of the time. When I am feeling confident, I pull 3 wood to gain extra distance.

You had to use it conservatively, otherwise it can cost you strokes. The way I think of it , if you hit it bad and it rolls 50 yards, you might as well just hit a pitching wedge.

You will definitely enjoy hybrids, but if not ready to buy yet, just use the longest iron you feel comfortable with. Remember as long as you are progressing down the fairway, you will see a lot of strokes come off your game.

Hope this helps.


My longest iron is currently my 5.  I don't hit my 3 iron "bad," I just really slow down my swing for some reason...so I don't hit it much further than my 5 iron.

 

I play my wedges near my rear foot and my long irons towards the front.  I have tried playing my 3 wood in the same spot as my long irons, and it is usually catastrophic haha.  I have had the best luck when I hit it near the front and sweep the ground.  When I connect just right, it does go forever.  But I am no where near consistent with it like I am with my irons...and confidence is a huge huge HUGE part of playing on the course I am quickly finding out...

post #9 of 15
I love my hybrids and they've become the most consistent clubs in my bag. I started out with a 3H and soon afterwards replaced my 4i with a 4H. I'm a high handicapper and on longer par 4's I often find myself with 170-190 yard approach shots out of the rough and the hybrids are well suited for those situations. I also carry a 5W which I can hit fairly well, but only off the tee or in the fairway so the hybrids get a lot of use.

As far as brands, I have the TM RBZ's. They matched the iron set I have so it seemed to make sense to go with them. If I were looking to replace them (I'm not), I'd probably take a look at the X2 Hots (to go with my 5 and 3W) or the Adam Tight Lies (just because I've heard good things about them).
post #10 of 15

I would take lessons before you further ingrain bad habits.  Now is the time to take the lessons not buy clubs.  Shiny new things are fun but approaching greens from 200 is not going to help your score.  The golf swing is not intuitive.  If I had my time back I would have taken lessons early on.  It took me years to undo my bad habits.

 

I got my son lessons from the beginning and his swing is a thing of beauty. 

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeHacker View Post


My longest iron is currently my 5.  I don't hit my 3 iron "bad," I just really slow down my swing for some reason...so I don't hit it much further than my 5 iron.

 

I play my wedges near my rear foot and my long irons towards the front.  I have tried playing my 3 wood in the same spot as my long irons, and it is usually catastrophic haha.  I have had the best luck when I hit it near the front and sweep the ground.  When I connect just right, it does go forever.  But I am no where near consistent with it like I am with my irons...and confidence is a huge huge HUGE part of playing on the course I am quickly finding out...

 



Most of the time for most folks, the ball should be off your left heel or within a couple of inches inside that. This will help with consistency as the ball is in the same place every time with relation to the bottom of your swing. The width of your stance will change with the length of the club, and this is why the ball appears to move back in the stance, but it stays in the same position relative to the left arm. (for a right handed golfer)

With the driver and off the tee with 3 wood or longer irons like 2 or 3, the ball position might be closer to the left (or foward) instep to promote hitting the ball sligthly on the upswing.

This is my method and a lot of folks agree; YMMV
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies guys!

 

Well it looks like the hybrid is something I will be buying soon.

 

Now I just have to decide between the 4 or 3!  I am leaning more towards the 3 I believe. 

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeHacker View Post

Thanks for the replies guys!

Well it looks like the hybrid is something I will be buying soon.

Now I just have to decide between the 4 or 3!  I am leaning more towards the 3 I believe. 

3 probably, more distance which you are looking for, not much harder to hit.

You also mentioned you hit 5 good, hit 5 until you get your new club. Here is my philosophy which seems to save me shots:

If you hit 3w good 50% & goes 200
You hit 3hy good 75% & goes 180
You hit 5i good 90% & goes 160

You really have to weigh out whether the extra distance is worth the risk. What does that 40 yards do? Does it get you on the green?, if not, your going to need to hit again anyways. What if you mishit? Now you are faced with same long shot and added pressure, if you took safe route you would be a lot closer...maybe you would be facing a short pitch instead of a long 3rd hit.

I really think the mentality of constantly progressing down the fairway will save you more strokes than you think.

After a while, you start to get better, then your percentages go up and you don't have to be as picky on club selection.

I think a lot of people share my thoughts on this. I know a lot struggle with driver to the point where they elect to use 3w off tee and actually save strokes doing so.

I think a key to golf is patience, whether you are casing bogey or birdie, you have to play smart within your ability, wait for opportunities, and not make bad holes worse than they have to be. Be confident, only positive swings thoughts.
post #14 of 15

Fairway woods really are for the more advanced golfer - shafts are so long, they are not easy to hit off the fairway.     Hybrids are much easier to hit ... without question.    But there are many options with hybrids.    The lower lofted hybrids (2 & 3 hybrids) are not very easy to hit either due to the shaft length.     My advice - buy a 4 hybrid - they're usually around 23-24 degrees, and when you make solid contact, you'll likely hit it farther than those fairway woods which few of us hit solidly, plus a good 4h will get your ball up in the air.      You only need one at this point - if you have a golfsmith, golf galaxy, PGA Superstore, etc ... pick up a used 4 hybrid that looks good to you.   No matter what you get, you'll likely replace it in a few years, so no point in spending alot of money on one now...

post #15 of 15

Well, I've hit hybrid 24degree 200+ yard from the tee, so I definitely like them IN THE ACTUAL GOLF COURSE.

 

Fairways can be hit with these clubs, I think.

 

21 degree club is also nice, I think

 

You have some chances of getting closer towards the flag, even with a second shot with a hybrid from the fairway.

 

Honestly, for a beginner, I would aim for bogey on long holes par 4 and par 5.

 

If you can make par safely, avoiding bunkers in smart way, then you go for par, but bogey is respectable score for a beginner golfer. It will lower your handicap IN A JIFFY...

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