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Shawn Bilton

Hybrid vs Long Irons, Putters and more...

3 posts in this topic

Hey everyone,

Glad to be here to join the group...I am a former scratch golfer who competed in school and numerous minor tournaments, etc...I'm 30 years old now and, since I started school for my masters, I backed away and didn't play golf for over 2 years. I used to average around 68, but now I'm at a 6-7 hcp, working my way down... I got the itch again and I believe I'm going to work back towards the tournament scene after a lot of practice the next few months...I have only been back about a month, and I played 3 times and hit probably a couple thousand range balls.

I've always hit 2 iron to be conservative off the tee on tighter holes or for better placement, etc, but I wanted to ask what you all thought about getting into the hybrids possibly?  Any sacrifice or significant change in distance or accuracy in comparison to long irons?  My driver swing speed is 123-125 still, just trying to find the right shafts/club options with the new stuff they've come out with over the last 2-3 years.

Also, I'm still using a Wilson 8802 blade putter...biggest loss was in short game touch (as usual) but I'm open to trying some new putters if anyone has any good suggestions.  My clubs are nike blade irons (the original forged from a few years back) with s400 shafts, Callaway X Driver with Mugen (blue/gray) shaft, nike black oxide 56 and 60, and a callaway old school 3+ wood from wayyy back 10-12 years ago...definitely open to some new ideas with shafts/clubs in all departments...been playing bridgestone 330 golf balls, and those are pretty nice...but I'm here to get some advice/direction on the new clubs out there and what might be a good fit for me.

Looking forward to hearing from all of you...I just moved to Louisiana for work (from my hometown, which is just over an hour from myrtle beach or charleston, SC...but I'd love to work my way back into possibly playing golf for a part-time, maybe one day full-time living.

Thanks again for your input...

-Shawn Bilton


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Irons can't match the distance and capabilities of hybrids, plus you can really get fitted well these days with all the options out there. To make clubheads at that weight that still launch the ball well, the iron shape tends to be less optimal than something that's shaped more like a wood, plus the graphite shafts help you get more distance compared to a steel shafted iron. There are many head shapes and sizes, and it's easy to find one to fit the yardages in your set. If you prefer more of an iron shape they make driving irons and the like, but for me I like to use the low lofted hybrids to replace woods. I'm going to a 15 and 19 degree hybrid instead of a 3 and 5 wood myself.

I barely need a 21 degree iron, and I have a pretty fast swing. The 18 degree iron is useful on occasion off the tee, but it sucks off the deck even when my swing is going well. Even the 3i is more useful off the tee, and it doesn't carry much farther than the 4 for me. Not only does your ballstriking need to be really good, but you need a high trajectory and a lot of speed to get the best results; this is easier with hybrids, and better players can also crush them really far and high which can save your ass or reach the longest holes off the deck.


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OP, you're a much better golfer than me so I hesitate to give you an opinion. However, my recent experience might be relevant, so here goes... I have recently started playing again after a gap of several years. I was very sceptical about hybrids, I suspected that they were just a marketing gimmick and would do nothing that I couldn't achieve with a combination of long irons and 5 and 7 woods. I voiced this opinion to the pro at my club and he loaned me a 3H to hit for a couple of days. As a result, I've bought one. I hit it slightly further than a three iron and, much more importantly, I miss it far less often. More forgiving, higher trajectory, I'm sold. It's now my go-to club from the tee for the long par threes, of which my course has three, and I'll often default to it from the fairway. The 7-wood and 3-iron have both disappeared from my bag.

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