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should I buy wedges or a fairway wood?

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I've been playing for about 5 years and started breaking 90 with some regularity this last season.  I've been playing with no fairway woods or hybrids and random, mixed wedges (a 50 deg Wilson Staff gap, Nike 56 deg sandwedge).  My irons are some older Callaway Big Berthas and they have the "i-brids" . .ie . .the 3, 4 and 5 iron have HUGE soles.  I feel like I hit them ok - the 5 really well, the 4 pretty good and the 3 is worth a shot (probably around 50% mishits and only 5-10% really nice strikes).

I want to add a set of matched wedges (gap, sand, lob) AND get a 4 wood.

As far as needs in my game - I think I really need both.  I need the 4wood for some tee shots, >200 yard par3's, second shots into par5's, etc.  I'm getting around ok on my 2 wedges but I use them so much I feel like I'll see a benefit from matching clubs with appropriate lofts to fill out my set.  Also, there are a lot of times I wish I had something other than my sandwedge to chip with.

I'm thinking to make one of these purchases relatively soon and the next around the middle of 2014 season. The question is - which should I get first?

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mvmac    1,760

Maybe consider going with a gap wedge and weak sand wedge, like 52/58 or 54/60 instead of three wedges.  I used the 52/58 combo for a long time.

What about getting rid of the 3 iron and putting in the 4 wood and wedges?  I would guess you rarely hit the 3 iron and would get more use out of the 4 wood, at least from what you described.

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chip n run    0

For me, I know my pitching and sand wedges well enough that I don't need to carry 4 wedges.  I don't get to play enough to appreciate the subtle differences in degrees between 4 wedges.   BUT I would really miss not having my 3 wood.  I'm not a long hitter but my 3 wood will get me close enough to the green to manufacture the shot I need with pitching -or- sand wedge.  I say buy a descent 3 wood.

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Jakester23    64

I sometimes go a few rounds without taking the head cover off of my 3 wood. I do hit a wedges a lot since my GIR isn't the best.  It depends on how long the courses you play are.  Most of the places I play I can get away with a long iron on a par 4 if I don't feel like hitting my driver.  I only seem to hit my 3 wood on approach shots to par 5's and thats not something that usually turns out well for me.  I have a 50/54/58 wedge set up and Im extremely happy with that.  The 50 came with my iron set and the 54/58 are vokey SM4's.  If you were to go the fairway wood route my recommendation would be to try the Callaway X Hot my buddy just got that one and Im very jealous it feels like a million bucks.

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mailman    26

Ive got three wedges that I like to use. Well, when I say three I mean a PW, SW, 56 and 60. I tend to only use the 56 when in close and in situations where I cant run the ball up with my 8 or 9 iron otherwise I stick to my SW. The 60 comes out for those shots where there is a hill or sand between me and the green (which surprisingly happens quite often for this high capper!:).

Ive also finally started to work out a few of my clubs longer par threes with a 3 wood! Finally got my very first par on the weekend on a 190yard par 3 (hit the green in regulation for the first time ever!) where in the past Id always lay up as I didnt have a club (or swing) that could get me near the green (what makes it even more challenging is there is a creek right where a lot of longer iron shots would be landing!).

Finally, I picked up a 4 wood for those par fours where the dog leg rules out the use of a longer 3 wood (or saves me from having to choke down on the 3 wood!). So I think my set is about where it needs to be for now.

Probably end up with new irons at some point in the next year or two as Im still using the very first set of game improvers Ive ever owned in my life. But for now they are doing the job and helping bring the old handicap down out of the clouds :)



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rustyredcab    74

Get rid of the 3 and 4 irons and replace them with one or two hybrids. I hit hybrids off the tee often. They are designed to flight the ball a bit higher than fairway woods so, if you almost always play in very strong winds, you may wish to get a fairway wood. You may wish to consider one hybrid and either a 3 or 4 wood to use mainly off the tee. The hybrid should be friendly enough to hit off the fairway and even rough.

As for wedges, if you have room and money for three, I like a 50/56/60 combo.

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