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fishgolf

Long Irons

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I still have and hit a 2 and 3 iron that were part of the PE2's I purchased in the mid 80's.  I know long irons more often than not are the bane of many golfers, but I've never found them problematic.  More challenging yes, but never clubs I struggled with.

Having just been fitted and tested the Ping G400's, I see that the standard sets do not include irons lower than a 4.  I should note that I do not currently play any hybrids and presume these have more or less made long irons obsolete in the bags of most golfers?  I still hit my 3 iron pretty regularly and typically get about 185-195 yards holding most greens.  Much like my very late change (like 2 weeks ago) into modern driver technology, have I been limiting my game potential by not using hybrids to replace long irons? 

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I know what you mean, I like my long irons, I can hit about 180 to 200 yards with my 3 iron. They are also very handy for hitting the ball from under trees and other shots you need to keep low. I have never used a hybrid before so I have no knowledge to share. I realize that a.,lot of golfers swear by them. Whatever flots your boat I guess.

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2 hours ago, fishgolf said:

Much like my very late change (like 2 weeks ago) into modern driver technology, have I been limiting my game potential by not using hybrids to replace long irons? 

Not necessarily. Hybrids aren't for eveeyone. Yes they're easier to launch, but the reverse of that is they're harder to hit low. They also tend to snag up in the rough more than an iron would.

They're more forgiving than irons, though. I play a 2H and a 4H because I've never owned a 2I and I can't hit my 4I consistently well enough to justify the bag spot.

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I like my hybrid; but it took a lot of tinkering and experiment to find one that fit into the set.  Like the 3 iron it replaced; it isn't something I use often: just long seconds and putts from off the green.

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Personally,  I think if you regularly hit and hold greens at that range with 4 iron you are good to go.

ive copped out and my longest iron is a modern five.  I find I get an easier higher shot at say 175-200 with hybrids vs long irons.

I only play four to two irons when I use a retro set,  but the lofts are different also.

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I started at age 40 but could still generate the club head speed for my 2 and 3 irons.  I started adding hybrids in my late 50’s and the distance and accuracy for my mid-teens handicap greatly improved. Now at age 66 I carry a 2h thru 6h and can still handle the middle tees that I have always played and my approaches from 180 - 210 are “in the vicinity” or on the green a higher % than 15 years ago.

Another consideration is that my irons are over 20 years old and today’s 4 iron in your new set is likely close in loft to the older 2 iron.

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I messed around with my 3i earlier this week. It was from an old topflite set I have from years ago. 

I found I could still get it  "out there" pretty well about 80% of the time. Out there for me anyway. Just a wee bit of a fade ball flight.

I use an old 2i I sometimes to practice with. I do ok with it, but I'd never use it playing for a score. I have no idea what brand it is. 

I have a set of Jmax Iron woods I play par 3 courses with. 2-LW. They are kind of like hybrids, with wider soles, and bodies. Those long irons are still easy to hit, as is the rest of the set. Just not my gamers anymore. The heads seem to be pretty heavy these days, and I prefer metal woods. 

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There are couple of holes on course that I play that have par 3 distance of 225 and 210.  I love hitting my 3-i and 4-i, respectively, on those par 3's.  I also use 3 and 4 irons for my 2nd shots on par 5's.  I tried using the hybrid but I prefer the ball flight of the irons.  Hybrids go a little too high for my liking.  I hit my irons higher than average as it is, so my 3 and 4 irons have a good height and lands softly.

My set came with 3-PW and I had to purchase a SW and a Gap Wedge separately.  My old set Mizuno MP-32 (muscle back) also came with 3-PW.  I hope they keep making 3 irons as a part of a set when I have to replace my current Yonex.

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My wife and I are in our mid 70's and she still has a 4 and 5 iron in her bag. I have given up on mine since I hit a 5 hybrid on a par 3 that was elevated with a huge bunker in front. My playing partner had just bought it and said he loved it. So I tried it and I hit a beautiful high shot into the middle of the green and it stopped after rolling a few feet. I fell in love an now I have three hybrids in my bag. I would not give them up as long as I can still play this game. So easy to hit, forgiving and hit high and land soft. What more could I ask for except it hits the ball in the hole each time. LOL

Edited by shanksalot

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I carry a 4 iron and an 18° driving iron which is equivalent to about a 2 iron. I have hooked every hybrid I have ever tried to hit, so I have no use for them. Hybrids can be a great addition to your bag if you have trouble with your longer irons, which most higher handicappers do.

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2 hours ago, NM Golf said:

I carry a 4 iron and an 18° driving iron which is equivalent to about a 2 iron. I have hooked every hybrid I have ever tried to hit, so I have no use for them. Hybrids can be a great addition to your bag if you have trouble with your longer irons, which most higher handicappers do.

I frequently hear from golfers with stronger swings that they have trouble with hooking hybrids - they basically overpower the club.

Even some average golfers hook standard hybrids, which tend to have quite a bit of offset. Tour or pro versions tend to have a more square face and are less of a problem. If you open the face on an adjustable hybrid, this will lessen chances of left misses, as will flattening the lie if that's an option.

At the St. Louis Golf Expo, the Tour Edge rep suggested the CBX hybrid for those having trouble with left misses. He said the CBX-h has been developed using input from the Champion's Tour, with a head design that pretty well eliminates left misses.

Also, a lower torque hybrid shaft can lessen the chance of a left miss.

A good fitter can help you hunt for a hybrid or driving iron that works.

Finally, if a Ping player who really wants a 3i or 2i can look at ...

  • An old Ping Eye2 head to be reshafted in graphite.
  • iBlade and i200 models which come with 3.irons
  • Ping crossovers that come in both G and G400 models

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Hybrids tend to go quite a bit further than a similarly lofted iron, and are easier to get airborne. You don't really need to replace a long iron with one imo, mine has it's own place and does different things for me.

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I play hybrids versus long irons. I hit them straight, long, high and they land softly. I had always had trouble with long irons, always went to the right.

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Like a couple guys said, you can add me to the list of people turning hybrids into " hook machines".  My fitter says it's the upright lie angle on hybrids.

Longest iron for me is a 4 iron which is 210 then I jump to a 4 wood which is 240.  The gap doesn't come up often but when it does I can get creative enough with the 4 wood to be on or close enough to the green.  

Thinking of picking up a Ping Crossover if I find one cheap and see how that works.  Hitting one will be tops on the list this year at demo day.  I might be better off adding that and dumping my 5 iron.

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First off, the 4 iron in your G400 set is somewhere between your old 2 and 3 iron; closer to the 2 if you got the power spec loft. Nominal specs for your G400 are 20.5 loft at 38 7/8 inches long. Power spec is 19 loft. The PE2 2 iron was 18.5/39.25 and the 3 iron 21.5/38.75.

I was also a late adopter of hybrids, but I am a fan now. I have an older hybrid that is 23*, and it is one of the most versatile clubs in my bag. I have used it from 155 to 190. Like others have said though, it is a personal preference sort of thing. I would advise trying one both on the range and course to see how you like it.

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Couldn't live without my hybrids now.  I have a 20 and 23 degree and use them for shots between 180 - 200 yards.  For whatever reason I find them the easiest clubs in my bag to hit well.  Longest iron I carry is a 5 iron.  As others have mentioned, though, different strokes for different folks.  I have a buddy whose about my age and been playing far less then me and he rarely hits his hybrids well but can hit a decent longer iron better than most.  Give them a shot, you might be pleasantly surprised.  Oh, and I have the Ping irons myself and, for me, their hybrids are fantastic. 

Edited by GangGreen

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@fishgolf only you can really answer the question, by trying out some hybrids and seeing how they marry up with your irons.  In general, hybrids are typically more forgiving, but allow less control (mostly trajectory).  Personally, I like having both a hybrid (3h) and a long iron (4i) in the bag, as it gives me the best of both worlds in the long iron/hybrid end of the bag.

 

ps - that profile pic is great... change the pipe to a cigar and that’s me haha

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On ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 11:03 PM, Jack Watson said:

Personally,  I think if you regularly hit and hold greens at that range with 4 iron you are good to go.

I was watching a guy next to me on the range today hitting irons and admiring his low trajectory, slight draw shots.  I commented on his nice ball striking and that I'd love to hit irons a bit lower and with a slight draw.  He said, "well, I've been watching your high iron shots wishing like hell I could get them to splash down like that". 

I did try my friends hybrids at the range and they really weren't that much easier to hit nor were they proving as much distance.  I may try some others but at this point would be inclined to buy a 3 and 4 iron (assuming they are available) in any newer irons I'd buy.  When I was pricing out the G400's, I didn't see an option for a 3 iron.  But as @dbuckmentioned, sounds like the newer designs cover that.

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