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Replacing Long Irons with Hybrids


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I'm not asking so much for advice as much as thoughts and experiences that might help me make a decision.... so yeah, I guess that's kind of the same thing as advice:).

After a few years of not using a hybrid, I put one back in the bag this year. It's a 4h from my old Adams A4 set. Initially, I was using it for select shots... hitting out of thick rough, trying to get more height when I needed it.... things like that. But for the last few weeks, I've opted on occasions to use it from fairway lies for approach shots with some success.

I've owned my current iron set for a few years and the fact that it included a 4i was one or the reasons I bought it. While I absolutely love the feel of hitting a 4 or 5 iron well, I'm starting to wonder if that is really helping my game. My game golf stats don't seem to reflect my lack of confidence. In fact, when I looked up my distances (just now), I was surprised to see the averages were as high as they are. But I do tend to duff these clubs more often. (My bag consists of Driver, 5w, 4h, 4i-gw, sand wedge and putter.) If I put a lot of work into these long irons, it can carry to the course. But monopolizing practice time like that doesn't make sense.

My questions are, how many others decided to replace their long irons with hybrids? Why did you replace them? Or for those who carry both, what factors determine which club you pull.

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  This is the first year I’ve had a hybrid in my bag.  My iron game has been the weakest  part of my round for most of the season, so I swapped out my 5 iron for a hybrid.  I’m loving it so far.  

 

   Granted, I’ve only played about three rounds with it.  But there’s a par three at my home course that my 7 wood is too far and there’s far too many hazards with my inaccuracy with a 5i.  I’m happy to say I’ve tagged the green and stuck it 3 out of 4 times.  

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7 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

y questions are, how many others decided to replace their long irons with hybrids? Why did you replace them? Or for those who carry both, what factors determine which club you pull.

I carry a 3H (19 degrees) and a 4H (22 deg) instead of a 3I and 4I. Pretty unscientific how I chose those...they came with the standard set I bought:) One of my best decisions though as they are two of my best clubs. I think a lot of amateurs would benefit from them, but I know some people can’t get over hitting them more like an iron than a wood. 

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45 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

My questions are, how many others decided to replace their long irons with hybrids? Why did you replace them?

I carry two hybrids, a 2h and a 4h. The 2h is a 5w replacement and the 4h is in the bag because I hit it better than my 4i.

I almost never used my 4i on the course but since I put the 4h back in, I probably hit it at least once or twice a round.

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I carry a 22-deg wood and leave the 3 iron out.  This club gives me about 190-200 yds and importantly more loft on the ball flight so it can land softly on the green.  I cannot do that with my 3 iron; hence the replacement.  Also, I can hit a control fade or (more or less) straight with this; neither of which I could with my 3 iron.   Hope that helps.

 

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A few years ago, I put together an experimental bag of just a few clubs for walking. On my usual course, there was one hole that was too long for my 5 iron and too short for the 16* Taylor Raylor. My club repair guy was selling his personal hybrids, and I bought them, a 20* and a 23*. It was an instant success, and I have always had a hybrid in the bag since. Currently, I am using a Titleist 818H1 in 21*. I can choke down and hit it 175 and a full nuke is about 200 total. If I had to carry 200 over water, I probably wouldn't try it, but 185 to maybe 190 is a go.

 

Edited by dbuck
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I havne't carried a 3i or 4i in about 10 years.....because I've never hit them well.  Instead, I carry a steel shafted Cleveland Halo 21* (4 hybrid).  I can choke down and it it 170, or swing away, and hit it 190.  It's definitly a "go-to" club for me, as I've always hit it well, and have confidence in it.  I also have a Ping i20 17*, but I'm not as confident in it.  Sometimes, I'll hit it perfectly in the 200- 210 yard range.  Other times, I pull or push it.  So it tends to stay in the bag (or in the truck) much more.  I've read tons of great reviews on the Titleist 818 hybrid line, and I'm considering going that route.....maybe next spring.

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This is probably not the kind of info you are looking for, but maybe.

Several years ago I moved on from a complete set of what was then considered hybrids. (2- lw) I had had them for a while and my favorite manufacturer had come out with a conventional set of irons they claimed were easier to hit than their Ironwoods. They were, and I played the newer irons (5-lw) for several years. Driver, 3-7w were my longer clubs.

Earlier this year, I suffered through a pinched nerve in my shoulder that sidelined me for several weeks. It sapped alot of strength from my right shoulder area. When it was time to start swinging clubs again, I found my original Ironwood wedges easier to control. Later on I added in the 5-9 Ironwoods just to see what would happen. The ironwoods are just a bit heavier which help to reclaim some lost  strength

My last few rounds this summer I have been playing a 3W, and 2-LW Ironwoods in my bag. With pretty good success. I have played some of my best golf with this bag make up. I am pretty sure the shorter shafts have made it easier to control my swing.

My point is, hybrids can help anyone's game. I would suggest everyone give hybrids a try if possible. The only knock I have heard against them is that they are hard to swing for some golfers, or require a change of swing mechanics to use them properly. I suspect some golfers don't stay with them long enough to realize the improvement they provide. 

 

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I put the 5i back in the back, but go back and forth - yes, I hit it well, but I hit the hybrid higher and it stops with about the same yardage. I struggled with hybrids forever - swing improved and bought a Tensei 70 Red - high launch shaft with spin - seems to have worked with height.

I use two hybrids - a 21 and a 25, then 6-PW, etc, when I'm not using the 5i, of course.

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I'm kind of the opposite. I had a 3 hybrid in my bag over the last year and a half or so, I could never get a consistent flight with it. It was the only club I could miss both left and right with, everything else was straight or would be my normal miss (right). 

I decided to get a TaylorMade P790 3 iron primarily for use off the tee, and to my surprise I hit it just as good, if not better, off the turf, mainly for my second shots on par 5s. I dont have to worry about it going left at all. Its been a smaller sample size, but so far my distance dispersion on game golf has been much better with the 3 iron than the hybrid.

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Lots of good info here. I think the best thing would be for me to continue carrying both. I practiced with my 4i tonight and it took me a long time to start making good contact - not uncommon. Really had to slow everything down. But boy, once I finally get the right combination of whatever the hell it is, it's nice watching the ball jump off the face of those clubs - even if that only happens 50% of the time.

My thoughts are that the longer irons really expose some of my poor mechanics where I might be able to get away with a little bit of a flip, for example, with my mid-irons. I don't know, just a random thought.

For the hybrid and 5w, I just feel like my swing is different. It isn't like I never hit poor shots with those clubs, but I have to have that kind of distance and those clubs just seem to make it easier to obtain of late.

I wonder if wanting to get better with those long irons isn't a similar concept to a high capper (like me) wanting to use players irons.

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I could never hit my 4i & 5i with any consistency, so I tried a 4h, which I ended up hitting worse.  Until I got a lesson from my pro on how to correctly hit a hybrid.  Now I carry a 3h, 4h & 5h which I hit with much more consistent, and with much much more confidence..

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I started with hybrids, but have been trying to move to more woods, after playing with golf buddies who could hit woods well. (They've also moved to more hybrids). I also have tried to use a 5 iron this year. Long story short, the hybrids are back in the bag, 5H (25), 4H (22),  and an 18. I tend to pull the hybrids more, but hit them better and more consistently off the ground than either irons or woods. I use the 5H (25) out of rough and for punch, stinger type shots. I use the lower lofted hybirds only off the fairway or on very good lies from 1st cut.

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3 hours ago, LeftyWhiff said:

I started with hybrids, but have been trying to move to more woods, after playing with golf buddies who could hit woods well. (They've also moved to more hybrids). I also have tried to use a 5 iron this year. Long story short, the hybrids are back in the bag, 5H (25), 4H (22),  and an 18. I tend to pull the hybrids more, but hit them better and more consistently off the ground than either irons or woods. I use the 5H (25) out of rough and for punch, stinger type shots. I use the lower lofted hybirds only off the fairway or on very good lies from 1st cut.

I find my 5w difficult to hit from the rough unless it's sitting up on a good lie. From what I've read, that seems to be the case with many others. So maybe a 3h would be a good club for that type of shot.

But if I'm hitting it well, the 5w is one of my favorite clubs from the fairway for my second shot on long par 4s or most par 5s. I don't play a lot of long par 3's, but for any over 180, it's a good club off the tee. I tend to get decent height and have held a few greens with it.

I went through two or three years where I would top it badly on a regular basis, but that isn't happening as often this year.

9 hours ago, cnl390 said:

Now I carry a 3h, 4h & 5h which I hit with much more consistent, and with much much more confidence..

This is what I'm hoping might happen if I make the change. The confidence thing is important to me. Obviously, it's lacking with my long irons right now since I'm considering a change. But that comes and goes.

When I played Arcadia Bluffs earlier in the year, I played from tees a bit too far back. I was forced to hit a lot of approach shots with my 4i but was making very good contact and even hitting greens with it. Lately, it just seems like a struggle to make good contact and reach the distance I need.

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I used to be against hybrids. I carried a 2-iron for many years. (Even in the hybrid era). I occasionally carried a 1-iron. 

Now I'm carrying a 3h and 4h. And considering a 5h. Though technically I prefer an "iron-wood" when I get down to that point in the bag.

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When I returned to gold after 2 decades, I only got hybrids. 4h 5h 7h.  Don't miss long irons at all.

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