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Two Hybrids, No Fairway Woods?


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I am considering going with two hybrids and zero fairway woods. Has anyone else gone this route and how did it work for you? I think it would also help my practice by eliminating a "type" of club - the longer shafted fairway wood that needs a level strike on the ball. With a hybrid instead, I'd have the same swing feel and may gain confidence.

Currently working with Driver, 3-wood (15°), hybrid (20°), 4-PW, AW, SW, LW, putter. So, considering a 17° hybrid and dropping the 3-wood.

I played a round this week for the first time in several months. The 3-wood didn't leave the bag, but my hybrid got about 5 shots. I am confident with driver, averaging 230 off the tee with better drives around 250; I cannot imagine using 3-wood off the tee as a replacement. Even after a decent drive, none of the par 5's on this course were reachable, so they became 3 shot holes. Meanwhile, my propensity to find uneven, uphill or sidehill lies makes the hybrid or 4-iron a better option.

I used to be great with the 3-wood, when I was more of a sweeper. But even when I connect with one, it's going to be up near the green, but hard to stop it with the 3-wood, and hard to roll the ball up there on most local courses (most often soft conditions, elevated greens). Does this club help my score? I don't see how it can.

If I added the 2 hybrid, my thought is that this helps reach the 200 yard par 3's, and gives me a nicer approach option to the short par 5's / long par 4's. What do you think, does this make sense?

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If it works for you, that’s all that matters. If you can get the same distance and accuracy or better with a club you feel more confident playing then make the switch.

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Thanks, what's funny is I would describe it as different distance, like 200 with my current 3 hybrid and then 210 with a new 2 hybrid, compared to 220 with the 3 wood. It is sort of like covering a different yardage gap.

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8 hours ago, ladders11 said:

I am considering going with two hybrids and zero fairway woods. Has anyone else gone this route and how did it work for you? I think it would also help my practice by eliminating a "type" of club - the longer shafted fairway wood that needs a level strike on the ball. With a hybrid instead, I'd have the same swing feel and may gain confidence.

Currently working with Driver, 3-wood (15°), hybrid (20°), 4-PW, AW, SW, LW, putter. So, considering a 17° hybrid and dropping the 3-wood.

I played a round this week for the first time in several months. The 3-wood didn't leave the bag, but my hybrid got about 5 shots. I am confident with driver, averaging 230 off the tee with better drives around 250; I cannot imagine using 3-wood off the tee as a replacement. Even after a decent drive, none of the par 5's on this course were reachable, so they became 3 shot holes. Meanwhile, my propensity to find uneven, uphill or sidehill lies makes the hybrid or 4-iron a better option.

I used to be great with the 3-wood, when I was more of a sweeper. But even when I connect with one, it's going to be up near the green, but hard to stop it with the 3-wood, and hard to roll the ball up there on most local courses (most often soft conditions, elevated greens). Does this club help my score? I don't see how it can.

If I added the 2 hybrid, my thought is that this helps reach the 200 yard par 3's, and gives me a nicer approach option to the short par 5's / long par 4's. What do you think, does this make sense?

Have you tried choking down on on the 3w off the deck or moving the ball back in your stance slightly? A fairway wood should be hit with a slightly descending blow the same way you would hit your hybrids. What exactly is your issue with it? Contact? Flight?

7 hours ago, ladders11 said:

Thanks, what's funny is I would describe it as different distance, like 200 with my current 3 hybrid and then 210 with a new 2 hybrid, compared to 220 with the 3 wood. It is sort of like covering a different yardage gap.

Even if both clubs have the same loft, a fairway wood will theoretically go farther because the longer shaft gives you a little more speed. That is assuming you make good contact. If you're not hitting your 3w well, you're not hitting it 220 anyway and the yardage difference is moot.

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Not zero fairway woods, but I have a bag with 12 (semi?) hybrids (2i-lw ironwoods), and a 4w. 

I originally made it up because I had the clubs, and an extra bag. It was to be just a fool around bag. However, after some "fooling around", I found I played pretty well with this make up. I really like playing the irons.

Now I need to add that I am some what distance challenged. My gamer bag is D-7w, and 5-lw. My putter I move from bag to bag. 

My scores tend to be a little lower, when using my metal wood bag. Not by much, maybe by a stroke or three. This is probably due to the longer fairway clubs giving me a little more distance. 

So, if distance is not an issue, I really don't see a problem going with hybrids over metal woods. 

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7 hours ago, billchao said:

Have you tried choking down on on the 3w off the deck or moving the ball back in your stance slightly? A fairway wood should be hit with a slightly descending blow the same way you would hit your hybrids. What exactly is your issue with it? Contact? Flight?

Even if both clubs have the same loft, a fairway wood will theoretically go farther because the longer shaft gives you a little more speed. That is assuming you make good contact. If you're not hitting your 3w well, you're not hitting it 220 anyway and the yardage difference is moot.

Yes to choking down, I even shortened the shaft by an inch. Contact is the biggest issue. Lack of practice and especially off sidehill, uphill or downhill lies... I can get into a rhythm any time I am at the range and hit it about 220. I can never get this good on the course, and no matter what I am hitting it with a tendency to be low trajectory. Not holding a green.

Big part of the expected improvement switching to two hybrids would be an uplift in my practice efficiency. Right now, if I dedicate time to 3 wood practice it is at the expense of short game, iron or driver practice. If I carry two hybrids, that is one less thing to need to get comfortable with, I would think.

It seems like an easy decision, so I wonder why nobody else seems to go this route. You look at WITB on tour, you normally see one fairway wood, not zero. Caveat being they carry a bit more loft, like 16.5 instead of 15°. And, not everyone rolls with 4 wedges like me, so they have space. 

The second thing I wonder is why some clubmakers don't even bother selling hybrids below 18°. if you follow I would be in the market for a 2-hybrid and this seems like a rare product. My 4-iron is 24°, so my two hybrids could be 21° and 18° but basically I already have a 20° so 17° seems like the right one. If most companies don't produce it, it feels like I am in the wrong somehow.

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I have seen two players who did this: Both had a 17* and 22* combo.

One person I just saw in the bag.

The second person I played 18 with him as he prepped for PGA Player Ability Test at our course. With a driver + hybrid, he had the range to put the ball on the fringe in two shots in two of our four Par 5 holes.

Before you do this, you might try a 4W - a lot easier to hit for many than a 3W. 

You hit decent drives, but you're not truly a long-ball guy. Be aware that a 2H takes quite a bit of clubhead speed to hit well. You might try a 2H first just to make sure you can get good hits with it.

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On 3/12/2019 at 12:29 PM, WUTiger said:

Before you do this, you might try a 4W - a lot easier to hit for many than a 3W. 

You hit decent drives, but you're not truly a long-ball guy. Be aware that a 2H takes quite a bit of clubhead speed to hit well. You might try a 2H first just to make sure you can get good hits with it.

4W suits more players swingspeed than a 3W.

On 3/10/2019 at 4:41 AM, ladders11 said:

The second thing I wonder is why some clubmakers don't even bother selling hybrids below 18°. if you follow I would be in the market for a 2-hybrid and this seems like a rare product. My 4-iron is 24°, so my two hybrids could be 21° and 18° but basically I already have a 20° so 17° seems like the right one. If most companies don't produce it, it feels like I am in the wrong somehow.

4W suits a 17 degree loft better than a hybrid head.  At 17 degrees (quite a low loft), that club has convert your swing speed into a higher ballspeed for enough launch, and wood heads are better for that than hybrid heads.

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I debated this for a while;  I carry a 4-wood instead.  However, I won't hit it out of a bad lie -- maybe I should practice those, but I hit my 3H in such situations instead.  I have had full rounds where I don't hit the 4-wood.  I've also had rounds where I believe it saved me a shot compared to my 3H.  Of course, your comparison isn't to a 3H in this situation.

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On 3/8/2019 at 11:18 PM, ladders11 said:

I am considering going with two hybrids and zero fairway woods. Has anyone else gone this route and how did it work for you? I think it would also help my practice by eliminating a "type" of club - the longer shafted fairway wood that needs a level strike on the ball. With a hybrid instead, I'd have the same swing feel and may gain confidence.

Currently working with Driver, 3-wood (15°), hybrid (20°), 4-PW, AW, SW, LW, putter. So, considering a 17° hybrid and dropping the 3-wood.

I played a round this week for the first time in several months. The 3-wood didn't leave the bag, but my hybrid got about 5 shots. I am confident with driver, averaging 230 off the tee with better drives around 250; I cannot imagine using 3-wood off the tee as a replacement. Even after a decent drive, none of the par 5's on this course were reachable, so they became 3 shot holes. Meanwhile, my propensity to find uneven, uphill or sidehill lies makes the hybrid or 4-iron a better option.

I used to be great with the 3-wood, when I was more of a sweeper. But even when I connect with one, it's going to be up near the green, but hard to stop it with the 3-wood, and hard to roll the ball up there on most local courses (most often soft conditions, elevated greens). Does this club help my score? I don't see how it can.

If I added the 2 hybrid, my thought is that this helps reach the 200 yard par 3's, and gives me a nicer approach option to the short par 5's / long par 4's. What do you think, does this make sense?

I think you're missing out with no fairway wood.  I highly recommend the Adams Tight Lies 2 Titanium fairway woods.  I used to game the original back in the day, and I was so happy when they brought them back.  You can snag them on ebay for pretty cheap.  I have a 13* 3 wood and love it.  I can't stand the chunky fairway woods because I feel like I can't hit the ball higher in the face to get the high launch/lower spin.  With the shallower face of the Adams, you absolutely can.  This helps with those long par 5 approaches to roll it up to the green, or you can even hit down a little bit more to add more spin so it'll stop quicker for you.  I hit it off the tee ground with no tee as well.  I'm not a high speed player (I swing about 105 mph with driver), but the ball launches well for me.  With the 3 wood, I get about 12-15* launch, 148 ball speed, and 235 yards of carry with it on my gc2.  Sometimes I can nuke one out there (for my clubhead speed) when I catch one with driver-like spin. 

You could put a hybrid in to sit under the fairway wood about 15 yards shorter.  I think you really need a distance club for fairway shots too and a 3 wood is the way to go in my opinion.  

Edited by ncates00
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  • iacas changed the title to Two Hybrids, No Fairway Woods?
7 hours ago, GOATee said:

4W suits more players swingspeed than a 3W.

4W suits a 17 degree loft better than a hybrid head.  At 17 degrees (quite a low loft), that club has convert your swing speed into a higher ballspeed for enough launch, and wood heads are better for that than hybrid heads.

Thanks, the physics are interesting, this makes sense to me. One thing for certain is that my current 15 degree 3-wood has a fairly small head. It isn't helping me any. I have an Apex tour which I think is the wrong particular club for my game.

6 hours ago, Shindig said:

I debated this for a while;  I carry a 4-wood instead.  However, I won't hit it out of a bad lie -- maybe I should practice those, but I hit my 3H in such situations instead.  I have had full rounds where I don't hit the 4-wood.  I've also had rounds where I believe it saved me a shot compared to my 3H.  Of course, your comparison isn't to a 3H in this situation.

This is a big issue for me as well. If I should not hit the fairway wood from the rough, an uneven lie, or a side hill, then it is going to get very limited usage. If I hit a good drive down the middle on a par 5, I may find the right fairway lie to take a crack at it with a 3-wood. In this situation I think the odds of actually hitting the green are about 1 in 10, which means that I experience both "limited usage" and "limited conversion" to actually help my score.

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2 minutes ago, ladders11 said:

This is a big issue for me as well. If I should not hit the fairway wood from the rough, an uneven lie, or a side hill, then it is going to get very limited usage. If I hit a good drive down the middle on a par 5, I may find the right fairway lie to take a crack at it with a 3-wood. In this situation I think the odds of actually hitting the green are about 1 in 10, which means that I experience both "limited usage" and "limited conversion" to actually help my score.

Maybe you don't hit the green, but where does the ball end up?  It might be in a better position than it would be if you hit a 3H -- for example, it might be on the short grass, 15-20 yards closer to the pin.  

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1 hour ago, ladders11 said:

Thanks, the physics are interesting, this makes sense to me. One thing for certain is that my current 15 degree 3-wood has a fairly small head. It isn't helping me any. I have an Apex tour which I think is the wrong particular club for my game.

This is a big issue for me as well. If I should not hit the fairway wood from the rough, an uneven lie, or a side hill, then it is going to get very limited usage. If I hit a good drive down the middle on a par 5, I may find the right fairway lie to take a crack at it with a 3-wood. In this situation I think the odds of actually hitting the green are about 1 in 10, which means that I experience both "limited usage" and "limited conversion" to actually help my score.

200-210 yards is an awkward distance, and neither 4W or 2H is going to change that.

I have seen pros use woods and no hybrids, but few or none with all hybrids and no woods.  They just need the distance from a wood too much despite all its disadvantages.

A bigger headed, more forgiving 4-wood (maybe 16.5 degrees) that flies higher than a 3-wood would reduce the limitedness of the wood.

If the lie is slightly bad, the 4-wood can still hit out of it.  If the lie is moderately bad, the 20 degree hybrid is good enough as even a 2-H is going to hit short anyway.  If the lie is very bad, its irons time.

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Just do it. Sell the FW woods and get fitted for both FW woods and Hybrids. After your fitting. The course you play dictates the clubs you use. I used to be a 7.7 handicap before life happened. I am clawing my way back by having only one FW wood and 2 Hyb and no 3 iron. Just do it, it works if you feel it's a better way to play.

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On 3/11/2019 at 11:29 PM, WUTiger said:

Before you do this, you might try a 4W - a lot easier to hit for many than a 3W. 

I agree with this thought - I dumped my 3W several years ago and use a 5W instead that is essentially set to a 4W setting - much easier to hit off the deck.  That said, there's nothing wrong with being all hybrids and I did that for a while as well.  You will probably find that the lowest hybrid is similar to a 5W in carry distance with less roll out.  So it really comes down to your preference and what you feel most comfortable with.

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On 3/14/2019 at 6:20 PM, GOATee said:

200-210 yards is an awkward distance, and neither 4W or 2H is going to change that.

I have seen pros use woods and no hybrids, but few or none with all hybrids and no woods.  They just need the distance from a wood too much despite all its disadvantages.

A bigger headed, more forgiving 4-wood (maybe 16.5 degrees) that flies higher than a 3-wood would reduce the limitedness of the wood.

If the lie is slightly bad, the 4-wood can still hit out of it.  If the lie is moderately bad, the 20 degree hybrid is good enough as even a 2-H is going to hit short anyway.  If the lie is very bad, its irons time.

Last round I wasn't comfortable using the 3-wood at all, so I might as well as been playing with 13 clubs. The par-5's were long and I played them with 3 shots. I needed to use the hybrid on a couple of par 3's that were ~195 yards out, and realized this was a critical distance that I needed to improve from this year. My hybrid shots missed left, right, high and low.

I don't recall anything requiring a ~220 yard, 3-wood carry distance, but I routinely encounter a forced ~195 carry. So the hybrid is the more critical club to get confident with, because this shot is awkward as you suggest, and it isn't really avoidable. 

On 3/14/2019 at 5:17 PM, Shindig said:

Maybe you don't hit the green, but where does the ball end up?  It might be in a better position than it would be if you hit a 3H -- for example, it might be on the short grass, 15-20 yards closer to the pin.  

One prob is a recurrent case of the shanks with the 3-wood. Slamming the club into the ground before the ball is not much fun! And when I get some practice time with 3-wood, there's a low trajectory result with both left and right misses. I feel I score better when my approach is short, compared to left or right. Although I need to get confident with the 200 yard carry, I feel okay about laying up facing anything more than that, and just using the "long club" (2-hybrid or 4-wood) when falling short is not a hazard. To me that's where the second hybrid is a better choice, because I need to dedicate practice time on the 3-hybrid either way, so I could just have a 2 there for the once in a while play.

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On 3/8/2019 at 11:18 PM, ladders11 said:

I am considering going with two hybrids and zero fairway woods. Has anyone else gone this route and how did it work for you? I think it would also help my practice by eliminating a "type" of club - the longer shafted fairway wood that needs a level strike on the ball. With a hybrid instead, I'd have the same swing feel and may gain confidence.

 

The only downside is the loss of max distance potential. If on average you hit hybrids better then you might average it longer. 

 

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What about getting a 4-wood and cutting the shaft down close to the same length as a hybrid?

In other words, if you were to hit two clubs from the same line (e.g. both Titleist or both Ping G):

  • one being a 17° 4-wood cut down by 2" to 40.5" with a little lead tape added to the head
  • the other being a 17° 2-hybrid hybrid that comes 40.5" standard

What would be the expected differences? 

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