I am not sure how many articles I read regarding the discussion of whether hybrids or irons were best for the amateurs game. Many articles talk about ease of hitting, control, versatility, and overall performance. I am not going to rehash these discussions because I think you have read some of the same articles I have. I will however, recount my experiences over the past 10 years regarding the the use of hybrids and irons and why I have settled on my current set composition.
Ten years ago, I had a set of clubs that consisted of a 3, 4, and 5 hybrid. I found that those clubs offered benefits in distance, hitting out of the rough, and tee shots on longer par 3. They did, however, hinder my ability to shape the ball, hit out trouble (I relied on my 6 iron mostly for this shot) and hit out of fairway sand traps. At the time, I felt that distance and hitting out of the rough was the paramount. As I continued to play with these thoughts in mind, I found that I actually missed my 4 and 5 iron and decided to switch up my next set of clubs I bought as a retirement gift from my wife in 2015.
My next set of clubs included a 3 hybrid, 4 iron and 5 iron. At first I was thrilled to have them both back in my bag. After a year or so, I realized that I rarely hit my 4 iron except out of trouble. This iron became my specialty club only and rarely did I hit it for distance. I loved my 3 hybrid and 5 iron, but was left wanting with my 4 iron. I found that my putting my 5 iron back in my bag was a stroke saver because I could use it to hit from trouble and distance. it became very versatile for my game.
My current set of clubs has a 3 and 4 hybrid, and a 5 iron. I find that this combination is perfect for my game. I can hit for distance and out of the rough with my 3 and 4 hybrid. And I can hit from trouble and distance with my 5 iron. Lastly, I have closed any possible distance gaps I might have had from the previous combinations.
Obviously I gave your the abridged version of my hybrid versus iron journey. You can see that I have experience several different combinations and finally settled on a my current set. Trial and error was the only way I was going to figure out the hybrid versus iron dilemma for myself. Prior to ten years ago I decided to start my journey. I found that after I read (which I did) a plethora of articles, talk to several local professionals, and talked to couple of fitters; I really was no further ahead. So I sort of fell into my process and I am some glad that I did.
That is my story and I believe that my hybrid versus iron quandary is over. I am ecstatic about my current club composition in my bag and probably will not seek to change it for some time. Now, I just need to continue to try to perfect their use. That is another journey and story for the future.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!