Hybrids vs Irons vs Woods

Selecting the right clubs for your game is a challenge. I have changed the composition of clubs in my bag many times over the years. I have added, removed, revisited, and lamented over which clubs would best suit my game. I know it this might fly in the face of convention, but there is really know right answer to the question of which clubs a golfer should carry. All I can tell you is that each club has its unique use and depending on the state of your game, different clubs are required. Hence, the different assortment of through the years met my requirements to maximize my skills at that time.

“Hybrids can be replaced by long irons or fairway woods of similar lofts. For example, a player could choose to use a 3-iron, 19 degree hybrid, or 5-wood interchangeably depending on desired performance and course condition. For maximized distance, we recommend fairway woods. For improved forgiveness, higher launch, and versatility, we recommend hybrids. For lower, penetrating ball flight and maximum workability, we recommend long irons.” (PGX.com)

Hickory clubs before all the options for new technology.

There are plenty of videos, articles, and advice out in cyberspace and expanding our knowledge about the value of each club is determined by each player themselves. All I can tell you is my story.

When I first started playing golf, hybrids were not all the rage. So, my set of clubs consisted of a driver, 3 wood, 5 wood, 3i to PW, SW and putter. In this set, I never hit my 3i or 4i because I did not have the skill. To fix the gap distance, I added a 7 wood and felt that my game was set for a long time. And it was for about 10 years and my game drastically improved because I was hitting the ball more consistently. Hence a change had to happen.

Through the years, I played with adding and removing woods, long irons and hybrids. I did carry 3 hybrids at one time and removed my 3i, 4i, and 5i. I found that combination was great to get to the green quickly, but left a gap in my scoring clubs (wedges). I was on the verge of being considered a good player during tournaments, but realized that I was focused too much on hitting distances and not where I could lower my scores the most. Thus, another change was required.

Fast forward to today. After multiple combinations, I have settled on a 9.5° Rouge Driver, 13° 3 Wood, 19° hybrid, 22° hybrid, 5i to PW, 52° gap wedge, 56° sand wedge and a 60° lob wedge. I removed the long irons from my bag because I cannot hit them. Hence the two hybrids. I have thought about trying a 5 wood, but my 3 hybrid does the trick and is more versatile. This particular set works best for my current game and I carrying a 4 handicap index. For my game, it is a great mix of clubs I can hit long with a focus on the score clubs…..my wedges.

As you can see, there is no right answer to what is a proper set of clubs to suit every golfer. The combinations are endless and only you can decide what works best for your game. I would caution not to chase the next best club without doing some practice and research. The process of finding the best clubs for your game can be a bit slow, but it is worth the time and effort.

If you are wondering which clubs is best for your game (hybrids vs long irons vs woods) I recommend you try them at the range and see what works. That is what I did each time I decided to make a change (except once, but that is different article for a different day); it was worth the my time and effort for sure.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

4 thoughts on “Hybrids vs Irons vs Woods

  1. The debate between long irons, woods and hybrids is definitely an individual choice. For me, it was more an adaptation to the changes in my game as I aged.

    In my younger days, I was very strong with my long irons thanks to the great instruction from two pros in my first couple years of play. I only carried two woods and 2 iron to SW. It worked well for the best part of thirty years.

    I tried hybrids to replace the 2 and 3 iron when it became more difficult to hit the long irons off the deck. They were very effective and allowed me to play the same style of game and we’re very versatile from just about any lie. They still are today, some 20 plus years later. One bonus is that I have three HIO with hybrids. The most important thing is selecting the right hybrid, I prefer a very small head and game the original Adams Idea Pro 20 and 23 to this day. It is important to pay attention to the proper lofts due to the loft creep in todays clubs.

    I dropped the 18 degree hybrid several years ago when adding a 5W for the first time, again more functional as I aged for long shots into the green. I have also brought back my original TM V-Steel 3 and 5W with steel shafts recently as they are much easier to control than the current ultralight and long shafted offerings.

    It is interesting that with my hickory and classic era clubs that I still get on well with my long irons, a tribute to the two great instructors of 40 plus years ago. I do make better use of woods (real wood) out of necessity given the reality of being a senior citizen.

    Anyway Jim, looking forward to seeing you on Friday at Osprey Links.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My long irons are gone from the bag as well. I won’t say it’s because I couldn’t hit them well but I will say/admit that I can’t hit them as well as I can the hybrids that took their place. I’m not sure I can hit the kind of low, banana slice out of trouble with the 4 hybrid that I could with my 3 iron, but, there are always tradeoffs and the one I made here is fine by me.

    I did find that my gap between 6 iron and 5 hybrid became much wider. That caused some issues for a short time while I adjusted to my new reality but I solved it like any other gap. I learned to control my distance a little better with the hybrid in my hand.

    Well, I got my butt kicked by our groups highest handicapper and his wife today. Net that is. I kind of insured his wife would win the day. She has no handicap yet so I arbitrarily gave her 45 strokes. 😂 Her poor husband didn’t stand a chance. And neither did I apparently. Oops. But I had to do it. He’ll have to live with his wife telling everyone how bad she beat him all week. Wish I could hear it first hand but I’m sure I’ll hear about it. 🤣

    So I netted 3rd today. And felt pretty good about it. I at least netted par so I played my handicap to the number. Had my putter been just a little more accurate, I might have had an exceptional game. As it is, I’m plenty happy with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      Your friend will be grateful in the long term as his wife.did enjoy the results. 45 strokes is a crazy amount, but that inhownthe handicap system works. Great tonhear you shot your handicap because that is as important moving forward with other competitions. I am off to a scramble tournament today.

      Cheers Jim


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