There are so many different types of clubs which have the same usage these days. Despite this, they often couldn’t be further apart in how they make an individual golfer feel.
It can be so overwhelming trying to decide which clubs would be best for your skill level and style of play. This is even more prevelent when it comes to looking at the Hybrids, Woods and Driving Irons in the Golf Shop.
While most drivers are relatively similar these days, each hybrid club tends to be quite significantly different depending on which brand you are buying it from. Not only is this just in the looks and differing head-shapes, but each manufacturer has differing standard lofts. This means that a 3-hybrid by TaylorMade may not have the same loft as the equivalent 3-hybrid from CobraGolf.
There is very little benefit to carrying all three types of clubs in your bag when it comes to your long clubs. You need to make the decision on whether you’re going to use Hybrids, Woods or Long irons. But which should you choose?
In this blog post, I am going to put forward the factors you should consider when deciding which type of club you should have in your bag. I will design this by allowing you to ask yourself questions, which should hopefully result in an answer becoming obvious.
How Far Do You Hit The Ball?
There is an argument out there which suggests thatif you generally don’t hit your irons particularly long, then going for a long-iron isn’t going to be a beneficial club for you to add to your bag. This boils down to the fact that some golfers simply cannot utilise a 2-iron (or other long iron) to the best of its abilities.
A rule of thumb here is if your regular shot with a 7-iron goes less than 150 yards, then forget about getting any long irons, and start looking at hybrids and woods as an option.
There are obviously going to be exceptions to this rule. For example, I play with someone who hits their longer irons better than their shorter irons, which is the opposite of what most people find.
What Courses Do You Play Most Often?
Obviously you will want to tailor the choices of clubs in your bag to the course that you play the most. The average golfer does not have the luxury of playing a new course each week. We normally play the same course every week, and we get used to that course over time. So, make sure you’re choosing clubs which suit the course you’re playing on!
If your local course is mostly Par 3’s, then trying to get the longest possible distance on your clubs is probably not going to result in much success. In this case, you will want to go for the club which provides you the most accuracy and distance control.
In my case, my local club is very narrow with trees all the way down the sides of the fairway. Even a slightly off-centre shot can easily end up in the trees, which I obviously don’t want. In my case, I know I hit my woods far better than a long iron or hybrid, so I will generally stick to this for consistency. Despite this, I do keep a 3-hybrid in my bag for very specific circumstances, and to give me some diversity and choice. This is often when I end up in a really bad lie in some rough, as the hybrid performs far better in the rough than a wood or a long iron.
If possible, I would talk to the local pro at your golf course, as they will likely be able to provide some really helpful insight into what you should be aiming for in order to improve your score on the course.
What Do You Feel Comfortable With?
This is so essential! The club which you naturally feel at home with is likely to be the club that you generally hit more consistently over time. So, try a hybrid, long iron and wood – only then will you decide which club is the best fit for you.
I know for me, I cannot hit a 2-iron to save my life. I literally have more chance of lightning striking me twice than puring a 2-iron. So, it is just a club that has never ended up in my bag.
I would recommend booking a fitting in this instance and getting a taster of various different clubs. If you approach your local pro and explain your predicament, they will likely be able to take you for a 45 minute session to try all the latest hybrids, long irons and fairway woods. The benefit here is that with all of the latest gadgets they haver during a fitting, they will easily be able to tell you which clubs will suit your swing style the most.
If you have access to one of each, perhaps do a round of golf only using the iron, and then the next week, try the hybrid and so on. Rate yourself out of 10 on how well you think you performed, and how confident you felt with that club. After you’ve tried all three types of clubs, you’ll likely know the answer as to which is best for you (Long Iron vs Hybrid).
Studies: Long Iron vs Hybrid
It has become a bit of an area of competition. Often you’re either strongly on one side or the other. The hybrid is often marketed as being easier to hit consistently than a long iron, and this is why you will often see it in the bag of more amateur players. We have even seen 4 irons less commonly included within sets of irons produced by manufacturers. This may be a hint towards the fact that longer irons are becoming less and less popular.
The 3-hybrid is the most commonly chosen hybrid club. Which I can’t say I’m surprised to read. The 3-hybrid is my club of choice in my bag, as it just adds that good bridge between my driver and my 5 iron. I also find that I have quite a lot of control over the distance I can hit it.
Studies have shown that when shooting over 200 yards, a hybrid is almost twice as effective when compared to the equivalent long iron. This significance reduces as the distance reduces. I think the key thing this shows is that if you’re a distance hitter, and have a fast swing, then you should always choose the hybrids here. However, I would still always recommend trying out both before making your decision on whether you should choose a hybrid club over a long iron.
The Best Budget Hybrid You Can Buy
This is a difficult one to answer, as there are so many great options these days in the hybrid category, even in some of the lesser known brands. I am therefore going to split this into two, where I will give you an option if you’re on a really tight budget, and an option which isn’t super expensive, but would be for someone with a little more cash to splash.
Callaway Rogue X
I’ve always been a big fan of Callaway clubs (my current set mostly consists of Callaways!) and the Rogue is no different. I’ve tried various brands when it comes to Hybrids, and my favourites are always Callaways. It isn’t my brand loyalty either, there is just a great feeling that comes with a Callaway hybrid that I love over their competitors. For example, I really struggle to enjoy a TaylorMade Hybrid!
The Best Budget Driving Iron You Can Buy
The market place for driving irons isn’t quite as “sexy” at the moment as hybrids. All of the big brands are creating a tonne of Hybrids, and we even saw TaylorMade recently try to convince some of their top pros to switch to a hybrid (although, some would argue that was all marketing fluff…as they didn’t use them on the course!)
However, I’ve picked two options for you as some good budget driving irons you could add to your bag if you’ve decided you seem like more of a driving iron player.
Low Cost Driving Iron
Lazrus Driving Iron
Lazrus is probably a brand you’ve never heard of before, but trust me, they’re an absolute diamond in the rough. Just take a look at some of the reviews of the clubs online, they’re receiving some really high praise. The main thing is, they’re an absolute steal for the price. They have a similar design to cavity back Callaways (possibly why I like them so much?). I noticed they have a really high ball flight, which is great for me on a driving iron, as it can be difficult to get the ball in the air.
Mid Cost Driving Iron
If you can push your budget a little higher, then grab the Cleveland. Wow, what a club. Not only does it look really good, it also performs well. I genuinely think this club would change the mind of anyone who thinks hybrids are more forgiving. I think this club is one of my favourites that I play with on a regular basis, to the point that I will sometimes use this instead of my driver when the driver just isn’t doing what I want it to do (this happens a lot for me…)