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.