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Curious for some feedback on playing a 3 and 4 iron vs 3H and 4H.

 

I currently play ping i210s but did 5-U with irons and playing a 3&4 hybrid. I absolutely love my irons but I dread hitting the hybrids....I hate them off the tee, hate them off the ground, etc. I often find myself willing to sacrifice distance and take the 5 iron out instead of the hybrids. The hybrids launch high and get up quickly but I feel like I have way less control for some reason. I’m sure 99% of its in my head at this point.

 

Typically you hear those long irons are for real players and the hybrids are designed for people like myself but I’m curious what others experience is.

 

I took a long break from golf a while back and am working my way back into it. I used to play about a 6-8 handicap and am probably a 12 right now as I get back into it. I’d say my overall stroke is getting close to what it was but I’ve lost and am struggling to find my wedge and chipping from before the break. Nonetheless, I’d go try a 3-4 iron at the store but all their i210 demos are 7 iron.

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I've been playing golf for a long time. Used to carry a 1-iron. Had a 2-iron in my bag for years. First time i hit a hybrid, I thought it was cheating. They are just soooo much easier to hit than

The main reasons people struggle with long irons is lack of swing speed and inconsistent strike. Tour pros are playing GI long irons to get more height/forgiveness but only here are people convinced

Unless you swing the club pretty darn hard (over 100 mph with driver), for me it's less about hybrids vs. long irons but more about hybrid or modern/driving/game improvement long iron vs. traditional/

Gotta go with what you like. Hybrids should be played like irons in terms of ball position, etc. I'm assuming they're as well fit to you as your irons. If you're already doing that and you don't like them then there's no reason you shouldn't just order the irons to match what you have. When hybrids came out they were pitched as being universally better, but a lot of people can't get comfortable with them or spend years of trial and error to find the one that works for them.

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Im completely backwards when it comes to hybrids. I struggle to launch the ball of the deck although most people’s issue with hybrids is that they go to high. I do like them off the tee compared to a 3/4 iron, but I have more success launching the ball from the fairway with long irons for whatever reason. But even at a 6 handicap consistently striking a cavity back 3/4 iron is a low percentage shot. Personally I’ve had my best results playing some of the new utility irons or more beefy game improvement long irons which I’ve found to be a happy medium.

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The main reasons people struggle with long irons is lack of swing speed and inconsistent strike. Tour pros are playing GI long irons to get more height/forgiveness but only here are people convinced that THEY hit their long irons better.

In general, hybrid fly farther, fly higher, are more forgiving on slight mishits, and are more versatile out of a variety of lies. However, they are often less accurate on reasonably well struck shots from the tee or a good lie in the fairway. So there is a trade off, and I do agree that everyone has a breaking point. Personally, 25 degrees is about the point for me. There are sometimes that I wish I had a hybrid (rough, elevated green, etc) but on par 3s and from the fairway I found that the hybrid was worse than an iron.

But most of the time people have convinced themselves that they can't hit a club or don't want to for a variety of reasons. They come to these boards to hear what they want to hear, and then decide the traditional 3 iron is better for them when it's not. If you were stuck with the clubs you have for the next year and had to figure out how to shoot the best scores possible, 90%+ of the problems would go away.

Just for reference, at one point Tiger struggled with a bigger headed, longer/lighter driver than his 43.5 inch, steel shafted 975D. But the technology / designs of a newer club were far superior, and he learned how to hit it....

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I've been playing golf for a long time. Used to carry a 1-iron. Had a 2-iron in my bag for years. First time i hit a hybrid, I thought it was cheating. They are just soooo much easier to hit than long irons. They launch higher and land softer. The longest iron in my bag. currently, is a 4-iron, and that is going to be replaced with a hybrid shortly.

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When I was playing a hybrid with a 3i the Hybrid was about an inch to 1.5” longer and that did very well but eventually the little demon WRXers got in my head and convinced me to hate hybrids but the 3 hybrid and 3i were both in my bag and covered different yardages

I ended up just putting in a hybrid shaft (cut down to 3i length) in my 3i and that helped a lot. Maybe think about buying a g710 3/4i and play with that. It’s all about what you like.

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u510 4, AP2 6-8-PW
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@agolf1 said: "The main reasons people struggle with long irons is lack of swing speed and inconsistent strike. Tour pros are playing GI long irons to get more height/forgiveness but only here are people convinced that THEY hit their long irons better."
And, if you look in the bags at Champions Tour events you will often see multiple hybrids in place of long irons.
I split the difference on this. I carry both a 4H and a 4i... The 4i got refitted with a hybrid shaft (see below) and it launches quite well now. "...hooks uncontrollably..." What type of hybrid head have you tried? As an 8 HDCP, you probably square up well and would suffer if you played hybrids with too much offset. If you try a square-face or "tour" head hybrid - these have minimal offset - you might find the leftness disappears. FYI, the Tour Edge CBX hybrids are billed as being left-proof.

What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2020)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Tour Edge CB Pro Tungsten 4i-9i

Wedges:  Calla MD3: 48°, 54°... MD4: 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced)

Ball: Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

For details see:  Pending (need protocol to embed file list).

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I like my 4 utility... it has a graphite shaft in it like my hybrid and gives me a different option when I don't want to hit a hybrid (need a low ball flight)... I'm still working on finding the right balance between the two and which is optimal in which situation... but I like the combination. I think a utility iron (if you get along with them) is a smart addition to the bag... it's more iron than wood, where a hybrid is more wood than iron... at least, that's how I think of it... I could have also probably gone shorter, steel shaft in the utility and had a completely different profile, but oh well...

As of 6/5/20

9.5 Cobra LTD Pro with Aldila Silver 110

13 Degree Adams Speedline with Aldila Alpha 

18 Degree Adams A12 with Proforce V2

4 Utility Sub70 699u 22 degree Proforce V2

5 iron Sub70 639 CB with S400

6-PW Adams CMB with Project X 6.0

50, 54, 60 Vokeys

Tank Counter Balance #7 

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I tried a Mavrik Pro 17* hybrid today and the first shot was a snap hook! Haven’t seen one of those is a handful of years.

I have a i210 custom 3 iron to extend and I’m glad I have it; just more precision and feel than my G410 17* crossover. I actually cancelled my order for the 20* and 23* replacements.

You should check UDIs outs. They have more iron like gearing characteristics and spin as much to hybrid or fairway wood.

5db08111-0cc2-4867-83ed-5d9da570e159.jpeg

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Long irons for me,

90/10 = 90% of the time I hit them great, the way I'm playing the shot (3 & 4 irons) 10% = just a bad shot

Hybrids

50/50 = 50% total confidence and hit the way I am playing it, more distance than long irons (2, 3 & 4 hybrid) 50% = dreaded left, typical misses of hybrids off the tee or fairway.

I go with the percentages and my confidence is in the long irons (sometimes 2 and all the time 3 & 4 irons). I don't always get the distance with a well hit hybrid, but way more consistent overall.

For now I use long irons, but I can see the time coming where I will need to go the hybrid or fairway wood route as the older I get the distance lacks.

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I have just gotten back into the game and I was once an 8 h.c. and I hope with practice to get there this year. I estimate my driver swing would be 105. I generally hit my long irons better than my short iron plus I hook the ball on occasion, with limits me from using fairway woods that look remotely closed. For those reasons I have never been interested in hybrids but after reading this forum and seeing a lot of pros doing it(like last weeks pga winner) I decided to buy a component 2 iron at 16 degrees because the images clearly showed the face was square or maybe a little open. I pulled the head off my 2 iron and put the hybrid on with a 1" extension and played this weekend. I haven't been hitting the ball too well as of late, a lot of low and left hooks but with the hybrid when I made a good swing it went high and straight. In fact I never could hit my 2 iron this high, not even close. I used it on one hole with a 1 club wind at my back and hit it 245 easily. I would get a 4 hybrid (I'm a minimalist) if it weren't for the fact I just bought a set with a 4 iron. I have a Heater F35 with the top face line in line with the inside of the shaft - it looks like a PT-15 3w.

 

Macgregor M-38 9.5 88g* - Mondeo 5w 110g - Heater BMT-3 4i 96g  - Acer XV Tour 6i-9i, G, S, 95g  - Maltby LW - Bionik 105. * Installed shaft weight, all shafts steel except driver.

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I'm a HH (high handicapper) who plays a conventional 3-iron, and am adding a 2-iron to my set. Why? I'm so erratic with my woods I generally don't want to hit them off the tee, especially here in the Monterey area where the courses are so short, an iron off the tee is plenty. IMO incremental distance and launch angle is overrated; it's really about what you can keep on the short grass.

I do intend to get some lessons to help with my woods, but with the COVID stuff going on, that's not an option quite yet.

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Unless you swing the club pretty darn hard (over 100 mph with driver), for me it's less about hybrids vs. long irons but more about hybrid or modern/driving/game improvement long iron vs. traditional/blade long iron.

The reason being the modern golf ball. If you played balata for years, this should all make sense. It's about spin (or lack thereof).

I'm like a perfect case study for this phenomenon. Played to a 9 hcp circa 2000 (i.e., introduction of the Pro V1), had kids, played literally once a year for 17 years, started up again three years ago, back to an 8.5 hcp.

I don't hit the ball hard. Driver speed ~95 mph. For many years played 1972 Hogan Apex 3-9 irons.

The two big shocks coming back to the game avidly and getting used to the new balls (and drivers, once I upgraded from my 975D, state of the art when I stopped in 2000) were:

Holy S* I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW FAR I'M DRIVING IT.Why don't my 3, 4, and 5 irons get up in the air? (and remember, those are weak lofts on those 1972 Hogans)It's all about the ball. Playing high-spin wound balata balls, even with my slow clubhead speeds I could launch my long irons. Not so with modern balls.

So I'm slowly shifting. Have some Ping i25 hybrids that I like. Agree that they can be hooky and that the worst miss with those is generally more dangerous than worst miss with long iron. Sometimes still have the 4i in the bag but generally only up to 5i and then 22 deg. hybrid. Have to set the hybrids up a bit open/weak at address to avoid the hook.

Moved on from the 1972 Apexes to Mizuno MP68s but I am finally accepting that as much confidence as I feel with a blade, with my swing speed and the modern ball, that's a dumb choice. None of the slower swingers on the PGA tour use blades.

Hoping to find an iron set with a little more mass low down that will be better all the way through the bag and allow me to play irons up through the 4i. Though many modern 5 irons have a loft closer to my 1972 Apex's 3 iron than to the 5 iron, but that's another topic.

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DJ had 2 hybrids in his bag yesterday. Just saying. I have Callaway X2 hot hybrids and they are kinda old. I go through periods when I hook the hybrid but right now they are playing pretty well. I can hit my 4 hybrid both a 5 and 4 iron distance so that is good. The 3 hybrid is very consistent yardage wise. If they need to be replaced I have hit the latest Callaway, Taylor Made, and Ping hybrids and liked them all. The new Apex was pretty easy to go hard at and not hook which was cool. I will put a 5 iron and 7 wood in the bag when the hybrids go off, but they are gathering dust for the last 3 months.

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It all just depends on your swing and what inspires confidence when you’re standing over the ball.

My 19* 3H launches low if I want to and goes a long way. Srixon U45 with a 70g stiff Kuro Kage shaft. It’s amazing off the tee and fairway. Good out of the rough if I need to cover yardage. It’s no magic pill, but yes, it’s easy to play.

My 3i (Mizuno MP-H5) with an 80g stiff Diamana shaft launches very high and covers a different yardage. I can hit it low into the wind and it spins less than the hybrid, though.

For me, the 3H is my utility club. The 3i is a lower percentage club but better in the wind.

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I love hybrids BUT if my game allowed, it would be long irons. Nothing looks better to me or feels as good as a well hit long iron.

Livin' proof that Lefties are not naturally talented.

Driver Callaway Epic Flash 10.5 set to 9.5
3 Wood Epic Flash set to 16 degrees
3-5 Hybrids Epic Flash 18 20 23 degrees
6 hybrid Big Bertha 26 degree 
7-AW Callaway Mavrik Irons 
50 degree GW Vokey SM7
56 degree SW Vokey SM7
Odyssey White Hot V-Line Fang

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I’ve gone through phases where I hit my 3 and 4 iron much better than hybrids and I’ve also been on the other end of the spectrum. For the last 5 years or so I’ve played a 3 and 4 hybrid and my longest iron is a 5. For me, I am now much more confident with a hybrid in my hand. My distance is longer with a hybrid and I find them more forgiving. My biggest gripe about hybrids is distance control. It seems like there is much more variability in how far the ball goes with my hybrids vs my irons. I also sometimes have consistency issues with trajectory on my hybrids. One shot will be a nice towering ball that lands softly and sometimes I will get a much lower shot that will get lots of roll out. For now, the benefits of hybrids outweigh the cons for me, so that’s what’s in my bag.

Ping G410 9* Alta CB
Ping G410 15* 3 Wood Alta CB
Ping G410 19* & 22* Hybrid Alta CB
Ping G 5-UW N.S. Pro Modus3 105
Ping Glide 3.0 Eye 54*, 58*
Ping Anser Milled 0
[url="http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/1378338-pkshooter-witb-2016-all-ping/"]WITB Link[/url]

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Confidence has almost more influence over your strike.

 

After using a 3H/4H for the past few years, you can't pay me enough to try to hit a ball 190 from a shaggy rough lie with say my set 4i. I have so little confidence in that shot under pressure with an iron.

 

Cutting them down to normal length also helped with dispersion: I didn't need the 4H going 20y past the 5i...aha, now its almost 4i length much better :)

 

I venture that most amateurs, if they played 100 shots with each club say a 4H and a 4I, the 4H is going to give them the higher strokes gained.

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I find the adjustable hybrids help with gapping as well when matching up with the your set of irons. Or as bvanlieu says cutting down.

Livin' proof that Lefties are not naturally talented.

Driver Callaway Epic Flash 10.5 set to 9.5
3 Wood Epic Flash set to 16 degrees
3-5 Hybrids Epic Flash 18 20 23 degrees
6 hybrid Big Bertha 26 degree 
7-AW Callaway Mavrik Irons 
50 degree GW Vokey SM7
56 degree SW Vokey SM7
Odyssey White Hot V-Line Fang

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I have gone with 3 iron hybrid or driving irons for my setup i carry a 3,4 and 5 iron in a UDI/GAPR setup love them. Then my irons go 6-PW, it works for me gives me that extra i want from the forgiveness factor and good distance.

This is not for everyone, it is something you have to be willing to by into, i love people that look at bags and judge without seeing them played.

TM SIM Max 10.5 UST V 2 
TM SIM Max 15 UST V2 66g
TM SIM 19 Aldila RIP Alpha 6
TM GAPR Mid 4 iron 20 Fujikara Fuel
TM GAPR Mid 5 iron 23 Aldila RIP 
TM P790 6 Nippon Modus 3 130, Black 7-PW Nippon Modus 3 130
TM xFT TP 50 Nippon Pro WV115
TM Milled Grind Black Wedge 54 Nippon Pro Black WV115
TM Milled Grind Satin 58 Nippon Pro WV115
TM Rossa Ghost Tour AGSI+ FO-74

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If all specs are equal, hybrids will generally launch higher and retain more ball speed on mishits when compared to long irons.

There's a few good videos on youtube covering this exact topic - TXG & Mark Crossfield are particularly good at testing the differences without resorting to clichés.

As others have said on here a lot of it comes down to your speed, quality of strike & the conditions that you would normally play in

If you're a high speed player that has no issues with ball flight & generally strike it well I guess a fair rule of thumb these days would be to go up to a 4 iron before considering hybrids

If your speed is lower & strike could be better, consider hybrids. Lots of hybrids. My dad has just replaced his 5 iron with a hybrid and cannot believe the difference. Definitely don't be scared of hybrids. More and more guys on tour are using them for good reason.

Driver - Taylormade SIM 10.5 Proforce v2 70g x stiff

3 wood - Titleist 910f 15 Proforce v2 80g x stiff

Hybrid- Titleist 910h 19 Motore Speeder Tour Issue 8.8 stiff

Irons - Mizuno 919 Tour 4 - PW KBS Tour stiff

Wedges - Titleist SM7 51 / 55 / 60 DG wedge flex

Putter - Yes! Callie (most the time)

Ball - Titleist Pro v 1

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Just wanted to stop by and say, well thought out statement. Do check out the maltby TS1's. May be right up your alley. Lots of CG low, player profile (and more workability) but plenty of forgiveness...not to mention a new set is as cheap as a used ebay set of the OEM's and they perform as well or better...(type TS2 into the search bar of this forum to find a thread that covers all things maltby...very good read)....trust me, don't discount it out of hand...

 

good luck!

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I am going to be replacing my 4i with a 22* hybrid, If I'm lucky, it will cover both 4 and 5i distance so I can carry an extra wedge...

I am only doing this after I prove to myself I can hit a 4i relatively consistently. like 60-70% of the time. I'll still go hybrid, because I would prefer 75-90%.

I also completely agree with the TXG and Mark Crossfield video assessments mentioned above. Both those guys (especially TXG) are no nonsense.

my $0.02

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I would toy around with it to try and find what you're doing wrong. A lot of people swing too hard with hybrids purely out of instinct. You really don't need to put in much effort to get the same launch and distance as with an iron. So try mellowing your swing out. That's probably one issue.

A lot of people also treat hybrids like fairway metals and attempt to sweep them (or even hit up on them on the tee). Try making a more assertive, downward blow. Focus on letting the club do the work of getting the ball airborne.

And as a last resort you might try installing a steel shaft for more control or even a more forgiving alternative like a driving iron. There are a lot of options these days.

SIM (10.5o) (Tensei Pro Org.)
TS2 4w (17o)

M6 7w (21o)

z785 (4-Pw)
SM8 52-F / 56-F / 60-S
Newport 2 Select

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