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3 Iron Spot: what club is a must? Hybrid, utility, or driving iron.


LowAndLeft32
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I’m in need of something in the place of the three iron. Home course has two long par 3s and one tight short par 4 where I need something off the tee. This to me is a tricky spot. So many options and there seems to be little consensus. I’m leaning utlityish club but no real preference. Looking to see if the group has a club(s) that are favored. Thx. 
 

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You’ll hear all those options mentioned. For me it’s almost always a 20, 21 degree hybrid. I love the versatility and how good they are out of the rough and fairway. Driving iron is better off the tee however in most cases.  Some will say hybrids are hooky but I’m not a believer in that. The swing produced the hooks. 

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I am not one that follows trends.  Even at 70yrs old, I still rely on a 2 iron along with 3i-PW, SW & LW, and 4wd and Driver.  I use the 2i on short Par 4's and 2i-4i on long Par 3's, depends on conditions.  I may pull the 4wd instead.  My current bag setup gets me around anything under 6700yds.

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5 minutes ago, mogc60 said:

You’ll hear all those options mentioned. For me it’s almost always a 20, 21 degree hybrid. I love the versatility and how good they are out of the rough and fairway. Driving iron is better off the tee however in most cases.  Some will say hybrids are hooky but I’m not a believer in that. The swing produced the hooks. 

I echo that sentiment above. Hybrids have more versatility from rough and poor lies. They will also land softer into par 5s. Utility clubs are better off tee. 

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Driver: :callaway-small: Rogue ST 9 💎💎💎 Ventus Black 6TX 

Fairway: :titelist-small: TSi2 16.5 Ventus Blue 8X

Driving Iron: New Level NLU-01 2 Iron Ventus Black 10TX 

Irons: :callaway-small: Apex TCB 5-AW TI X100 :titelist-small: T100 4 Iron TI X100
Wedges: :vokey-small: 54.12 X100 and 60.08 Modus 125 Wedge 

Putter: Lajosi DD201 

:titelist-small: Pro V1x

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Sounds like you're mostly concerned with tee shots -- try a game improvement 3 iron with the same shaft as the rest of your irons.  Or even SGI -- just something that's at least one level "easier" than the rest of your irons.

 

When I was playing more, I had a set of TM R7 irons with PX 6.0 shafts, and the 3 from that set was one of my favorite tee clubs.  Off the ground, I couldn't do much more than hit a low runner with it, but off the tee it was phenomenal.

 

Similarly, I knew a guy that was close to a scratch, played some sort of forged cavity back irons in most of his set (think MP60 or similar), and for years he carried an old Big Bertha 2 iron -- huge sole, easy to get in the air, and he could just hammer it.

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I have always had issues with a standard hybrid and have been playing a driving iron the last few years. I recently dropped the TM P790 UDI 2iron for a Mizuno Pro 225 3iron and have been very very pleased. I was looking for a fairway finder that I could either step on or take some off and I always had issues with the p790 UDI other than just ripping it. The new 3iron is anywhere from 220-240 and incredibly forgiving for me. 

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I somehow play all three, 17* UW, 19 driving utility iron, and 22* hybrid. 

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Ping 425 LST 9 Big Minus* - Veylix 788 Rome X/Cally APEX UW 17* - Veylix 888 Rome X 

Exotics C722 Ti-Utility 19* - Veylix 988 Rome X/Gen2 4 Hybrid - PX Evenflow Blue HC 6.5 

TourEdge EXS 220 5i - MCA Tensei CK White Hybrid 105 TX/PXG 6-PW Gen1 0311T - CTAPER X 

Vokey 50* - Modus 125X/Edel SMS 54 C-Grind - Modus 125X/TM MG3 TW 60* - TT TI S200

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For the reasons you mentioned I would stay away from a driving iron. If however you would like to expand the versatility of that club spot to run out when fairways are hard/baked, flight shots low under the wind, or hit low shots under trees/hazards, I would strongly consider it.

Driver: Taylormade M2 9.5* at 7.5* w/ Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec Blue 7S @45.5".

3W: Taylormade M2 15* w/ Aldila RIP 70.

5W: Taylormade M6 18* w/ Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec Red 7S.

Irons:

lofts: 3i: 20* 4i: 24* 5i: 28* 6i: 32* 7i: 36* 8i: 40* 9i: 44* PW: 48*

Miura Retro Tournament blades 3i, 4i, and 7i. Miura MB-001 5i, 6i, 8i-PW. Oak doweled, DG X100 Tiger Stepped 1/4”

Wedges: Fourteen RM4 56* DG X7, Miura 59* At 61* DG X7

Putter: Taylormade Spider

Grips: Golf pride MCC+4.

Ball: Snell MTB-X

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Hybrid,  mainly for gapping purposes.

 

3 iron just doesn’t fly far enough, 5 wood goes a touch too far. A 7 wood goes too high for the region I play most of my golf in.

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Ping G425 22 - Graphite Design Tour AD DI 85X

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Really depends.  Driving iron will come off lower and have a flatter trajectory and roll out more than the hybrid equivalent.  Go with hybrid if you want something that launches higher and stops faster. 

Edited by phizzy30
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TM Tour Issue Rescue 11 TP Deep Face Ghost Proto 16* - Ventus Black HB 9TX

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New Level 623-M 5-PW - MMT 125 TX

54* Miura HB - KBS 610 S+, 58* Miura - KBS Tour Black

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If tee shots and par 3's (both shots that you get to tee it up) are your two main concerns, then I'd pick a iron/utility/driving iron if you are a better ball striker or person with a naturally higher ball flight and I'd go with the hybrid if you tend to want a touch more forgiveness (or the par 3's are all carry) or are have a lower ball flight normally.  

 

If par 5 scoring was more of the focus, the 7w would make more sense.  It really does just boil down to what you want the club to do and what weakness you'd like it to help with a bit.  

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Rogue Speed LS TD w/Rogue White

Big Bertha Mini 12° w/Rogue White

16° DI w/KBS Tour Hybrid
X Forged UT 19° & 23° w/PX
Apex Pro '19 6-A w/PX
X Forged Jaws 58° w/PX

PM Grind 1.0 64° w/PX
White Hot #5 Center Shafted
[img]http://pxc86358mpx1hyn3hdxen4o1.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/171831.png[/img]

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I have recently gone over to a Hybrid, before that I had a 3 iron in the bag and loved it. It took me a long time to find a Hybrid that gave me the accuracy of an iron but the versatility that you get with the Hybrid design. It was worth trying as many options you can get your hands on, you might find something you just click with. 

Edited by craz-e
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Driver = Titleist TSR2 Tour AD IZ Stiff 

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Irons = 4 iron Callaway TCB DG S300

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Wedges = Bettinardi HLX 3.0 51*

                  Taylormade MG3 TW 56*

                  Nike SV Tour 60*

Putter = Odyssey White Hot OG 1WS

Ball = Bridgestone Tour B RXS or Taylormade Tour Response Stripe 

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You're gonna get a ton of different opinions, just like everything in here so far.  What you need to do is hit all three (if you can), and compile numbers (if you can) that will serve the purpose you want for the long par 3's and tight par 4 your aiming this spot in the bag at. I would vote hybrid due to the ability to launch higher, potentially generate more spin, and for better use on shots out of the rough/areas you didn't describe a need.  Get the right shaft and they don't go left. 

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I agree with @zdtallan and @GoTime.  Testing will be the only way to know though what works for you. 
 

I use the Apex UW 17* and 21* due to their versatility. These clubs are great from tee, deck or rough. I use them in the scenarios you described in your original post. I was using hybrids, but the Apex UW is difficult to beat. The Apex UW can be long so the 19* has been successful for others in this scenario as well. 
 

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New Level NLU with the right shaft.   Great off the tee and can be picked off of the deck easily. 

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Taylormade M3 4HL Hzrdus Yellow 63g

New Level 18* KBS Tour Prototype 95X

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Given you're asking for horse-for-course, your best bet is to decide which is more important… landing the par-3 with a descent angle favourable to holding those greens, or a par-4 with some rollout.

 

I'm going to assume based on your post two things: 1) 3i isn't ideal because you can't hit it high enough, and 2) you're after some dispersion help since you're describing 3 tee shots.

 

The correct answer depends on how high you hit a ball. If you're trying to hold a green at that distance, ideally you're going to want around 47º descent angle, probably. So if you were hitting a 3i and it was coming down like that, you hit 3i. That's not what you're seeing, so likely you're getting rollout and no hold. So depending on your hybrid, utility, or fairway wood, the height would be the easiest indicator. A 7-wood is the opposite end. You might hit it too high, but probably not as discussed. If you prefer a hybrid, great, but get a shaft flex and type that allows higher flight. You'll probably want to make sure your spin is also a little higher, since you want to land it.

 

These attributes will be opposite other situations… so for example I would carry a 3w if you're going to have a 7w. The 3w will roll out, the 7w will not (generally).

 

Avoid "driving irons", but some hollow utility irons can also do the trick. A "fat-bottomed" 3-iron SGI style might work if you prefer irons. I always play a "chunky" 4-iron for those reasons. Anyhow, you'll need to experiment. I'm going to guess you'll end up with a 19ish hybrid with a softer flex than you normally play, but let the data guide you. Good luck.

Edited by karstens_ghost
low -> soft
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It's one of the more finicky "confidence" clubs so you'll likely have to try a bunch of things to narrow down likes and dislikes. After fiddling with that spot a ton over the last year i've settled on back on the original X-forged UT simply because it does everything reasonably well while being the most accurate dispersion wise. I like the fractionally beefier utility irons in that spot. A little friendlier looking than a P790 or U500, but smaller than the the U505's or Srixon U85. The ZX Utility is as big as I like to see which is great for a 2i tee club, but something just a little more compact in the next slot down. 

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Currently playing a 19° hy and a 18° udi, then to a 22° 4i.  Thought process is the hybrid will fly 200+ and stop and the udi will go 195 and run out. Only playing 3 wedges Currently. 46°pw, 50°gw, 56°sw.

Mizuno Stz-220 9.5° PX Hzrdus Smoke Blue Rdx 60 6.0 

Callaway Diablo Edge Tour 15° Diamana Kai'li 80 x5ct s-flex

Callaway Diablo Edge Tour 18° Diamana S 83 x5ct x-flex

Taylormade TP Udi 18° Kbs C-taper lite s-flex

Bridgestone Tour-B X-CB 4-PW Project X LZ 6.0

Cobra MIM 50°, 56° V grind KBS Hi-REV 2.0 125 s-flex

Toulon Chicago Stroke Lab

Maxfli Tour X

Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

Bagboy Nitron 

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I have 3 clubs in between driver and my 4 iron: 

 

King Tec Hybrids - you will not find a more adjustable hybrid on the market….. they are also anti left. I hook hybrids like crazy. 

 

i have the 21, 19 and 17. Each loft is +/- 1.5* and there are three adjustable weights on the sole.  They are the same size as the callaway UW. So an oversized hybrid or undersized wood. 

 

the 21 plays a 21

19 down 1 at 18

17 down 1.5* at 15.5

 

I currently only carry the 15.5 and 21.  I swap these in and out of the bag. The 18 is perfect when I am carrying mini driver. 
 

They really let you dial in the top of your bag. 
 

Check out the TXG review on them. They really show how the weights and loft adjustments are used to manipulate ball flight. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, zdtallan said:

You're gonna get a ton of different opinions, just like everything in here so far.  What you need to do is hit all three (if you can), and compile numbers (if you can) that will serve the purpose you want for the long par 3's and tight par 4 your aiming this spot in the bag at. I would vote hybrid due to the ability to launch higher, potentially generate more spin, and for better use on shots out of the rough/areas you didn't describe a need.  Get the right shaft and they don't go left. 

That. For me the best club for the job is a 16 degree 2 Hybrid, but what works for me, or anyone else, doesn't mean it will work for you. You might as well be asking people which will taste better to you, chicken, fish or beef.

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Cleveland Launcher Halo Hybrids 16, 19, 22 degree

Cleveland Launcher HB Irons 5-SW

Cleveland CBX 2 Wedge 60 degree

All with graphite shafts, JumboMax Ultra Lite size S

Taylor Made Daddy Long Legs putter, Winn Dri-Tac Jumbo Lite Pistol Putter Grip

Callaway Supersoft

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