Hybrids versus Irons. It seems like every fitting we conduct we end up with the discussion about when our clients should switch out his/her four iron for a hybrid, or something like that. It was not all that long ago when not many golfers had hybrid clubs in their bags. Now, everyone has at least one. With the majority of golfers we polled looking for new irons, what are the tell-tale signs you should switch out an iron for a hybrid?
First, if you are losing elevation and/or distance with your longest iron in your bag, it is time to switch to a hybrid. We sell very few sets to “mature” golfers that have a 4 iron in the bag, and a lot don’t even have a 5 iron. In general, you will gain launch angle and distance with an equivalent numbered hybrid versus an iron. The hybrid also should be easier to hit out of the rough, off of hard fairways, and off the tee.
Second, if you are inconsistent in ball striking with your longer irons, you should switch to a hybrid. This almost follows on the heels of my first comment. Once you start losing distance with your long irons, you start swing harder and that creates the inconsistent contact. Time to switch out to a hybrid.
But what is you already have a hybrid and cannot hit it very well? Chances are it is a stock club with a shaft that is too light, too soft of flex, and maybe even too long. Time to check it out at a qualified clubfitter and let us show you how to improve your ball striking, distance and accuracy.
And, for most golfers, switching out a fairway wood, like a 5 wood, for a long hybrid is a bad idea. The reason is that the long hybrid, while it has an equivalent loft of say 18 or 19 degrees, is a shorter club with a different design that will actually cause a lower ball flight. If you hit your 4 iron 200+ yards, go for it. If not, time to check with your clubfitter to solve the problem with the fairway wood rather than create another one!
So, which hybrids should you choose? We have tested so many hybrids and find that, again, you must like the look of the hybrid in order for you to feel confident standing over the ball. Matte black finish, glossy look, short toe, wide body, all come into play. We like PXG, Tour Edge, Callaway, TaylorMade and Mizuno. Each have a different look and some (PXG, Callaway Big Bertha, TaylorMade M1 , Mizuno JPX 900) are adjustable so you can change the loft to add or decrease height and distance. Another trick for distance control is to make a particular club slightly longer which allows you to choke down on the club for shorter distances.
So, have a very frank discussion with yourself and your clubfitter before you buy that new set of irons. Make sure you have the RIGHT clubs in your bag!