Long Irons are Fossils
It's a terrible feeling to have 200 yards to a green over water when your only option is to hit a long iron that you rarely hit solidly. What's more, when you do catch it solidly the trajectory is so low that your chances of stopping the ball on the green are slim. Long irons are only good for hitting the ball low or punching out of the woods and lots of clubs can do that. The 2,3 and 4 irons are useless to the average golfer. They force golfers to change their swings in order to get the ball up in the air and the results are rarely good.
Hybrids are the Answer
Luckily, there is an easy solution to this problem. Throw out your long irons and get yourself a hybrid. Many PGA Tour players no longer carry 3 or 4 irons. The difficulty level of hitting a 24 degree hybrid versus hitting a 3 iron isn't even a comparison. Your worst shot with a hybrid will often be as good as your best shot with a long iron. Hybrids have a lower center of gravity which encourages a much higher ball flight than long irons. They are easier to hit, more versatile, and will save you strokes without having to change your swing.
- Lower Center of Gravity - Forcing the ball up in the air with a long iron is one of the most difficult things to do. The lower center of gravity on hybrids sends the ball up into the air with ease.
- More Forgiving - Unlike long irons, you don't have to strike a hybrid perfectly to hit a good shot. Slightly off center contact will still result in high soft shots. This added height helps hybrids carry the ball further and land so much softer than long irons.
- Versatility - Hybrids can be hit out of the fairway, out of the rough, off of downhill lies, uphill lies, and they can even be used to chip in certain situations.
- Graphite Shafts - There is a reason no one uses a steel shaft in their driver. The technology in graphite shafts is far beyond that of steel. All hybrids come with a graphite shaft which increases both height and distance.
The Sweeping Swing
Retailers and club reps will tell you that hitting a hybrid is like hitting a 7 iron. This is FALSE. If you hit down on a hybrid like you would a 7 iron it will be very difficult to hit straight. Do not use the same swing as your 7 iron to hit a hybrid or high lofted fairway metal. Instead, sweep the ball off the ground taking a very small divot if any. Your ball position should about an inch or two inside your left heel and your swing should feel very shallow.
Hybrid or 5W?
For the average golfer, it is easy to get caught up in the new clubs and marketing campaigns that club companies put on. The underlying truth is that from 200 yards you want a club that can go straight and up in the air. That's it. You're not trying to knock down the flag, but you want to be confident you can hold the green. The last thing you want is a club that can go too far or is inconsistent. For some, hybrids can do this and for others it's a 5 wood or 7 wood. But which one is for you?
- What's Your Handicap? - The higher your handicap, the more you'll want to lean towards a 5 wood or 7 wood. This isn't to say that a higher handicap player can't hit an 18 degree hybrid, but a 5 wood or 7 wood will probably be easier. Using a higher lofted hybrid such as a 24 or 28 degree would be more suitable for a player who struggle to hit any irons.
- Length - The 5-wood is comparable to the 2 Hybrid in loft. But the 2 hybrid is typically 40 inches in length, while the 5-wood is 42 inches. This means that the 5-wood will go a little bit further, but it will give up a little bit of accuracy.
- Appearance - 5-woods have a head that is much bigger than a hybrid. Hybrids are more slender and have the appearance of an iron. It is really personal preference on which is better for you.
Playing From The Rough
If you have every tried hitting a 4 iron from some thick rough you know that most of the time you will roll it. This is because the club hits grass first and the resistance shuts the face down, resulting in a low and muffled shot more times than not. But hitting a hybrid from the rough is now easier than ever. The bottom of the clubs are designed to have a lower center of gravity and stay square through impact. Instead of clubbing down to a 7 iron or 8 iron and letting the course get the best of you, grab your hybrid and advance the ball farther down the fairway setting up your next birdie.
Chipping with a Hybrid
As you watch golf on TV, one shot that the pros are playing more and more is a bump and run using their hybrid. This is a very easy shot that can minimize the amount of risk that comes with a standard chip.
- Position the ball close to the center of your stance and set your weight slightly more onto your left foot. Choke down on the grip far enough that you can take your putting stance comfortably when soling the club behind the ball.
- Make a swing similar to your putting action, but add a little more wrist motion to free up your swing through the ball. Avoid becoming too stiff, as that will cost you the feel for the distance. For longer chips, you can add a little forward knee movement, which will also help you make a free and relaxed stroke.
- Swing the club with a pendulum action, keeping the triangle formed by your arms and shoulders in place. This is the same motion recommended for putting, but with the extra wrist action added, particularly on the longer chips.
- Accelerate smoothly through the ball, rather than hitting at it. The loft of the club will lift the ball over the longer grass around the green and then let it roll smoothly on the putting surface. The rounded sole will prevent the club from digging into the ground and causing a fluffed chip.
Everyone can remember when having a 2-iron meant you were a great player. Because only great players could hit a 2-iron. That's not the case anymore. Hybrids and fairway metals are so much easier to hit than a long iron that even the pros are using them. It doesn't make any sense to struggle trying to get a 3-iron airborn. Instead try a hybrid and you won't look back. They launch higher, go farther, and stop quicker. Get your hybrid today.