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Forum Thread of the Day: “Anyone else ditching fairway woods for low lofted hybrids?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Crazy About Golf who has recently traded in his 3-wood in favor of his 16-degree hybrid. The reasons behind the move, according to Crazy About Golf is 

“I’m more comfortable hitting it off the deck and off the tee, and only seem to lose about 10 yards of distance compared to the 3-wood (assuming I strike the 3-wood perfectly). More often than not, I have a slight mishit on the 3-wood and end up short and or offline from where I would have otherwise been with the 16-degree hybrid. I’ve tried out a number of new fairway woods and haven’t yet found anything that has “WOWed” me. With hybrid clubs getting better and better, I’m not seeing much of a downside.”

Crazy About Golf asks fellow members what they make of his strategy and how the approach has worked out for those who have done the same, in what has turned into a very insightful discussion.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire thread and have your say in the discussion at the link below.

  • North Butte: “For quite a while my top-of-bag setup was a 10.5 driver (set to 12 degrees) then an 18-degree 5-Wood and then a 23-degree 4-Hybrid. In my most recent equipment “replacement cycle” (rhymes with “ho”) I’m using driver then 18 and 23-degree hybrids. I’m not sure I’m giving up any distance at all on average with the 41″ hybrid vs 42-1/2″ 5-Wood, and I am certainly gaining consistency and straightness. The trajectory is lower with the hybrid, but it isn’t like I was stopping 5-Wood shots on a dime either. Net benefit isn’t huge, but it’s been a worthwhile change. Plus my 18 and 23-degree hybrids are the same model with the same shaft, so that’s twice as many shots per round with near-identical clubs, helping me even more with consistency and confidence.”
  • gioguy21: “I’m currently on the fence about whether to keep my 3w in the bag or just use my epic 3i w/ hybrid shaft; b/c they’re close in terms of distance, and the driving iron is much more consistent and goes straight as an arrow. the 3w has the extra distance but, it is more workable and sometimes that is good – others it can be bad.”
  • jimb6golf: “Swapped out my 5 wood for a 2 hybrid. The hybrid is much easier to hit off the fairway and especially in the rough. Occasionally put the 5 wood back in on courses where I might use it off the tee a few times though.”
  • NRJyzr: “Currently playing with no 3w, only a TM Stage 2 Tour 2h between my irons and driver. Primarily playing one course that’s par 71 6100/6500 from whites/blues, there’s not much call for a 3w shot off the deck, and shorter tee shots can be handled with the 2h. Other nice aspects… The 2h can also more easily be shafted with a 100g+ shaft than a fairway wood; I’m using an NV105 iron shaft in it. I tend to prefer shorter club lengths than are currently “standard” in drivers and woods; the shorter hybrid length appeals to me greatly. Since making the switch, it’s been working quite well.”

Entire Thread: “Anyone else ditching fairway woods for low lofted hybrids?”

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. jc

    Oct 16, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    I used to not like my 3 wood, crooked and low….but after coming back from a stroke and not swinging as hard, I suddenly could hit it pretty well. Guess staying down is the trick. I also have a 4 wood 16.5 and it is almost the same disance so now I rotate my 3,4,5,7 woods with my hybrids….out of the rough, the hybrids are still the club to hit though.

  2. Eric

    Oct 7, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    I am just doing this. Picked up a Cobra Oversized Hybrid to replace fairway. Keep it playable!

  3. Webster

    Oct 1, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    This is really people just realizing that it’s easier to hit shorter length clubs; it’s not the fact that one is a called a FW wood and the other a Hybrid. It’s easier to make solid contact with a similarly lofted hybrid that is around 2″ shorter than the corresponding FW wood. I play my 3w(13.5) and 5w(18) at 41″ and 40″ which is pretty much hybrid lengths. And I play my 3H(20) and 4H(24) with at traditional iron lengths; 38.75″ and 38.25″.

    • Scratchscorer

      Oct 8, 2019 at 3:32 pm

      I agree. I put a 5-wood shaft in the 3-wood head and consistency improved. Cut Driver shaft down 1/2 and inch and got more consistent and longer because I hit the middle of the face more often.

  4. Brett

    Oct 1, 2019 at 10:38 am

    I went the other way. When I was a 20 handicap I “upgraded” from a fairway wood to a low lofted hybrid, rationalizing that it was easier to hit and gave up only moderate distance. In reality, I just wasn’t that good a holler and couldn’t consistently hit either. As I’ve lowered my handicap to a 10, I realize that it didn’t matter which club I hit, if I couldn’t hit the center of the club face consistently, then the result would suck. Learn how to hit the center of the club face and you’ll likely much prefer a fairway wood, which has a bigger, more forgiving face and greater distance and accuracy.

  5. Ray

    Oct 1, 2019 at 7:27 am

    I now use my 3 wood instead of a driver and use hybrids off the fairway.

  6. Alex

    Sep 30, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Bol playing a 7000 yard course with no 3 wood.

    • Joeoe

      Sep 30, 2019 at 8:55 pm

      Exactly my thoughts.If you want to stay a high handicapper then ditch the 3 wood

  7. John Ponterio

    Sep 30, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    Get a 4 hybrid and a 5 wood for off the tee

  8. Clay Reed

    Sep 30, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Exactly like the gentleman with screen name NRJyzr
    above. I get a lot of distance with 17 degree hybrid and 19 and 21. I have slightly less distance but the margin of error is almost zero. It takes a horrendous swing to hit a hybrid very bad or off track at all. I also have a bit of a steep swing and I have always been able to hit a driver off the deck with ease. So for anything freakishly long it’s driver, otherwise I am all about consistency and minimizing my bad swings. I been quoted at times as saying hybrids are almost like cheating. There’s not many places that I can’t hit one from and I tend to play hybrids that I derive a ton of feel from. So if I am off in some pine needles, sandy gravel, or any type of rough that’s not high grass there’s a high probability that I can hit a choke down hybrid off of the surface and have the end result be far better than any iron or wedge in my bag.

  9. golfraven

    Sep 30, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    The average Joe is better staying away from a 2 (17 degree) or even 3 (19 degree) hybrid. If you don’t swing it faster than 100 mphs than you will benefit from a 4 or 5 wood. Ditched my 3 hybrid and got a 21 degree one and a 17 degree 4 wood.

  10. Adam

    Sep 30, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Adam’s Idea Super Hybrids (before Taylormade buyout) are on ebay for less than $50 and they’re the best hybrid you’ll ever hit. I have 2 21, 2 19 and a 15 is on the way. No need for the 3 wood for me, I hit the 15 255

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Whats in the Bag

Cameron Champ WITB 2019

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cameron-champ-whats-in-the-bag-2019-witb-featured-

*Equipment accurate as of the Houston Open

Driver: Ping G410 LST (9.5 degrees, flat+, CG shifter in neutral, 5g face, 5g toe weight)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green 70G-6.5 TX (44.25″, tipped 1.5″, D4)

cameron-champ-witb-2019-driver

5-wood: Ping G410 (@17 degrees, flat standard, 5g face weight)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 95G-6.5 TX (41.75”, tipped 1.5″, D4)

cameron-champ-witb-2019-5-wood

Irons: Ping i500 [3-iron (38.75″, 21 degree loft, 1 degree up)], Ping iBlade [4-iron (1/2 degree flat, standard length)], Ping Blueprint [5-PW (1/2 degree flat, standard length)]
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 w/Cushin insert

cameron-champ-witb-2019-irons

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (50, 54 degrees) (1 degree flat), TaylorMade Hi-Toe (60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Ping PLD Prime Prototype (Stealth finish, straight arc, 34 3/8″, 19 degree lie, 2 degree loft, black shaft)
Grip: Ping PP58 Midsize Full Cord

Grips: Custom Lamkin Black 58R

Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV

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WRX Spotlight: EV3D putters

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We hear the buzz words “3D printed” all the time these days. It’s a newer technology that has shown to have lots of applications in other industries, but golf hasn’t been one of those until now. 3D printing a putter is a pretty new adventure, but EV3D Golf is showing that it is going to be much more common very soon.

EV3D Golf is bringing new putter designs to us golfers that CANNOT be made through traditional casting or milling. 3D printing is the process of creating a putter layer-by-layer, allowing any supported shape you can think of. Even hollow designs like EV3D’s signature lattice features!

This gives EV3D engineers the ability to create putters that push the limits of MOI, feel, and of course look. The intricate lattice design does more than just look really cool, it also helps move weight to the outside and rear of the putter, increasing MOI in all models. All EV3D putters are printed from a combination of 420 stainless steel and bronze. This alloy gives the putter its responsive feel, excellent durability, and the ability to offer 3 finishes. They also offer a ton of different hosel designs to fit your eye and putting stroke, all are 3D printed as well. EV3D even adds custom touches like text in the cavity, different site lines, and paint fill to make it your own. Right now they offer 6 different head shapes, but if none of those are what you are looking for, they will work with you to print your dream putter from scratch!

We got our hands on 2 models, the EV3D Golf Ares X and Hades, to take out to the course and putt with. In hand the first thing that grabs your eye’s attention is the intricate lattice work on the putters.

All you want to do is hold the putter closer to your face and see how the heck they did it. At the right angles you can actually see through that lattice structure, but we were told that debris getting stuck in there isn’t an issue. The next thing you will notice is the rough texture of the head. This is created by the process of 3D printing the head, showing off the layers of material used to build the shape of the head. I don’t know if was intended but that rough texture does help with reducing glare, making the putters easy on the eyes even in the brightest conditions.

I personally really like the Antique Bronze finish, but EV3D does offer a Natural and Slate Black finish to suit your personal taste. Out on the putting green the Ev3D putters performed really well, offering a hefty dose of forgiveness and a crisp feel and sound. Traditionally modes like the Hades don’t offer much in the way of forgiveness compared to mallets, but the Hades shocked me with its off-center putts. Putts hit off the heel or toe stayed on line much better and I even made a couple that had no business even being close to the hole.

Distance loss on those mishits is about what you would expect, coming up a little short, but defiantly not a drastic difference. Since the EV3D line doesn’t have any fancy face milling, I was a little worried about the initial roll and if the ball would hop or skid. Initial contact was great, only met with a tiny bit of skid before rolling out. Nothing that I think effected even my longest putts. The feel off the face is something that reminds you of a quieter classic Ping BeCu putter, crisp with an audible click. If you are looking for a silent impact, like an Odyssey Microhinge, then the EV3D line might not be your cup of tea. If you are on a quest for exceptional responsiveness on well struck and mishit putts then you should be very pleased with any of the EV3D putter models. The feel of impact is a little firmer than I think we are all used to these days with so many inserts and deep milling. The crisp feel and slightly more audible EV3D is somewhat refreshing and mishit putts are extremely easy to recognize.

Overall, the EV3D putters are a solid offering from a new company utilizing a new technology in the golf club space. With all the combinations of putter heads, site lines, and hosels, I can’t see you not being able to find a putter that fits your eye. Looks for any putter are going to be subjective, but there is no denying that EV3D is pushing the limits at a time where we see a lot of similar putter designs from all manufacturers. And if you are the type of person who wants to create an original design of your own that has never been done, EV3D is waiting for that call to help you take your idea from thought to printed putter head! Check the entire EV3D putter line at the company website.

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Top 5 golf grips of all time

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Tour Velvet Cord Golf Grip

Grips might seem simple, but there is a lot that goes into making good ones. From formulating compounds, and adding color, to creating tooling to make sure they hit all of the required specs. Grips are often the most overlooked part of a golf club, and they shouldn’t be. The grip is the singular connection you as a player have with your clubs, and it should offer equal amounts of control and comfort, depending on how often you play and the weather conditions.

Yes, golfers generally pay a lot of attention to their putter grip,s but when it comes to the rest of a set, many golfers will just say “give me whatever is stock,” which is not a great idea.

These are the top-five grips of all time.

Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

Tour velvet Cord Grips

How could we begin to talk about great grips without starting with the Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord? It’s the gold standard of durable all-weather performance. A soft rubber infused with a tight-weave cotton twill fiber (cord) adds additional traction that you just can’t get from an all-rubber grip on its own. It’s the most-used cord grip on tour and a favorite of golfers needing weather defying traction. (Honourable mention the classic non-corded Tour Velvet)

Winn Grips Excel

Winn Excel soft golf grip

The Winn Excel might not be the most durable or best all-weather grip ever made, but I challenge anyone to find a grip that offers greater comfort for fair-weather golfers, or players needing maximum shock absorption. The Winn Excel is Winn’s number-one selling grip of all time by a large margin, and speaking from experience, I have installed my fair share of full cases of these back in my big box retail golf days. From Winn “The Excel grip has been hailed by arthritic and hand fatigue sufferers as the reason they can still play golf.” With that in mind any product that is able to help golfers enjoy the game more belongs on the list!

Lamkin Crossline Cord

Another cord grip might seem like an odd addition to the list, but hear me out. Grip aficionados will tell you right away why they prefer the Lamkin Crossline Cord over others on the market. The taper is slightly different, the cord is a bit rougher, and for those in need of anything bigger than a standard grip—the Lamkin Crossline Cord is the ONLY full cord grip on the market that comes in an oversized option (weighing in at a whopping 76g). That alone makes it unique and earns its spot in the top five.

Iomic Sticky

Iomic Stick Golf Grips

Bold, colorful, and tacky are all words best used to describe the Iomic Sticky grip. It was one of, if not the first, mainstream grips in North America to offer a HUGE selection of color options and there’s a scientific reason why. Iomic grips are made from an elastomer resin, which is neutral in color: this means that any change to the color won’t change the weight of the grip, and that means you can mix and match up your set without having to worry about changing feel. It also gives grip designers endless freedom to come up with wild combinations too. According to Iomic, the elastomer resin offers a number of distinct advantages over rubber which includes lower torque, greater durability, and all-weather traction.

Golf Pride New Decade Multi-Compound

Golf Pride New Decade golf grips

Easily making its way into the top five is the Multi-Compound or as many call them the NDMCs. This grip was a game-changer for Golf Pride and the industry as a whole. It made grips “show up” on TV and got regular golfers to rethink their grip buying habits from just plain rubber to multi-material colorful options. From a performance perspective, the NDMC offers the best of both worlds, cord on the top (gloved hand) and a softer material under the bottom hand for additional traction and comfort.  Still considered a premium option, you can find New Decade grips on a lot of OEM stock products.

What do you think GolfWRXers? Are their any grips you think belong in the top five that aren’t included? Any that are included you don’t think should be?

 

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