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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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Equipment

Top 10 clubs of 2003—inspired by Adam Scott’s Titleist 680 irons

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As has been well documented, Adam Scott recently won the Genesis Invitational with a set of Titleist 680 blade irons, a design that was originally released in 2003. One of the great benefits of being one of the best players in the world is you don’t need to search eBay to find your preferred set of 17-year-old irons. Titleist has been stocking sets for Mr. Scott—even to the point of doing a limited production run in 2018 where they then released 400 sets for sale to the general public.

A lot of time has passed since 2003, and considering the classic nature of Scott’s Titleist 680, I figured now was a good time to look back at some other iconic clubs released around the same time.

Ping G2 driver

This was Ping’s first 460cc driver with a full shift into titanium head design. The previous Si3 models still utilized the TPU adjustable hosel, and this was considered a big step forward for the Phoenix-based OEM. The driver was a big hit both on tour and at retail—as was the rest of the G2 line that included irons.

TaylorMade RAC LT (first gen) irons

The RAC LTs helped position TaylorMade back among the leaders in the better players iron category. The entire RAC (Relative Amplitude Coefficient) line was built around creating great feeling products that also provided the right amount of forgiveness for the target player. It also included an over-sized iron too. The RAC LT went on to have a second-generation version, but the original LTs are worthy of “classic” status.

TaylorMade R580 XD driver

Honestly, how could we not mention the TaylorMade R580 XD driver? TM took some of the most popular drivers in golf, the R500 series and added extra distance (XD). OK, that might be an oversimplification of what the XD series offered, but with improved shape, increased ball speed outside of the sweet spot, and lower spin, it’s no wonder you can still find these drivers in the bags of golfers at courses and driving ranges everywhere.

Titleist 680MB irons

The great thing about blades is that beyond changing sole designs and shifting the center of gravity, the basic design for a one-piece forged head hasn’t changed that much. For Adam Scott, the 680s are the perfect blend of compact shape, higher CG, and sole profile.

Titleist 983K, E drivers

If you were a “Titleist player,” you had one of these drivers! As one of the last companies to move into the 460cc category, the 983s offered a classic pear shape in a smaller profile. It was so good and so popular, it was considered the benchmark for Titleist drivers for close to the next decade.

Cleveland Launcher 330 driver

It wasn’t that long ago that OEMs were just trying to push driver head size over 300cc, and Cleveland’s first big entry into the category was the Launcher Titanium 330 driver. It didn’t live a long life, but the Launcher 330 was the grandaddy to the Launcher 400, 460, and eventually, the Launcher COMP, which is another club on this list that many golfers will still have fond memories about.

Mizuno MP 33 irons

Although released in the fall of 2002, the Mizuno MP 33 still makes the list because of its staying power. Much like the Titleist 680, this curved muscle blade was a favorite to many tour players, including future world No. 1 Luke Donald. The MP 33 stayed in Mizuno’s lineup for more than four years and was still available for custom orders years after that. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a set now you are going to have to go the used route.

Callaway X-16 irons

The Steelhead X-16 was a big hit at retail for Callaway. It offered greater forgiveness than the previous X-14’s but had a more compact shape with a wider topline to inspire confidence. They featured Callaway’s “Notch” weighting system that moved more mass to the perimeter of the head for higher MOI and improved feel. There was a reduced offset pro series version of the iron, but the X-16 was the one more players gravitated towards. This is another game improvement club for that era that can still be found in a lot of golf bags.

Ben Hogan CFT irons

The Hogan CFTs were at the forefront of multi-material iron technology in 2003. CFT stood for Compression Forged Titanium and allowed engineers to push more mass to the perimeter of the head to boost MOI by using a thin titanium face insert. They had what would be considered stronger lofts at the time sounded really powerful thanks to the thin face insert. If you are looking for a value set of used irons, this is still a great place to start.

King Cobra SZ driver

In 2003, Rickie Fowler was only 15 years old and Cobra was still living under the Acushnet umbrella as Titleist’s game improvement little brother. The Cobra SZ (Sweet Zone, NOT 2020 Speed Zone) was offered in a couple of head sizes to appeal to different players. The thing I will always remember about the original King Cobra SZ is that it came in an offset version to help golfers who generally slice the ball—a design trait that we still see around today.

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Today from the Forums: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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Today from the Forums we delve into a subject dedicated to wedge fitting. Liquid_A_45 wants to know if wedge fitting is as essential for golfers as iron fitting, and our members weigh into the discussion saying why they feel it is just as imperative.

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

  • Z1ggy16: “Super important if you’re a serious golfer. Even better if you can get fit outdoors on real grass and even go into a bunker.”
  • ThunderBuzzworth: “The biggest part of wedge fitting is yardage gapping and sole grinds. If you have a grind that doesn’t interact with the turf in your favor, it can be nightmarish around the greens. When hitting them try a variety of short game shots with different face angles etc. with the different grinds to see which one works best for what you need.”
  • Hawkeye77: “Wedge fitting I had was extremely beneficial when I got my SM6s a few years ago. Mostly for working with the different grinds and how they interacted with my swing and on different shots and having an eye on my swing to help with the process and evaluate the results. My ideas of what grinds were right for me based on researching on Titleist, etc. just were not correct in 2/3 of the wedges I ended up with as far as the grinds were concerned. Good to have an experienced fitter available to answer questions, control variables, etc.”
  • cgasucks: “The better you get at this game, the more important wedges are.”

Entire Thread: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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Today from the Forums: “Pull cart recommendations?”

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Today from the Forums we take a look at pull carts currently on the market. Bogeygolfer55 is looking for a quality pull cart for less than $300, and our members have been giving their recommendations in our forums – with Clicgear proving to be a popular option.

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

  • Yuck: “I have had a clicgear 3.5 for nearly four years now. Holding up well with well over 200 rounds on it so far.”
  • Hawkeye77: “I had a Clicgear and liked it a lot, but my daughter “appropriated” it. Came upon an article a year ago about the Blade IP. Ordered one. It folds flat instead of into a cube which I like, and when I take it out it is quicker to get ready to go, and easier to take down. That doesn’t mean the Clicgear was particularly difficult, but it was more involved and 4 pounds heavier – don’t mind pushing a lot less weight.”
  • Celebros: “Another vote for Clicgear. The 4.0 just came out, so you may be able to find some of the 3.5+ models discounted soon.”
  • I_HATE_SNOW: “Sun Mountain user. Tall thin tires roll through the grass the easiest. Ours are old enough that the tires inflated. Once slimed, they stay up all winter. Mesh baskets on the cart are nice for carrying headcovers, water bottles, dog leash, etc.”
  • birddog903: “I’ve had a caddytek lite three-wheel version for a year or so. No complaints and I paid less than $100.”

Entire Thread: “Pull cart recommendations?”

 

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