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Fitter focus: Don’t think you need a hybird? You might want to think again

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One of the most difficult conversations I get to have is with either “baby boomers” or people who have speed that is slowing down as they age. They still believe they can hit 3, 4, 5 and sometimes 6-irons.

Honestly, it’s not that they are unable to hit them in most cases, it is that they are unable to hit them on a playable trajectory. I would define a playable trajectory as a shot designed to fly high enough and land steep enough so it would be able to stop to a front pin location on a normal green.

With the invention of radar devices like Trackman and Flightscope, it now becomes a little easier to have those conversations. When I do these fittings now, I have what I call a “prove it” session when my customer wants to order a 3, 4 or 5-iron when I don’t believe (based on data) that they can create a playable trajectory with those clubs.

What I find in most cases is that the consumer needs not only one hybrid for their set, they usually need multiple, and in some cases; they maybe need higher-lofted fairway woods plus some additional hybrids. By using these radar devices, the consumer can then peer behind the curtain so to speak and see into the mind of the fitter. These radar devices are the key to the process so the consumer can see data proving the fitters’ point.

By showing them how much easier the hybrids can be to launch in the air, pick up more carry yardage and land on more of a playable trajectory I hope that I can accomplish my goal which is to get them a better chance to play better and have more fun.

Here are some reports and Trackman data to back up the claim in the first illustration 5-iron is white and 5-hybrid is yellow

Notice how much higher yellow (the 5-hybrid) is in relation to white (the 5-iron)

This report shows all the key variables—notice the carry, ball speed, height, and landing angle differences between the two.


I really enjoy doing these “gap” fittings. While the consumer might want the new shiny driver or the latest, greatest set of irons, these clubs that fall in between may make or break the consumer’s chances of scoring well. In doing these gap fittings don’t neglect to try higher-lofted woods—sometimes they can be easier to hit than hybrids for certain players.

There is no one perfect set for all players, there is only a perfect set for you and your speed and launch conditions. My personal recommendation is when you go get that next set of irons or just want to see some lower scores, make sure you look into hybrids and higher-lofted fairway woods. Please find a fitter you can trust, and hopefully s/he will have a radar device so you can see data to make an informed decision about what to carry in your golf bag!

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2010, 2014, 2015 & 2017 Merchandiser of the Year-Public Section Northern Ohio PGA Horton Smith Award Winner Northern Ohio PGA 2018 Inducted in Callaway Retail Hall of Fame 2014 Top 100 Fitter from 2013 - Present for Ping, Mizuno, Cobra, Taylormade, Titleist, Mizuno TOP 100 Fitter from 2015-Present Callaway, Wilson Golf Digest Top 100 Fitter from 2015 – Present Average over 400 Fittings a year last 3+ Years Taught over 200 Lessons a year last 3+ Years Graduate for the University of Akron 2000 PGA member since 2014 Website: www.windmillgolfcenter.com

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. freowho

    Oct 26, 2019 at 4:10 am

    I agree with getting rid of irons but hybrids aren’t always the answer. Fairways are still a better option for a lot of people.

  2. David McCune

    Oct 25, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    One thing is getting lost here- We all know Golf is a very mental game. How about playing with the clubs you’re most confident in ? I’ve always been a better sweeper of the ball, and not a great iron player. I have few hybrids I pick & choose from and the biggest iron I normally play is a 6.

    • Gerald Teigrob

      Oct 25, 2019 at 10:38 pm

      I agree with you, David. Nothing is written in stone when it comes to the clubs you put in your golf bag. I like the option of a 4 iron and 4 hybrid/driving iron right now. And I am not losing any length with my irons. I know what I can do with what I play. To each his own. I don’t look and say…my handicap is higher so I need more hybrids. I say I need more help with the long irons so I need less help from a 4 iron hybrid than I used to think I needed. And what many amateurs seem to forget is that a 4 iron now comes with a 19 or 20-degree loft, which is two or three degrees stronger than my last 3 iron and the same loft or so as my 2 iron.

  3. A. Commoner

    Oct 25, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Amateur golf is chock full of delusional hackers. Face reality and find more enjoyment.

  4. Gerald Teigrob

    Oct 25, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    After eliminating a 4 iron and playing hybrids up to a 6 hybrid in my set, I have gone back to playing more 4 irons. I can still get it airborne and can also play my graphite 4 iron like a driving iron. I know hybrids are helpful for those with slower swing speeds and losing distance, but overall my game is just as good with a 4 iron of 20 degrees in my bag. Sure a 4 hybrid helps on some days, but other days it doesn’t seem to matter as much. I have learned that I do have the ability to play both 4 iron and f hybrid along with a 4 iron driving iron. So I can still enjoy the best of all worlds there! For me, I can get more easily airborne with a 5 iron than a hybrid of similar distance but I am prepared to consider that down the road. So for the time being, I will continue to use my 4 iron option and likely play the driving iron over a hybrid.

  5. Pelling

    Oct 25, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    Or, a golfer could just play a driver, a 5 wood, a 5 iron, an 8 iron, a 54 degree wedge and a putter and shoot virtually the same scores. 6 clubs, carry your bag, no launch monitor needed. Try it sometime.

    • OV

      Oct 27, 2019 at 2:17 am

      I often do but slightly different setup: 3w (coz driver only good of the tee), 4h, 7i, pw, 56, putter. Rarely play with more than 8 clubs.

      Love my hybrids coz no good with long irons. Not because of lack of swing speed, but of talent, lol! Do have 3&5 hybrids but figured the 4 can do the job of both.

  6. Tiger Noods

    Oct 24, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    I hope you took more data than that. This is a very, very small sample. One poor 5-iron is not a reason to leave a 5-iron. The “gap” needs to focus more on the idea that your 5-iron and 6-iron aren’t basically indistinguishable. Getting more distance with a hybrid is only good if it makes a PROPER gap. If you are just adding distance because you can, well, then you’ll have a large gap between that 5-hybrid and 6-iron. Then you’ve made things worse.

    I know Trent knows this, but it reads like MOAR YARDS

    • Mark it Zero

      Oct 25, 2019 at 8:19 am

      Hybird

      • Pelling

        Oct 25, 2019 at 4:30 pm

        Now you’re getting pretty technical, Zero…

    • Bill Ryan

      Oct 25, 2019 at 4:39 pm

      Its quite simple throw out the 4567 irons in garage now listen. Carefully take a 31 28 25 22 19 hybrids from cobra and yes some are Lexie black hybrids and some are Nardo grey men’s (same exact heads but for color Hybrid shaft for proper length. And distances pure Heaven and will never look back and I am a 7 handicap and 69 years old Drop your egos and your scores ??????????????????????

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