Tim Hall at Ross-on-Wye Golf Club
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Combining Fairways & Hybrids
A survey conducted by club expert Frank Thomas found that of those golfers playing hybrids, 72% are using them to replace their long Irons. Only 28% are using them in place of a classic Fairway Wood.
Many golfers have a good reason not to play high lofted hybrids (those that would replace a FW) – certainly you have to be a very good golfer to take out the #3W and replace it with a 14° Hybrid. Why? Well for a start the volume of the head in a Hybrid is much smaller, and the CoG is closer to the face – this is for a more penetrating trajectory, and great shot shaping, NOT forgiveness and distance.
On the other hand it’s only logical that the smaller head size of the Hybrid does mean that there is more chance of cutting through the rough than with the bulkier FW, and the shorter shaft does make the club more workable from more places on the fairway.
And what about swing speed? Lots of the advice that you get on the internet will talk about “yes replace one of your FW’s if you’ve got a high swing-speed, avoid Hybrids altogether if you’re under 90MPH”. Actually, Hybrids have evolved. There are now low profile Hybrids that get the ball up in the air much easier, perhaps not providing as much distance as the FW (the shaft is shorter), but providing just as much hang-time, trajectory and stopping power.
There’s truth in what both golfers are saying. However, I can check your bag and rather than you 'guessing' or even 'self-medicating' I can give you advice on how use the high lofted clubs to complement your game, and plug the gaps
We all like to
, but it’s easier not to look at ‘Fairway Wood’ or ‘Hybrid’ at all. Rather, are the lofts in your long game providing consistent distances? Or, if you’re an 'all wood' golfer, are you going to be able to get more creative (and precise) by putting a Hybrid in between the #3W and #7W – a distance that requires playability and control from tricky lies?
There’s actually no need to be part of the 70+% of golfers who think that Hybrids are ONLY there to replace the difficult to hit long Irons. The FW/Hybrid question is avoided by amateurs who are looking for confidence (at address) and NOT change. But as I’ve said, if you’ve got a distance gap, there’s room for improved confidence; if there’s more options for you from 180+ yards out, there’s room for improved confidence.