Utility Driving Irons v Hybrids

Springveldt

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If you are struggling to get a hybrid in the air then a driving iron may not be for you. My issue with hybrids is that I struggle to flight them down due to the weight being so low and far back, they are made to get the ball in the air.

I also got rid of my 4 iron as I couldn’t hit it reliably, I’m not sure my ball striking would be good enough for a driving iron.

Personally, as others have said you may get a lot more joy from a 5 and 7 wood since they have larger heads, larger sweet spot, more forgiving and have the weight low in the head to get the ball in the air.
 

pauljames87

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I love my hybrids. I went down the one length route , 3 ,4 , 5

3 is good off the tee option
4 is most used
5 is a good recovery club but also good for half shots
 

Dando

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I can’t get on with hybrids so I’ve got a driving iron - delofted 3 iron with a 1/2 inch longer 2 iron shaft then it’s a 7 wood.
 

Captain_Black.

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Most driving irons you see advertised have stiff shafts, mainly because the majority who use them well have a reasonably fast swing speed.
I have a swing speed with my driver of between 85 / 90 mph.
I cannot reliably hit a driving iron fitted with a lightweight steel regular shaft (95 grams)

I would suggest anyone looking at getting a driving iron with a similar swing speed to mine would be better off with a hybrid or a 7 wood.
Alternatively, although rare, I have seen driving irons fitted with graphite senior shafts.

For those who struggle with hybrids.
I have found that they become much more user friendly when fitted with a lighter shaft (soft regular)
Also, I think a lot of people play the ball too far forward in their stance (almost like a wood)
I have found that hybrids work brilliantly if you hit a 5h from the middle of your stance, a 4h from just a ball width or 2 forward of middle & a 3h half way between middle & the inside of your left foot
Another great tip that works for me when hitting hybrids is to always ensure that your hands are ahead of the ball at impact for maximum accuracy & distance.
 

Crow

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Where many people go wrong with a driving iron or long iron is that they feel they have to swing faster in order to hit it a long way and so they lose control of their swing.

The longer shaft provides the increased head speed so it's best to use your regular iron swing and focus on hitting the ball in the middle of the sweet spot.

A slower swing speed might not produce the same beautiful flight that the pros get but it'll still get a good distance, and none of our ball flights really match those of the pros anyway. :)
 

Neilds

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Where many people go wrong with a driving iron or long iron is that they feel they have to swing faster in order to hit it a long way and so they lose control of their swing.

The longer shaft provides the increased head speed so it's best to use your regular iron swing and focus on hitting the ball in the middle of the sweet spot.

A slower swing speed might not produce the same beautiful flight that the pros get but it'll still get a good distance, and none of our ball flights really match those of the pros anyway. :)
My ball striking has improved massively since I stopped trying to force longer irons. Same smooth swing is all that is needed. Sounds simple but took me years to realise and put into practice 😂
 

Backsticks

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Where many people go wrong with a driving iron or long iron is that they feel they have to swing faster in order to hit it a long way and so they lose control of their swing.

The longer shaft provides the increased head speed so it's best to use your regular iron swing and focus on hitting the ball in the middle of the sweet spot.

A slower swing speed might not produce the same beautiful flight that the pros get but it'll still get a good distance, and none of our ball flights really match those of the pros anyway. :)
Because we dont have the swing speed, and dynamic loft control.
Rather than according to handicap, its probably better to go by swing speed as an indicator of whether a driving is appropriate to you or not. If you can hit driver 105mph, ie driver distance about 270, then driving is maybe in your compass.
But even then, ask yourself why pro tour guys are gaming 17deg hybrids and 7 woods.
The low iron for non pros is really just a historical fetish.
 

Crow

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Because we dont have the swing speed, and dynamic loft control.
Rather than according to handicap, its probably better to go by swing speed as an indicator of whether a driving is appropriate to you or not. If you can hit driver 105mph, ie driver distance about 270, then driving is maybe in your compass.
But even then, ask yourself why pro tour guys are gaming 17deg hybrids and 7 woods.
The low iron for non pros is really just a historical fetish.
If all you're concerned about is the score then I'd agree, but if you play for pleasure and enjoy hitting long irons then go for it.
 

Backsticks

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If all you're concerned about is the score then I'd agree, but if you play for pleasure and enjoy hitting long irons then go for it.
If submitting a score, I understand you are obliged to prioritise your score. If just range time, and you enjoy it hitting a driving iron, sure, to each his own.
 

Crow

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If submitting a score, I understand you are obliged to prioritise your score. If just range time, and you enjoy it hitting a driving iron, sure, to each his own.

Are you saying that everyone should play the most up to date and forgiving clubs that they can afford?
And that nobody should take on the hero shot once in a while?
 

Curls

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If you are struggling to get a hybrid in the air then a driving iron may not be for you. My issue with hybrids is that I struggle to flight them down due to the weight being so low and far back, they are made to get the ball in the air.

I also got rid of my 4 iron as I couldn’t hit it reliably, I’m not sure my ball striking would be good enough for a driving iron.

Personally, as others have said you may get a lot more joy from a 5 and 7 wood since they have larger heads, larger sweet spot, more forgiving and have the weight low in the head to get the ball in the air.


I have never seen anyone even attempt to flight a hybrid down! The only time you do is thinning it. It’s not what they are made for, hence the driving iron is a different option.

Try to forget about distance and just think of options. Pros do play driving irons, Rory’s approach the the 18th at the Scottish Open was a 2 iron. He won’t have it in the bag when playing a big American course where it’s bomb and gauge. It’s a horse for a course. Like I say if you play a links course where accuracy, bunker avoidance and wind are the main factors driving, and the fairways are hard and running, it’s a different option you can take.
 

Curls

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Most driving irons you see advertised have stiff shafts, mainly because the majority who use them well have a reasonably fast swing speed.
I have a swing speed with my driver of between 85 / 90 mph.
I cannot reliably hit a driving iron fitted with a lightweight steel regular shaft (95 grams)

I would suggest anyone looking at getting a driving iron with a similar swing speed to mine would be better off with a hybrid or a 7 wood.
Alternatively, although rare, I have seen driving irons fitted with graphite senior shafts.

For those who struggle with hybrids.
I have found that they become much more user friendly when fitted with a lighter shaft (soft regular)
Also, I think a lot of people play the ball too far forward in their stance (almost like a wood)
I have found that hybrids work brilliantly if you hit a 5h from the middle of your stance, a 4h from just a ball width or 2 forward of middle & a 3h half way between middle & the inside of your left foot
Another great tip that works for me when hitting hybrids is to always ensure that your hands are ahead of the ball at impact for maximum accuracy & distance.

A very good point - the shaft in my 2i is the same as the one in my iron set. Not sure what irons you have or what shaft is in them OP but if you can match, might be the trick 👍🏻

As for where to play a hybrid in terms of stance, everyone is different, that might not suit other swings but if it works for yours - bomb on!
 

brotherdeal

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I have hybrids that drift in and out the bag but my G425 7 wood is always in there a decent all-rounder off the tee, fairway, and rough, I would definitely recommend you try one out if you can.
 

Springveldt

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I have never seen anyone even attempt to flight a hybrid down! The only time you do is thinning it. It’s not what they are made for, hence the driving iron is a different option.

Try to forget about distance and just think of options. Pros do play driving irons, Rory’s approach the the 18th at the Scottish Open was a 2 iron. He won’t have it in the bag when playing a big American course where it’s bomb and gauge. It’s a horse for a course. Like I say if you play a links course where accuracy, bunker avoidance and wind are the main factors driving, and the fairways are hard and running, it’s a different option you can take.
That was my whole point, OP is struggling to get a hybrid in the air when it’s damn near impossible for me not to do that. The only time I can keep a hybrid lowish is when I’m in the first cut and I catch it high in the face, those ones will maybe go about 50 foot in the air and they go forever, I’ve hit my 3 hybrid 260 yards on those shots. Typically my 3 hybrid carries around 210 and goes about 90 foot high.

If OP is struggling to get a hybrid in the air then I think a driving iron is mental as a replacement.
 

Curls

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That was my whole point, OP is struggling to get a hybrid in the air when it’s damn near impossible for me not to do that. The only time I can keep a hybrid lowish is when I’m in the first cut and I catch it high in the face, those ones will maybe go about 50 foot in the air and they go forever, I’ve hit my 3 hybrid 260 yards on those shots. Typically my 3 hybrid carries around 210 and goes about 90 foot high.

If OP is struggling to get a hybrid in the air then I think a driving iron is mental as a replacement.


Ah sorry, I get you now. I guess we do t know what their swing is like and it sounds like they can hit an iron ok and as long as they don’t try to knock down the driving iron they might be surprised how well it goes without any punch shot attempt. Who knows?! Worth a try for a different option
 

Neilds

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Tried a TM Stealth dhy at the range today. Didn’t work at all so not the answer - although it did make my hybrid work and was hitting it really well. Maybe the answer is more practice and stick with the hybrids
 

azazel

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I own three very similarly-lofted clubs, which rotate through the bag depending on mood and/or conditions!

5 wood - 18 degrees. Great off the fairway, fine off the tee, sometimes ok in the semi rough.
3 hybrid - 20 degrees. Most versatile of the three as it can be used from most non-rough lies but the club I'm least consistent with.
2 iron - 17 degrees. Good off the tee for a low-ish runner. Ok from the fairway when the lie is fine, no use from the semi unless the ball is sitting up.

Really the hybrid should be the one as it does the jobs that the other two can do but I tend to carry two of the three at any given time.
 

CountLippe

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I use a ping 3i crossover. I find dispersion better than a hybrid, even if it is more difficult to hit out the middle. Where I find it really useful though, is for getting out of trouble - low shots out the trees and hitting intentional hooks and slices.
 
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