Compare that to the traditional standard loft for a wedge of 50 degrees, and you will see there is a huge difference.
So why did they do this?
Golf Club manufacturers realized that if they made the lofts stronger (ie. less loft), the ball would fly further. So if we use the old standard as a gauge, where lofts in between each iron was 4 degrees difference, you now had a wedge with 44 degrees loft that was like a 8 & 1/2 iron. Somewhere between an 8 and a 9 iron.
So no wonder the ball went further and thus the public responded by buying their clubs in droves as they could now out hit their mates. If most people took ego out of the equation when buying new golf clubs, then they would be much better off.
So what happened next?
They problem with making the lofts so strong, is that it meant that the 3 iron was so strong no-one could get it airborne. As you can see above, using the same example of the Callaway irons, the 3 iron loft is now only 18 degrees.
Compare that to the old standard – it is now like hitting a 1 & 1/2 iron in loft – old standard being 16 degrees for a 1 iron. So by fixing one problem, they created another.
For someone like myself, who naturally hits the ball low due to playing mostly in windy coastal areas, it didn’t work. I literally couldn’t get the ball airborne with these clubs.
Therefore manufacturers and designers had to come up with a new solution. That’s where Randy Henry came to my rescue. To get a better picture on how I overcame this problem, read my article; How To Use Hybrid Golf Clubs where I go more into it.
So thus the evolution of Hybrids came about. I hope that gives you a better understanding of the history to appreciate what they were designed for.
Purpose Of The Hybrid
So with the lofts getting jammed more and more together, they needed to create and less lofted club with a lower center of gravity to get the ball up in the air. Most people think they were designed to replace fairway woods, but this is not true at all. They are simply designed to replace those long irons that had too little loft and a high center of gravity, so amateurs and pros could then have a better gapping between clubs.
So please, consider them as long irons and not as fairway woods and you will then understand how to choose the correct hybrid for you.
What Lofts Do I Need?
What lofts do I need in hybrids then is the biggest question I get?
To answer that correctly, you need to know your gapping. What I mean by gapping is the distance you hit your irons. The best way to do this is using a launch monitor.
You may need to book a session with a local professional who has a high tech launch monitor, something like nFlight launch monitor by Ping or the trackman. I personally use the nFlight as this utilizes military technology and is unbelievably accurate.
I was privy to a special invite to the Research and Development department at Pings Phoenix facilities where they had sensors imbedded in the ground on their driving range and would be able to pin point exactly where the ball landed.
Or, if you didn’t want to pay for a session on a launch monitor, you could do it the old traditional way and send a caddy out on the range and take the average of 10 shots with each iron.
I would suggest it is a small price to pay and is far more accurate, especially if you do it inside where there are no influences from wind and weather. We have it much easier nowadays so I would strongly suggest utilizing the technology we have available to us today.
Once you accurately ascertain you gapping with an average of 10 shots with each club, introduce a hybrid with the iron you start to have problems with. For example, if you are confident hitting a 5 iron but struggle with consistency with your 4 iron, then try a hybrid that will give you a consistent gapping for your 5 iron.
I like to have about 10 yards gap between each club. So let’s say you hit your 5 iron 160m or 175 yards, then your first hybrid what ever loft that is should fly about 170m or 187 yards, and so on.
How Many Hybrids Do We Need?
This will always depend on how many woods you carry and how far they travel. Once again I would use the Launch monitor to establish your distances here. Don’t take your fantasy yardage.
I so often hear people telling me how far they hit it, but I say to them, “don’t tell me – show me.” The launch monitor never lies.
I would recommend working backwards from your driver and then fill in the gaps. How to do that is lets say I hit my driver – carry 230m or 255yards. Then my wood I hit from the fairway where I want to hit it so it will hit and run, say to chase up on a par five or even hit off the tee carries about 215m or 240yards.
If I use a third fairway wood which is designed to fly high enough so that when it lands no the green it will stop, that should carry about 200m or 220yards. I personally like to have about 15m gapping in my longer clubs.
I sometimes drop out my third fairway wood and add in my 20 degree hybrid which will carry about the same distance. It just depends on the course and how I am feeling confidence wise at the time.
So as you can see, everyone will be slightly different, depending on his or her skill level and confidence level. The best thing is to test and measure yourself. Also
If you would like to find out more about choosing or purchasing new golf clubs or hybrids for you, then keep your eye out for my upcoming article on, Know Your Golf Club Distances to gain maximum benefit from your clubs and to lower your scores, or to get Jim to personally help you with your game, go to www.learntoplaybettergolf.com to find out more.
If you have any questions regarding clubfitting or purchasing golf equipment, then please do not hesitate to contact me or if you have any comments, leave them below and I’ll get back to you a.s.a.p.