Are Tour Pro's Dropping Their 3 and 4 Iron's in favor of Hybrids?

I have noticed that tour pro's of late that some are beginning (for the first time in history from vantage point) to drop their 3 and in some cases 4 iron(s) from their bag in favor of adding one or two new hybrids.  Does anyone first believe this is a trend or just isolated instances?

 

Thanks!

I definitely think hybrids are here to stay.

I personally replaced my 15 degree 3 wood with a 17 degree hybrid. I only lost about 10 yards in the process, but I picked up a lot more consistency hitting the hybrid well while I tended to top the 3 wood once or twice a round. Where I play, there are 6 times a round when I hit a 3 wood either off the ground or off a tee and the consistency of hitting the new hybrid has probably made me 2 strokes better per round.

As for the pro tours, I see a trend towards hybrids replacing long irons, but not the 3 wood yet. If you check out the article both major monthly golf magazines have about who has what clubs in their bag, almost 100% do carry a hybrid or two.

Chris, 

With the technology of the hybrids that are entering the market, many players are finding them to be much more consistent and versatile then long irons.  A great example of a player switching is Adam Scott.  He used to play a 2-PW and loved the feel of an iron, but has replaced his 2 and 3 iron with a 17* hybrid and moved to 4-9 iron.  Another similar example is Matteo Manassero, who is now playing a 17* and a 20* (Tour Only Loft), with his first iron being a 4 iron. 

I would say the trend from recent years is changing in the way of replacing at least one iron (2 or 3 irons) with a hybrid, but Tour players are still the best ball strikers out there and many don't feel the need to change. 

Cameron

1-888-TITLEIST

I have a 2 iron, but, depending on course conditions, I'll swap out my 2/3 iron(s) with a 17* hybrid. There's so much that you can do with the 910 series. I actually fit a guy for a 910D3 last night. Well, he had the intention on getting the 910F as well, but, I actually fit him for a  17* 910H. He, too, carried a 2 iron. However, he's planning on getting the 19*, as well as the 21*. Just get what's best for YOUR game. I suggest you go visit an authorized Titleist fitter and have he/she fit you for the right clubs for your needs/game. Best of luck!

Dropping 2 and 3 irons is nothing new, I'd say most are still carrying the 4i.

4i is still in their range where accuracy is a premium. For most of us dropping a 4i and adding a hybrid would probably be an increase in accuracy simply because the hybrid gets the ball up in the air easier, so missing left or right is much better than 50y short because of mishit.

Remember it is their job to go out and practice practice practice, they can hit their irons. So I'd say there are a few still using 2i, a bunch have dropped 3i, and very few dropping the 4i.

Thanks for all the great responses! I was looking through another sites WITB pics from this weeks tour tournament and every player had a lot of hybrids...I assume they bring a few (like putters) and adjust their bag composition to fit the course...I have also noticed some players putting more forgiving 3 or 4 iron their bag according to the pictures (ie..forged blade style irons for 5-W but for the 3 or 4 a CB iron...)...has anyone else noticed these trend?

Speaking as someone who doesn't make millions of dollars playing golf, the longest iron that I have in the bag on a weekly basis is a 5 iron.  The hybrids are so much easier to hit.  And, it seems like Titleist has made huge improvements from the 585H to the 909H to the 910H.   From personal experience, each new model has been A LOT better than the previous version.  I didn't think Titleist could improve on the 909H, but the 910H is great.

I hit my 4i better than I hit my 25* hybrid, but with that said I wouldn't dream of putting the 3i or a 2i in the bag.  The Hybrids are so much easier to hit, and you can hit them easily out of anything.  I'm sure the pro's could hit a great shot with a butter knife and a stick, but when they all (or mostly all of them) drop the 2 and 3 irons you know it's legit. 

I doubt they are completely dropping the long irons as many courses require you "work" the ball, either low or around obstacles, and often a hybrid won't/can't work the ball as well as an iron.  Just my opinion.

it definately makes more sense. having the power of a wood, and the shot control of a iron is a major leg up on the long irons. its easy to hit a majority of the shots using a hybrid. 

Fred, good point so do you think they will,keep their 3 and 4 irons or just their 4 in most cases?

To steal their advertising slogan, "These guys are good."

They're so good I suspect they would consider how well they could apply their games to any particular course and decide whether there's any benefit to using the hybrid or the iron. If they make the right choice and save 1/2 a shot a round, it's worth a ton of money, Fedex points and whatever other benefits come with success on tour.

Chris92009
Fred, good point so do you think they will,keep their 3 and 4 irons or just their 4 in most cases?

 

Chris, I just figure they will make up their set for what they expect that week or day. some, like K.J. Choi have gone to hybrids 100% in lieu of the 3&4 iron. Others still carry a 2 iron, I suspect.

While I do agree that a 3 wood is not one of the easiest clubs to hit, I find that I can get better distance with a 7 wood vs an 18 or 19H. Even a 16H has a minimal difference in distance for me vs a 7W. There are some times when I hit a 7 wood as far as or farther than a 3 wood - so I took the latter out. Also, a 7 wood is easy to work because the shaft length is rather short for a fww (41-42"). 3W aren't exactly the easiest to control because the newer ones almost have the same length as an old persimmon driver. I consider a 5H a very potent weapon, so much so that I removed the 6 iron and hit a half choke shot with the hybrid. A 5H also works better than a lofted fairway wood. There are some pros that use a 7 wood (Stuart Appleby comes to mind and one or two others on "Playing Lessons From the Pros"). There are some 2H and 3H that approach a fairway wood in shaft length.

Besides the technology advances in the hybrids, one of the main reason long irons are disappearing is that the golf ball has changed. The new balls don't spin as much. Players with high club head speeds can still get the ball up in the air with spin and can hit long irons efficiently. Also lofts on clubs have gotten lower.( 3 irons use to be 23 degrees, pitching wedges 51). I still have an eye2 2 iron. I found a sleeve of Titleist balata tour 90 at the cabin. Hit them high and land soft just like hitting a hybrid with a ProV1. The difference is the hybrid is longer. The new clubs work better with the newer balls. I have a 5 hybrid now. Granted I'm older than 20 years ago. Numbers on the scorecard are all that matter especially when it's your livelihood!