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I have pretty close to the same bag as you do and I drop the 4 iron. I've never had a time when my 21* hybrid was too long and my 5 iron was too short.
Ditch your 4 or your 21h. You can make up the gap with your 5 iron. Have it bent a tad strong if you're struggling to fill the void
I have the same set make up D-9i. I play SM5 wedges in 46*, 52* and 56*. I have a little more gap between my 21* and 4i than you mentioned. I did experiment with putting a 60* in the bag and swapping out the 2 hybrids for a 19* but wasn't happy with the yardage gap between the 4i, 19* and 15* 910Fd. Good luck and keep us up to date what you came up with.
Are you more consistent with your 4 iron or your 21*?
My guess, you are more consistent with your hybrid. It is easier to hit and it gets up in the air better especially at your swing speed.
Given they are very close in distance (you can choke down on your hybrid to reduce distance) I would say think about dropping the 4 iron.
My guess is you hit your 4 iron less often than your wedges or other woods.
So I would keep my scoring clubs (wedges) and think about sitting the 4 iron out.
I hope this helps, keep us up on what change you make and how it goes.
Based on your yardage, I would probably drop either the 3 wood or the 17 degree hybrid. I don't think you would want to pull out the 4 iron at 170 yards or the 21 degree hybrid at 180 yards. I would guess that these are clubs that you will use more frequently for approach shots as compared with the other clubs you are considering. I would want to pull out the club that I use the least and has the lowest impact to my distances. Personally, I would look at the times you use the 3 wood and 17 degree and take out the club that you use less often.
I would check the loft on your PW.....it may be closer to the 50 than you think. If it is lose the 50*W
50* wedge. It isn't that hard to choke down 1/2" on a PW.
I would lose the 4 iron provided you can hit the 21 hybrid 170.
I have the same issue, but with different yardages. I decided to go to 3 wedges instead of 4, but with 6 degrees between them. I don't see you being able to drop a wedge without replacing as an 8 degree gap is too much IMO.
I had similar issues with my bag, where I needed to drop a club at the top end to accommodate a 44* PW (714 AP1).
Assuming your PW is far off enough from the 50* wedge, I would consider dropping either the 3W or the 17*H, or dropping both and investing in a 4-wood (17* or so). My set up was similar to yours, except that I had a 3W and 5W rather than 3W/17*H. The 4W would give you a fairly good bridge between the current 3W and 17*. I ended up getting a 4-wood and have not missed the 3W or the 5W once.
Best of luck and keep us posted about which route you take.
Will you sign my petition to increase the number of clubs to 15? Seriously, though, I would say the 4iron would be the one to go. I also carry 4 wedges, and a 3W and 5W. Looked at replacing them both with a 4W, but changed my mind. I did carry a 20* and 23* hybrid, and replaced both with a 22* hybrid. For a while, I dropped my gap wedge, but found too many occasions where I needed it. I have also dropped my 5iron and 6iron for 27* and 31* hybrids. I don't think you will miss your 4iron.
If you are comfortable carrying 3 wedges (I play the exact same three lofts that you do) then I would comment that it all comes down to which club you have more confidence with ... the 21H or the 4-iron. For me the 4-iron is right on the cusp of where a 2-iron used to feel like. However the 21H has pretty much only one use, whereas if I'm relaxed and swinging free I like what I can do with a 4-iron. With the 4-iron sitting in the trunk, what club would you use for a low punch shot out of the rough?
I rotate my 3,5,7 and Hybrids as needed for course being played.
5 or 6-PW depending on wood/hybrid combination.
PW,GW,SW,LW depending on iron combination.
My Home course for me sets me up with Driver, 3, 7 wood
5-PW then SW, and 60* LW