Not long ago I was asked my opinion of what have been the most significant advances in golf club technology over the past century. Such a list has to include improvements such as steel shafts replacing hickory, perimeter weighted irons and metal woods replacing blades and wooden heads, titanium driver heads with their higher COR, and graphite shafts to lighten the total weight of golf clubs, just to name a few.
I also believe the latest entry on such a list should include hybrid clubs, but only if the hybrids are correctly fit to golfers for the purpose of truly taking their place as a part of each golfer’s iron set, rather than to simply be an alternative to a fairway wood or a club which still leaves distances on the course for which the golfer has no easy to hit club.
What do I mean?
The golf industry’s practice of ever decreasing the loft of irons over the past thirty years has gotten to the point that the vast majority of golfers do not possess the ability to hit the 3-, 4- and even the 5-iron consistently enough to even merit having the clubs in their bag.
Evolution of Iron Lofts
Head – Pre-1970s – PresentAverage
2-iron – 20* – N/A
3-iron – 24* – 20.5*
4-iron – 28* – 23.5*
5-iron – 32* – 26*
6-iron – 36* – 30*
7-iron – 40* – 34*
8-iron – 44* – 38*
9-iron – 48* – 42.5*
PW – 52* – 47*
AW – N/A – 51*
SW – 56* – 56*
Note: Present lofts represent an average among standard made irons today.
This condition of “shrinking loft disease” in the irons most certainly is what has opened the door to allow hybrid clubs to step in to offer a truly positive solution for golfers who find the modern #3, 4 and 5 irons more difficult to hit consistently well. Unfortunately, because hybrid clubs sold off the shelf run the gauntlet in terms of lengths and lofts, simply buying hybrid clubs off the shelf will not bring about the best possible results for all golfers. Some hybrids are built the same length as fairway woods. Most are made to lengths in between those of the longer irons and fairway woods, while few are offered in the same lengths as the low loft conventional irons that need to be replaced.
The most effective way to custom fit every golfer for hybrid clubs is to start by fitting the golfer for hybrids with the same length and the same loft as the irons the golfer finds difficult to hit consistently well. Most golfers will find it very helpful to replace the 5-iron with a hybrid as well.
By custom fitting the hybrids to the same length and loft as the irons being replaced, not only will the golfer have a club for each shot distance they may encounter, they will also have clubs that truly will eliminate the problems caused by “shrinking loft disease” in the irons. For more insights and great deals on hybrids, you can visit Tom Wishon Golf Technology.