Getting the Ball in the Air
The negativity of the long iron changed for the better with the development of hybrid technology. Sometimes called utility woods, these clubs replace the lower irons in your golf bag, most often your three- and four-irons. However, their growing popularity has some even using these clubs to replace their five- and six-irons.
Without changing one's swing, the average golfer finds immediate positive results with the hybrid in hand. The first element is the club's design, which fosters a greater ability to get the ball up into the air--reducing the number of hard ground balls that often result with a two- or three-iron.
Squarer Clubface at Impact
The second benefit of a hybrid is that most players are able to keep the club face squarer at impact. Because we hit so many woods off the tee, we are more accustomed to hitting a wood than a long iron. Therefore, because the hybrid club is designed more like a three- or five-wood yet is shorter in length, there is less of chance to hit a rolling hook or a pronounced fade.
While players see immediate results when hitting a hybrid off the fairway, most see the greatest impact when hitting from the first cut of rough. Hitting a three-iron from such a lie is very difficult and making consistent contact from such a lie is often beyond the skill level of the average player.
With a long iron, the longer grass in the first cut of rough tends to grab the face and the hosel. That grabbing action serves to exacerbate the two primary issues with hitting a long iron: elevating the ball and keeping the ball on the target line. Not so with hybrid technology. The head of the hybrid bores easily through the grass, creating better and more consistent contact.