When replacing your old light bulbs with newer, more efficient models, you must make sure the new bulbs match the old fittings and wattage requirements, right? Replacing your traditional golf irons and woods with hybrids is much the same. If you simply pull a couple of old clubs from your bag at random, then stick two hybrids in their place, your set probably won't work. You need to know which hybrids deliver the same distance and trajectory as the clubs that are getting the heave-ho.The chart below shows exactly which hybrids in the Thomas Golf AT 705 lineup should replace which irons and woods in your bag.
Factors considered include the clubhead loft, shaft length and average distance of each club (not shown as it varies from golfer to golfer). Because specifications differ between hybrid models and manufacturers, the chart isn't meant to be used as a general guide to all hybrids. Always refer to the specific loft, length and lie characteristics of the hybrids you're considering before deciding which irons or woods to replace.
|Thomas AT705||Loft||Lie||Length (graphite)||Length (steel)||Replaces our:|
|Hybrid Driver||10.5°||56°||43.5"||42.5"||Traditional Driver|
|1 Hybrid Iron||16°||57°||40.5"||40"||1 Iron / 4 wood|
|2 Hybrid Iron||18°||58°||40"||39.5"||2 Iron / 5 wood|
|3 Hybrid Iron||21°||59°||39.5"||39"||3 Iron / 7 wood|
|4 Hybrid Iron||24°||60°||39"||38.5"||4 Iron / 9 wood|
|5 Hybrid Iron||27°||61°||38.5"||38"||5 Iron / 11 wood|
|6 Hybrid Iron||30°||61.5°||38"||37.5"||6 Iron / 13 wood|
|7 Hybrid Iron||34°||62°||37.5"||37"||7 Iron / 15 wood|
|8 Hybrid Iron||38°||62°||37"||36.5"||8 Iron / 17 wood|
|9 Hybrid Iron||42°||63°||36.5"||36"||9 Iron / 19 wood|
|PW Hybrid||46°||63°||36"||36"||PW / 21 wood|
|GW Hybrid||50°||64°||36"||36"||GW / 23 wood|
|SW Hybrid||55°||64°||36"||36"||SW / 25 wood|
Which Hybrids Replace Standard Irons and Fairway Woods?
Hybrid clubs have gained tremendous popularity in recent years largely because they are so easy to hit. Golf is a hard game, as you know, so any opportunity to make this game a bit easier is one that most golfers will reach for immediately. Even if adding hybrid clubs to your bag isn't going to make the game easy, it certainly will help you get around the course with a little less trouble. By replacing some of your harder-to-hit clubs – like long irons and fairway woods – with hybrids, you should be able to trim shots off of your average score.
Of course, this task is not as easy as simply buying a bunch of new hybrids and throwing them into your bag. You need to think strategically about which hybrids you are going to purchase, in which lofts, in order to properly replace the clubs you will be taking out of your set. Proper distance gapping is important in golf, as it would be pointless to have two clubs which send the ball the exact same distance. In the longer part of your bag, you want to have at least 10 yards of distance between each of your clubs, if not 15. You are only allowed to carry 14 clubs per the rules of golf, so you would be wasting one of those slots if you doubled up with two clubs that can hit the ball 200 yards, for example.
While it would be nice to just be able to consult a chart of some kind to tell you how to replace your current clubs, that isn't how this game works. Each golfer is their own unique individual, and as such, each player has their own distance profile. Even among players with identical swing speeds there will be variances in distance based on angle of attack, quality of contact, and more. You aren't going to be able to look to anyone else in order to replace your irons and fairway woods with hybrids properly – you are going to have to take a look at your own game in order to get this right.
In this article, we are going to help you with this task by providing some basic advice and helpful tips. It is still going to be up to you to find the right hybrids to take the place of some of your existing clubs, but hopefully our advice will point you in the right direction. In the end, you should be left with a set of clubs that offers a similar distance profile to your current set, yet is easier to hit overall. There is nothing about this game which could be called 'easy', but adding a few hybrids to your bag can at least make things a little bit easier.
All of the instruction provided below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you play golf left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.
Start with the Cuts
Before you can decide which hybrid clubs you are going to purchase to put into your bag, you have to first decide which of your current clubs are going to be set aside. For some golfers, this will be an easy task, as many players already know which clubs they have trouble hitting. However, you might not be as clear on this point, so a trip to the driving range is in order. During this quick trip to the range, you will hold 'tryouts' for your current clubs to determine which ones are going to keep their jobs.
While getting setup on the range, you already know that you are going to keep at least a few of your clubs. Your driver isn't going anywhere, and neither is your putter. Your wedges are safe as well, as is your nine iron, your eight iron, and probably your seven iron. For most players, the three wood is also going to stay in the bag. However, everything else is up for debate. Any club longer than your three wood but shorter than a seven iron is going to need to be tested during this practice session.
Setting aside the clubs you already know you are going to keep, it is time to hit some shots with the rest of the set. Hit about three or four shots with each of the clubs, while keeping the following questions in mind.
- How far do I hit this club? Watch the ball fly as it travels down the range and estimate your distance accordingly. Driving range distances aren't a great measure of your true capability with a given club, but they can at least get you in the ballpark. Of course, if you have had these clubs for a while, you should already know roughly how far you hit them thanks to on-course experience.
- How much confidence do I have in this club? This is a subjective point, of course, but it is one worth considering carefully as you practice. You need to have confidence in your clubs when out on the course, as it is nearly impossible to play well when you doubt yourself. If some of the clubs in your bag do not inspire the confidence you need to play your best, it is wise to replace those clubs with ones that help you to feel positive about your game.
- How often do I hit this club? You technically don't need to be at the range practicing in order to think about this point, but now is as good of a time as any. Do you find yourself consistently reaching for any of these clubs when playing on the course, or do you avoid them as much as possible? If you tend to do your best to avoid a given club when playing a round, that is a club which should be near the top of your cut list.
It shouldn't take very long to determine which of the clubs you have been testing are likely candidates to be tossed out of the bag. For some golfers, the result of this short process will be that only one or two clubs are going to be replaced. For other players, it may be that every club in question is going to be removed in favor of a hybrid. Do your best to avoid carrying any preconceived notions with you into this process. Come in with an open mind, test each club on its own, and make your determinations based on the evidence you see in front of you.
The Benefits of Turning to Hybrids
At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of which clubs in your bag are simply not holding up their end of the bargain. There is no room in your set for clubs that you cannot hit effectively, so any club that fails to give you confidence is one which should stay in the garage. Now that you have listed out the clubs you would like to replace, it is time to go in search of hybrid clubs that can fill in these gaps. But why hybrid clubs? What is it about these kinds of clubs that make them such a great choice to replace your fairway woods and long irons? The points below should be all the convincing you need that hybrids are the right way to go.
- Forgiveness. The name of the game when it comes to hybrid clubs is forgiveness. Especially when compared to long irons, hybrids are rather forgiving and they allow you to get decent results out of your less-than-perfect swings. Pretty much any golf club will perform nicely when you make a great move through the ball, but that isn't going to be the case when something goes wrong in your swing. For instance, if you are hitting a three iron and you miss the ball out toward the toe, your shot is going to come up well short of the target. If you trade that three iron for a hybrid club, however, the results could be different. Sure, your poor swing still isn't likely to lead to a great result, but it could provide you with a playable shot that will avoid any serious trouble. Golf is a game of small margins, and the difference between a long iron and a hybrid can add up to several stroke on the scorecard.
- Added distance. Who doesn't want to hit the ball farther? When using the same swing on a long iron and a hybrid club, the hybrid is likely to send the ball a greater distance. With a lighter, larger club head, there will be more energy transferred to the ball with the hybrid. Even if you only gain a few yards by switching to hybrids, those few yards could mean the difference between hitting the target and coming up short. In a day and age where golf courses are getting longer and longer, it is nice to have a little help in the effort to keep up.
- Get through the grass. When playing a long iron, and to some extent a fairway wood, you may have trouble cutting through the grass when your ball strays from the fairway. Thanks to the design of hybrid clubs, however, you should have better luck with this option while playing out of the rough. Hybrids have a stronger leading edge than fairway woods, so they can cut through the grass pretty well. At the same time, they have a larger sweet spot and lower center of gravity than long irons, so you will have an easier time getting the ball up in the air. In the end, you are left with a club which will perform better out of those tricky lies in the rough. You would always prefer to be on the fairway, of course, but hybrids can help you get back in position after a bad drive.
- Higher trajectory. One of the leading complaints regarding long irons is the difficulty they provide in getting the ball up off the ground. Unless you have a particularly high swing speed, you probably struggle to hit your long irons high up into the sky – instead hitting low line drives that bounce and roll out after they land. Hitting the ball higher is desirable because you can stop the ball quicker when it lands, giving you more control over the shot as a whole. With the majority of their weight in the bottom of the club head, and with a light overall weight compared to a long iron, hybrids make it easy to send the ball skyward. Even if this were the only advantage to choosing hybrid clubs, you would still want to make the swing because of the importance of this point.
There are plenty of reasons to turn to hybrids when rounding out your updated set of clubs. As you can see from the list above, hybrids will be able to help you in a number of important ways when out on the course. Whether you choose to add just one or two hybrids, or if you end up with four or five in your bag, it is likely you will come to see these clubs as trusted friends which can help you out of many tough situations.
Picking the Right Hybrids
When the time comes to actually order some new hybrid clubs to replace the clubs you have tossed out of your bag, you will find that there are hybrids on the market in just about every loft imaginable. If you wanted, you could probably build an entire set of clubs just out of hybrids. So, how do you know which ones to order in order to reconstruct your set properly? Basing your decisions on loft is a great place to start.
While it is smart to use loft to guide your hybrid shopping process, you aren't necessarily going to match up lofts exactly for every club you replace. Remember, hybrids will often hit the ball farther than long irons, so you may need to adjust a bit in order to replicate the distances you need to fill. To get started with this process, write down the loft of every club that is going to be replaced by a hybrid – including both fairway woods and long irons. You may have to do a bit of research on this point if the lofts are not listed directly on your clubs. Most fairway woods will have the loft printed somewhere on the club head, but rarely is that true of long irons. Use the internet to track down the lofts of all of these clubs and write them out.
Once you have your list, you are going to make a few adjustments before you pick out new hybrids. For fairway woods, you are actually going to look for hybrids with one or two degrees less loft than the club you are replacing. Hybrid shafts tend to be a bit shorter than fairway wood shafts, and the club heads are usually smaller as well. That means the hybrids you use instead of these fairway woods many hit the ball a bit shorter. So, going with slightly less loft should counteract those differences, and your distance should work out nicely in the end.
The plan is going to be just the opposite when it comes to long irons. In this case, you are going to look for clubs with an extra degree or two of loft to counteract the fact that the hybrid will hit the ball farther. For instance, if you find that your three iron has 21-degrees of loft, look for a hybrid in the 22 or 23-degree range to replace it. This should leave you with approximately the same distance out of this spot in your bag, yet you will gain the ease of use and added height that comes with a hybrid.
Once you have done a bit of math and charted out a loft shopping list, you can go ahead and find the hybrids which are going to take up these spots in your bag. It is nice to pick out all hybrids from the same company, but that is not totally necessary if you find that you can't get every loft you are looking for from that one brand. If you are able to pick out all of your hybrids from the same line, you will have the benefit of consistent feel and you should make the transition to these new clubs quicker than if you had a few different models to learn.
Getting Used to Your New Set
Once you have made this transition, you will have a set of clubs which does not look much like your old set. You will have made changes for the better, but the results you are expecting might not show up at first. Any dramatic change to your golf game – whether it involves new equipment or a new technique – will take time before you start to see lower scores.
The best thing you can do in order to adapt to this new set is simply to get out and play. Hit as many range balls as you can, and schedule a few rounds of golf to work through this transition period. Don't worry if the results aren't great at first – that is to be expected. You have to be patient if you want to see results in this game, and that is certainly the case here. Your new set will eventually be a great benefit to you, but only if you are willing to first go through some rough patches of play.
For one thing, you are going to have to dial in your distances with all of these new clubs. Even though you tried to match them up to your previous clubs as closely as possible, there are still bound to be some minor differences. For the first few rounds, consider writing down your yardages for each shot you play with the new clubs. Once you have a decent sampling from all of these new hybrids, you will have a much better sense for how far you can hit each of them. Having a good feel for your distances is a big part of being confident when you take a given club out of the bag.
Another adjustment you will have to make is terms of the ball flight you produce with these clubs. It is possible that your shot pattern will be different with hybrids, especially when compared to your old long irons. If you fought a slice with your long irons, it may be that you only hit a slight fade with the hybrids – or maybe even a little draw. Again, this is a point which can only be ironed out through experience. As you hit more and more shots with these clubs, you will get better and better at predicting what they are going to do in the air.
Even as you are making the transition from your old set to this new collection of hybrids, you should find that there are plenty of positive signs along the way to keep your motivated. Don't focus initially on your overall score so much as the good shots you hit during the round. As long as you continue to find more and more good shots with these new hybrid clubs, the results are sure to show themselves on the scorecard in the long run.
Replacing your fairway woods and long irons with hybrids is not an extremely difficult task, but it is one which requires some attention to detail. Rather than just picking out a few hybrids at random from the pro shop and heading to the first tee, take your time to go through this process correctly. Basing your replacements on loft is the best way to go, as this strategy should leave you with a set that has similar distance gaps to your previous club lineup. Good luck!