Well well well, Should I get a 4 iron in my bag or an equivalent 4 hybrid? Such a confusing question. What are the priorities? how is one better than the other or even if there is any comparison at all? Calm down, take a deep breath and get your concepts right. Let’s get started and get this done once and for all. Here it is the 4 iron vs 4 hybrid duel. The logic is applicable to all hybrids and irons comparison, you can scale it up from 4 onwards.
hybrid vs iron equivalents Comparison?
The common statement is that the hybrids are replacing the irons in the modern game. It is more right than wrong. Yes, high handicappers prefer hybrids over the irons. But if you get hang of the game then irons should be in your bag instead. I will explain everything in detail. But why did I say it is more right only because there are more high handicappers than scratchers out there. It is easier to find high handicap players and thus more hybrids.
From the statement, that high handicappers prefer hybrid infers that hybrids must be easier to use or they must be more forgiving that is why new golfers prefer them over the irons. It is exactly right if you had this thought process in your mind.
As soon as a player improves playing techniques, handicap score begins to get lower. There is more control over the ball trajectory and better feel of the feedback. That is the time to replace the hybrid with the iron.
How Hybrids are more forgiving than Irons
If you ever got a chance to compare the club head of iron and a hybrid. The first observation will be that the hybrids have a much bigger head than the iron. What is the logic behind that? The modern day R & D is focused immensely on making the clubs more forgiving. If a game becomes easier to play, everybody gets a psychological self-esteem boot and end up buying more golf products. It also increases the players in the game, more players means more revenue.
Brands are trying hard to make clubs that get right trajectory even if you hit the ball off center. Hybrids do exactly that with their big club heads. With a bigger back of the head, the center of gravity is pushed back and lower. It helps to reduce side spin on the ball, makes it go higher and straighter.
In the case of irons, the center of gravity is higher and more towards the joint of the shaft and the club head. You need to have a good technique to hit accurate shots.
How Shot Differs for Hybrids and Irons
Although the loft angle for a 4 iron vs 4 hybrid is the same but with different shapes, mass distribution there is a difference in playing technique.
In the case of irons, the ball has to be hit with a high swing speed if you want to get a good distance. Because the center of gravity is higher the ball will not gain much height in the air this requires you to hit the ball with extra force and that comes with faster acceleration or higher swing speed.
Another thing to make sure with the iron is that you have to align the shaft towards left from the center of your chest. Why? it helps you to shift the impact location of club head and ball in the club swing little late than it would be with the exact center. If you keep the shaft right in the center it will hit the floor before you hit the ball. It takes out the energy that could have been translated to distance on the ball.
Hybrid takes this hassle out, you can align the shaft to the center or keep it towards the left of the center. Because the center of gravity is pushed back and lower in the clubhead and the bottom of the club head is rounder it helps to get away from hitting the floor. This sounds like an absolute blessing for a high handicapper.
Another plus point with the hybrid is that you do not need to worry much about the swing speed. If you have a 4 iron in your bag then you need to have the right technique to have a good swing speed. Ideally above 90 mph would help you achieve the distance with the low loft. Hybrids naturally gain more loft thanks to low Center of gravity, thereby requiring you to get away even with even slower swing speeds.
Who Travels More 4 Iron or 4 Hybrid
They are both labeled 4 that means they should have the same carry distance. That is true, there is not much distance difference between both of them. But the important point to note here is that a high handicapper will not achieve the same distance with a 4 iron. This is because irons require a good technique to increase distance. High handicappers usually don’t have good technique therefore there 4 irons shots would not travel the same yardage in comparison to an expert who can hit with a 4 iron equally good as a 4 hybrid.
Can I Manipulate Loft with Hybrids?
Hybrids are forgiving. They allow you to get away with bad shots. They will minimize your bad technique but they are more robotic. Yes, you can not manipulate the loft with the hybrid. More or less ball response will be the same as the hybrid. You can not customize your shot with a hybrid. This is exactly what the new players look for but it is not exactly perfect for the game isn’t it.
Often during the game loft has to be changed. Imagine if you are playing in a strong wind, would you like to keep your ball up in the air for a long time? Definitely not! if you have a 4 iron in your bag it will prove to be more forgiving. So there are loads of situations where loft manipulation is required and irons are the way to go in those.
Irons Can Scuff the Ball
The texture of the irons face is usually rougher than that of an iron. Yes, it allows to manipulate the ball better but it can scuff the ball outer covering. Some ball response differs from others. For example, superhot bold won’t show a sign of scratch while chrome soft will show wear and tear sooner than you expect.
Conclusion: Who is better in 4 Iron vs 4 hybrid
The above post focuses more on how good the hybrids are for beginners or mid to high handicappers. It tries to clear the concept for hybrid vs iron equivalents. It cleary states the benefits of iron over hybrid if you are good at this game.
If you are just starting out and want to feel good about the game a 4 hybrid is the right choice. As soon as you feel that your score is improving then its time to have more mature equipment that is an iron set in your bag.
Iron helps to manipulate the ball trajectory better. They are less robotic, offer better feedback and control over the ball. Consider it for yourself, if irons were rubbish nobody would have them in their bag today. That is not the case, they work better than the hybrids for those who know how to manipulate the ball.
Bottom line: If you are new, want to improve your handicap score take the 4 hybrid to the course.