Playing with a long iron is not something that you often need. The 1-iron is one of the most useless clubs and the hardest to play with. Moving down the list, the 2-iron is simply the same as the 1-iron. Finally, the 3-iron is another club that most people rarely use. The 4-iron is probably the only one that occasionally gets a pass to be in your bag.
The hybrids clubs are more modern clubs and they have only started appearing on the scene more recently. They are the ideal substitution for the longer irons and many people will consider the 4-hybrid when looking to choose between the iron and the hybrid. It can potentially offer you some additional benefits to your game.
If you are still confused like many of us were, you should continue reading. This article aims to show you some of the key differences between the 4-iron and the 4-hybrid. Looking at these clubs, you will see what benefits and drawbacks they have. It should make it much easier for you to determine which one to use.
Table of Contents
Overview Of The Irons And The Hybrids
Before we can look at the key differences, we should look at the purpose of these clubs. Understanding why they were made will be a great way to determine whether you need one or the other. This brief overview will show you some of the key elements of these two golf clubs. Inevitably, you have a better idea of each:
Why The Iron?
The main purpose of the iron is to give consistent distance and to offer more ball control. Should you be on the fairway, the iron is the perfect club to use for getting up and down onto the green. One of the thoughts behind the iron is to help players hit more Greens In Regulation (GIR).
However, playing with an iron means you need to generate significant ball speed. If you don’t generate enough ball speed, you will be sacrificing plenty of distance. A player with a more consistent swing speed will find better consistency with an iron.
Why The Hybrid?
The hybrid is a more user-friendly club and has a lot more forgiveness for players. The hybrid can be used to play from virtually any surface and your ball speed is not as important. Even if you strike the ball off-center, the hybrid can be the perfect club to help you get balls airborne. Unlike the irons, your shot workability is significantly reduced with a hybrid and the main aim is to go straight.
Main Differences Between The Hybrid And The Irons
Now that you have a better idea of the purpose of each club, you should consider looking at the differences. Depending on your style and gameplay, one club might be more beneficial than the other. We will look at some of these differences, which should make it much easier for you to determine if you need an iron or hybrid:
One of the first things to note is the difference in distance from these clubs. Most players found that playing with the 4-iron, yielded significantly more distance when playing off the tee. Having the elevation of the tee will increase the loft and players can consistently make sure that the ball is airborne. Lower handicap players found a large increase of around 4-yards.
When it comes to approaching shots, the tables are slightly turned. Most players found more distance with the 4-hybrid when playing from the fairway or rough. One of the main reasons is that the 4-hybrid is a jack of all trades and having more forgiveness can often lead to more consistency. The extra distance was seen across the board, regardless of handicap levels.
If you can find plenty of forgiveness with your hybrid, you probably should have better accuracy as well. However, this is not the case. PGA Tour pros often found that a 4-iron gives them better accuracy off the tee. Most handicap levels tend to have similar accuracy levels with both clubs, but the lower handicap levels saw a 2.5% increase in fairways hit with the 4-iron.
When looking at approach shots, the opposite was true. Regardless of the handicap levels, players had a 0.5%-2% increase in accuracy when using the hybrid over the 4-iron. One thing to keep in mind is that the PGA Tour pros did not have many discrepancies, but this can be due to the overall skill level and consistency in their game.
Winner: 4-iron for lower handicaps and 4-hybrid for higher handicaps
Looking at an overall average score between players with a similar handicap is one of the best ways to dissect which club is the best. One of the noticeable differences is that most handicap brackets had a significantly lower score when using the 4-iron. These margins might have been small, but adding them up over around makes a difference.
The discrepancy between the 4-iron and the 4-hybrid was not as prevalent in some of the lower handicap brackets. However, the discrepancy becomes more clear when looking at higher handicap levels.
Winner: The 4-iron is the clear winner
Should I Carry The 4-Iron Or The 4-Hybrid
In terms of statistics and overall tests, the 4-iron is the better option to carry. It might not be as forgiving, but you will rarely use the club. The 4-iron is like an optional club that will enable you to get out of sticky situations. However, you will need to be comfortable using the club as well. Since many people are not comfortable using the 4-iron, the 4-hybrid might be ideal.
Making sure you have the correct clubs in your kit is important when playing golf. If you are not comfortable with your clubs, you won’t trust them to deliver. When choosing to use the 4-iron or the 4-hybrid, we would recommend the 4-iron. However, you should play a few rounds and decide for yourself which one is the most comfortable to play with. We would love to see some of your comments.