By Paul Myers

Over the last few years, it seems that golf hybrids have completely taken over for long irons in the bags of most amateurs – and some professionals. It isn’t too hard to see why, as golf hybrids can be easier than irons to get up into the air, and thus tend to land softer than shots hit with the same iron. However, long irons are still a viable option for many players, take some time to think about your game and decide which option is best for you.

Below are three questions that can help you work through the process of making this decision. Of course, you don’t have to choose strictly one side or another, as you could have a hybrid club and some still keep some long irons in your bag, depending on the construction of the rest of your set.

Where do you play your golf?

The conditions that you usually play in have a lot to do with the types of clubs that you might choose to put in your bag. If most of your rounds are played on courses that are soft, long irons may not do as much good as they get some of the value from the roll out after the ball lands. Golf Hybrids might serve your better in soft conditions as they should stay in the air longer and maximize the carry you are able to achieve.

By contrast, if you play many of your rounds under windy conditions, long irons and the low ball flights they produce can be very valuable. It is sometimes difficult to flight your shots down when using golf hybrids, so they might not do you very much good in the wind. Consider keeping at least one or two long irons in the bag if you find yourself battling high shots in the wind on a regular basis.

How much swing speed to you possess?

Long irons are not usually as good of an option as a hybrid when you don’t possess a high swing speed through impact. For example, if you hit your driver in the range of 200-225 yards most of the time, you will probably be better off avoiding long irons. Golf hybrids will be probably easier for you to hit, and will give you the opportunity to hit higher shots with your long clubs to hold greens from long approaches. If you are able to hit your driver 250 yards or more (carry), then you certainly may have enough swing speed to at least experiment with some long irons as a part of your set.

What style of golf do you play?

Golf hybrids can be great for going for par five greens in two since they can hit the ball high, but that won’t do you much good if you rarely go for the green in two shots. Long irons are useful off the tee on short par fours because you can hit them low and let them run down the fairway, but a golfer who hits driver on every hole may not benefit from that ability. Think about the usual strategy you employ on the course, and then pick the best combination of golf hybrids and long irons that suit your style.

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