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Is the 3 iron the new 1 iron?


Joshgellsworth
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“Not even God can hit a 1 iron” was a phrase I've heard my entire life around the course, now with trend of strengthening lofts are we soon to say “not even God can hit a 3 iron”. I rarely see 4 irons in bags now let alone a 3 iron, when does the common set become 5-pw? Will wedges soon be sold as 4 pcs sets to accommodate to the new lofts? I now hit my pw 165 yards, so it's getting harder to get perfect gapping from my iron to wedge transition without having more wedges than irons. The courses are staying the same length so when do we start building our new found distance towards a game with more accuracy?

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They are getting rare. I put mine back in the bag after having a 20* Hybrid in its place that I wasn't hitting consistently. I hit the 3-Iron pretty well, though admittedly not as consistent as I'd like, but no worse than the hybrid.

 

 

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I think I was making more of a statement than a question. What we consider a 3 iron is actually what a 1 iron would be 10+ years ago. Generally a 1 irons would have fell under the 15-18 degree range but now we are seeing 3 irons ranging 17-19 degrees. It was uncommon to see a 1 iron in a bag and I feel that we are headed to seeing the demise of 3 irons included in sets due to the strong lofts. We are at a time when club manufactures are are just making stronger lofted clubs to help distance gains but at what point will that end? At this rate a 5 iron will be at 19 degrees replacing a 3 iron. What will that mean for us? Buying more wedges to make up the distance gaps because I'll soon be hitting my pitching wedge 190 yards lol.

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Adams Speedline 4G ultralite driver stiff shaft

Taylormade SLDR driver extra stiff shaft

Ping G20 3 wood stiff shaft

Adams redline 3&4 hybrids stiff shaft

Adams redline 5-PW stiff shaft

Titleist Vokey sm5 wedges 52, 56, 60

Boccieri golf Heavy putter

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I used to have a hybrid instead of a 3 iron for a while, but the one I've got currently (i200) is more accurate and longer (by about 10m). Unlike the driving irons of the same lofts (e.g. T-MB, UDI, etc.), mine is a traditional iron rather than a chunkier one.

 

Honestly, I think that the 2 iron (~17 degrees) is more of the modern 1 iron as there are still a lot of people who have them in the bag (as a driving iron, e.g. Titleist T-MB). 

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Driver (main): Cobra F9 Speedback (9.0) with Fujikura Atmos 7X (Avalanche White) 

Driver (back-up): Titliest 915 D3 (9.5) with Fujikura Speeder Shaft 757 (Tour Stiff)

3 Wood: Callaway Epic Sub-Zero (15 degrees) in Rogue Max 75g stiff shaft

Hybrid: Callaway Apex 20 degree with Kurokage 80g Stiff Shaft

Irons: PING i200 4-PW in XP 95 shafts with S300 flex (+ 3 iron)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 - 50

              Callaway MD4 - 56 & 60 degrees

Putter: Taylormade TP Collection Soto

Golf Ball: Titliest Pro V1X, Srixon Z-Star ZV & Taylormade TP5X

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Lofts to mcare just numbers and they vary based on design because oems have to get launch and spin right. From purely a loft number yeah the 3i is probably the new 1i but outside of a blade or even a players cb the 3i is more forgiving than the old 1i

 

Something like an ap3 3i, maybe a tmb 2 or 3i, p790 2i would be options for some over a hybrid in that spot for guys who trouble with hybrids or prefer the look of irons.

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Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

Irons: PXG Gen3 0311T w/Nippon modus 120

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

Ball: Titleist Prov1

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I agree with some of the earlier comments when talking about lofts.  Should the question be can anyone hit an iron with less than 18 degrees of loft.  For some of the SGI irons with strong lofts that could be a 4 iron and for irons with what we now call "traditional" lofts that could be a 2 or 3 iron.  I struggle with an iron with less than about 25 degrees of loft and get much better results from a hybrid.  

Driver - Ping G410 Plus 10.5 - Ping Tour 65 Stiff

4 Wood - Callaway Rogue - Project X Evenflow blue 6.0

Hybrids - Titleist 818 H2 -  3(c-1) and 4(c-4) - Tensei CK Blue 70 stiff

Irons - Callaway Apex  CF 16 5-AW - True Temper XP 95 Steel Stiff

Wedges - Ping Glide 54 SS, 58 TS

Putter - Edel e1 Torque balanced

Indianapolis

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I carried a Spalding 2 iron for many years (still have it in the garage). I believe it to be about 80 years old now. Today, I sport a 16.5* 2H(Cobra Bio Cell). It is adjustable from 16.5* to 19*. I get a straight 190, a faded 180 or just a punch out from under the trees. I love this club and it will be hard to replace it when I order my new Cobra F8's.

 

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Driver: PXG 0211 w/Evenflo Riptide CB Regular shaft 

Fairways:  Cobra King F8 3-4W(16*) & 5-6W(20*) w/Mitsubishi ck Blue regular shaft 

Hybrid: Cobra F8 3 Hybrid(19*) w/Recoil ES regular shaft 

Irons: Wilson D7 5-PW w/Recoil 460 Regular graphite shafts 

Wedges: Cleveland RTX Zipcore(50*/54*/58*) w/True Temper Spinner Wedge steel shaft  

Putter: 33" Evnroll ER2 w/Evnroll Gravity Grip 

Bag: Vice cart bag(Black).  

Pushcart:  Caddytek 3.0 from Costco

Ball: Maxfli Tour CG & Titleist Pro V1x.

 

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My current bag still has a 3 iron (Mizuno MP-57's).  In fact, I used it yesterday.  Love the feel of a well struck shot with it.  The new setup coming for the Cobra Connect II challenge will most likely be from a 4 iron up (no 3 iron option) and a hybrid on the bottom end.

 

MDGolfHacker

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What's In This Lefty's Bag?

Driver: :cobra-small: F8 9.5° Project X Even Flow Blue 65g shaft 

Fairway Woods: :cobra-small: F8 3W Project X Even Flow Blue 75g shaft

Fairway Woods: :cobra-small: F8 5W Project X Even Flow Blue 75g shaft

Hybrid: :titelist-small: 816H2 19°

Irons: :titelist-small: 2021 T200's 4-GW AMT RED shafts Regular Flex

Wedge: :cleveland-small: Tour Satin RTX 4 Wedges in 52° and 56° 2 Dot

Putter: :nevercompromise-small: Gray Matter TDP 2.2 32.75"

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I play the nike vapor speed irons, and found that my 4i (21) and 5i (24) both go about the same distance (~200 carry). I expect a 3i to match would not go further for me. I picked up a 3h to fill the gap between the 5i and 3w (that I never hit well).

 

I'd agree, that the modern 3i is nearly impossible to hit for a mortal, "utility" clubs not withstanding.

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I agree with your initial thought on this as I don't know of anyone (yet) that carries anything like a 2 or a 1 iron and even 3 irons seem to be rare too.

 

My current set up has my irons starting with a 4 that I rarely hit unless I'm far out and in some super thick stuff, otherwise I'll default to my 3H that I can hit pretty well most of the time out of the first cut-if it's short. My gaping near the top of my bag is fairly close together since I carry both a 3 & 5 wood too, but I generally reserve those for hits out of the fairway on long par 5's. I only keep the 4i around for "chunking" and actually have considered replacing it with another hybrid or even a crossover which might even be better...

In my       :ping-small: DLX Cart Bag:
Driver
:    :ping-small: G410 SFT, set to 9.5*, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange 60, stiff (MGS Official 2019 Tester)
3W:          :ping-small: G-Series SF TEC, set to 16*, Aldila Tour Blue ATX, 65g, stiff
5W:          :ping-small: G400 SFT, set to 19*, Aldila Tour Blue ATX, 65g, stiff
7W:         :ping-small: G410 SFT, set to 22*. Alta CB 65 Red, stiff

Irons:       :ping-small: GMax, Green Dot, 5-PW, Project X Graphite Blue 6.0, 80-90g , stiff
Wedges: :ping-small: Glide 2.0 Stealth, 50* SS, 54* ES & 60*/8 Forged MGS Special from the Wedge Wizard, Green Dot, Alta CB graphite, 84g, stiff
Putter:     :ping-small: Vault 2.0 B60 Copper, 33", black dot w/GP SNSR grip (PING Sigma 2 Fetch under "see-trials")
Ball:       :Snell: MTB BLACK (MGS Official 2018 Tester for the :Snell: MTB RED)
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Does it really matter what number is written on the bottom of the club as long as you hit it the distance and trajectory you want to hit it?  who cares if the PW is an old school 9i, a GW the old PW, etc.  Other than ego, what's the difference b/w hitting a 21* club from 1988 or 2018?

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The problem is lying with having to spend more money on wedges due to the distance increases.when you need to start buying your wedges at 40 degrees to close the gap from your PW is a issue that I'm not looking forward to

Adams Speedline 4G ultralite driver stiff shaft

Taylormade SLDR driver extra stiff shaft

Ping G20 3 wood stiff shaft

Adams redline 3&4 hybrids stiff shaft

Adams redline 5-PW stiff shaft

Titleist Vokey sm5 wedges 52, 56, 60

Boccieri golf Heavy putter

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My Edel 4 Iron was 23, and I'm having my new Mizunos bent a degree strong, so it will be 23 also.

Not sure what that USED to be, but I'm staying in irons with “traditional” lofts for the sole purpose of not having to build the bottom of the bag. I'm tired of companies saying “it's a 6 Iron” when, for me, it goes as far as a four iron... I know folks need the distance, but a 24* 6 Iron is NOT a 6 Iron.....

 

 

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Driver: :cobra-small: King F9 Speedback/:callaway-small:Epic Max LS, Xphlexxx Busa 2 Liquid, XX stiff, 45”

Fwy:  :callaway-small: Epic Speed 4w, MMT 80X

Hybrid: :callaway-small: X2 Hot Pro, 20*, Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 105X

Irons: :honma:TR20 Tour P 4-10, :Nippon: Modus 130 stiff, +1”

Wedges: :edel-golf-1: SMS 50D/54V/58D:Nippon:Modus 130 stiff, +1”

Putter:  :edel-golf-1: EAS 1.0

All but putter have Lamkin ST+2 Hybrid Calibrate midsize built to oversize +1

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I agree with your initial thought on this as I don't know of anyone (yet) that carries anything like a 2 or a 1 iron and even 3 irons seem to be rare too.

 

My current set up has my irons starting with a 4 that I rarely hit unless I'm far out and in some super thick stuff, otherwise I'll default to my 3H that I can hit pretty well most of the time out of the first cut-if it's short. My gaping near the top of my bag is fairly close together since I carry both a 3 & 5 wood too, but I generally reserve those for hits out of the fairway on long par 5's. I only keep the 4i around for "chunking" and actually have considered replacing it with another hybrid or even a crossover which might even be better...

Me!!  My Eye2 2-iron is never leaving my bag.  I hit it better than any hybrid I've ever tried, and I can't even begin to tell you the number of times I've used it off the tee in tight quarters.  I'm not perfect with it, by any stretch, but it's staying put.

 

I don't have a 3-iron, however.  My i20's start with 4.

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I always try to remember that I'm not good enough to get mad!

 

My Bag:

:ping-small:  G400 Max

:ping-small:  G30 3W

:cobra-small: King S9-1 5W

:taylormade-small: Aeroburner 3 Rescue/Hybrid

:ping-small: G400  5-UW

:cleveland-small: RTX4 52* and 56*

:rife-putters-1: 2Bar Mallet

:ping-small: Traverse II Cart Bag

 

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I believe the average player should explore replacing thier 3 and 4 irons with hybids if they haven't already. The hybrid tech is crazy these days. They are built to get the ball up in the air and can be played out of bunkers and most lies the iron they replace. They also great "chippers" around the greens.

 

I feel like you do give up a little control playing hybrids over irons but they more than make up for it with their reliability. Even at my best I dreaded hitting a 3 iron off the tee. Now a days though it's just another shot.

 

There are still a few courses I play that I carry a 4 iron for but for the most part I am team hybrid now. Heck I have a 2 hybid I carry every now and then when the course requires it. It sort of replaces a 5 wood.

 

My Wife's set only has 7,8,9 irons and wedges everything eles is either hybrids or woods. This set has really helped her keep her interested in learning the game because of how much easier it is to hit the clubs at the top of her bag.

 

So long story short, to answer your question, yes I see the 3 iron going the way of the 1. Not necessarily because lofts are getting stronger but because hybrids are so much easier to hit.

 

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Here we go again

 

1 iron, 2 iron, 3 iron, 2 hybrid, 5 metal, 4 metal who cares? All that matters is that you know how far you hit it and how it works in your bag.

 

Is it marketing? Certainly some but there have also been technological advances that cause the ball to be launched higher so lofts need to get stronger to mitigate against that. It's not all hype, some of the stronger lifting is necessary to make the clubs function properly.

 

If you are blessed with enough distance to hit a PW 165 then perhaps you should consider working with a fitter to put together a set that gives you the appropriate gapping. That's what all of us need to do.

 

Finally despite the so called distance gains the actual average drive for amateur golfers has hardly increased over the past 20 years and neither have our handicaps decreased.

 

 

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Taylor Made Sim2  10.5 (Opened 1 click) Ventus Blue 5  R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

Edison Wedges 54 and 59 KBS Tour Graphite 80's

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

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I think we have to add in club design. The old 1-iron had a 16 deg loft to offset the higher CoG. Today we lower the lower to offset a low CoG. Even the irons of today are really hybrids at the long iron end. Essentially half iron half wood. So to just consider loft ignores so many other variables

 

 

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My irons being old are traditional lofts. My 3 iron according to specs I can find should be 23 degrees.

 

I purchased a 3 hybrid which is 19 degrees. I can see no reason I would need a 1 or 2 iron as the 3 hybrid is such a sweet hitting club. It is also easy to hit and is very straight hitting. Any time I can I would hit my 3 hybrid over my 3 iron as I find the hybrid a bit easier but my 3 iron does fill the gap between the hybrid and my current 4 iron which should be 26.5 degrees.

 

If I were to buy a new set, I would not bag a 3 iron with current lofts as even the most conservative lofts a 3 is usually about 21 degrees from my research.

Driver Taylor Made M2 Ping G 3 wood 14.5 loftPing G hybrid 19Hogan Radial 3-PW(forged circa 1989)Evnroll ER2, Golf bag, old and worn out circa 1989

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I currently have a 2 iron the 4 iron in my bag and really enjoy using them. I've used hybrids in the past, but have fallen in love with the 2 iron. No not the most forgiving, but does exactly what I want it to do on the course so I really can't see changing it out.

It does seem like a lot more hybrids into sets as standard.

 

 

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 ⛳🛄 as of Sept 24, 2020

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Wood:    :cobra-small: F7 3 wood 14.5* w/ weight back

               :ping-small: G410 Crossover - 2 and 4 iron

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