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Is the 3 iron the new 1 iron?


Joshgellsworth
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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?

I agree with what you're says but there is a difference. Today's club will have technology that makes it easier to hit regardless of what it's called or its type.

 

It may even be a 4 hybrid (mine's a 22). I hit my 22 degree 3 iron in 1988 about 215. It was hit or miss. I hit my 4 hybrid today about 190, pretty consistently and on a much higher trajectory. Today's Indian would be the biggest difference between now and ‘88.

 

 

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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 agree with revkev, I always liked my long irons better than my woods, I could hit my 3 iron better than I could hit a 7 wood or a 5 wood as a rule. However, my new 3 hybrid is much easier to hit than my 3 iron and much more foregiving. If and or when I buy a modern set of irons i would not carry a 3 iron at all anymore.

 

As nice as my 3 hybrid is, I am more likely to get a 4 hybrid and replace my 3 iron actually.

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 agree with revkev, I always liked my long irons better than my woods, I could hit my 3 iron better than I could hit a 7 wood or a 5 wood as a rule. However, my new 3 hybrid is much easier to hit than my 3 iron and much more foregiving. If and or when I buy a modern set of irons i would not carry a 3 iron at all anymore.

 

As nice as my 3 hybrid is, I am more likely to get a 4 hybrid and replace my 3 iron actually.

This is what I pretty much did. I replaced my 3 and 4 iron with a 4 and 5 hybrid. My goal was to match the lofts of the clubs.

 

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My Titleist ball fitting last month was an eye opener on this. There is often a gap between the line negative iron that you bag and the most lofted wood/hybrid.

 

I did away with 4 iron so last MGS sho that I can't remember. 5 iron was about 10 years ago. I handled the gap between it and 6 iron by strengthening the 6 2 degrees and the 7 one. I was very good with that set up. But things change especially as we get older.

 

Fast forward to last month. I was struggling even with 6 iron. I have a 6 hybrid am not a big fan, two hard to control. So I'm thinking that I will make the same move. Enter the ball fitting. After the iron part the fitter told me that I could actually hit 7 iron (what was being tested) by going with an iron that has a wider sole and more loft. Counter intuitive but what the heck.

 

I shot 76 on Sunday the first time out with the irons that have a wider sole and a bit more loft. Yesterday at the range I was reaching the 175 flag with six iron - downwind so 165 or more with no wind.

 

The gap problem is resolved.

 

The lesson here is that a good fitter can help with gapping and there may be ways to help the Indian hit his target more frequently through the proper equipment.

 

 

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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 have noticed a bigger gap between my 5 hybrid and 5 iron than elsewhere in my bag. It's not huge and I am able to make up for it by gripping down some on the 5 hybrid.

 

At one time I thought about doing what Kev did, strengthening my 5 iron a degree or two but I held off and played a few rounds. It's seems like maybe I've lucked out some because that distance in the gap doesn't really come up on the courses I play. So I'm just letting it ride.

 

I seem to remember that during my last fitting the fitter saying I could strengthen all my iron 1 degree because I hit them a little higher than most. But I was right on the threshold for the recommendation so we left them stock.

 

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I still carry a ping zing 2 iron for those low punch shots or as a wind beater. It's always a fade and good for 220ish yards on full swing. It seldom gets me into trouble and often out of trouble. I switch it out with a 2 hybrid from time to time. Unlike a 4 or 5 iron, it gets used every round

 

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The Steelhead's I tested last year had what everyone would consider to be strong lofts. I was excited to play with the 3-iron, because I had never had one before. It's 18 degrees.

 

I don't hit it very well from the grass (I sometimes use it for punchouts, but the length makes even that hard to do). The one place where it shines is off the tee. There are always a few holes at every course I play where a shorter, more accurate drive is to my benefit, and that's the job for the 3-iron. My friends are mad I have it, because they can't rely on me to hook s*** into the woods all the time.

 

When I talked to the callaway rep last year while I was getting fit, he was discussing lofts and basically saying that if they can get the 7-iron level spin, launch and height from a club that is 3-4 degrees stronger, they will do it because it means more distance. While I agree that creates big gaps with wedges, it makes sense for the average golfer. Most internet golfers are not your average hacker.

WITB

 

Driver- PING G400 LST w/ Project X Evenflow Black

Fwy- TM Aeroburner 16.5HL

Irons- Callaway Steelhead XR (3-PW)

Wedges- Callaway MD3 (50,54,58)

Putter- Cleveland TFI Satin Cero

Ball-  Snell MTB-X

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I now sorta see now where you're going with this - but as I mentioned before, the last time I carried a 1-iron it was a 16-degree Tommy Armour 845 back in the early 1990s. And it and the matching 2-iron were sold as options - and it was also when they introduced us to "Gap Wedges" - as a matching 52* W3, to fill in the gap between their 48* PW and 56* SW, was also available. ... I remember the TV and print ads, and some of the other geezers here probably do as well.

 

And sure, over the last 10 years we've all seen the loft race, which most manufacturers have participated in to exaggerate their claims in iron distances, and to feed our vanities - and probably at the same time to make consistent the loft distances between the lowest iron someone might play and the hybrids many of us have replaced one or more of our long irons with.

Personally, I had no interest in buying a set with a 3-iron or a 4-iron when I purchased new irons last year - as I'd abandoned them going on 30 years ago upon finding a 7-wood I was able to hit and stop on greens instead of watching even well struck long irons roll through and off the back of greens, which I later replaced with hybrids.

How you choose to make up your bag is up to you, like everyone else. I still don't know if I'm buying your 165-PW.

 

End of the day I really don't much care what the numbers are stamped on clubs, as long as their lofts satisfactorily fill the gaps I need for my game. And if it means I'm adding a fourth wedge to my bag, so be it. ... Because, hell, I was carrying 3 wedges in the '90s even before I even considered adding a lob wedge.

I had the TA845s as well. That one iron was about 2-3 degrees stronger lofted than any other on the market at the time. And I could KILL it! [emoji13] I had the full set 1-LW. Sometimes I wonder why I still don't.

 

 

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------------------------------

Driver:   :srixon-small: z785 10.5 - Miyazaki Kaula Mizo 5 R-flex

Fairway:srixon-small: f65 15* and 19* - Miyazaki Kaula Mizo 5 R-flex

Irons:Hogan: PTxPro 4-PW - UST Mamiya Recoil 780 F4

Wedges: :taylormade-small: HiToe 50*-54*-60* stock steel shafts

Putter:  :taylormade-small: Spider Tour Red Sightline - double-bend black steel 34"

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Just play forged blades.  Most still have a PW closer to 47-48° and haven't gone as strong as garlic on their lofts.  

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Tour Issue Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero 9° / Graphite Design P9003 TX  OR  Tour Issue Taylormade M1 430 9.5° / Graphite Design P9003 TX                        

Tour Issue Callaway XHot 3 Deep 13° / Graphite Design DI-10 TX                    Tour Issue Callaway XHot 3 Deep 13° / Project X T1100 95g 6.5

Tour Issue Titleist 915Hd 17.5° / Graphite Design DI-105 X                                Tour Issue Callaway BB Alpha 815 18° / Graphite Design DI-105 X

Scratch AR-1 v2 3-PW / Tour Issue Dynamic Gold X7                                        Raw Bridgestone J15CB 3-PW / Tour Issue Dynamic Gold X7

Scratch FIT 54°DS and 60°DS / Tour Issue Dynamic Gold X7                            Bettinardi H2 Forged 54° and 60° / Tour Issue Dynamic Gold X7        

Rotating 8802 style putters

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Wow. Seems most on this blog bought into the marketing speel. I have to admit I replaced my 3 iron with a 5 Wood. Hitting a 4 iron & holding the green is easy enough. But I carry a modern 2 iron for wind ... still play Titleist 681's or my Miura 'retro' blades - 4i thru pw. Always Miura wedges though ... 53 & 58. Swap a 60 - 5° bounce wedge vs 3 wood depending on course conditions. Something sweet about USA or Japanese forged irons ... compared to the modern Chinese castings. Just ugly castings ... thick topline. Wide soles. Lofts jacked up. To feed egos ... wow ... I hit my 7 iron 200 yards ... kind of thing. What is next ? PW of 40 degrees ???

 

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To feed egos ... wow ... I hit my 7 iron 200 yards ... kind of thing. What is next ? PW of 40 degrees ???

 

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In my lifetime PW has gone from 50 down to 44/45.

 

It will happen.

 

Easy to hit technology is replacing the theory of teaching a proper swing. If a player can hit a PW 130-160 yards who needs a long iron?

 

Keep in mind this is also the same generation that is too busy to grocery shop for themselves, sit down and have a family dinner or portion out their own food and meals for bagged lunches.

 

If they're too busy for the routine necessities how would they care to find time for any proper instruction.

 

 

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  • TaylorMade SIM2 8* Mitsubishi Tensei 1K White 60X
  • TaylorMade SIM2 3 wood Fujilkura Ventus Blue 7-X
  • Mizuno HMB MP20 3i Nippon Modus 3 120S
  • Ben Hogan PTx Combo Nippon Modus 3 120S
  • Vokey SM8 50 Nippon Modus 3 120s
  • TaylorMade MG2 TW 56 & 60 Nippon Modus 3 120S
  • Scotty Cameron Phantom X 11.5
  • TaylorMade TP5

 

Western, NY

5.7 Index

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I still use my old Mizuno T Zoid Pro 3 iron, thin top line and normal loft. I'm off the opinion if I need more distance I'll use the appropriate club. I had a spell with a set of clubs with stronger lofts, it just meant I hit 7 iron instead of 6. Theres a club in the bag for all distances.

Driver     Awaiting NEW Driver (after 10 yrs)  
4 Wood   Callaway Big Bertha Steelhead plus 4+  :callaway-small: Callaway shaft in 'Firm' flex

Hybrid     Titleist 910H 19*    :titelist-small:   Diamana ahina 'flower' shaft in 'S'

Irons         Mizuno MP18SC 4-PW   :mizuno-small:  N.S Pro Modus3 Tour 105 in 'S'

Wedges    Callaway Mack Daddy forged in black 50* and 54*  :callaway-small:   KBS Tour in 'R'

Putter        'YES' Tracy 11 C groove 34.5"

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I have been thinking along these same lines for a while.  I carry a 3 and 5 wood, then I jump to 4 iron.  The 3 wood rarely comes out of my bag because I am super confident in my 5 wood, so I have been mulling over the idea of pulling out the 3 wood and getting a 3 iron to fill the gap between my 5 wood and 4 iron.  And like many here have said it is about spacing and loft more than the number on the bottom of the club.  

:ping-small: G30 Driver

:ping-small: G30 3 and 5 Wood

:ping-small: i200 red dot 4-U

:taylormade-small: Milled Grind 54 and 58

Scotty Cameron Fastback Select

 

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My Dad had (I think he just sold them) a set of Cobra King OS Irons (no idea when they were made - circa 2000?), which included a driving iron. Back in the day, this would've been the equivalent of a 2 iron, but the loft on my 4 iron is similar loft. Just shows you how much stronger irons have gotten in the last decade or so.

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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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  • 1 month later...

I purchased my PE2's (2-PW) brand new in 1988 and am still playing them today. I use to be able to hit the 2 iron well and frequently opted to use it over my 3w which, at that time, I was not hitting very consistently.  I don't know the specs on these as compared to new iron technology; but it sounds like there's been a shift in numbers? 

 

Is the term "driving iron" fairly new?  I just always referred to them (2 thru 4) as "long irons".  I now choke up a wee bit on the 2 (which I don't hit much these days) and my 3 as it seems to help consistency in making good contact.  But, I think I'm giving up a little distance doing so which is making the yardage distance darn close to my 4 iron.

:ping-small: G410 Plus, 9 Degree Driver 

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 16 Degree 3w

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 19 Degree 5w

:srixon-small:  ZX5 Irons 4-AW 

:ping-small: Glide 2.0 56 Degree SW   (removed from double secret probation 😍)

:ping-small: B61 Putter  (Currently Testing Evnroll ER5v)

 

 

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