3 Iron Vs 3 Hybrid – Which Club To Use And When

The 3 iron is a club that has been used extensively in the past but it is not so omnipresent these days, especially among beginners due to the recent surge in popularity of hybrids clubs like the #3.

These clubs hit the ball an average of about 180 yards so they are in direct competition with each other for a place in your bag.

The 3 iron is more precise and it comes in many styles for different levels of player. It is versatile and useful in a number of situations.

The 3 hybrid has a sharp leading edge making it perfect from the rough and it is know for consistently straight shots that embody a steady and higher launch angle with plenty of distance thrown in.

3 Iron Overview

As iron makers have been increasing the lofts of their clubs for so long, the 3 iron of yesterday is now effectively marketed a s a 4 iron but these clubs still have a place in the game for the better players, those who hit them well and players with faster swing speeds.

3 Irons come in many styles from game improvement to forged players irons so you can get the blend of distance, forgiveness and workability that you need.

The 3 iron is a precise club that can be used to hunt the pin on the course and there is no sweeter feeling than hitting the 3 iron flush.

The flight path is low and long so it stays under the wind and it is very useful of the tee on par 4’s or used as a driving iron on a dogleg.

The turf interaction of a 3 iron is solid too and the sweet spot can be as large and forgiving as you need. Due to the surge in popularity of the hybrids, the irons have also stepped their game up and you can find very competitive 3 iron’s on the market nowadays in all categories.

The deep undercut also cuts through the long grass of the rough well but not as effectively as the hybrid.

3 Hybrid Overview

The 3 Hybrid is a beginners dream, it offers consistent long, high and straight shots with a lower spin rate than woods and irons and with a ton of distance to boot.

Hybrids have taken over from long irons in many beginner sets and even in the bags of professional players because of the effectiveness.

The club can hit the ball an average of about 180 degrees and because of it’s sharp leading edge the club is excellent at cutting through the rough and delivering a decent launch.

If you are someone who struggles to hit irons or woods then the 3 hybrid is definitely worth a shot. For anyone that often finds themselves in the rough off the tee, a low hybrid is an essential club to carry.

The Hybrids also have large, forgiving sweet spots but because of the large head profile, they aren’t as workable as an iron but they are long and straight.

In general, it will always come down to personal preferences. I have always hit a 3 iron well, but if you don’t, then a 3 hybrid might be the better choice.

The 3 Iron in general sis more precise and the 3 hybrid is more consistent.

3 Iron Quick Facts

Category – Long Iron

When To Use: From Fairway, Light-Mid Rough, Tee

Average Distance: 180

Longer Hitter: 200

Shorter Hitter: 165

Typical Loft: 21 Degrees

Club Importance: 91/100

3 Hybrid Quick Facts

Category – Longer Club – Fairway Wood/Long Iron Mix

When To Use: From Fairway, Tee Or Light To Heavy Rough

Average Distance: 185

Longer Hitter: 200

Shorter Hitter: 175

Typical Loft: 19 Degrees

Club Importance: 94/100

3 Iron Overview & First Impressions

3 Irons have long slender heads and come in various styles from players irons, game improvement irons to distance irons.

A 3 iron is usually favoured by players looking for precision or else to work the ball with a draw or a fade.

It can often be used on par 3’s, shots from the fairway and light to mid rough along with shots looking for the green from a distance of about 180 yards.

Since the 3 irons flight path is low and quite far, it can be a great option in windy conditions to ensure the ball doesn’t get carried away.

The 3 iron is slightly less popular these days with many beginners and pros alike starting to favor hybrids.

A 3 iron can also be used in a driving iron format when looking for precision off the tee or in bad weather.

When the ball is sitting up perfectly in the fairway and light rough, it can be a pleasure to launch the ball towards the green with precision

One Club Up – 3 Hybrid

The three hybrid is a combination of a wood and hybrid with a thicker head and it results is a higher and slightly longer flight path too. Since it has a sharper leading edge, it can also be used very effectively from the rough.

One Club Down – 4 Iron

A common club that we see nowadays one down from the 5 is the three hybrid. Great for accuracy and distance from fairway and rough, it has a sharp leading edge for hitting from the rough, earning it’s name as the rescue club.

3 Hybrid Overview & First Impressions

A Hybrid as the name suggests is a mix between a fairway wood with is large, round head and an iron with is large sweet spot and excellent turf interaction.

The 3 Hybrid is one of the most popular in the collection and the 3 & 4 Hybrids are usually found in most sets these days. While they used to be predominantly used by beginners and high handicappers they are now also seen in most pros bags too.

The clubs are incredibly versatile but as with most clubs they will enjoy there best performance from a nice lie on the fairway.

The large sweet spots ensure consistently straight shots and the decent loft and turf interaction ensure a high ball flight although they are slightly less workable than their iron counter parts.

The sharp leading edge is also ideal for the rough, giving the clubs it’s ‘Rescue club’ title.

The 3 Hybrid is a great for most players around the 190 mark on average from any lie and the club is great for hitting the green consistently.

A 3 hybrid can really add consistency to your game especially if you struggle with your longer irons, it will often replace a 3 or 4 iron these days.

One Club Up – 2 Hybrid

The 2 hybrid is a very similar club to the 3 except it has a stronger loft and thus hits the ball further but on a lower trajectory and with less roll out.

One Club Down – 4 Hybrid

The 4 hybrid is often coupled with the 3 in many beginner sets and will hit the ball 5 to 10 yards less than the 3 Hybrid with a higher loft that can cut through the rough more easily.

3 Iron Selling Points

  • Excellent Precision
  • Low Ball Flight, Good Distance
  • Great In Windy Conditions
  • Can Add A Draw Or A Fade
  • Great Off The Tee On Par’s

3 Hybrid Selling Points

  • Consistently Straight Shots
  • Easy To Get Into Air With A Good Launch
  • Excellent Turf Interaction
  • Great From The Rough
  • Excellent Potential Replacement For Long Irons

Who Are 3 Irons For?

Being honest, you wouldn’t be surprised to see a 3 iron in any golfers bag for it’s versatility and usefulness.

With beginners it can be a go to club or a club to use as a driving iron off the tee, while some beginners will prefer to use a 3 or 4 hybrid. It comes down to a matter of personal preference.

Better players are going to get more use out of a 3 iron as they are able to work the ball more for left to right.

They can also use a 3 iron to target precise locations on the course.

It’s long, low ball flight makes it ideal in windy conditions or as a lay up on a dog leg.

If’ you aren’t carrying a replacement hybrid, everybody should have a 3 iron in their bag.

Our Favorite 3 Iron – Callaway Mavrik

Callaway are a mammoth when it comes to high performing golfing irons and the Mavrik is one of the more forgiving clubs they have made, available in a max forgiveness, normal and pro version to suit all players.

You are going to get tons of distance with this alongside forgiveness and you can also work the irons quite a bit.

If you are in the market for solid 3 iron as a high to mid handicapper, we recommend the Mavrik.

Distance: 94/100

Accuracy: 94/100

Forgiveness: 93/100

Feel and Control: 92/100

Overall Score: 94/100

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Who Are 3 Hybrids For?

While 3 Hybrids started out as a club best utlized by beginners and handicappers, that is certainly not the cases now as Hybrids are also ominpresent in the bags of elite golfers around the world.

For it’s usefulness from the rough alone, the ‘Rescue club’ has become a vital component in almost every bag while the consistent straight and high shots are another reason why Hybrids are included in almost all golf sets these days.

For long shots from any lie, consider trying out a 3 hybrid.

Our Favorite 3 Hybrid – The Taylormade Sim Max

When you go with Taylormade, you know you are getting the best quality and since the Sim Max is not the newest model, it packs nearly all of the same tech at a lower price point.

The club is long, consistent and forgiving with a massive sweet spot, exceptional turf interaction and market leading forgiveness.

The Sim 3 Hybrid will be more suitable for the better players too.

Distance: 94/100

Accuracy: 96/100

Forgiveness: 95/100

Feel and Control: 92/100

Overall Score: 94/100

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