3 Iron Vs 4 Iron – Which Club To Use And When
The 3 and 4 Iron are similar clubs, separated simply by loft in most cases.
Both the 3 and the 4 iron have come under increasing pressure from the surge in popularity of Hybrid clubs which are a mix between fairway woods and Hybrids.
The 3 Iron is the longer club by about 10 yards and it has a stronger loft.
Since the lofts of the irons keep getting stronger over the years, what is today classed as a 4 iron would have in the passed been considered a 3 iron and some sets just skip the 3 Iron nowadays and start with the 4 iron.
For the purposes of this article, we are classifying a 3 Iron as 21 degrees of loft and the 4 Iron as 25 degrees of loft.
3 Iron Overview
The 3 Iron is a versatile club that can be used in a number of ways.
Off the tee on a dog leg, par three or when precision is needed.
Off the fairway, light to mid rough when aiming for the green.
The irons come in many different versions from game improvement to blades to suit different levels of player.
The flight path of the three iron is lower, flatter and farther than the 4 iron by about 10 yards for most players.
As mentioned already, long irons are being replaced by hybrids more and more in beginner sets and even in the bags of pros.
4 Irons Overview
A 4 iron is very similar to a 3 iron, it just has more loft in the club.
This extra loft leads to a higher and shorter flight path with less roll out.
The extra loft also adds more spin to the club and this allows for more workability and increased pin hunting ability for players of all ages.
A hybrid will have straighter and more consistent shots for high handicappers generally and the 4 iron will be more precise for the better players.
The 4 irons extra loft means it cuts the turf better and that means better shots from the light to heavy rough as well.
The 4 iron is perfect when you are a bit closer to the green and within firing range.
The 3 and 4 iron are both similar but cover different distances to ensure no gaps. If you struggle to hit long irons, you can consider replacing them with hybrids instead.