3 Hybrid Vs. 9 Iron Comparison Overview

Nowadays, you will find both hybrids and traditional irons in the bags of pro players. But what really separates these classes of clubs?

How interchangeable are they really? You probably already know that hybrids are supposed to be more forgiving than irons; but are they more beneficial in the long run?

That is a debatable question. We wanted to shed some light on the argument and provide some insights we gleaned from our testing of a 9 iron and a number 3 hybrid.

Take a look at what we found.

3 Hybrid Overview

3 hybrids are a godsend for any player who is struggling with the long irons. We found that it even plays a bit longer than 3 irons.

About 5 yards longer to give you a better idea. The 3 hybrid we tested had more girth in the head and was weighted more precisely than most 3 irons.

On average, you can expect about 190 yards out of a 3 hybrid which makes it a viable option for players with fast swing speeds to use off the tee.

You may find that your 3 hybrid is even more forgiving than your driver although that will largely depend on the manufacturer and model of your driver.

Unlike the 9 iron, you won’t be using your 3 hybrid for short approaches.

They are useful for attacking a short par 5 or par 4 aggressively from the tee or further back on the fairway.

9 Iron Overview

Your 9 iron will be the club you pull out when you are shooting for birdie. They are ideal for short approaches but take some time to get used to.

While 9 irons will be generally more wieldy than the long irons, it will still take some time for most golfers to learn how to effectively work their 9 irons.

You may be tempted to skip straight to your pitching wedge on approaches about 90-100 yards out but the 9 iron may offer more control.

Any 9 iron will have significantly more loft (about 41 to 43 degrees) and less distance (about 120 yards max) than a 3 hybrid so you wouldn’t consider replacing a 9 iron with a 3 hybrid.

Unless you are a low handicap player with a fast swing speed, you might want to consider carrying both a 9 iron and a 3 hybrid.

You’ll need a 9 iron no matter what at some point and a 3 hybrid could afford you the distance and forgiveness you need in the here and now.

9 Iron Quick Facts

Category – Short Iron

When To Use: From Fairway, Rough, Bunker On Approach

Average Distance: 120

Longer Hitter: 140

Shorter Hitter: 105

Typical Loft: 41-43 Degrees

Club Importance: 97/100

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

9 Iron Overview & First Impressions

When we tested a 9 iron against a 7 iron we were disoriented because we tested the 7 first. The shorter shaft and altered stance takes some getting used to.

When you need a higher loft than a 7 or 8 iron and on approaches within 120 yards, the 9 iron is an excellent.

If you’ve tried a 9 iron before without much success, it may have been a forged, players irons but don’t worry, the 9 iron also comes in a game improvement form which is focused on allowing beginners and high handicappers more forgiveness and consistency.

It’s also not surprising to see a pros ball land on the green and then spin off in a different direction as the better player has been able to add considerable spin to the ball thanks to the generous loft.

Because the 9 iron has a sharper leading edge, it can cut through the rough easily and is excellent if you do find yourself in trouble.

However, if you want easier putts, you will need to get familiar with the 9 iron. It offers robust spin control – just get used to the typically heavier head.

One Iron Down – 8 Iron

An 8 iron will cover an average of 130 yards and might not get used too often depending on what your swing speed is like.

One Iron Down – Pitching Wedge

The pitching wedge is even more generously lofted, workable and is used for distances just around the ground. Better players will be able to send the ball straight up into the sky.

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.

9 Iron Selling Points

  • Good control
  • Good feedback
  • Good for hilly courses
  • Very precise
  • Good from rough or bunker
  • Promotes accuracy

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 9 Irons For?

Speaking objectively, 9 irons will be more useful to advanced players who can cover most of the fairway in one or two strokes on shorter par 5’s.

They are most helpful on short approaches and can really help out when you’re facing down a hilly or particularly fast green

Again though, no matter what your skill set as a golfer currently is, this is a club you will need to learn.

A 9 Iron to Check Out – Taylormade SIM2

We really liked the forgiveness of this 9 iron. It has a lot of pop too which is really what you want from your 9 iron.

Distance: 94/100

Accuracy: 96/100

Feel & Control: 95/100

Forgiveness: 92/100

Overall Score: 96/100

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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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