The “New Driving Iron”
Posted on November 29th, 2018 by Herb Rubenstein
Many of you, (and I as well), went hook, line and sinker into the “hybrid” stage of golf. I had two hybrids in my bag, an 18 and 22 degree until this week. My lowest iron was a five iron. Then I played with an amazing golfer who hit a driving iron off the tee over and over, about 250 yards straight down the middle whenever the hole called for a more controlled shot than a driver affords. I asked him about using a hybrid and he said that he had hit hybrids great off the fairway in the past, but he found that off the tee, he sprayed his 2-hybrid a little more than he wanted to and went back to a “driving iron” where he had a “much tighter dispersion.” Meaning, he could control his driving iron much better than his 2 hybrid.
For me, what he said, hit home. I often used to hit a 2 hybrid off the tee. In a tournament two years ago, I hit my hybrid on a tight par 4 so far right I lost the ball in the woods, and my provisional went to the far left side of the fairway. Made bogey by draining a 30 footer from the back of the green. More recently, I hit a 2-hybrid out of bounds right trying to play it safe on a par 5 during my successful Players’ Ability Test PGA event this summer. I know I would never have hit a driving iron that far right on that hole.
So, I got fitted for a 2 driving iron, changed the loft of one of my hybrids to 20.25 degrees, and now I have a 14.25 degree 3 wood, 17 degree driving iron, 20.25 hybrid, and a 24 degree five iron.
Hitting a driving iron, and “re-learning” how to hit a long iron, can be practiced, maybe best, in a golf simulator, where you can see all of the details, including ball speed, clubhead speed, spin rates, distance carry and roll, swing path, and many other points offered by the best simulator equipment. At Golf Pro Delivered we will add the driving iron to our clubs that we offer for hitting, especially for advanced players. If you have not hit a driving or 2 iron in a long time, it will take some real practice to get the most out of the club, but going down to one hybrid and adding a driving iron might just give you that confidence on the tee that narrow fairways guarded by trees, water hazards, sand traps, and at Kiawah, allegators, sometimes takes away from us golfers. And you should get “fitted” for your driving iron because the results I got from different brands and different shafts with the brand names I tested gave me very, very different results from what I thought were very similar swings.
Many thanks to Rob and Woody at Pete’s Golf on Long Island for fitting me for my driving iron and adjusting my hybrid to give me the distances I want out of each club in my bag. Now it is up to me to make all of those clubs work.