Fitting for Hybrids and Fairway Woods

By Bruce MartinApril 8, 2008, 4:00 pm

Editor's Note: Bruce Martin is a PGA Master Professional with the San Diego Golf Academy. SDGAs program offers a curriculum of golf instruction and golf business management at all four golf schools, and provides graduates with the education required to get the golf job they desire. You'll soon be teaching others how to improve their game! Click here to learn more about SDGA
 

A decision most golfers will make with their set make-up will include what combination of long irons, hybrids, and fairway woods to add or drop from the bag. Modern technology with hybrids has reduced the need for the 2 and 3 irons in many amateurs bags. The 5 wood and 7 (heaven) wood has also seen a remarkable transformation into being replaced by hybrids also. The consumer is now faced with a multitude of options and decisions what to put in the bag between their longest confident iron and driver.
 

 

Lets discuss the advantages of modern hybrids over long irons:
 
Hybrids offer a wider sole that avoids digging.
This technology can be more forgiving in heavy rough and fairway bunkers.
This same sole design is better for a player with a steep angle of approach.
The hollow designs have a higher moment of inertia on off center hits.
Hybrid shafts are typically designed close to iron shaft lengths. This may lead to more control and consistency.
For a player that struggles with long irons and fairway woods, hybrids offer the possibility of distance with no compromise in accuracy.
The 18 degree hybrid will replace your 2 iron, 21 degree hybrid will replace the 3 iron, and the 24 degree hybrid will replace your 4 iron.
The bottom line = they are easier to hit and more forgiving than long irons.
Each year in the future will see a larger percentage of golfers carrying a hybrid from the PGA/LPGA/Champions Tour, to adult amateur and junior golfers.
 


 

Advantages of modern fairway woods:
 
The modern fairway wood style has developed into more of a lower profile head design from manufacturers like Orlimar and Adams in the 1990s = the equator of the golf ball is above the center of the face.
The sleek lower profile heads allow for a lower center of gravity = higher trajectories are easily attainable.
Heavier materials and weighting systems are also added towards the sole and trailing edge to assist in higher trajectories = lower c.o.g.
Rails on some fairway wood designs will assist the club head to skid/slide vs. digging.
The gear effect or bulge in the face will counteract off center impacts towards the toe or heal.
The shorter shaft length vs. the driver will aid in consistency.
Fairway wood lofts are offered as low as 12 or 13 degrees. This will give the consumer the maximum distance off the turf. (With the increased size of the 460 cc driver heads, the old driver off the ground has become very difficult, except for the most skilled of PGA golf professionals and amateurs.)
The strong 13 degree 3 wood is an excellent choice off the tee that does not reduce distance dramatically, and may be more consistent. This is a great asset on tight par 4s off the tee.
PGA Tour professionals will add a higher lofted fairway woods - 14 degrees and up to achieve higher ball flights and softer landings. The Masters requires this trajectory to access par 5 five tucked pins in 2 with firm and fast greens as Tiger Woods has done in the past.
Moveable weight technology has also been added to fairway woods to achieve specific ball flight patterns.
The high C.O.R. = .83 has been added to the face design by some manufacturers, as we find in the majority of modern driver designs.
Bottom line - Fairway woods have come along way since the persimmon and oversized days.

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Watch: Spectator films as Woods' shot hits him

By Will GrayJuly 23, 2018, 12:07 am

It was a collision watched by millions of fans on television, and one that came at a pivotal juncture as Tiger Woods sought to win The Open. It also gave Colin Hauck the story of a lifetime.

Hauck was among dozens of fans situated along the left side of the 11th hole during the final round at Carnoustie as the pairing of Woods and Francesco Molinari hit their approach shots. After 10 holes of nearly flawless golf, Woods missed the fairway off the tee and then pulled his iron well left of the target.

The ball made square contact with Hauck, who hours later tweeted a video showing the entire sequence - even as he continued to record after Woods' shot sent him tumbling to the ground:

The bounce initially appeared fortuitous for Woods, as his ball bounded away from thicker rough and back toward the green. But an ambitious flop shot came up short, and he eventually made a double bogey to go from leading by a shot to trailing by one. He ultimately shot an even-par 71, tying for sixth two shots behind Molinari.

For his efforts as a human shield, Hauck received a signed glove and a handshake from Woods - not to mention a firsthand video account that will be sure to spark plenty of conversations in the coming years.

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Molinari retirement plan: coffee, books and Twitter

By Will GrayJuly 22, 2018, 9:35 pm

After breaking through for his first career major, Francesco Molinari now has a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a 10-year exemption in Europe and has solidified his standing as one of the best players in the world.

But not too long ago, the 35-year-old Italian was apparently thinking about life after golf.

Shortly after Molinari rolled in a final birdie putt to close out a two-shot victory at The Open, fellow Tour player Wesley Bryan tweeted a picture of a note that he wrote after the two played together during the third round of the WGC-HSBC Champions in China in October. In it, Bryan shared Molinari's plans to retire as early as 2020 to hang out at cafes and "become a Twitter troll":

Molinari is active on the social media platform, with more than 5,600 tweets sent out to nearly 150,000 followers since joining in 2010. But after lifting the claret jug at Carnoustie, it appears one of the few downsides of Molinari's victory is that the golf world won't get to see the veteran turn into a caffeinated, well-read troll anytime soon.

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Molinari had previously avoided Carnoustie on purpose

By Rex HoggardJuly 22, 2018, 9:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Sometimes a course just fits a player’s eye. They can’t really describe why, but more often than not it leads to solid finishes.

Francesco Molinari’s relationship with Carnoustie isn’t like that.

The Italian played his first major at Carnoustie, widely considered the toughest of all The Open venues, in 2007, and his first impression hasn’t really changed.

“There was nothing comforting about it,” he said on Sunday following a final-round 69 that lifted him to a two-stroke victory.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


In fact, following that first exposure to the Angus coast brute, Molinari has tried to avoid Carnoustie, largely skipping the Dunhill Links Championship, one of the European Tour’s marquee events, throughout his career.

“To be completely honest, it's one of the reasons why I didn't play the Dunhill Links in the last few years, because I got beaten up around here a few times in the past,” he said. “I didn't particularly enjoy that feeling. It's a really tough course. You can try and play smart golf, but some shots, you just have to hit it straight. There's no way around it. You can't really hide.”

Molinari’s relative dislike for the layout makes his performance this week even more impressive considering he played his last 37 holes bogey-free.

“To play the weekend bogey-free, it's unthinkable, to be honest. So very proud of today,” he said.

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Rose: T-2 finish renewed my love of The Open

By Jay CoffinJuly 22, 2018, 9:00 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose made the cut on the number at The Open and was out for an early Saturday morning stroll at Carnoustie when, all of a sudden, he started putting together one great shot after another.

There was no pressure. No one had expected anything from someone so far off the lead. Yet Rose shot 30 on the final nine holes to turn in 7-under 64, the lowest round of the championship. By day’s end he was five shots behind a trio of leaders that included Jordan Spieth.

Rose followed the 64 with a Sunday 69 to tie for second place, two shots behind winner Francesco Molinari. His 133 total over the weekend was the lowest by a shot, and for a moment he thought he had a chance to hoist the claret jug, until Molinari put on a ball-striking clinic down the stretch with birdies on 14 and 18.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I just think having made the cut number, it’s a great effort to be relevant on the leaderboard on Sunday,” said Rose, who collected his third-career runner-up in a major. He’s also finished 12th or better in all three majors this year.

In the final round, Rose was well off the pace until his second shot on the par-5 14th hole hit the pin. He had a tap-in eagle to move to 5 under. Birdie at the last moved him to 6 under and made him the clubhouse leader for a few moments.

“It just proves to me that I can play well in this tournament, that I can win The Open,” Rose said. “When I’m in the hunt, I enjoy it. I play my best golf. I don’t back away.

“That was a real positive for me, and it renewed the love of The Open for me.”