In a commercial for Adams hybrids, Kenny Perry says, “I just can’t hit a 3 iron like I used to.” I’ve never come close to playing like Kenny Perry and he’s ten or so years younger than me, so I guess there’s no shame in admitting that my love affair with my 3 iron is over, too.
There was a time that I loved hitting long irons and my 3 iron was my go-to club. I used it for long approach shots. I used it in place of a fairway wood, not just because I could hit my 3 iron so well but also because I couldn’t hit a 3 wood at all. For a few years I used my 3 iron as my driver. I used it for punch shots out of the trees and for low runners under the wind. I probably hit it more often than any clubs in the bag except for my pitching wedge and my putter.
But something happened, along with the appearance of gray hair and a little pooch around the waist. My 3 iron wasn’t such a good friend anymore, and then my 4 iron started to insult me. Even my 5 iron thought the occasional worm burner and shank were pretty hilarious. My best friends had deserted me.
A few months ago I finally took the plunge and decided if it was good enough for Kenny, it was good enough for me. I found a used set of Adams hybrid irons at a decent price and fell in love with them. The set even has a hybrid 6 iron, and I’ve been amazed at how much more confident I feel over those hybrids and how much better I’m hitting it. It doesn’t always show in my score, but every now and then I pop out a round I can be proud of.
I held out as long as I could, but I’ve finally admitted it. “My name is Charlie and I’m getting older and I hit hybrids.” I’ve watched the bags of the guys I play with, and most of them admitted it a few years ago. I think they were more mature than me in more ways than one.
If you doubt I can’t hit my 3 iron like I used to, have a look at the header image of this blog. My 3-iron is the broken club in the picture.
Yes, my 3 and 4 irons reside in the basement along with a couple of miscreant putters.
It’s strange how we hang on to putters. I’ll get rid of other clubs, but I still have the first putter I ever owned. I even pulled it out and used it a few years ago when I totally lost my touch. It didn’t help.
In general long irons give you a lower flight than fairway woods, so it becomes a matter of preference. I always preferred my 3 iron off the tee, and a fairway wood out of the rough, or fairway lie. A fairway head is more forgiving than an equally lofted iron head, but the usual steel shaft in the iron is often more accurate than the graphite shaft commonly used in fairway clubs. I split the difference and use steel in my fairways.