How to Choose Woods and Hybrids
Robert J. Dlouhy, a professional engineer from Florida, writes for more information from Gouge (Mike Stachura) of "Bomb & Gouge" about his recommendations on choosing hybrids and fairway woods:
I have read with extreme interest the article > "What to do with your 3-wood."
In the article, Gouge refers to a strong lofted 5-wood and two hybrids. I would appreciate it if Gouge would suggest a degree of loft for the 5-wood and additional information on the hybrids that he recommends. As I am a fairly novice golfer (the 90's), I am not as familiar with the specific designations for the hybrids, i.e., are they described by degree loft or other designation? I have noticed that the degree of loft on a 5-wood can vary for about 18 to 21 degrees depending on the manufacturerâ¿¿â¿¿â¿¿.
Additionally, I would like a little more information on Gouge's recommended 3-wood for a second driver. Who makes these other than Yonex and does he know older models that would come under the category of "Used" clubs?
Here is Mike Stachura's reply:
This is what happens when intelligent people such as yourself try to make sense out of the unnecessarily confusing nomenclature and inconsistent loft designations so prominent in the golf industry. This is also why it is best that you try a club before you buy it. That said, there are several guidelines that might shed some light on the dark zone in your golf bag between the slot for your driver and your least-lofted iron, especially for average players such as yourself.
Rule No. 1: Pick a fairway wood with more loft than 15 degrees. Ping's G10, Titleist's 909 F2 (out in November) and the 949 MC from Tom Wishon are good examples.
Rule No. 2: If you want a back-up driver, choose a 15-degree or lower lofted fairway wood with a clubhead size above 200 cc (that information is usually available on a company's website). Some examples include the Callaway X Hot, the Callaway FT-I Squareway and the Ping Rapture (original version).
Rule No. 3: Hitting shots off the deck (fairway) with a fairway wood or hybrid requires the ability to launch the ball. That requires sufficient speed and sufficient loft. If you are lacking in speed, the easiest solution is to choose more loft. Therefore, a hybrid of 20 degrees of loft may be more beneficial to your game than one of 18 degrees. (Again, that loft information is available on company's websites.)
Rule No. 4: If you have a hybrid and a fairway wood of equal loft designation, generally speaking the hybrid will have a shorter shaft and therefore may be easier for you to control. A fairway wood will have a
longer shaft and may be easier for you to generate a little more speed.
Rule No. 5: If you find yourself continually having to hit either a fairway wood or hybrid second shot into a par four green, move up one tee box. You will be amazed at how much more you will enjoy the game.