Club Choice On A Long Par 3

By | on August 5, 2016 | 14 Comments |


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Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

14 Responses to “Club Choice On A Long Par 3”

  1. Quite an intelligent and interesting lesson from you ,Paul ,though the comparison is a bit biaised because your 3 iron is steel shafted and your hybrid has a composite/graphite shaft .
    I have an old (still very good )set of TITLEIST irons about 20 years old ,steel shafted ,with low number irons (At the time I even played down to the 1 iron) .To my surprise ,I found these”old “clubs very pleasant to play ,and ,in my opinion ,more accurate than the graphite shafted ones I play now.Of course they are heavier ,but with the tons of exercises I put on daily (Thank you JEREMY ) it really doesn’t matter much.
    I haven’t become a fan of the hybrids ,in my opinion it has become “fashionable “to play them .I note the top pros nearly never play hybrids :at the 2014 US PGA JASON DAY hit a very difficult shot from deep rough where I nearly lost is ball(Did you see it ?)using an iron,putting the ball just close to the green .
    Now ,regarding exiting from the rough ,could you give us a lesson of the way to play them :apart from the usual fairway rough of different heights ,you often have tall rough close to the green ,sometmes just in front of a sand trap :quite a tricky shot to play :either you have a “flier” over the green ,or you “dump”the ball in the sand trap when your club gets “stuck “in the tall grass!
    I play these shots with a sand wedge ,not quite sure I ‘m right .
    Sound advice from you would really help !

    • August 15, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you liked it.

      Steel for feel so I would think they would be more accurate.

      Hybrids are great. Give them a try. I have one when they first came out. The advantage is that you can hit them from the fairway and rough. Try hitting a 2 or 3 iron out of deeper rough. Good luck. Hybrids pop right out.

      Long rough you just have to chop it out sometimes. There is no secret to it. Use a high lofted club and get it out. You can use the knock down technique. This will ensure a descending blow.

  2. August 18, 2014


    Hi Paul,
    “Steel for feel”? For some reason I assumed just the opposite. Do steel shafts actually provide more feel? If so, I need to realign my thinking.
    I also know very little about hybrids. How do I get an education on them? I am wary of retail stores whose main objective is a sale. Do the hybrid numbers reflect the number of the iron they are replacing?

    Thanks again,

    • August 19, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Steel is for feel. In this tip I was talking about the distance I hit these clubs. With the 3 iron for that distance I am thinking hit it the best I can. Why not swing easy with a hybrid? Anytime I have to swing hard, anything can happen.

      The numbers does not reflect the club they are replacing. To figure this out you need to know the loft of your clubs. Then from your longest club you would go 4 degrees less on a hybrid and so on until you get to your 3 wood. No sense having a hybrid the same loft as an iron you hit. So when people take out a 3 iron they replace it with the same lofted hybrid not matter what number on the hybrid is says. Sometimes is the same number. Other times it is not if you re trying a different brand of hybrid. I have used a hybrid since Taylor Made first brought them out. So much easier to hit not only from the fairway but longer rough too. Try hitting a 3 iron out of longer rough. Good luck. Hybrid pops right out. Give them a try.

      • January 5, 2016


        Hi Paul,

        I realize that this is nearly a year and a half since I commented and you replied. I am very pleased with my advancement under your tutelage. However, please dumb down your hybrid explanation for me. Should I take my 3 iron to someone to find out the loft and consider a hybrid with the same loft, more loft or less loft? How should the hybrid compare in loft to my 5 wood? I hate feeling relatively illiterate in this area.


        • January 5, 2016

          Paul Wilson


          You can just go to the club manufacturer’s website. They will have the lofts of your clubs. Or type in brand and 3iron as well as loft as in: TaylorRSI 3 Iron Loft and someone will have the right loft for that club. Then look at your hybrid and find out the loft. There is no point having 2 clubs with the same loft. Typically, clubs have 4 degrees more or less loft on them. If you have a 5 wood you don’t need a hybrid with the same loft. There are so many different lofts on clubs these days I really can’t make a determination what you need. Nowadays a lot of people take out the 3 iron and replace it with a hybrid, then you would do 5 wood and 3 woods or whatever covers the gaps then you have driver with the least loft. 3 wood should be 15 degrees. so count back from there in 4 degree increments.

          • January 6, 2016


            Hi Paul,
            First of all, you do not need to answer this. I just want to thank you for the time, expertise and genuine concern you show to all of us.


          • January 7, 2016

            Paul Wilson


            you’re welcome.

  3. I commented on this lesson 2 years ago and said I liked the 3 iron :since then I have put on two more years and turned past 82 :needless to say I have shelved the three iron and play hybrids from 25°of loft down to 16° .I play them with great success ,easier to play than the fairway xwods with not much loss in distance.
    Now ,what to do when the long par 3 is well guarded by water or sand traps,in front and sideways ?
    Is it advisable to lay up?

    • August 2, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      I am about to try a 4 hybrid myself. Why not take the easy way out.

      If you are not that accurate or you cannot make it then lay up. At least you can make 4. Hit in the water and it will be tough 4. Totally your decision and how you feel that day.

  4. August 6, 2016


    I think your advice on this point (like almost all others!) is excellent. In a recent round, my buddies all used irons on a 165 yard par 3, and came up short. I used the hybrid I normally hit 175 yards, took an easy swing, and wound up on the back of the green. I 2-putted for a par, and they all bodied the hole.
    Your advice can be applied even more broadly. I think most of us amateurs tend to under club. How often does anyone go over the green? Most of the time, as amateurs we come up short of the green. So, when there is a toss-up between a 7 or 8 iron, or a 6 or 7 iron, I generally find I do better swinging easier with the longer club, rather than swinging harder, and trying to get every possible yard out of the shorter club.
    Thanks for your continued, excellent instruction! My next goal is to try “sticking” more of them, right on the pin. I’m happy to say that, with the benefit of your instruction, I’m starting to see that happen — at least once in a while. I just turned 70, and almost all of my playing partners are in their 50s and 60s. As I become more and more comfortable with your swing method, I find I am almost always hitting the ball longer and straighter than almost all of them. Most importantly, the feeling of getting your power into a shot, and watching it soar straight ahead in the direction you were aiming, is hard to beat!

    Gary Meyers

    • August 7, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      That’s great. Glad you took more club. So many people are short. When determining you actual distance you need to know your average. Halfway between the longest and shortest. That is actually how far you hit it.

      As you keep getting better you will get used to the new distances. This really doesn’t take that long. Glad you are seeing it. It’s a great feeling when you start getting effortless power.

      Keep up the good work.

  5. August 8, 2016


    Ego is a terrible problem to have. As we age, we tend to under-club, recalling how “we used to hit them.” It is especially more difficult when the guys we are playing with are all younger and take a shorter club. Reality is finally beginning to sink in and as the saying goes – “It ain’t how, but how many!” Often on a medium Par 3, my buddies are choosing an 8 iron, and I have to use a 7 or even a 6 iron, but I have found that using the longer club, I end up on the green instead of being short.

    • August 9, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      Keep in mind I can do nothing and hit it by you. If so, I am doing it a different way than you so age would not be an issue to still hit it 250 plus. Plus, little kids and petite players can also hit the ball a long way and they are not strong either. So you really can do it but you have to learn that different way (which is what I teach).

      I like the fact that you are using more club (at first) because this will allow you to be confident. Confidence breeds distance. You keep hitting it short and you won’t be too consistent.

      So … dream big! You can do it.

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