A friend at work recently asked me how his son got started in golf. As a non-golfer, it's not always obvious how to put yourself or someone else in the game. I explained to him that many clubs here have what they call golf schools and organize regular sessions for children who enjoy the game. The barrier to entry is relatively low because it's not expensive, especially compared to golf's traditional image of an expensive sport, and you don't have to own your own equipment. In short, a fun way to start. We were also talking about hitting some balls together so he could play too and I got him a half set of some of the clubs I have lying around so he can get to a driving range if he wants to. This inevitably led to the question “what is the easiest golf club to hit for beginners?
Is Seven Iron really that easy?
The traditional answer to this question has always been "seven irons"-Just ask for Tin Cup. Countless beginners have had a seven iron in their hands while signing up for years of frustration (boy, honestly) on their first lesson. This is one of the arguments put forward to support most ofsingle length ironsof a seven iron. There are also some pretty solid reasons why this is a good option. Generally, shorter clubs will be easier to hit than longer ones, simply because of the length of the shaft. A 7 will be easier than a 5, for example.
Second, more loft actually means more forgiveness, too. The flatter the face, the more difficult it will be for a beginner to find a club and the more he will see the effects of his lack ofswing fundamentalscausing the ball to move in all directions (although it will most likely cut it for most). Put a driver in the hands of any beginner and you can bet the last thing you'll see is a straight shot.
By that logic, surely a wedge must be the best bet then. It's even shorter than a seven iron, perhaps by an inch and a half. It also has a lot more loft. Unfortunately, there are a few things that make the wedge not the ideal choice. First, most beginners will hit standard length clubs the first time they play. That's fine for a cross-section of golfers, but if you're tall or short, it might not be great. A 7 has the best chance of being a reasonable fit for most golfers. Of course, lean angle is another issue, but it's probably not an immediate priority for most people right off the bat.
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This large amount of loft can also be a problem. A good golfer will have a steeper angle of attack (hitting the ball lower) with these shorter clubs. That sharper angle is great for a better golfer who does all sorts of good things like produce more distance, regulate spin and create thoseadorable professional style chopyes! Someone who is learning to hit the ball will generally not hit down because he will try to get the ball up in the air. Obviously, this is not something that any professional worth their salt will encourage, but it will happen.
The low point of the swing also varies a lot. As much as we can say that good contact should be ball/grass, for someone just starting out this ranges from 6 inches or more behind the ball and the club dipping to 6 inches forward as it barely makes contact with the ball. the top of the ball. absolutely. A slightly longer iron will be a bit more forgiving of your average sweep/hit swing, and indeed, a neutral angle of attack isn't the end of the world.
The other reason a seven (or sometimes six) iron is placed in the eager hands of the starting man, woman or child is because it is readily available. Almost all manufacturers use the 6 or 7 as a demo club. This means that the average club will have box sixes and demo sevens, making them perfect for those just starting out. It especially doesn't matter if they get damaged or dented, because they're not part of a set and won't leave a stick lost and there's a lot more to used barrel, too.
O Hybrid Seven Iron
So it looks like the discussion is settled, right? Well, actually I would say yes and no. I don't think the club choice itself is really the key. A seven iron will do the job, or an eight or a six. Longer or shorter than that might not be the best option. However, I think we're missing a trick by not giving these beginners a hybrid seven-iron. I think the main reason is that top loft hybrids haven't been around that long and most people haven't really thought about it. However, at present, aall hybrid setit is a real possibility. Even if you don't get that far, try something like amizuno jpx fli oi(pictured above) in a hybrid six or seven is a lot of fun and something I did for a few seasons a while back (why did I stop?)
So why do I think it's a good idea? Well, first of all, it still ticks all the boxes that any seven-iron does. A fairly neutral angle of attack is possible, enough loft to be friendly to hit and stay straight, it will suit a wide spectrum of golfers in terms of length etc. However, it also adds the advantages of a hybrid. The weight is low and back, which helps the ball fly, for example.
One of the frustrations of starting is watching ball after ball roll down the field instead of flying high. I'm willing to bet that some people have become disenchanted that they couldn't get the ball flying like they imagined and have simply given up. Imagine if the ball actually went up more often? How good would you feel if you could do this a little more often from the start?
The benefits of the Bulge and Roll
The other thing that is helpful is swelling and rocking. Essentially, this means that a hybrid's face is not flat like iron. It curves slightly. The advantage of this is that it will cause the ball to curve back in the direction it was hit. For example, a toe jab that goes to the right should move back a bit. This obviously won't replace the full bug that is normal in the beginner course, but it will mitigate it somewhat.
The last thing worth considering is how friendly a hybrid looks to the ball. Most of us had a blade as the first club we hit.i still love bladesas i have said many times and i think the myth of the impossible to hit butter knife is greatly exaggerated. To begin with, let's be a little more reasonable. If we want to grow the game and encourage people to play it, we need to make it as easy as possible, and Blade isn't the answer to that particular question. Today, there is a completely different level of technology. Why not take advantage of it?
There are many solid reasons why it makes sense to put a hybrid in the hands of anyone just starting out. They may choose to “move on” to another type of iron. Or maybe not. We may be witnessing more and more golfers just sticking with hybrids for the most part in the bag because that's all they've ever known and they have more power, if any.