I’m going to be doing a lot more of these. Let’s call this a new series from now on; “this VS that” to TRULY gain some perspective on the differences between bag set-ups, drivers, fairways, etc. In all honesty, fitting is a competition for a spot in your bag. So why not create a platform that gives YOU, the people, some deeper perspective? I already go pretty deep, but with our new partnership with FORESIGHT sports, I’m looking to go turbo geek.
Lets start with todays topic…
4-Iron VS Hybrid: The Test
The video will give you the skinny on what happened in the initial test, but to be fair, that only consisted of shots on the range, and it wasn’t until I got them out on the golf course did the answer truly reveal itself.
Here is how club tests like this go down on TOUR.
- The current set-up is tested to get base numbers.
- Rep and player identify possible performance to be gained
- Settle on a “possible” solution
- Options are built and hit on the range
- The option/s are then picked, and others are sent back
- The player and caddy take them on course to hit
- One last test on the range to confirm
- Decision is made
The club, in EVERY case, has to be better or best across the board. If there is no performance gain, the player nor the rep will consider it.
What happened on the course?
After we shot the video, I took both options (-the Apex Hybrid) to my home track in Palm Desert, Indian Ridge CC (The Grove and Arroyo).
Six shots on those courses require 215-230 yards from the back tees, which stretches out to just shy of 7000 yards for both. If I play 40 times a year, 20 of those rounds are on those courses.
The six shots (STOCK Conditions, 75-80 degrees, Calm):
Grove: #5 Par 3 210-220
Grove: #7 Par 5 (2nd shot) 220-230
Grove #8 Par 3 215-235
Arroyo: #9 Par 5 (2nd Shot) 205-220
Arroyo: #12 Par 5 (2nd Shot) 210-220
Arroyo: #15 Par 5 (2nd Shot) 210-230
Rogue ST Pro 4-Iron
Swing Weight: D3
Shaft: TT Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Mid X100
Rogue ST Pro Hybrid
Swing Weight: D3
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 10X
Hitting three shots with each (Stock draw, straight and fade), these were the results. Keep in mind this is not the data-based part of the test; this is the club, the player, and the target.
Test performed with CSX ’22 and all shots were hit at yardages from 220-230
Rogue ST Pro 4-Iron
PROS (18 shots total, 13 greens hit, ten shots pin high or past)
-It was easier to work both ways
-Was able to shape shots into tucked flags easier
-When I needed to hit something low, it was much easier
-Mishits fell short
-Dispersion wasn’t as tight
Rogue ST Pro 23 Hybrid
PROS (18 shots total, 12 greens hit, 12 shots pin high or past)
-Mishits were far superior
-I had some extra yardage in the tank when I wanted it (pushing to 230)
-Ball launched a bit higher
-Sometimes, Too hot
-Cannot hit low bullets
-Not as appealing at address
As I mentioned in the video, it’s a 15th club situation for me. Since switching to the Rogue ST PRO, my long iron play has improved dramatically, and the only real on-course sacrifice is extreme mis-hit dispersion. However, on short/tight courses with shorter Par-5s and required lay-ups on short Par-4s, the Rogue ST Pro Hybrid, with its higher launch and softer decent angle, has been quite the weapon. I played in Toronto a month ago to put that to the test, and it was brilliant. The other thing to consider for golfers that play in the fall/winter is using a hybrid instead of a 4-iron raises the floor a bit which is HUGE.
I would encourage any better player to give this an honest test, whether it’s a Rogue ST Pro Hybrid, Apex UW, etc. I’m always performance first, EGO second. At 45. I know my limits, and building some options in each section of my bag will be a big deal in the future. Players on TOUR always do it; they seem to be doing okay.