Why has the 3 iron gone away?

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By JRatkovec

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  • 10 Replies
  1. Just wondering why the 3 iron has been eliminated from most new sets??

  2. Kenneth C

    Kenneth C
    Bellevue, WA

    Stronger lofts, and, the quest to be the longest.

    In reality, today's 4 iron is very similar to yesterdays 3 iron spec-wise. You, just, need to ignore the number on the bottom.
  3. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    It really hasn't, it just changed its name to 4 iron. :) Over time, the standard lofts have gotten stronger to the point that some 4 and even 5 irons are the loft of old 3 iron blades. the modern game and golf ball are more about high launch so more people want to use hybrids and fairway woods and carry extra wedges. For those wanting the more traditional long iron, the options for utility irons with low lofts but better weight distribution are more in demand that matching set long irons. Just the evolution of the game.
  4. Old standard 3 iron loft is 21* now some sets on the market make their 4 iron as low as 19.5* hybrids/driving irons being more widely accepted alternatives. And most average golfers dont see enough of a consistent distance gap in the long irons, a 7wood, 3/4 hybrid and a 3 driving iron (lower spin = more roll for tee shots) are all typically higher trajectories than a typical 3 iron but will all go roughly the same distance- you can still find 3 irons, even 2 irons in some sets, just not a common option for average golfers
  5. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    In addition to the loft creep, fewer golfers can hit a straight 3 iron. Besides hybrids, there are now driving irons (U-500-510) that can fill the role of a 3 or 4 iron with better results. The T-100 and 620 irons still have a 21 degree three iron but are generally considered to be for more skilled users. The T-200/300 irons are 21 and 20 degrees labeled as 4 irons.
  6. Mike M

    Mike M
    Salem MA

    Ken, Dale, Dave and Don are all correct; stronger lofts are in! When you add to that hybrid technology, and how easy a hybrid is to hit as opposed to a 3 iron...well you get the point. Another consideration is the add on of an additional wedge.In an another time, it was 3-PW and a sand wedge. Now you've got gap and lob wedges, so something had to go,and it was the 3-iron.
  7. All valid responses. What gets lost in the stronger loft discussion, especially when buying a new set, is the fact that if you took out your old 4 iron because it was tough to hit due to loft, you may think that if your next set starts at the 5 iron everything will work for you. If the new 5 iron is closer to your old 4, even though the new technology suggests they launch higher and easier, you may need to rethink your set to include another hybrid instead of that 5 iron. Dale is correct, the number on the bottom is not what it used to be!
  8. For many years I played DCI 990 irons down through the 4-iron with 25 degrees loft. I also had the 3-iron with 22 degrees but didn't always carry it as it really wasn't useful since I had a 5-wood.

    Now I play 718 AP2 irons and the 4-iron is 24 degrees loft. One degree stronger and shaft is about 1/4" longer than my old 990's. So I can't really say that lofts have changed that much over the past 18 years, not in Titleist "players cavity back" type clubs anyway.

    I have a 19-degree 818 H1 (set to 20 degrees) that I hit so much higher, straighter, longer and better than my old DCI 990 3-iron it's not even funny. I think the hybrid revolution killed off the 3-iron, moreso than the stronger loft thing in iron sets.

    P.S. Back in the day I also had a DCI 990 2-iron with a DGS300 shaft. Not sure what kind of player that club was meant for but it wasn't a short-hitting double-digit handicapper like me!
  9. Frank P

    Frank P
    Port St. Lucie, FL

    There is no standard anymore. The first time that I ever picked up a golf club, clubs were sold in sets. 3-PW and 1-3-5 woods. Nobody talked about loft, lie, bounce or any of that stuff. The only clubs sold individually was a SW and a Putter. png changed all of that with custom fitting and slowly but surely, the rest of the industry followed suit. Now every club in the bag can be ordered individually to whatever specs you want. No, the 3-iron hasn't disappeared, it's just called something else.
  10. Lance P

    Lance P
    Hillsborough, NC

    I think it's gone away because of hybrids.

    Fun story: A friend of mine always thought they were called "hybirds" and we never corrected him. He'd ask for his 3 "hybird" and we'd just smile to ourselves. Good times...
  11. Michael P

    Michael P
    Athens, AL

    The makeup of the iron set has certainly changed over last 20 years--the 3-PW was the standard when I began playing golf but now the hybrid or utility/driving iron is just better option for majority of golfers. Even better players are opting for half set (4-6 iron) in one model and half set (7-PW) in another model.

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