Ask the expert: Tom Wishon
Tom Wishon, founder, Tom Wishon Golf Technology
Wishon, a golf-industry veteran, heads his namesake company in Durango, Colo. His clubs are available through certified professional clubmakers.
Should more golfers use hybrid clubs?
Absolutely. Whenever I see a golfer wander up to the first tee with a bouquet of little headcovers, I know I’m seeing a smart golfer.
What caused this revolution in hybrid and utility clubs?
It was all brought about by the shrinking-loft disease. Today, we see 5-irons at 25 or 26 degrees. Most golfers don’t have the ability to get the ball up in the air with that loft. Keep in mind that for years the standard loft for a 5-iron was 32 degrees.
For most golfers, where should irons stop and hybrids begin?
Ask yourself this question: What is the iron, when you pull it out, you start having a little trepidation, yet the next iron you feel pretty good about it? Most golfers can identify a certain point, between two irons, where they have a confidence drop.
What about full sets of hybrids?
For many golfers, this makes a lot of sense. It works especially well for skilled players who have a sweeping kind of golf swing. These sweepers can hit surprisingly good shots with short irons and pitching wedges that are part of an all-hybrid set.
Are there potential problems with hybrids or hybrid sets?
The biggest problem that non-aware golfers have is the variation in the length of hybrids. Most are in between an iron length and a fairway-wood length, and this can create some unacceptable distance gaps. For players with a semi-decent golf swing, a hybrid that is longer in length can mean a 20- or 25-yard distance gap. I am adamant with my hybrids that they be built to the same length as the iron they are replacing.
Does ego prevent some golfers from using hybrids or hybrid sets?
You bet. Many men are stuck with the idea that they want to do exactly what the PGA Tour pros do.
What is the most important decision a golfer has to make about golf clubs?
Set configuration. The most important decision that all of us face today is set makeup.