They make my wrist itch, the metal bands irritate me, the synthetic ones don’t breathe, and the cloth bands just get soaked with sweat. The last thing you need on a humid afternoon in the middle of summer is something else to provide another uncomfortable distraction out on the course.
Thank the golf gods for the Shot Scope H4. The designers at Shot Scope decided to throw all of the technology in their V3 series watch into a handheld device that provides a treasure chest crammed with usable statistics for game development as well as GPS data for the course.
Full Review of the Shot Scope H4 in Detail
In the Shot Scope H4 box
When you first open the Shot Scope H4, you’ll find
a USB charger - it’s specific to the unit so you’ll want to keep track of this and not lose it
a magnetic belt clip - provides a very secure connection if you prefer to wear it that way
the GPS unit itself
16 screw-in 'club tags'
Difference between Shot Scope H4 and Arccos
The prime differences in the tags for the H4 vs the Arccos is that the Shot Scope tags don’t use a battery, so you don’t have to worry about the sensors going dead after a couple of years. The D-ring fits through a slot on the belt clip if you opt to carry the unit clipped onto your bag.
I was also considering the Game Golf Live as well as the Arccos system. The Shot Scope H4 provides all the information and data tracking with comparisons without subscription fees and that tipped the scales in favor of the H4.
To get the clubs ready, just screw the tags into the grips of the corresponding clubs.
Then download and start the mobile app, power on the H4, and the app will walk you through a simple pairing process.
Once at the course turn the unit on, acquire the GPS signal, and you’re off to the first tee.
How does the Shot Scope H4 work on the course?
On the course it’s a very accurate GPS unit with suggested layups, distances to hazards, front, middle, back, etc.
Unlike the V3 watch the H4 handheld does not automatically detect your swing. The H4 relies on the golfer to “tag” the club before each shot to register position.
This may seem like a hassle, but as I read reviews of various watch based systems missing shots, I came to like the idea of having to tag it myself. I have worked it into my pre-shot routine and tagging the club serves as a trigger that I’ve moved into the “action zone”. So far I’ve logged two rounds and not a missed shot, which made post round editing in app or on PC a breeze.
The trigger of moving into the 'action zone' of the shot has helped to get me more focused on my shot and is a mental game side-benefit I did not expect!
Tagging your clubs makes this automatic without having to remember to select on a watch face
Very easy to set up - plug, download, install, sync
Stats tracking is a bonus that you can use to gauge your club distance and where you're leaking shots
No subscription fees for the full service
Includes the sensors at a very good price - unbeatable really
Tags do not use batteries so they will not die
A small carry case should be included in the package to prevent scratching but is not
Does not automatically pick up your swing as it is not attached to your arm like a golf GPS watch
What data can the H4 give a golfer?
Now we get to the fun stuff… the data. The H4 gives you three different distances for your clubs;
Longest, Average, and P-Avg (Playing Average).
The first two are self explanatory, but the playing average removes outliers from tops, duffs, scoops, thinned shots, etc. This gives valuable real life distances that mean more to me than LM numbers. There is also Strokes Gained data for a quick comparison of your game to your handicap peers that is in an easily understood “at a glance” reference, or it can be as deep a dive as you like.
All in all I don’t think you could get more bang for the buck out of a shot tracker. While it may not have an A.I. caddy like it’s competition, it’s a more than capable unit for game development and it’s lack of subscription fees and lifetime updates to the firmware make it a great choice for the value minded golfer.
How big is the H4 Shot Scope?
The little device is similar to the size of a golf ball and flat enough to not bother you on your belt, in your pocket or hanging from your bag.
If you don't like a watch, the Shot Scope H4 is a nice device to use for the exact same functions.
The data that it tracks is useful to help you keep track of what you're hitting your clubs, how you're playing and how to improve.
You get the sensors, you get the distance measurements and the stats to analyze your game at a great price - what's not to like?
Sand wedge bounce is one of those mystical topics everyone talks about and you even hear pros and other amateurs saying things like "use the bounce" when you're chipping or pitching. And you know what? No one knows what they are talking about.
So here's the real deal, no BS.
What is bounce in a golf wedge?
Bounce is the amount of sole on the bottom of the wedge there is to literally bounce off the ground when you hit the ball. It's that simple. When people tell you to use the bounce, there is no conscious notion of 'using the bounce'. To hit any golf shot, the club must bounce off the turf otherwise we just dig into the turf like a spade.
If you hit a chip, the club makes contact with the ground, bounces off the ground slightly and contacts the ball. The reason we need bounce in a club is so the turf interaction with the club is appropriate for the shot.
So if you play on soft ground, you want the higher bounce to be able to 'bounce more' when you hit the ball so the wedge does not get stuck in the soft ground. When you hit a wedge on firm ground, you do not want the golf wedge to bounce much off the hard surface. It will bounce, and then hit the ball in the equator, making you thin the ball into oblivion.
Is a Sand Wedge Bounce of 10 or 14 Better?
If your golf course has firmer ground and you clip the ball off the surface in fear of blading the ball, then you should get a wedge around 10 degrees of bounce. Usually your bunkers will also be firm so 10 degrees bounce in a sand wedge or less is best.
If your course is softer and sometimes a bit moist, with soft lush grass, and you make divots after you hit the golf ball, use a sand wedge bounce of near 14 degrees.
If you have the correct bounce angle on your wedges, you can hit more confident shots with your sand wedge. And as we know, the 56 degree sand wedge is a serious scoring club.
Which is The Best Sand Wedge Bounce For Your Golf?
I've played golf in SE Asia, USA, South America and South Africa. That's kikuyu, bent, bluegrass, rye grass, paspalum, all strains of bermuda. With that, I've tried every wedge bounce and loft angle so I'd like to save you some time with this article to get the right wedge.
Deciding on the right sand wedge is a critical part of the game of golf. Golf courses are filled with hazards like deep rough and sand bunkers. The sand wedge generally has the largest bounce angle of all wedges as to help golfers get the ball out of sand bunkers and deep rough.
The sand wedge is there to get us out of these situations.
You can check out my guide on how to chip and also the video series below.
Most 56 degree sand wedges have a bounce of between 8 and 14 degrees.
The best way to figure out the right bounce and degree angle of loft for your 56 degree, is to have a wedge fitting where you might be surprised by what they find!
Why Use a Sand Wedge With High Bounce (10 to 14 Degrees)?
Most golfers, by default, unless playing in the outback or some other hardpan golf course, should buy a wedge with higher bounce angle.
The wedge has been designed to 'bounce' off the ground to add forgiveness when hitting the golf ball. When you hit a hybrid, do you notice how much easier it is than a 4 iron? That's because of the wider sole and the 'bounce' that is also provides the hybrid golf club. It's a similar concept to the wedge.
A sand wedge with high bounce is between 10-14 degrees of bounce.
You should use a sand wedge with the higher bounce if you
hit steep with your golf swing with deep divots
Your wedge shots are often fat
You golf course has soft ground, and soft fluffy bunkers
Have more longer rough around the greens than tight short grass
Why Use a Sand Wedge With Low Bounce (6 to 10 Degrees)?
A low bounce sand wedge is for a golfer who plays on firmer conditions with much tighter lies than most course and a golfer who likes to see a more open club face at address.
With a low bounce sand wedge, there is just a lot less sole in the bottom to bounce off the ground so a lot of the time, a golfer needs to catch the ball clean off the turf. This does not suit a high bounce wedge but more a low bounce wedge. When you have a low bounce wedge, you can change the face angle quite easily because there is less sole to pick the leading edge up off the ground.
6 to 10 degrees of bounce is normal for a low bounce sand wedge.
Lower bounce on a sand wedge is best for you it
you have a shallow swing and your divots are minimal
your course has firm ground and hard pan as well as firm sand in the bunkers
you like to hit some spinny open-faced wedge shots like a wizard
What is the Best Bounce for a 56 Degree Wedge?
Sand wedges have 56-degrees of loft - usually denoted with an S on the sole of the club and there is sometimes even another number on the sole, indicating the bounce of the club. Usually the sand wedge that comes with the set of irons you buy is around 55 or 56 degrees without the bounce indicated.
The best bounce for a 56 degree wedge for most golfer is about 12 degrees. This is a versatile number right in between the low end of 8 degrees and the high end of 14 degrees. You can play most courses with a 12 degree bounce sand wedge and enjoy your golf.
Which Bounce For Every Different Course Condition?
From my experience in all the conditions of the world I have seen, you can use a 12 degree bounce wedge for most, but some conditions really need a specific bounce on the 56 degree wedge. It's important to know when to use certain wedges.
Higher bounce is always the best choice in soft sand. The aim of bunker shots is to slide the club under the ball and skim that wedge to bounce up and let the ball out on a magic carpet ride. 12 to 14 degree bounce will work best.
How do you know if your sand is soft? When you hit the sand shot, does the sand fall back into itself and leave a very round divot in the bunker? That's soft. When you walk into the bunker, does it sometimes go up to your ankle? That's soft fluffy sand.
Medium, Wet and Firm Sand
In firm sand, wet sand and medium sand, you need less bounce because the sand will not allow the fat sole to get in deep enough to allow enough space to bounce. You will blade the ball across the green a lot.
I love to use wedges with 8 to 10 degree bounce angle for firm courses and firm sand, but 10-12 degrees of bounce for medium sand.
How do you know if your course is medium or firm? When you walk into the bunker, the sand will either not give way for firm sand, or will only dig your shoe in up to the rubber sole. Wet sand is pretty easy to identify. If it's wet, then the sand is wet.
Deep Soft Grass Rough
From my time in the Eastern states of the USA, I found the wedge needed for soft long grass with soft conditions under the grass, a bounce of 10 to 14 degrees is preferable.
The soft under condition will need some extra bounce but the long grass can tangle the club face leading edge if there is not enough bounce. With more bounce, the club is heavy and thick soled, to glide through the grass.
Tight Lies in Fairways and Fringes Next to The Green
When you watch the Masters on TV, most of those pros will be using a variety of wedges but those tight lies will make your hair stand on end, thinking of blading it across the green in the hazards.
A low bounce between 6°-10° will make you feel better about making crisp clean contact especially if you need to open the club face a little bit. When you use high bounce wedges on tight lies, the leading edge can often meet the ball in the equator and your score sky rockets.
Best Wedge Company Sand Wedge Options
A lot of manufacturers are making great wedges and you can see a couple of my guides below:
Some of the best options on the market for different bounce and grind options:
Cleveland RTX 4 Sand Wedge (Many options: Full Bounce, Mid Bounce Low Bounce, X Low Bounce)
Cleveland Smart Sole 4 (Sand Wedge with huge bounce)
Titleist Vokey SM6 (5 different options and famous for wedge fittings)
Callaway PM Grind (Sand Wedge with big bounce)
Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (Sand Wedge 8-12 degrees of bounce)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the bounce of a gap wedge?
The usual bounce of a gap wedge is 8-10 degrees.
Can you use a sand wedge in the fairway?
Yes. You can hit a sand wedge from the fairway. Usually you will use it from between 10 and 80 yards depending on your preference for partial shots. It's a versatile club and can lower your scores with practice.
Can you use a 56-degree wedge in the sand?
56 degree wedges are called sand wedges and so most people will start golf playing this club out the sand. You can continue to do that or like me, you can start to use 58 degree wedges and for some golfers, even knowing when to use a 60 degree wedge is key. Whichever you choose, if you practice enough with it, you will get very efficient.
What bounce wedges do the pros use?
When conditions were firmer and unfriendly in the old days, pros preferred low-bounce wedges, but current PGA Tour pros use wedges with between12 or 13 degrees of bounce.
By now I hope you know enough about the bounce of a wedge to make an informed decision.
While your conditions and the way you strike the ball makes a big difference to the bounce you should use in your 56 degree, I highly recommend a wedge fitting. The pro will know your local conditions, your swing style and be able to set you up with a decent set of 2-3 wedges with the correct bounce and loft angle for you specifically.
Most articles you read about the Best Golf Youtube Channels will give you a list of the most vanilla, boring and cliché channels. The writers don't care what they write. The channel owners might even have paid for the listing.
In this article, I give you both my opinion on the best channels to watch, and also the top channels by the data. I skipped the clichés and pulled information that everyone can see from the channels themselves. I plugged the data into a formula which I will reveal to you so I could create a list of Youtube channels based on four weighted criteria:
Average number of views per video
What percentage of subscribers watch the average video
Number of subscribers averaged per video
After that, I will give you the channels that offer the most value for you the viewer. The rankings only contain channels with over 100k subscribers. I will provide a list of must-watch Youtube channels as well.
The Best Golf Youtube Channels according to the numbers
Golf Youtube channel top 10 power rankings (April 2022)
Bubbie Golf (Personable guy also part of Good Good crew)
How the Youtube channels were ranked
Mere subscriber numbers is not enough to assess the Youtube channels for golf. Total subscribers can include many dormant accounts, purchased subscribers and other fluffery.
I wanted to see how many views the videos get on average and the number of subscribers in relation to the view average - how much do the views match subscriber numbers? Organic subscribers is hard to quantify but engagement is a decent metric to assess a channel.
Weighted scoring system
That is why the weighting of the scoring system is as follows with the weighting mentioned:
Subscriber count - 1
Subscribers per video released - 2
Average view count per video - 4
Subscriber numbers as a percentage of the average view count - 4
That gives us a total of 11.
I ranked the channel according to each of the above metric where the channel is 1st place receives 190 points, the channel in 19th place receives 10. To create a weighted score, I calculated the scores as follows:
The channels on this list are all around 100k subscribers or more. Here are the full power rankings and I will provide some charts of each of the major factors in ranking the channels.
My personal top choices of Golf Youtube channels
While the top ranking golf Youtube channels I mentioned above are the best in the game in terms of metric, we don't live our life on metrics. We watch golf to enjoy it. So here are my most enjoyable and best Youtube channels, regardless of subscriber numbers. These are the channels I watch and because I watch them so much, I have done collaborations with most of them.
Golf Sidekick is clearly the obvious choice. The Golf Sidekick channel is full of guests, from pros shooting good scores, to Matt guiding people around the course to break 100, 90 and 80. This is the easily the best channel on Youtube, objectively. Golf Sidekick is based in Thailand and has created one of the top channels with just an iPhone and a willingness to help.
Who is Genevieve Ling? Genevieve Ling is a Malaysian lady pro currently on the LET Tour. She has featured on Golf Sidekick videos on numerous occasions and her channel is about course management, understanding the game, and life on Tour.
Not a Scratch Golfer follows Adam, a 7 to 8 handicapper who hits the ball average distances to show you how to play golf, how to score, and how to forget the nonsense of hitting further is always always always the best even if it goes offline.
Mr Short Game, aka Matt, is a good guy with an honest, helpful channel with a variety of content so you can never be bored.
My rankings of the best channels in charts
Youtube Golf Power Rankings in a chart
Rick Shiels is the leader of the pack by a long way. Random Golf Club Films and Mark Crossfield are the oldest channels both started in 2007. Rick Shiels and Peter Finch began their channels on the same day in 2011. The youngest channels are Fore Play and Good Good, along with Stephen Castaneda.
The breakdown of channels by the country they are located in looks like this:
United Kingdom: 7
United States: 10 (Good Good and crew makes up 6 out of those 10)
Average number of subscribers obtained per video
Creating a crew with their own individual channels and focusing on creating a large community is the key to Good Good Golf's sudden and meteoric rise. They have a great crew of editors, videographers and cast members that allow them to create plenty of unique content.
Average views per video released
What is the audience retention rate of golf Youtube channels?
It's interesting to see channels subscriber numbers and number of views the channel gets per video on average. This can show you a retention rate, roughly speaking, of how many subscribers watch the videos. This is not entirely accurate but it's a good metric to see the reach of the channels and how engaged the audience is.
These were my favorite Youtube golf channels - I hope you will try them or discovered someone new. There are new channels all the time coming up and this list may change but as of April 2022, the Good Good crew are doing well and Golf Sidekick is up there with the big boys. That is amazing.
Mid handicappers make up the majority of golfers in the world. Nearly half of al the golfers who keep a handicap, fit into the mid handicap category. But what is a mid handicapper and are you in this category of golfer?
In this article, we'll explore the handicap requirements to be a mid handicapper and what a mid handicappers game looks like in relation to higher and lower handicap ranges.
What is a Mid Handicapper?
A mid handicapper in golf is a player who has a handicap between 9 and 18.
Average golfer handicap
The average handicap in the USA for those who keep handicaps, is 14 .
What score does a mid handicapper shoot
What is a mid handicap score?
The average 14 handicap golfer will shoot an average score of 90.
The lower mid handicapper will shoot scores between 84 and 85 as a 9 handicapper. A higher mid handicapper will average scores between 93 and 95. We can estimate the score of a mid handicapper is between 84 and 95.
Type of mid handicap
Low to Mid Handicap
Lower mid handicaps have handicaps between 9 to 12. What is considered lower mid handicap is a golfer who scores between 80 and 90. Sometimes the lower mid handicapper breaks 80, but 9 our of 10 scores will be above 80.
Mid Mid Handicap
Handicap 13 to 16 make up the mid mid handicap range. Average scores here are always above 80, sometimes below 90 with most scores around the 90 to 95 range.
Mid to High Handicap
What is considered a higher mid handicapper is a golfer who scores above 90. Rarely, this golfer will break 90. Average score in the higher mid handicap is between 92 and 100 and a handicap level of 17 to 18.
Golf handicap divisions
If you play in competitions, the handicaps will be split into divisions. These are usually
Division A: 0-8 handicap
Division B: 9-18 handicap
Division C: 19+ handicap
How does a mid handicapper play on the course?
A mid handicapper will usually hit 3-4 greens in regulation. In general, mid handicappers also swing slightly faster with more confidence than a high handicapper. As a mid handicap golfer gets more confident, their scores drop.
Areas of focus for a mid handicapper to lower their scores into the 70s:
Practice the game inside 100 yards 3 times as much time as the long game
Become very good at putting inside 5 feet
Hit a tee ball into a position that allows a second shot without penalty - very often not the driver
What are the best clubs for mid handicappers?
Most mid handicap golfers will benefit most from game improvement clubs in the golf bag.
Mid handicappers should use a driver to stay in play as a top priority. Distance will come later. Any driver with a loft of between 10.5 and 12 degrees suits you this level for the most distance and forgiveness combination.
Avoid blades as a mid handicap. Many golfers will tell you that it's the best way to learn to hit the golf ball but it's not. It's always better to start with confidence first and then move to more difficult to hit clubs. Confidence breeds good swings, which breeds good contact.
Lower mid handicap golfers can start with some muscle back irons when they get confident enough around the 8 handicap range. The best irons for mid handicappers are irons that have forgiveness and consistency.
Cavity back wedges are always a good option for handicaps between 9 and 18.
I always recommend that mid handicappers play golf balls that they do not mind losing. If you are worried about losing a golf ball, use cheaper golf balls or the balls you find in the woods.
If you do not care about lost balls, your best bet is to start with golf balls that have a surlyn cover. These are durable golf balls that can last up to 3 rounds long. I would avoid spending a lot of money on the expensive premium golf balls until you are confident you will not lose more than 1 per round.
My go-to ball has always been the Srixon Soft Feel or a WIlson Duo which I played until I was a 7 handicap.
How Do Mid Handicaps Perform?
Off the tee
Mid handicappers can be very good and very bad off the tee with the driver in hand. For the mid handicap golfer who loses shots from balls going out of bounds or in the water, I recommend scaling back to a fairway wood or a hybrid off the tee. Get the ball in play to allow for a stress-free second shot.
Greens in Regulation
The hardest part for mid handicappers will be approach shots because the tee shot is often not long enough, or in the correct position to hit the greens in regulation. The approach shot distances are too long to allow for easy approach shots. Most often, mid handicap golfers will be hitting a 5 or 6 iron into the green and even a professional golfer only hits the green is 50% of the time with a 6 iron in hand.
Up and Downs
Mid handicaps can slash their handicap by getting really good inside 100 yards. The average mid handicap player will spend hours hitting golf balls on the driving range with a driver but will never touch the short game area. The game is decided inside wedge range and if you want to drop your handicap into the single figures, the easiest and quickest way is to practice chipping and putting.
Mid handicappers BIGGEST hurdle to better scoring is the mental game. Stop and think for 10 seconds before your shot. Don't auto pull the driver on every hole. Play back from the hole. Imagine where you want your next shot to come from and hit the ball there. Assess where the best place to be is on every shot.
Mid handicap players will often hit the ball directly at the pin instead of the fat part of the green. Hit to the middle of the green and practice your putting. Watch my videos on Youtube and discover how to slash your golf score!.
So what's considered mid handicap in golf?Players with a handicap between 9 and 18, shoot between 84 and 95 but can have the ability to break 80 on a very good day.
Most amateur golfers need one of these in their bag - the hybrid golf club
I added a Cobra hybrid to B-Dogs golf bag years ago and he loves it in replacement of some longer irons. It’s versatile because it's easy to hit the hybrid off the fairway and out of the rough. You can even chip with a hybrid around the greens and say good bye to terrible long iron shots.
How to hit a hybrid golf club
The answer to how to hit a hybrid: you set-up with the golf ball 2 to 4 inches inside your front foot heel, and swing the same as when you hit a 7 iron (with a downward angle into the ball). You must not try to lift the golf ball up into the air, because the loft and design of a hybrid is created in a way that it does everything for you. Trust it.
Hybrid golf clubs are more difficult to shape shots compared to long irons but that's the only big disadvantage. Considering how versatile the hybrid is and how most handicap golfers do not need to shape the ball, they add confidence to the game of most mid-to-high handicappers struggling to hit more than a 7-iron.
Where to place hybrid golf clubs in your stance
You should place your hybrid in the same part of the stance as a 6 iron or any long iron.
You can place the ball between 2 and 4 inches inside your front foot heel. It will depend on you but you can test it out by hitting the ground on the driving range and identifying where your club bottoms out. You place the ball in front of the beginning of the divot you make. Yes you can make divots with the hybrid.
How to hit a hybrid off a tee and off the ground
There are minor differences between hitting a hybrid off a tee and hitting a hybrid off the ground (fairway and rough).
Whether you hit the hybrid off a tee or off the fairway, you should try to hit down on the ball. Sweeping action is better for the tee shot because the ball is elevated but be careful of that habit because on the fairway, you may top your shot. The key is tee height.
Hybrid golf clubs are made to get the ball airborne from both the fairway and rough – so if you’re thinking about hitting your hybrid off a tee, try not to tee the ball up too high. Teeing the ball lower on the tee will encourage a consistent strike onto your hybrid so you can hit it from everywhere.
If you tee it too high, the club can go right under the ball and the golf ball can hit the crown of the club, sending it very high into the air.
I suggest getting yourself some very short tees, and teeing the ball up maybe half an inch maximum above the ground to ensure you promote a downward strike onto the ball everywhere on the golf course.
How to hit a punch shot with a hybrid
You can play a punch shot with a hybrid in the rough because the clubhead glides through the grass unlike a long iron which gets tangled.
Outside of the rough, a punch shot is easier to play with an iron - like a 3, 4 or 5 iron. It's easier to keep the ball low with a long iron, but a hybrid is designed to help increase the height of your shot.
If you want to play punch shots with your hybrid try this:
Ball must be back of the stance (behind center is your ball position)
Put your hands ahead of the ball to help de-loft the club and promote a downward strike.
Keep your glove badge moving TOWARD THE TARGET. This will help keep the shot low and not top the ball.
Focus on that badge going to the hole and finish with the badge at worst, facing the sky. By focusing on that, you stop the flipping action which makes the ball pop up into the air.
How to hit a hybrid out of the rough
Place the ball in the correct part of your stance for the best results:
If the ball is sitting down in the grass
Set-up with the ball behind center in your stance much like the punch shot above. Hit down on the ball and make sure you follow through because the club will definitely help you as long as you hit a decent swing.
If the ball is teed up in the grass
Hit the ball like you would hit the hybrid off the tee - you got really lucky! The wide sole of the club will glide through the long blades and hit the ball instead of getting the grass stuck between the club and the ball.
How to hit a hybrid straight
Hitting a straight shot with a hybrid is the same as your other golf clubs. It should be noted that hitting a straight shot is very difficult. But you can reduce the shape of the shot by following fundamentals in all golf shots.
If your ball position is correct (2-4 inches inside your front heel) and you hit down on the ball like with a 6 iron, you will hit a straighter shot. The problems come when you try to add loft to the shot because you do not trust that the ball will fly into the air.
The hybrid is probably the best designed club in the entire golf bag for hitting easier shots. They have made hybrids with the sole purpose of making it easy to hit longer irons without needing a longer iron.
To hit a straighter shot, your swing needs to be on plane and your club face control needs to be created with a good setup - posture, stance, grip and takeaway.
How to hit a 3 hybrid
The 3 hybrid golf club is the most popular choice for amateur handicap golfers. The way to hit the 3 hybrid is identical to any other hybrid.
Other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the easiest hybrid to hit?
The higher the loft, the easier it will be to hit. That is why when you learn how to hit a hybrid with your golf swing, longer shots become easy.
A 6 iron hybrid will be easier to hit than a 2 or 3 hybrid. You can get hybrids all the way down to 6 or 7 iron if you have trouble hitting the iron version.
Every manufacturer creates their hybrids with small deviations, so try them all out before you decide between Ping, Callaway, Taylormade or Cobra.
Why do I keep topping my hybrid?
If you keep topping your hybrid, it is because of a few reasons. These are the most common:
Early extension and poor impact position
If you stand up out of your posture before impact, and your left arm and golf club make a straight line before impact, it can be difficult to control the bottom part of your swing. This means you actually get to impact position FRACTIONALLY too early and so the wrists need to flip and if you don't then the bottom of the club collides with the top of the ball.
Your best bet is to see a swing coach to help recreate the only universal thing in golf: the impact position. You can see my lesson on impact position here:
Swaying off and ahead of the ball
Swaying was one of my worst problems in my golf swing because it can stopped me rotating back and through the ball. My head would move way back and then on the way to hit the ball, move in front of the ball. This is a guaranteed way to top and fat the golf ball. Here's my first ever golf lesson where I learned about this.
Misconception of how a hybrid works
If you’re topping the ball with your hybrid, it can often be due to mental errors, not only mechanical golf instruction.
Most handicap golfers think they need to flip and scoop the ball into the air instead of hitting down and allowing the loft and club design to get the ball airborne. The reason this leads to topped shots is because most mid handicapper or high handicappers will fall onto their back foot trying to create an upward angle of attack. This is surefire topping.
When you hit your hybrid, hit down on it like a 6 or 7 iron through the ball and not UP into the ball.
Can I use a hybrid as a chip and run club?
You can and should use your hybrid around the green. The hybrid is best used around the greens on tight lies when your wedge feels like you will thin it across the green. When you are against the collar next to the green, the hybrid is easier to brush through the long grass.
To play this shot with a hybrid, grip down on the club, near the graphite shaft, stand closer to the ball and make the club sit very flat and square on the ground. You use a putting stroke to execute the shot and remember to use enough pace to get the ball rolling to the hole.
Working on how to hit a hybrid around the greens means more up and down chipping for you.
Should I carry a 5 wood or 3 hybrid?
5 wood vs 3 hybrid is a very common debate and they are indeed similar golf clubs in performance. They are played in the same place in the stance.
Both the 5 fairway wood and the 3 hybrid have similar lofts but the weight in the hybrid is near the face but the fairway wood has weight toward the back of the club head.
The five wood in general will fly further and fly higher than the 3 hybrid which has a lower flight with less rollout. That is because the hybrid is in fact a replacement for a long iron. Overall distance is roughly similar. It just depends on what you prefer the look of and which you prefer to hit.
If you like the look of a fairway wood at address then the 5 wood is a good option.
If you like to look down at hybrids (with the smaller iron-shaped head), then you will like the 3 hybrid instead of a fairway wood.
Whatever you choose, you have to feel 100% confidence with to execute great golf shots.
Why should I carry a hybrid vs long iron?
The decision to carry a hybrid vs a long iron depends on how you like the look at address and if you have a fade or a draw. The other consideration is whether you can get a long iron airborne often enough or whether you prefer a 7 wood vs a 4 hybrid.
I would suggest a long iron if you can hit it airborne often out the sweet spot, and hit a natural draw shape. The long iron will tend to fade.
If you cannot get a long iron airborne, then a hybrid is for you. If you tend to fade your long irons even if you can hit them, the hybrid tends to pull left.
Here are the pros and cons of each.
The hybrid is suited to the mid to higher handicapper and definitely can help you get the ball in the air.
Easier to hit in the air than long irons
Skims through rough easier than irons
Can be easier to hit off the fairway
Engineered to get the golf ball airborne easily even with slower swings
Versatile to use as a bump and run club around greens
Generally higher ball flight compared to long irons
Wide sole makes it less workable left and right (this is good if you are a higher handicapper)
Keeping the ball low is harder because it's designed to elevate the ball
Usually bought individually, not part of your iron set
Long irons are still popular among lower handicappers and pros, but are slowly losing favor and are often excluded from iron sets, past the 5 iron.
Easier to work the ball because of narrow sole and smaller club face
Irons are easier to keep low when you need to hit a punch
Usually part of a set unless you purchase from 6 iron down
Low handicap players prefer the long irons due to higher swing speed
More difficult for most mid handicappers and high handicappers to hit than a hybrid
Slow swing speed will find it hard to get the ball airborne and if they do, the ball won't go as far as their mid irons
Long grass in the rough tangles the club head easily because of the sharper edges
The slice is a common shot with long irons while hybrids tend to draw
Missing the sweet spot hurts your hands and arms unlike a hybrid
Hybrids are a game changing alternative for a lot of golfers struggling with long irons. You don't have to soldier through the long iron struggle, losing balls. I promise!
They are so easy to hit from the fairway and rough and are lovely around the green.
Forget about the workability of a hybrid. If you need to work the ball, you are probably too low of a handicapper for a hybrid. Hybrids are for hitting straight shots to make it easier for everyone and more fun!
Every mid handicapper and high handicapper should begin with a hybrid and even include some fairway woods.
Often double digit handicap golfers hit a good drive which leaves 130-160 yards approach to the green - which is often an 8 iron. They think they do not know how to hit an 8 iron. With an over expectation, the pressure thinking that you need to hit 3 out of 4 greens with your 8 iron, plus low confidence, many things can happen:
Chunk the shot
Pull the shot
Slice the shot
Thin the shot
Hit it short or long because you don't know the average distance of your 8 iron
Hitting the 8 iron is easier than you think. The six simple tips below will help you hit a solid shot that goes where you need it. You'll hit it the correct distance and with a consistent result on or near the green. If you miss the green, you can even chip with your 8 iron.
How To Hit An 8 Iron: 6 Easy Fixes
You're a good golfer already you just need to work on a few things:
Taking a good divot
Knowing your shot shape
Selecting the best aiming spot in front of the ball
Knowing your 8 iron carry distance
Trust the loft of your 8 iron
Chip with your 8 iron more
Guide To Hitting An 8 Iron: Six Quick Tips
Fix 1: Take a good divot
It doesn't matter if it's the 8 iron, a 5 iron or a sand wedge, the first important tip is to be able to control where the iron contacts the ground and takes a divot. When you take a divot, you create solid contact and more consistent distances with your 8 iron. The difference between low and high handicap golfers comes down to pure iron strikes.
The high handicap golfer struggles to take divots out of fear of messing up the fairway or fear of chunking the ball. You must banish the fear of hitting a fat shot and PRACTICE TAKING DIVOTS.
How to hit a divot with your 8 iron
Find a piece of grass anywhere that you don't mind messing up
Start by hitting the ground without a ball and take divots. You can swing and take a satisfying divot over and over as many times as necessary
Use a wiffle ball and hit shots with the wiffle ball, focusing on the front of the ball - the part of the golf ball closest to the target. Try start your divot on the target side of the ball.
On the golf course: Take practice swings in the rough when no one is hitting. Before your shot, practice swings should take a shallow divot before your real shot.
If you are can't control the low point where the divot starts, try put 60% of your weight on your front leg. Keep that head from swaying and hit a divot.
Fix 2: Know your shot shape or curve on the ball
Knowing the shape your ball makes in the air is so important but so overlooked by golfers. A lot of higher handicappers will aim for the phantom straight shot. This shot appears once per round and never when you want it.
Instead, learn your shot shape over time. Perhaps you think you hit a two way miss. Write down which side you miss the most. Be honest with yourself and your golf shot shape. A lot of golfers fall into the trap of being embarrassed about hitting a fade. Do not be. Top pro's on the PGA Tour prefer a fade.
The simplest way to understand your shot shape is to play practice rounds by yourself on a golf course. Hit multiple balls and note which way the ball flies with a fade or with a draw. A fade moves left to right while the draw moves right to left.
Whichever is your shot shape, accept it and play it. It will help you in Fix #3 where you must aim the club face correctly according to your shot shape. Without proper alignment suited to your shot shape, you cannot hit good iron shots.
After you know which shot shape you hit, you must aim your club to something on your TARGET line. You will learn your target line by taking into account your shot shape above. If you fade the ball 10 yards, aim 10 yards left. If you draw the ball 5 yard, aim 5 yards to the right of your target.
But the most important is to aim your club face to account for that.
Find something in front of your ball on the ground. It could be a leaf, or a divot or a piece of grass.
Check that it is on your target line taking into account your shape so the ball curves to the target
The thing you align to must be 1-3 feet in front of the ball
Pick a target beyond the pin or the green. You can select a tree branch or something high up behind your target. This will clear your mind of the trouble in front of you.
If you align your 8 iron club face to the spot in front of the ball and then just before hitting, you glance at your spot in the distance, you will hit better 8 iron shots
Through the gate alignment drill
Set up an alignment stick down your target line about 12-15 feet in front of you.
Put a second alignment stick 2-4 feet right of the first alignment stick.
Using your plastic or foam ball, try hit the ball through the gate.
If you have a driving range that lets you do this, use real golf balls.
If you have access to a golf studio with a hitting bay, try hit the bullseye they may paint on the white screen. Take that feeling to the course
Most low handicap golfers could do 15 out of 20 but if you are struggling, just work up from your number whatever it is. You want to create a visual in your mind to take to the course and a feeling. Remember your process and thought when you do any drills so it converts to the golf course.
Here's a secret: All the distances you see people claiming in forums and Reddit are nonsense. The average PGA Tour pro hits a ball 295 yards. The average PGA Tour pro hits his 8 iron 160 to 180 yards. No amateur playing off a handicap over 10 can claim those distances with a straight face.
Why do I tell you this? Because it DOES NOT MATTER what distance others hit the ball. It only matters how far you hit your 8 iron. The distance is neither good nor bad. It is only that you KNOW for a fact YOUR distance with the 8 iron.
Do not claim that 8 iron that you hit 178 yards as your average. Resist the ego driven distance bragging. You will be a great golfer if you know exactly your distance of the 8 iron and play to it. You will beat everyone who claims their max distance is their average.
Using a rangefinder and then working out the difference between your target and where your ball finished
You can use this information for your shots and know if you can carry the hazards, stay short of the hazards or hit the middle of the green. This is HUGE. The most important thing anyone can do when learning how to hit their irons is to KNOW their CARRY distance.
Fix 5: Trust the 8 iron loft
A lot of high handicap golfers and beginners think you need to help the ball into the air by adding loft or 'getting underneath' the golf ball when they hit short irons like 8 iron, 9 iron or PW. The truth is, you actually deloft the iron at impact. The backspin that you impart on the ball will create the lift that you need.
This is VERY KEY: TRUST THE LOFT OF THE GOLF CLUB - THE MANUFACTURERS KNOW MORE THAN YOU ABOUT BALL FLIGHT DYNAMICS
The easiest way to stop trying to lift the ball with this club is to consciously NOT fall back with your weight onto the back foot. You must keep 60% of your weight on the front foot
When you hit DOWN on the golf ball, you compress it and that creates speed and spin. There is something very important you want to get right to be able to compress the ball. Impact position is critical.
Here is the impact position you want. Click the image or HERE for the Youtube video lesson on impact.
Fix 6 (bonus): Hit chips with your 8 iron
You can file this one under pro tips. When you find a chance to hit some chip shots, practice with your 8 iron. You can make small swings to practice club face control to understand hitting the sweet spot. You can learn how it feels to hit it solid by avoiding the full swing to practice impact position.
Stand about 2 yards off the green and chip the golf ball to a flag about 11-12 yards away from you. Try land the ball on a specific spot. Play the ball off your back foot to understand you don't need to help lift the ball in the air. Just imagine you are using your pitching wedge.
You can learn more about how chipping works in golf. Just make decent contact with the golf ball and hit 100 balls if you can. You'll come away feeling much better.
8 iron technical information
What loft is an 8 iron?
An 8 iron loft is between 35 and 39 degrees. Newer golf clubs have lower loft while older clubs have higher loft. The higher the loft, the less distance you will get with the same swing. In modern irons like the TaylorMade STEALTH, the loft of the mid irons is now comparable to those that were traditionally long irons. It's always good to know the difference between lofts in your clubs from pitching wedge to nine iron to 8 iron.
What is the length of an 8 iron?
The length of the average 8 iron is between 36 and 37 inches. The length will depend on your height and your swing. If you are fitted for clubs, the club fitter will adjust the length, the lie and the loft according to your game. You can find some irons to help you lower your handicap with the right characteristics.
Average 8 iron distance
The average 8 iron distance depends on your swing speed, loft, golf ball and skill. For the average loft of 36 degrees, here are the averages for different golfers:
High handicappers and beginners - swing speed 60-70 mph: 120-150 yards
Now that you know how to execute an 8 iron shot and perform better with this club, it's time to practice a lot. You can practice at the range, on the golf course, or into a net. Just get that feeling of making good contact.
I highly recommend a lesson but if not, just keep hitting balls. You will get it. One more BONUS tip is to LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS. You are not on the PGA Tour, you are not Tiger Woods. You just need to relax and enjoy hitting the 8 iron at the driving range, on the practice green, and in your mind!
If you have only ONE course to play while in the Bangkok area, Nikanti is the place. This is easily hands-down the best experience I have had in Thailand for golf.
What makes Nikanti unique?
18 holes broken into six of each par 3, 4, 5 - The course is not overly long and the plentiful par 5 and par 3 (six of each) make it such a pleasure to play instead of endless par 4s.
The best service in golf - From moment one you are greeted by everyone, and ushered around to make sure you don't get lost. You are treated like a true guest and not like an intruder. This is incredible and you feel like a total boss.
All inclusive pricing!You pay ONE price. There is no worrying about drinks, food. You pay for the day. You get either a free breakfast and lunch or free lunch and dinner. And yes, you can order more of the dishes included. It's not like some airline food either. it's LEGIT good food. The tip, the green fee, caddie fee, food, free water, golf cart are all included.
Caddies are HIGHLY trained - With the inclusivity and the condition of the course, the caddies are also superb. Absolutely great fun and good natured, but well trained to be totally efficient.
Nikanti in Thai language has something to do with the number 6, hence the 6/6/6 split of the course into 3 courses of 6 holes, 6 par 3, 6 par 4, 6 par 5.
The whole experience is superior to EVERYTHING else in Thailand. From when you arrive to when the caddie puts your bag back in the car, you are treated as a guest. There's no dual pricing. You are taken care of with a smile.
It's super laid back. Despite being the best, most well kept, highest end service establishment, it is still chilled out. You don't have to feel rushed, or anything. you're a baus for a day.
How does Nikanti look?
Here's a video of us playing Nikanti Golf Club.
The cold hard fact about Nikanti Golf Club
It is well maintained, has great service but if you are looking for a LONG course, this is not the one for you.
If however, you're looking for a place you will not forget easily, this is the course. Forget every other famous name course in the Bangkok/Nakon Nayok/Nakhon Pathom area. This course is hands-down the best experience and one you can take with you back home or keep coming to if you live here.
Play it early in the morning for a great view, temperature and quiet time.
Nikanti Golf Club Green Fee
Green fees: You can expect to pay between 3,500 THB ($110) and 6,000 THB ($200). Midweek is always toward the lower end of this price range.
Caddie fee: Included in the price above.
Caddie tip: Not included in the price but starts at 400 THB ($13)
Cart price: Included in the price above
Guides for how to play Nikanti Golf Club in Nakhon Pathom
Follow my channel and watch these videos of us playing there.
Other things to do around Nikanti Golf Club
It's quite a distance from Bangkok center. It's 1 hour or 67km from downtown.
You want to leave 1 hour 45 minutes before your tee time. If you want to stay in Nakhon Pathom, I don't think you'll find much to do out there. Find a transfer or rent a car to Nikanti and return in the evening.
Drivers on GRAB app and taxi drivers in Bangkok would be more than willing to drive you out there, wait around for 5-6 hours and then drive you back for the right fee. I'd guess you could get that for about 3,000 baht for 3-4 people and a big Toyota Fortuner.
Red Mountain is the most well-known course on Phuket island and mainly because it was once the most expensive at about 7,000 Thai Baht for 18 holes.
It's an interesting course with a difficult lay out, and some beautiful scenery. The pictures are worth the trip. But for 7,000 THB ($220 US), I don't know about that.
If you can get on the course with promotions for less than 2,500 baht then I would say that's a pretty good deal and worth the memory if you're only going to be here once.
What makes Red Mountain unique?
Two 18 hole courses - Loch Palm is next door and run by the same Group - MBK. MBK also run Riverdale in Bangkok plus its close neighbor, Bangkok Golf Club.
The course is cut through insane terrain like a video game. The drops and the rises, the slopes and the scenery look like something out of a Tiger Woods PGA Tour Playstation game. Carts are mandatory and you cannot walk this course that's for sure. It has been designed by Jonathan Morrow and been open since 2007.
Photogenic - You'll get some great views and some nice pictures to share with buddies back home.
Caddies are phenomenal - The caddies at Red Mountain always know what club you need after the first 2-3 holes and take care of you knowing when you need a towel, rangefinder, water...everything.
Built on a tin mine - this makes the place look really wild with old jungle and untouched forest
Smooth bermuda greens and paspallum tees and fairways make for a brilliantly conditioned course.
How does Red Mountain look?
Here's a video of us playing Red Mountain.
The cold hard fact about Red Mountain Golf Course in Phuket
It is a scenic golf course but at times can feel gimmicky. It is built on an old tin mine so the terrain is very outstanding. The 17th hole is the craziest one with a drop off of about 50 yards from tee to green on the par 3.
The condition is very good and the greens are very challenging and also perfectly manicured. Condition and layout really are unique and the back nine, which wasn't in the video above, is EVEN MORE scenic than the first.
Riverdale and Red Mountain by the MBK group are very high-end golfing experiences so if it fits into your budget, you should play Red Mountain for the experience.
I'd really suggest bringing your own clubs from overseas if you decide to play because it will be WAY LESS fun if you rent clubs that don't suit you.
Red Mountain Phuket Green Fee
Green fees: Generally upwards of 2,500 Thai Baht as of mid 2021. This price includes caddie, cart and green fee.
Caddie tip: Usually you want to match the caddie fee for the caddie tip.
My standard tip everywhere now since the pandemic is 500 THB if the caddie was remotely better than average.
Other things to do around Red Mountain
Red Mountain is the most well known and challenging course in Phuket island and is located right in the middle of it.
Every well-known beach is within a 20 minute drive from the course. A lot of people rate Loch Palm (attached to Red Mountain property) as being an even better course, so check that out!
Phuket has tons of nightlife, and with so many transfer and taxi companies around, getting to Red Mountain should be easy, and even better if you rent a car.
Blue Canyon is the site of one of Tiger Woods victories when he was super young. He won the Johnnie Walker there and there's a plaque on one of the par 4s where he hit a drive on the green.
That doesn't sound like a big deal nowadays, but this was back in the day when he was playing balata golf balls, steel headed driver and steel shafts!
What went wrong with Blue Canyon?
For a while, there was a Singaporean company that owned the course and they really screwed the place up. They messed the members around and then cut costs everywhere.
The greens shrunk, the condition was bad and it seemed the course had its glory days WAY back.
A local Thai investor purchased the golf course and has restored the Canyon Course to its former glory. I got a chance to play it before it was reopened to members in 2021. Even before opening, it was special. The greens have been restored to world class quality and the layout and conditioning is superb.
They've removed some trees and made it overall a picturesque golf course and one of the best value places on the island of Phuket.
What makes Blue Canyon unique?
Two 18 hole golf courses - The Canyon and the Lakes courses are both super. The Canyon course was the site of the Johnnie Walker for very many years.
Located on an old tin mine. There are some spectacular drops and naked earth scenery that is breathtaking.
Clubhouse overlooks the 9th and 18th green of the Canyon course. You sit perched high up on the grounds, overlooking the reshaped 9th hole and the now-restored 18th green.
The food is so well priced, it's CRAZY. I usually flinch when someone gives me a menu at a golf course restaurant. But here, you want to order 4 or 5 dishes because the value is so good.
My friend, Golf, from Golf Every Second Youtube channel practices there and they gave him a very good deal as a local pro to use their facilities. He also teaches there in his time away from the tour due to Covid restrictions. You can see him for sure if you play Blue Canyon.
Tiger Woods made history here. He won the Johnnie Walker extremely young. To stand on the tee where he drove the green and imagine him doing that when everyone else in the field just would play it way to the right, is mesmerizing. I hit it over the green on my tee shot but I have a titanium driver, graphite shaft and Pro V1. He didn't Amazing to see such historical sites.
How does Blue Canyon look?
Here's a video of Golf and me playing the Canyon Course.
The cold hard facts about Blue Canyon Country Club in Phuket Thailand
The courses are very walkable. There are constantly promotions but with the country reopening, you may find, as tourists return, the price may increase a lot.
I say this because the place is in fantastic condition now and while and is worth the time. You can get two great courses while in Phuket.
I would say it's a must play.
Be careful on Google maps though. If you put it into the map, it may take you up a side road. Both courses are accessible from the same entrance but make sure the route you use is the blue one indicated in the map below.
Using the red route or any route other than the blue one below will send you up a service road to NOWHERE!
Blue Canyon Country Club Green Fee
Green fees: Generally between 1,500 and 3,000 Thai Baht depending on the season and day of the week. Courses are generally cheaper on weekdays and more expensive on weekend.
Caddie fee: around $13 USD. This is mandatory at all golf courses in Thailand anyway.
Caddie tip: Usually you want to match the caddie fee for the caddie tip at a minimum. The maximum should be reasonable but not insane. Anything above 600-700 Baht and you will be spoiling the market for the locals and members.
My standard tip everywhere now since the pandemic is 500 THB if the caddie was remotely better than average.
Guides for how to play Blue Canyon Country Club Phuket
Follow my channel and watch these videos of us playing there.
Guide for how to play Blue Canyon Lake Course
Other things to do around Blue Canyon
Phuket is a large island with plenty of beaches.
There's a ton of nightlife and you can do anything you want there. The world is your oyster.