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The 24/38 Rule, Hybrid Golf Clubs, and Your Golf Game

Updated on August 26, 2010
Hybrid Golf Clubs
Hybrid Golf Clubs

There's a little known rule out there about golfers and their swing. It's known as the 24/38 rule and golf club makers have known about it for a long time. What it says is that most golfers out there cannot consistently hit a ball with an iron that is 24 degrees or less loft and that is 38 inches or longer. What this rule has come to do is become the standard for the average man's abilities.

While this nice and all, how does it affect your game? The answer is that since the 1970's the average club's loft has been lower bit by bit. The companies needed to come out with a new model each year that they could promise for hitting longer and longer. The problem is that new golf technology does not come out regularly. Instead all the so-called advances in the industry have been lengthening and lowering the loft of all the irons. The old 3-Iron of yore is now the 5-Iron. That's right, anything lower than a 5 iron is probably something that you cannot realistically use unless you are professional golfer.

Then you might ask yourself, why do I have a 3 and 4 Iron? The reason is that it's a way to get more money out of consumers by having to replace the clubs they cannot use. Not only has this affected your wallet, but it's also affected your game. Since all clubs have been lengthened and have gradually shallower lofts, it's become more and more difficult for golfers to make common short ranged shots of less than 120 yards. Many have had to make due with wedges and other get out trouble clubs for basic fairway shots.

Unfortunately, there's no good solution to this problem for your pocket book. Buying clubs individually can be expensive. However, if you really care about your game, you'll need to change up the clubs you use. One style of clubs that has become popular are known as hybrid golf clubs or utility golf clubs. These clubs are often designed to replace the long irons, 2-, 3-, 4-, and will often hit the same distances, but they are far more forgiving. One of the key aspects of their design is by changing the center of gravity in the clubs from just under the face of the club to the back of the head, the club has become much easier to hit.

or other clubs begin to really look at their lengths and lofts. Many professional players do not use standard retail clubs. They do not even use customized clubs that come anywhere close to what you could buy at a store. On the typical tour, the average golfer is using a driver that is 44.5 inches long, that's half an inch to 1.5 inches shorter than the typical 45 and 46 inch drivers found in most stores.

The next time you decide to buy some different clubs, remember the 24/38 rule. Pay attention to the lengths and lofts of the different clubs in your bag and at the store and ask yourself, "Is this what I really should be using?"


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