This paper presents the methodology and performance of the Hybrid Coarse-Mesh Finite Difference (HCMFD) algorithm for transient pinwise analyses of three-dimensional (3-D) pressurized water reactor (PWR) problems. The time-dependent neutron diffusion equations and their applications in two steps of the HCMFD algorithm, i.e., local and global iterations, are introduced in detail. Taking into account the characteristics of the local-global nonlinear HCMFD iterations, an optimization strategy to minimize the computing time of the transient HCMFD calculation is established by focusing on the balance between the number of local and global calculations. Based on the optimization strategy, the actual computational performance of the transient HCMFD algorithm, in view of both computing time and accuracy, is evaluated for the core of a big-sized conventional PWR in this work. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the optimized iteration strategy, various slow and fast transients including a rod ejection transient are simulated by the transient HCMFD algorithm. It is clearly shown that a 3-D pin-resolved whole-core transient solution for a big PWR can be obtained in a reasonably short computing time by the transient 3-D HCMFD algorithm.