Hybrid clubs have become extremely popular in the modern game. While there are still a few players stubbornly holding onto their long irons – you know who you are – the rest of the golf world has decided that hybrids are the way to go.
Offering some of the same traits as a long iron while also featuring the ease-of-use of a fairway wood, there is a lot to like about this category of clubs. If you have not before tried one out for yourself, now is the time to do so.
Hybrids in a Variety of Situations
Before talking about how you should swing your hybrid clubs, it’s important to take a minute to understand where and when you can use them on the course.
One of the best things about hybrids is simply the versatility that they provide. Here are just a few options:
#1 Off the Tee
Hybrids are a great choice off the tee when you need to prioritize accuracy over distance.
You probably won’t want to hit a hybrid off the tee on a wide-open par five, but a short and narrow par four would make for a great opportunity.
When you do use your hybrids on the tee, remember to tee the ball very low to the ground. These clubs are meant to be able to hit directly off the turf, so teeing the ball too high would make it hard to find the sweet spot. Basically, you are going to use your tee just to get the bottom of the ball barely above the top of the grass, and that’s it.
#2 Second Shot on a Par 5
Perhaps the most exciting opportunity you will have to play a hybrid shot is when you are going for the green in two on a par five.
After hitting a great drive, you may find yourself within hybrid range of the green. Before you decide to go for it, take an overview of the terrain between you and the putting surface to make sure you are making the right call. Even when the yardage says you can go for the green, the right play may be to lay up.
Only when you feel good about the situation at hand should you pull the hybrid from your bag and attempt to set up an eagle putt.
#3 Getting Out of Trouble
While we don’t like to think about these things as golfers, you are inevitably going to hit a bad drive from time to time. It happens.
When you do find yourself off the beaten path, you might be able to use your hybrid to get back into position. Hybrids are effective for hitting low punch shots, especially if you draw a relatively clean lie.
Of course, it would be a good idea to practice this type of shot before you attempt it during a round.
#4 Playing a Bump and Run
Believe it or not, you can actually put your hybrid to use up around the green, as well.
If you find yourself in a spot where your ball is on the short grass only a few feet from the green, you can use your hybrid to ‘bump’ the ball up toward the hole. Using your putting technique, rock the club back and through and sweep the ball up off the turf. It will only fly for a short distance before bouncing and rolling the rest of the way toward the target.
This is a handy shot, but make sure to practice it plenty to learn how to control your distance.
Don’t Make Any Major Changes
One of the best pieces of news you can receive when learning how to play a hybrid club is that you don’t need to make any big changes to your swing technique. It would not serve any benefit to change your technique for this one type of club, as having consistency with your swing throughout your set is the best way to go.
With that said, there are a couple of hybrid-specific things to keep in mind:
First, although they are designed like an iron in some ways, hybrids are not really meant for taking divots. You’ll probably find better results if you pick the ball off the top of the grass, like you would do with a fairway wood.
Second, these clubs don’t tend to cut through rough effectively, so trying to hit a hybrid shot when your ball is sitting down in long grass is unlikely to end well.
Learn Your Hybrid Ball Flight
As this is a different type of club from the others in your bag, it’s possible that you will generate a slightly different ball flight from what you are used to. Of course, you’ll need to know what kind of ball flight to expect in order to aim your shots properly off the tee and from the fairway.
Spend plenty of time hitting hybrid shots on the range in order to familiarize yourself with what the ball is likely to do in the air.
If you aren’t quite happy with your ball flight as you practice, try making minor adjustments to your ball position in order to tweak your flight pattern. Moving the ball up in your stance a bit should encourage it to fade, while shifting it slightly further back in your stance will promote a draw.
Experimentation is the name of the game here, as you’ll need to try a few options before finding the spot that seems to lead to the best results.
In the end, there isn’t anything particularly complicated about hitting a hybrid club. These are golf clubs just like any other, and the technique you use to hit a hybrid is roughly the same as the technique you would use to hit any other long club in your bag.
We hope the discussion above has helped resolve any questions you may have had regarding the use of these versatile sticks.