Hybrid clubs are useful weapons from lots of different lies and this includes fairway bunkers.
The question is when is it safe to use them? Hybrid clubs are designed with a deep club head (cavity) and perimeter weighting which increases forgiveness and moves the centre of gravity deeper and lower into the club head. This design allows the golfer to lift the ball up quickly from most lies.
However, in bunkers the wide smooth sole of the hybrid is best used to skid across the surface and not dig into the sand. This skimming will allow the hybrid to sweep the ball away cleanly but should only be attempted when conditions are favourable. Using a hybrid club from a poor lie in the bunker with mounds of sand behind the ball may not produce the best results.
Golfers interested in hitting hybrid clubs from bunkers can follow this technique.
1. First the golfer needs to assess the distance to the target, the lie of the ball and the height of the bunker’s lip. The distance is self-explanatory but the lie must be very good, not sat down and the bunker lip must be low to allow the hybrid’s loft to impart enough lift on to the ball.
2. At set up, it’s important the player adopts a position which will allow a sweeping action through impact. This sweeping action will allow the ball to be nipped cleanly off the surface.
3. The ball should be positioned just forward of centre in the stance with the feet shuffled into the sand for stability. Because the feet will dig down into the sand by a few inches, the golfer should grip down the handle by the same amount.
4. Weight should be divided equally between the feet, 50/50 on each foot.
5. When taking the club away, golfers should try and remain balanced and not let too much weight drift over on the back foot.
6. When bringing the club through, players need a ‘sweeping’ action, nipping the ball cleanly off the surface. It’s important the golfer strikes the ball first and not the sand as any sand caught between the ball and club will reduce the shot’s overall distance.
7. Sweeping up through the ball, golfers should look to finish up on their back toe facing the target.
Deciding when to use a hybrid club from the bunker is not always easy, especially if the golfer has not practiced the required technique. However, harnessing this ability will enable players to attack greens not usually reachable from long fairway bunkers, and therefore lower scores.