The hybrid club cannot only be used to hit soaring approach shots but can be utilized for chip-and-run shots around the green. This method is common on the professional tours, out of tricky lies around the putting surface, and can definitely help senior players.
Hybrid clubs are generally a little longer than normal irons and have less loft. Because of this, they can only be used effectively on long chip and run shots. Hybrids also have a smooth sole enabling the senior golfer the option of using them from tricky lies. A ball sat down in light rough around the green could be a perfect time to let the hybrid club pop the ball up on to the green. It’s a shot many professional golfers use when the ball sits against the fringe. Professionals can use the hybrid in this situation to glide through the grass and bump the ball towards the hole. It makes mincemeat of an otherwise problematic shot.
The technique used for hitting a hybrid chip-and-run is similar to the putting technique and can be quickly mastered by the senior golfer. By using a putting technique with the added loft of the hybrid, it’s possible to lift the ball slightly into the air and get it running towards the target. By using a normal chipping technique, the senior golfer could risk creating a steep angle of attack and a ‘squirting’ shot which flies off the club face and across the green with no control.
The set up
For a standard putting set up:
1. Start with the feet shoulder width apart, set parallel to the target line.
2. Place the ball just forward of centre in the stance with weight 50/50 on each foot.
3. Use your putting grip, holding the club a little further down the handle to negate the extra length of the hybrid when compared to a putter.
4. Use your normal putting posture (a little tilt from the hips so the eyes are hanging over the ball if possible or slightly inside the ball-to-target line).
5. Aim the club face at your intended target.
For the putter stroke with a chipping club:
1. Start the stroke with a very slight forward press, moving the hands ahead of the ball by an inch.
2. Take the club away low to the ground, keeping the hands, arms and shoulders as one unit. The wide sole of the club should keep the club moving and gliding through the grass.
3. The shoulders should drive the stroke, rocking them back and forwards, the club should be moving like a pendulum.
4. The club sweeps through the ball on a very shallow arc, there shouldn’t be a divot, brush the turf through impact.
Using hybrid clubs to chip is a great weapon for senior golfers but it isn’t a shot to be tried first time during a competition. Senior golfers should experiment with the shot firstly on a practice green before heading out on to the course.