Hybrid golf clubs are designed to replace your irons so the ball position and swing to play effective shots from these golf clubs are the same as you would use for an iron.
To set up correctly to play a great shot with a hybrid you need to address the ball with a shoulder width stance. This will provide you with a stable and well balanced base to play your golf shot from.
The golf ball should be positioned left of the center of your stance (for right handed golfers) to encourage a downward striking action in the club head and your weight should also be positioned slightly more on your left side, with your hands forward of the club head.
Pushing your hands forward simply means that your hands are left of the club head and to encourage the correct hand position, create a straight line from your left shoulder down your left arm and then down the shaft of the golf club to the club head.
Doing this will encourage you to make a slightly more upright swinging action and allow you to make a steeper angle of attack with the club head as it descends towards the golf ball. This slight downward striking action will force the golf ball forwards and upwards from the club face angle to produce a high ball flight and longer golf shot.
Work on initiating your backswing by rotating your upper body to the right and maintaining your balance and head position. Your shoulders should rotate 90 degrees to the right of their start position and you should maintain an extended left arm throughout your backswing and at the top of your backswing. To initiate your downswing rotate from the ground up. Turn your knees, hips, torso and then shoulders towards the target and finish in a well balanced position with the golf club wrapped around the back of your neck and your right foot rotated up from the floor, on your toe and your shoe laces turned towards the target.
Work on achieving this set up, ball position and swing when next playing with your hybrid golf clubs and you will see an improvement in the results that are produced.
Have a look at the Thomas Golf website for their range of ladies hybrid golf clubs.
Hybrid Golf Clubs Basic Swing and Ball Position
If you are going to carry hybrid clubs in your set – and you should, for a variety of reasons – you need to know how to use those clubs effectively. Just as is the case with every other club in your bag, you need to have a plan when you select a hybrid for any given shot. You need to know what kind of mechanics you are going to use to make the swing, and you are going to need to have a ball position in mind. In this article, we are going to cover those topics, and more, for the hybrid clubs which live in your bag.
The good news with regard to playing shots with your hybrid clubs is the fact that you aren't going to have to make any dramatic changes to your normal technique. The same basic swing which will work for a long iron or fairway wood will also work with a hybrid. However, there are some subtle differences to understand if you would like to maximize your performance. To make sure you give yourself the best possible chance to succeed with these clubs, give them some dedicated time within each of your practice sessions. Just as you mark out time to hit drivers and wedges, also set aside at least a few range balls for your hybrids. Investing even a small amount of time will pay off in a big way down the line.
As you work on your hybrid technique and ball position, remember that there are a number of different shots which can be created with these clubs. Sure, you will want to have a 'stock' shot in your arsenal, but it is also wise to learn how to hit some other shots as well. For instance, you may work on hitting your hybrid lower for windy days, and you might even practice hitting a big draw in order to coax some extra yardage from the club. Whatever other kinds of shots you decide to develop, work on them in addition to working on the consistency of your stock ball flight.
We are going to discuss ball position with your hybrids in this article, but you should also take time to work on your ball positioning with the rest of your set as well. Ball position is one of those subtle points which seems like it wouldn't make much difference to your game, but actually has a big impact on how well you play. The ability to produce consistent shots largely comes down to using the same ball position swing after swing. Paying attention to detail will take you a long way in golf, and that starts by focusing in on ball position with each of your clubs.
All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.
Swinging Your Hybrid Clubs
Everything starts with the swing in golf. If you can build a swing which is reliable round after round, even when you are under pressure, you will have an excellent base on which to build your game. Of course, it is not easy to build a quality golf swing, as this is one of the most challenging sports in the world. Most golfers take years to build a reliable golf swing – if they ever manage to reach that point. Don't take your swing for granted, as nothing comes easy in golf. Only those who are willing to work will find the improvements they desire over the long run.
As was mentioned in the introduction, you don't have to dramatically change your swing simply because you are holding a hybrid club. The same swing you put to use with the rest of your clubs is going to work with your hybrids, more or less. The key here is to pay attention to the small details which can make a big difference in the kinds of shots you produce. Since hybrid clubs exist in a space between fairway woods and irons, you are going to need to blend the swings you use for those two kinds of clubs in order to find the right balance.
The tips listed below should help you fine tune your swing to meet the needs of a hybrid club perfectly.
- Use the same swing plane as your long irons. The swing plane you use with long irons is going to be more vertical than the plane you trace with a fairway metal. Due to the design of hybrid clubs, you want to mimic your long iron swing in this regard. Hybrids are not meant to drag along the ground leading into impact like you can do with a fairway wood, so don't try to use them in this way. While you don't want to make a steep swing, you don't want to be particularly flat either. Let the angle of the club at address lead the way for your swing plane and you should wind up with a solid strike when all is said and done.
- Don't swing too hard. This is a tip that could benefit most amateur golfers no matter what club they happen to be holding. Although your hybrids may be able to hit the ball significant distances, they should be viewed as accuracy clubs rather than power clubs. Don't go all out after your hybrids like you might with your driver, as it will be difficult to control your trajectory when swinging so hard. As long as you make a smooth swing with great balance, you should achieve plenty of distance while sending the ball accurately toward the target.
- Take your time at the top. On this point, you want to think of your hybrid more like a fairway wood than an iron. You need to give this type of swing plenty of time to develop, as these clubs have long shafts and cannot be rushed. If you try to rush through your hybrid swing, you will fail to get a full turn going back, and your ball striking will suffer as a result. Take a deep breath before starting a swing with a hybrid club and commit yourself to spending as much time as necessary on the backswing before transitioning into the downswing aggressively.
- A full finish. Swinging through to a full finish is another important aspect of hitting quality hybrid shots. Many amateur golfers downplay the importance of the follow through, assuming it doesn't matter since the ball is already gone – but that is a mistaken assumption. It is important to swing through to a balanced finish because doing so will ensure that you accelerate the club all the way through impact. Get into the habit of finding a full finish after all of your hybrid swings and you should see your results improve.
As you can see, there is nothing in the list above that is asking you to make a radical change from your usual technique. In fact, to the naked eye, nothing is going to look different from your typical shots which are played with any other kind of club. As long as you keep these points in mind while learning how to hit hybrids, you should be on the right track.
Finding the Right Ball Position
Now that you have the swing sorted out, it is time to think about where in your stance you will position the ball. As was mentioned earlier, this is a very important component of your preparation for any shot. If the ball is going to react as you expect when struck, you need to have it in exactly the right spot in your stance. Play the ball too far forward and you will struggle to make solid contact – play it too far back, and you will often hit low shots which hook quickly to the left.
For most golfers, the correct ball position for a hybrid club is going to be approximately halfway between the middle of the stance and the left foot. This is a position which will give you a chance to sweep the ball off the turf nicely without hitting down too aggressively. At the same time, it won't be so far forward that you have to reach awkwardly at impact to deliver the sweet spot to the ball. During your next visit to the range, hit some hybrid shots from this point in your stance to see if this is the right spot for your needs.
If you find that playing the ball from this spot doesn't quite work for you, gradually move the ball forward or back an inch at a time until you settle on a winning spot. Do your best to keep the ball positioned as close to the beginning spot as possible, as this is the neutral position which will typically lead to the best outcomes. However, your ball position needs to match up with your game in the end, so make sure whatever position you settle on works comfortably with your swing.
This process is what you will use in order to locate your 'stock' ball position. You will play the ball from this position when you have a good lie, and when you want to produce your standard ball flight. But what about shots where you don't have a good lie, or when you want to hit something other than your usual shot shape? The ball position adjustments below will help you deal with some of the many circumstances that may arise on the course.
- Move the ball back to flight the ball lower. Most golfers already understand this adjustment, but it needs to be highlighted here anyway. If you would like to hit a lower shot with your hybrid, move the ball back a couple inches in your stance and make your standard swing. It is important to avoid swinging too hard when taking this approach, as adding speed to your swing will cause the ball to balloon up into the air (due to a higher spin rate). Having the ability to hit the ball lower on command can come in handy when you are playing into the wind, or playing on a dry course and wanting to use the conditions to add distance to your shot. It should be noted that moving the ball back in your stance is also a helpful strategy when facing a bad lie.
- Move the ball forward to add height. Should you need to hit the ball higher than usual with your hybrid – such as when you are trying to land the ball softly on the green – you will want to move the ball forward in your stance just slightly. It is important that this is a subtle adjustment, as moving the ball too far forward would certainly lead to trouble. Start by moving the ball up just once inch and see what that does for your trajectory. Most likely, it will only be an inch or two adjustment which will be necessary in order to move your ball up higher into the sky. To get the most out of this ball position change, try opening your stance slightly at address as well. The combination of an open stance and a forward ball position should help you create high, controlled trajectories with your hybrid clubs.
- Move the ball way back to get out of trouble. Unfortunately, poor shots are inevitable in golf. Even the best players will lose a drive into the trees from time to time, meaning you need to know how to get out of trouble when your ball does stray from the fairway. While most players reach for a long iron in this situation in order to 'punch out', you can play the same kind of shot with a hybrid. Move the ball way back in your stance, choke down on the grip, and make a short, compact swing. As long as you make solid contact, the result should be a low-flying shot which has enough momentum to get back out into the short grass. Practice this shot from time to time on the range so you are comfortable with it when the need arises on the course.
No matter which club you happen to be swinging, adjusting your ball position is a great way to change the outcome of your shots. The diversity of situations you will encounter on the golf course means you need to be able to produce a number of different shots in order to post the best scores possible. By learning how to vary your ball position with hybrid clubs, you can expand the options at your disposal.
Hybrids Have Many Uses
The combination of a solid swing and an appropriate ball position will help you tremendously in your goal of producing solid shots with hybrid clubs. But when should you use these clubs? With so many potential uses, you may find yourself a bit confused as to when is the right time to pull your hybrids from the bag. To help you make that decision, we have compiled the list below. Review this list and you should have a good idea for when one of your hybrids is the right pick.
- Off the tee on short par fours. Most golf courses have at least one or two short par fours included in their design. When you reach one of these holes, consider using your hybrid to handle the tee shot. The control offered by a hybrid is ideal for placing the ball in the fairway, and sacrificing distance shouldn't be a problem since the hole is not particularly long overall. Most amateurs automatically reach for their driver when on the tee of any par four or par five, but your scores will benefit from taking a more strategic approach.
- Second shot on a par five. One of the best ways to use your hybrid clubs is to attack the green in two shots on a par five. If you hit a great drive which sets you up in a good position on a par five, using your hybrid for the second shot may leave you close to the green – or even putting for eagle. This will not always be the right play, of course, depending on the design of the hole, so pick your spots wisely.
- Getting back in play. We already mentioned this shot earlier in the article, but it fits in this category as well. When you find trouble and you need a low shot to get your ball back in play, try using a hybrid to hit a controlled punch shot. The forgiveness of a hybrid club will make this shot easier than it would be with a long iron, and you may even be able to get the ball to roll out most of the way to the green.
- Long par threes. Some of the most difficult holes you will encounter in golf are long par threes. Not only are these holes often demanding you to hit approach shots of more than 200 yards, but they also are usually guarded by bunkers, water hazards, or other obstacles. If you have to face this kind of a shot with a long iron, you may struggle to make pars. This is when it is so convenient to have a hybrid club or two in your bag. Hybrids are much easier to get up into the air, and they come down softer when they land. Any time you face a long par three, think first about your hybrid clubs before considering other options if necessary.
It should be obvious by now that there are plenty of great opportunities to put your hybrid clubs to use on the golf course. Don't forget that you have these clubs available when making club selections. Take your time to pick out the right club for any given shot and your hybrids are sure to find their way into action regularly.
Building Your Set
With all of the great attributes of hybrid clubs to consider, how many of them should you put in your set? There is no limit of course, so you should feel free to add as many of them as you would like in order to maximize your performance – and minimize your scores. As a good rule of thumb, you should consider replacing any iron that you don't have confidence in hitting cleanly on a consistent basis. For some players, that will mean replacing the three and four irons with hybrid clubs. For others, it might mean going all the way down to the six iron or beyond. There is no sense in carrying clubs which you don't feel like you can hit solidly time after time, so kick out all of your questionable irons in favor of easy-to-hit hybrids.
When replacing irons with hybrids, you need to think more about distance than loft. In other words, you don't want to think about picking a hybrid club that has the same loft as the iron you are replacing. Instead, you want to find a hybrid club which will hit the ball approximately the same distance as that iron. Consistent distance gapping throughout your set is important, as it would be a waste to have two or more clubs which hit the ball roughly the same yardage. Generally speaking, hybrids hit the ball slightly farther than irons, so you may be able to go up a degree or two in loft to match up your distance with the iron that you are replacing.
Hybrid clubs are great weapons to have in your bag. They are capable of handling a wide variety of shots, they are easy to hit, and they instill confidence in many players at address. Using the information above, build your hybrid game to the point where you can always turn to one of these clubs when you are in need of a solid shot. Good luck!