While it’s wise to use a sweeping swing with a hybrid club when the ball is sitting up, the opposite holds true if you encounter a bad lie.

Hit Down with Hybrid from Poor Lies - Golf Tip

Unfortunately, many golfers do just the opposite. Believing they must hit up to get the ball in the air, they place too much weight on their right side at address (left side for lefties), tilt the club shaft away from the target and try to pick the ball off the ground. Instead, they either hit behind it (fat) or too high up the ball (thin or topped).

Here’s simple way to remember how to play a hybrid shot from a poor lie: When the ball is sitting down, hit down on it. This angle of attack compresses the ball against the turf and gets it airborne with good velocity.

To check the quality of your lie in the rough, place the clubhead behind the ball (be careful not to disturb the ball). If there’s little or no space between the ball and the ground, you’ll need to make a downward blow.

Of course, you may draw a lousy lie in the fairway, too; the ball could sink into a depression, settle on a bare spot or find a section worn-out turf. Worst-case scenario: Your ball stops in an unfilled divot.

In any event, the technique is the same:

  • Set up with the ball in the center of your stance. If the lie is particularly bad, place the ball just right of center.
  • With your hands ahead of the ball, angle the shaft so the butt end points at or near your left thigh.
  • About 55-60% of your weight should be on the left foot.
  • Focus on hitting down hard on the back of the ball, especially if it rests in a divot.

Because the clubface is delofted at address, the ball will come out lower than usual. Take a little less club than the distance normally requires – a 4-hybrid instead of a 3, for example.

Hybrids can be used for just about any shot on the course, from tee to green. Practice different techniques and you’ll maximize the utility of these specialty clubs.