By now, the vast majority of dedicated golfers have said goodbye to their long irons and replaced them with hybrid clubs. Not only are hybrids much easier to hit solidly, they’re a lot more versatile, too.
If you’ve got hybrids in your bag but only use them for full shots, you’re not getting maximum utility from these useful weapons. Here are three situations where a hybrid could be your best club choice:
1. Long chip shots
The wide, rounded sole of a hybrid helps it glide easily over tight turf or through thicker grass without snagging, so it’s great for chip shots where you’ve got plenty of green to work with. Likewise, the hybrid is quite handy on bump-and-run shots from near the green; for instance, when you want to hit the ball into a slope and have it roll up onto the green.
The best method is to use your putting stroke. It’s quite simple, really – just watch this video to learn the correct technique for chipping with a hybrid club.
2. Punching out from trouble
Most golfers use a go-to-club (i.e. a 5-iron) when they’re faced with a shot through trees back to safety. Because it’s easy to hit from a variety of lies, the hybrid is often the correct choice.
Whether your ball lies on bare ground, pine straw or in thick grass, a hybrid promises clean contact. If you’ve got to keep the ball low to avoid branches, pick a club with no more than 24° loft (a 4-hybrid) to get the job done. Then follow these steps to get your ball back onto the fairway:
1. Find a gap between trees which leaves you plenty of margin for error if you push or pull the shot a little.
2. Take a narrow stance, with your feet about 12” apart, and about 60% of your weight on the left (lead) foot.
3. The ball should be in the center of your stance or slightly back of center, with your hands ahead of the ball and the shaft leaning forward.
4. Make an abbreviated backswing and keep the hands ahead of the ball at impact.
5. A short follow-through will assure that the ball stays low.
3. Fairway bunker shots
One of the hybrid’s main benefits is the confidence is inspires at address. The club’s wide, rounded crown makes it far less intimidating than staring down at a 3-iron. And from a fairway bunker, the average golfer needs all the comfort he can get.
Another advantage to hitting a hybrid instead of an iron from the sand: Hybrids tend to get the ball up more quickly, helping you clear the lip. Naturally, hybrid shots fly higher and land more softly, too.
Learn the proper steps to playing this shot via