Sweep Hybrid Golf Shots from Good Lies

It's probably the No. 1 questions golfers ask about hybrid clubs: Should I make a sweeping swing, as with a fairway wood, or hit down on the ball, as though hitting an iron?

The answer: It depends on your lie. When the ball is sitting up, a sweeping swing works best. If it's nestled into tall grass or otherwise sitting down, you're better off hitting with a downward blow.

Let's talk about the good lie/sweeping swing scenario.

If your ball is in the rough, gently place the clubhead of your hybrid behind it, being careful not to move the ball. If the ball is perched in the grass with space underneath, you'll want to sweep it off the turf. The same goes for shots from the fairway.

Next, proceed as follows:

  • At address, the ball should be slightly forward of the middle of your stance (left of center for right-handed golfers).
  • Place the hands even with the ball rather than pressing them forward.
  • Stand with slightly more weight on your right side – perhaps 55-60%.
  • As you swing, focus on brushing the grass just beneath the ball without taking a divot.

These shots tend to strike high on the clubface and fly with slightly more loft than usual, so consider taking an extra club from a fluffy lie. (A 3-hybrid instead of a 4, for example.)

Versatility is a big reason hybrids make such great weapons. They can be used for a wide variety of shots from a range of yardages and different lies. In fact, they come in quite handy when the ball lies poorly, such as in a divot or on bare patch of fairway.

Learn to read your lies and make the appropriate hybrid swing for different situations, and you'll get the most from these amazing little clubs.

Hybrids Good for Sweeping Swing Off a Good Lie

Hybrids Good for Sweeping Swing Off a Good Lie

When you have a good lie in the fairway, you have just about any possible shot at your disposal. You always need to keep the lie of the ball in mind when planning your shots, and a good lie in the fairway is the best you can hope for. With no long grass to get in your way, and no other impediments to cause problems, your options will be limited only by your imagination. Make a great swing and you should be able to send the ball directly toward the target.

Assuming you have a hybrid club or two in your bag currently, some of these shots from a good lie are going to be played with one of your hybrids. The use of hybrid clubs has become more and more common in recent years, and for good reason. These are clubs which are easy to hit, versatile, forgiving, and more. If you are an amateur golfer and you have not yet tried out a hybrid for yourself, take one for a test drive at your earliest convenience.

In this article, we are going to explain how you can sweep the ball cleanly off of a good lie when using a hybrid club. The way you approach the ball on any shot you play is extremely important, so you need to have a clear picture of how you are going to attack your hybrids when playing from the fairway. For most players, the right option is to sweep the ball off the turf. What does it mean to make a 'sweeping swing'? Basically, this means you aren't hitting up or down at impact – you are moving the club parallel to the turf when impact occurs. This might seem like quite the challenge at first, but you will find that it gets easier and easier as you practice the right technique.

One of the best reasons to sweep the ball off the turf with your hybrids is the variety of ball flight options this technique will open up to you. For instance, if you would like to hit the ball a little higher or lower than usual, you should be able to do so when you start out with a sweeping technique. That would not be the case if you were hitting down aggressively into the ball. Those with a steep downswing on their hybrids will be limited in the types of shots they can produce – meaning they will have a harder time getting around the course cleanly. Learn how to sweep the ball off the grass with your hybrid when you draw a good lie and you can then build up a variety of other shots from that point.

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.

The Basic Technique

The Basic Technique

If you would like to learn how to sweep the ball off the turf with your hybrids, you have come to the right place. We will outline the specifics of the technique needed to execute such a shot within this chapter. Of course, after you read through these tips, there is still going to be plenty of work to do. You will need to get out to the practice range in order to work on what you have learned before you attempt this type of shot on the course. Nothing comes free in this difficult game, so you should always expect to practice any new technique or shot you hope to use.

To give yourself a great chance to sweep the ball cleanly off the turf when playing a hybrid club from a good lie, review the tips listed below.

  • Stay balanced. You could easily copy/paste this tip and apply it to any other part of your golf game. Staying balanced is always important in golf, and it is at the top of this list simply because of its overall importance to your game. If you fail to stay balanced, it will be nearly impossible to sweep the ball off the turf. You need your center of gravity to be directly over the ball with this type of swing, so don't allow yourself to drift right or left as the swing develops. Most amateur golfers lose their balance as a result of swinging too hard, so be careful not to put yourself in that category. Think about control first and foremost when swinging your hybrids, and stay on balance as successfully as possible.
  • Play the ball forward of center. It is common for amateur golfers to simply place the ball in the middle of their stance, without thinking any further about the topic of ball position. This is a mistake, of course, as ball position is an important detail which you must get right. To sweep the ball cleanly, try playing the ball slightly forward of the center of your stance. If you were to keep the ball in the middle of your two feet, you would almost certainly hit down through impact. That is a great way to go when hitting short irons and wedges, but it is not so desirable when swinging a hybrid club from a good lie. During your range sessions, experiment with various ball positions – all of which should be forward of center – until you find one that produces the results you desire.
  • Keep your head still through impact. One of the biggest keys to sweeping the ball off the turf is keeping your head as still as possible through the hit. You are going to be tempted to look up early in order to see where the ball is going, but don't fall into that trap. Keep your eyes on the ball, hold your head steady, and keep turning the rest of your body toward the target. Once the ball has left the club, you can feel free to let your head turn along with your shoulders into the finish position.
  • Stand just slightly farther away from the ball. To sweep the ball off the turf, you need to make a shallow, of flat, golf swing overall. One way to encourage such a swing path is to stand back slightly at address. Instead of moving in close to the ball, which would encourage a steep swing and a big divot, move back slightly and swing the club on a flatter plane. This is similar to the swing you would make with a driver. As you make this adjustment, make sure to not back up too far, as you don't want to reach awkwardly for the ball at impact. Start by moving back only an inch or so at a time, and stop when you settle in to a spot which feels comfortable and produces quality results.

There is nothing particularly groundbreaking about the way you need to swing the club in order to sweep the ball from a good lie. It is important, however, that you execute perfectly on the small details. Even making a slight mistake with regard to your balance or head position can have a dramatic impact on the shot you are hitting. During your practice sessions, focus in on the details so you are well prepared when you do hit the links for your next round.

Using the Shot Effectively

Using the Shot Effectively

Once you have dialed in your sweeping swing with a hybrid club, you will be anxious to use the shot during upcoming rounds. But when should you put it to use? What kind of ball flight should you expect? To be sure, it will take a bit of time to develop the confidence and comfort level necessary to employ this shot to the best of your ability. Once you get it figured out, however, it can pay off round after round.

To start, you should understand that you are far more likely to hit a fade than a draw when sweeping the ball off the turf. It is hard to attack from the inside without taking a divot, and you need to hit from the inside to produce a draw. This is not a hard and fast rule, but you shouldn't be surprised if your sweeping hybrid shots tend to fall to the right as they travel toward the target. To make sure this is actually the case with your swing, pay attention to your ball flight on the range by watching the ball fly all the way until it strikes the grounds. You need to gain as much possible information from your practice sessions as necessary, and one of the things you can learn is the precise pattern of your ball flight.

As you make your way around the course, you should be looking for opportunities to put your hybrid club to use. Some of the potential opportunities you will find are listed below –

  • Long par threes. This is one of the most common spots to use a hybrid club. If facing a challenging long par three, tee the ball low to the ground and use your sweeping swing to send the shot toward the target. Using this type of swing is perfect in this situation because you don't need to hit down into the ball when on the tee – you already have a perfect lie with the ball suspended just above the grass. As long as you make a clean pass through impact and into the finish, you should see positive results more often than not.
  • Narrow par fours. This is another situation where your hybrid clubs may be called for off the tee. When playing a narrow par four which is relatively short in distance, you can use your hybrid to place the ball safely in the fairway. Accuracy is your top concern on short and narrow par fours, making hybrids a perfect pick for the tee ball. Before you make a swing on this kind of shot, be sure to pick a specific target. Many golfers get lazy in this situation and just swing away without a clearly defined target in mind. Taking such a casual approach to the shot is not going to work. Be focused on a target, make a confident swing, and set yourself up for an easy approach shot.
  • Going for the green in two. Many amateur golfers think that going for the green in two on a par five is a shot which is outside of their capabilities. That might not be the case, however, when you use your hybrid clubs. If you hit a powerful drive on a short par five, you may find yourself with an opportunity to go for the green. Use your sweeping swing in this case to float the ball high up into the sky. When struck nicely, you should be able to bring the ball down softly enough to hold the putting surface. There isn't much in golf as exciting as a putt for eagle!

The great thing about taking some time to learn how to sweep the ball off the turf with your hybrids is the fact that you can use this shot in a wide variety of situations. Unlike working on your driver, which will only come in handy on the tee, you will be able to use your hybrids frequently in many different circumstances. As you gain confidence, you will find yourself opting for this play more and more often.

Altering Your Ball Flight

Altering Your Ball Flight

Now that you have become comfortable with the standard shot you can create by sweeping the ball off of a good lie with your hybrid, it is time to work on creating some alternative ball flights. This is an important skill for golfers of all ability levels to work on, as knowing how to hit at least a couple different shots can help you tremendously when you find yourself in a tough spot. Most amateur golfers only know how to hit one kind of shot, and they pay for their one-dimensional playing style in the long run. It might be a little bit of work to learn how to hit other shots, but that work will pay off in the end.

The following list explains how you can tweak your hybrid swing technique in order to promote different kinds of ball flights.

  • Hit the ball higher with a forward ball position. To hit the ball higher up into the air, simply shift your ball position an inch or two toward your left foot. You don't want to make a dramatic move with this adjustment, as it will become difficult to make solid contact at some point, but you should move the ball enough to add some loft to the shot at impact. In addition to causing the ball to fly higher, this change is also likely to promote a left to right shot pattern. So, if you are already hitting a bit of a fade with your hybrid, expect the ball to cut even farther to the right when you move the ball forward. Or, if you are used to hitting a draw, you may find that the ball flies pretty much straight from start to finish.
  • Flight the ball lower by moving the ball back. If you are in need of a lower shot, such as would be the case when playing into the wind, you are going to move the ball back just slightly in your stance. As was the case with the previous point, you again want to make this a minor adjustment. Even just moving the ball a single inch back should help you to hit the ball lower on command. Once you have moved the ball back, do your best to keep the rest of your technique the same as it would be for any other shot. Also, be sure not to swing too hard when this type of shot is desired, as adding speed to your swing will increase your spin rate and the ball will be likely to balloon up into the air.
  • Turn the ball over by moving even farther back. As was mentioned earlier, most golfers are going to produce a bit of a fade when they sweep the ball off the turf. That can change, however, as you move even farther back from the ball. If you move back to the point where you have to reach out slightly at address, you will be more likely to roll the ball over from right to left. You probably don't want to play all of your shots from this kind of stance, but it certainly can work when you really need to hit a draw. For instance, if you are playing a short par four which has a sharp dogleg from right to left, an intentional draw with your hybrid could be the perfect play off the tee.

As you experiment with your hybrid on the range, you are likely to discover a long list of shots you can use when the situation is right. Never be afraid to experiment on the range by trying to produce different flights using various adjustments – you never know when you will stumble onto a great trajectory which will be able to help you on the course.

A Sweeping Short Game Shot

A Sweeping Short Game Shot

To add to the versatility you will enjoy when you carry a hybrid club or two in your bag, you can also use these clubs to hit short game shots. Specifically, you can hit a simple bump and run shot by sweeping the ball off the turf and toward the target. This is an attractive shot to use for a number of reasons. For one thing, it has a greater margin for error than a standard chip with a lofted wedge. You are unlikely to hit this kind of shot fat, meaning you shouldn't have to worry about leaving the ball just a few feet in front of you. Also, brushing the ball toward the hole with a hybrid lets you get the ball down on the ground quickly, eliminating the need to predict the amount of spin which will be placed on the shot.

If you would like to try out this basic shot for yourself, use the tips below.

  • Make a putting stroke. Despite the fact that you will be holding a hybrid club, the technique you are going to use should be a perfect copy of your putting stroke. Choke down on the grip to make the club closer to the actual length of your putter, and use the same style of grip. Control the club with a rocking motion in your shoulders, and keep your hands quiet as you swing through impact.
  • Read the shot carefully. The majority of the distance covered during this shot is going to be covered on the ground. With that in mind, you should read the shot just as you would a putt. Check out the break carefully, especially up around the hole, and take it into account when picking a target line.
  • Pick the right opportunity. This will not be the right shot to play for most of your chip shots. If you need to get the ball up in the air at all, you will want to reach for a wedge instead of your hybrid club. Only try this shot when you have a clean lie and nothing but short grass between your ball and the hole.

Learning how to sweep your hybrid clubs off the grass can go a long way toward helping you get around the course in the fewest strokes possible. Not only will this shot come in handy from the tee, it can also help you when in the fairway, and even around the greens. Whether you have just one hybrid in your bag or several, these clubs are great for finding your way out of many situations. Take some time during upcoming practice sessions to master your sweeping swing and you will have a great new weapon to use on the course. Good luck!