It’s time you embrace and exploit this change to take your game up a few levels by learning how to hit a hybrid club.
Hybrid golf clubs are rightfully called the ‘rescue clubs’. These hybrids between irons and fairway woods use the advantage of both the clubs to get the ball smoothly to the green.
They fly like irons and come to a controlled stop, all the while, being as easy and responsive to hit as the fairway woods. But this dual personality is why golfers get confused about how to hit a hybrid club. And the faulty assumptions cost them multiple strokes on the greens. The fact that hybrid clubs are more inclined towards irons in behavior makes the concept easier to understand.
Difference between a hybrid and a fairway wood
Before we explain the swing technique for hitting hybrids, you must understand what a hybrid golf club is and how it arrives at its advantages. While designing a hybrid, the aim was to combine the ball flight mechanics of a golf iron with the lenient and easy-to-hit nature of the woods.
They are designed with a large head which is larger than the clubheads of irons but smaller than that of woods. So you are able to connect the ball to the sweet spot of hybrids much more consistently.
But hybrid clubheads also introduce more backspin in the ball than fairway woods. The result is a shot that lands softer and rolls less, even compared to irons.
The wide sole of hybrids makes it easy to get the ball airborne compared to the irons. The loft of hybrids is greater than the irons of the same number. So that’s how hybrids bring the best of both worlds together.
When to use Hybrids
Use hybrids judiciously. Just because they can replace two families of clubs does not mean they can be used anywhere and everywhere.
Hybrid clubs are used when you want the ball to be launched at a high angle(compared to long irons) but want it to land softly and arrest its movement within a few yards of the landing.
You can hit a hybrid from the fairway, tee, or from the rough. You can use it to chip a shot when you are close to the greens.
How to hit a Hybrid Golf Club?
The key to hitting a hybrid golf club is to swing it like the irons. Hybrids are primarily built to behave like irons. In fact, there are few manufacturers who produce ‘true hybrids’.
Hybrid clubs are usually used to replace golf irons or fairway woods. So you can buy your hybrids based on the following chart
- 2 hybrid – 2 iron – 4 wood
- 3 hybrid – 3 iron – 5 wood
- 4 hybrid – 4 iron – 7 wood
- 5 hybrid – 5 iron – 9 wood
- 6 hybrid – 6 iron – 11 wood
We suggest you replace 2-4 irons because these are the most grueling to hit. 2-irons are obsolete, so 3- and 4-irons are the obvious candidates for a change. Here’s another chart to help you buy the hybrid clubs based on the loft you need:
Tee is again optional. But it’s a useful tool for learning the correct swing to hit a hybrid. We will explain a simple drill involving a tee later in the post.
Hybrid clubface at address
The rest just add somebody to the clubhead of irons and sell them as hybrids. But these also improve the performance of the slow swingers. They slow down the swing but make a harder impact on the ball with higher energy because of the clubhead weight.
Here’s how hybrid clubs should be hit:
- Keep your stance standard or narrow.
- That is, your feet should either be shoulder-width apart or slightly closer than that. Narrow stance helps you avoid thin shots that only graze the ball.
- You should square your shoulders, feet, and hips to the target. You should stand at some distance from the ball and lean forward a bit.
Ball position for hybrid clubs:
- Keep the ball slightly back in your stance. Place it 2-3 inches inwards from your left toe( for a right-handed golfer).
- If you place the ball to forward in your stance, it will be difficult to make a descending blow. You might end up hitting it like a fairway wood, in a sweeping motion.
- Consider that hitting hybrids is like hitting a 5-iron.
- At address, your weight should be balanced on both feet. But as you make the downswing, your weight should shift to your left leading foot( for a right-handed golfer).
- If you don’t do this, you will hit the ground before the ball, resulting in a fat shot.
- We cannot emphasize enough that you should swing your hybrid golf club in a descending blow and take a divot right after the club impacts the ball.
- Do NOT make a wide, sweeping motion like for the fairway woods.
Due to the wide sole of the hybrid clubs, they have a low Center of Gravity(CG). While this makes them more forgiving, the CG must go under the ball to launch it high.
- If you make a sharp angle of attack, the ball will fly high and land softly.
- If you make a sweeping motion, the ball will over spin and lose distance and height immediately after its launch.
With the hybrid clubs, you can see their lofts at address, which renews your faith in their performance.
Here are a few simple and genius drills that will help you strengthen your hybrid swing:
The idea is to hit the ball first and the ground next. You have to consciously avoid the ground before the ball. A good way to enforce that behavior is to practice hitting the hybrid off downslope. This way you have to avoid hitting the ground before the ball. It will teach you to swing fast and in a descending blow.
Another easy drill is to practice with a tee. Drill the tee down till only its top peeks out. It must be almost level with the ground.
- Set up the address just like we explained above, to hit the hybrid.
- Swing and focus on hitting the tee and breaking/dislodging it.
- In the process, you will take a divot. It’s much easier to master the shot when you are not distracted by the ball and the concern of how far it will fly.
- When you practice with the ball, you can again focus on breaking /dislodging the tee rather than hitting the ball.
You can also sink two tees 1-2 inches from each other. Set up the ball on the tee farther back in the stance and swing. You must aim at dislodging/breaking both tees. This will ensure that you hit the ground right after the first tee. Here’s what the setup looks like.
If you ask 2 golfers about their swings, they will have 3 different opinions between them. But almost all golfers agree on how to hit the hybrid golf clubs.