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.
In this post, we have explained how the swing mechanics of hybrid clubs borrow from irons and fairway woods. We try to explain why you should hold a certain stance and swing the club a certain way so as to make the best out of the hybrid golf clubs. This little technique will save you the headache of hitting the most difficult irons, the long and mid irons. And you don’t need to master the difficult method of hitting the fairway woods either. Hybrids have replaced many clubs in every golfer’s bag. It's time you embrace and exploit this change to take your game up a few levels by learning how to hit a hybrid.
What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial
#1. Hybrid Clubs:
- 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.
Step By Step Instructions
#Step 1: Hybrid Club Design And Use
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. The long irons (1-4-irons) typically have a very compact clubhead. They are hard to connect with the ball at their sweet spot every time and thus result in inconsistent shots.
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The woods, on the other hand, have much bigger heads than irons. But they are longer too. They require a different type of swing technique than irons. They are long so they cannot be hit from thick vegetation where there’s no room. The large clubhead is unsuitable for getting the ball out of the rough.
The swing mechanics of the two clubs are also very different. A shot with the long irons flies low, lands soft and stops shortly after. While a shot with the fairway woods flies high and rolls quite a bit. When the ball approaches the green, it should land softly, so that it can stop immediately. Shot from the fairway woods may roll and overshoot the hole.
So, out come the hybrid golf clubs. 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.
#Step 2: When To Hit A Hybrid
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.
#Step 3: 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’. The rest just add some body to the clubhead of irons and sell them as hybrids. But these also improve performance of the slow swingers. They slow down the swing but make 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.
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2. Ball Position:
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.
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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 soft. 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.
Hybrid shots are aptly explained in this short video:
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 practise 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.
A descending swing path looks like this:
Here’s a video on how to hit a descending blow:
Another easy drill is to practise with 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 practise 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. Play them like the mid irons and you are good to go. That nice descending blow and shallow divot after the ball impact indicate that you hit the hybrid correctly. Set up the ball slightly forward of the middle of the stance. Lean towards the ball and take a smooth swing. These simple tricks will reduce extra strokes from your game and easily help you break 90s and 80s.
We hope that the information in tutorial was comprehensive. If you have suggestions for improvement or doubts, leave us a note in the comments. Do share the articles with fellow golfers. Our site is about all-things golf. From buying guides to how-to articles, you will find all you need to know about golf here.