The invention of hybrids has been a welcome addition to many golfers’ bags. For those who struggle getting their long irons into the air, hybrid technology has been an amazing substitution. But for a club billed as user friendly, some golfers still struggle.
1. Check your posture
Good golf posture is a huge key to successful contact which, for a hybrid, means hitting the center of the face while still taking a small divot.
What is good posture? It’s one where you bend forward from your hips and allow your hands to hang directly below your shoulders, with your weight balanced on the balls of your feet. This will allow you to stay balanced through your swing and increase the chance of center contact.
2. Good ball position
Part of the confusion with hybrids lies with the way it looks. Is it an iron, or a wood?
By definition, it’s both, but when it comes to your ball position, you should think of it as an iron. For most golfers, your club should be positioned relatively centered in your body. You want your hybrid to make a small divot, so be careful not to put the ball position too far forward, like you would with a driver.
3. Get balanced
Being in balance at address, and keeping it throughout your swing, is so important to hitting successful hybrids. You should be able to hold your finish at the end of your swing for at least three seconds — think of this as an opportunity to check your balance.
One of my favorite drills to work on balance is to hit balls with your feet together from a low tee. You’ll stay centered this way, and eliminate the inefficient motions that throw you off balance.
4. Looks can fool
When you aim a hybrid you want to look at its leading edge. Because so many hybrids have a lot of loft, you’ll often see a lot of the clubface when you lay it on the ground. Due to the club being so lofted, it can have the effect of making the club look very crooked, or open, even though it’s not.
Often, I tell my students to check the aim of their high-lofted hybrids by looking at the grip. Make sure the center of the grip, where the branding is, is directly centered on the shaft of the club. This reference point will allow you to set up properly.
5. Make a divot
Once again, the more you can think of a hybrid as an iron, the more success you’ll have with them.
Since your hybrid will be centered in your setup, as your club comes into impact, it will naturally interact with the turf and produce a divot. Just because it looks more like a wood doesn’t mean it should be treated like one. Hitting down through the turf will help send the ball up and toward the target.
6. Beware the ‘hybrid effect’
I’ve seen it over sand over: Perfect iron shots, and then the dreaded topped hybrid. I call it the “hybrid effect”
The lighter head of a hybrid means it’s often harder for many golfers to get it down through the turf. IF this sounds like you, be particularly mindful of dropping your hands and arms on the downswing, purposefully making sure you get the club all the way to the ground.
7. Match your miss
If you tend to slice the ball, you should have hybrids in place of your longer irons due to the fact that your clubface is likely too open. An open face can lead to exposure of the hosel of the club to the ball, and a hybrid will be more friendly.
If you hook the ball, you may want to replace lower hybrids with more lofted fairway woods. A hook tends to come out of the air quickly. A higher lofted fairway wood could help you get the ball more into the air — which is what you need.
8. Hybrids help shankers
Nobody likes shanking the ball, but if you’re a chronic shanker, you may want to consider a full set of hybrid irons. While they may not be pretty, they’ll be more forgiving and save you from the frustration of a dreaded hosel rocket.
9. Be aggresive
We’ve talked about the importance of taking a divot with hybrids, and intentionally thinking of getting the club back to the ground, which is why it’s so important to be aggressive with your hybrids. Extend your arms down into the turf, and create good turf interaction between the ball and hybrid.
10. Use it from fairway bunkers
If you’re ever in a fairway bunker with a relatively high lip and think that you need an iron, take a look at your highest-lofted hybrid instead. These can be awesome out of fairway bunkers because of how easily it sends the ball into the air. If you haven’t tried this before, you should. It can be a great escape club to maximize your distance out of a trouble spot.