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Over the last ten years, hybrids have become more and more popular for players of all skill levels. They have become so popular, many club manufacturers now limit their iron sets to six or seven irons, leaving room for hybrids in exchange for long irons. Continue reading this article as we’ll explore some hitting tips for your hybrid so you can start improving today.
Using a hybrid in place of a long iron has numerous benefits: First, the design of the heads create a lower Centre of Gravity (CG), allowing you to launch the ball higher and land it softer (for more information of CG and MOI, check out this article by clicking here).
Second, hybrids have higher lofts and longer shafts, further assisting your ability to hit the golf ball higher without sacrificing any distance. Finally, the flatter, less sharp leading edge makes it easier to make solid contact from trouble lies avoiding the tendency to dig or get stuck that long irons can create.
While hybrids make the long game easier, you should still know some things about them, and how to apply this knowledge to make the most out of using these clubs.
Focus on the carry yardages compared to your long irons, not the loft, when you swap them out.
As mentioned above, hybrids will help the ball launch higher and land softer, but knowing how far they carry is important, since you will be replacing your long irons with them. Thankfully, most golf retail stores have flight simulators, and will let you compare your current clubs with the ones you are interested in purchasing.
Take an hour or two and compare how far the irons you want to replace fly and try to match them with the carry distances of the prospective hybrids. Often, the number and loft given to both clubs will have different results, so you’ll want to make as informed of a decision as possible.
Start with the shortest club you have the hardest time hitting consistently, and work your way up. Once you have the clubs you feel comfortable with, you’ll be ready to take them out onto the course!
Adjusting your setup slightly with your hybrids will help you make more consistent contact.
First, take note of the length of the hybrid compared to the iron you are replacing it with. Chances are, it will be slightly longer than its iron counterpart and you can adjust for this in a couple of different ways, depending on the type of shot you’re trying to play.
For example, if you are playing a shot from a clean lie and trying to get the ball up quickly and land softly, you’ll want to treat your hybrid like a fairway wood, moving the ball slightly forward in your stance and try to feel like your sweeping the ball off the ground.
Conversely, if your ball is in the rough, or in a divot, and your primary concern is making clean contact, the ball should be kept in its normal position or moved back slightly, choking down on the club to compensate for the ball position. This will promote a steeper angle of attack, which will help you catch the ball cleanly on the clubface.
You can take a divot with your hybrid or not: it works either way!
The one thing that makes hybrids so appealing is their versatility. You can pick them clean like a 3-wood or hit down on them like a 7-iron and your results will not be too much different. The beautiful thing about hybrids is that they allow you to hit them the way you’d like without much difference in the outcome.
The most critical aspect of success with the hybrid is the same as any club: let the club do the hard work for you. Despite having higher effective lofts than long irons, many hybrids will still look straight-faced, which will tempt many players to try and “help” get the ball airborne.
The result from attempting to lift the ball off the ground is typically the same as with any other club: the shot gets ruined. The key to playing hybrids is to make a normal swing, and allow the clubhead to do what it was designed to do.
Hybrids are great for around the greens too.
Ever find yourself on a tightly mown fairway around the green, or on the fringe, and felt like a pitch shot was too risky and the putter was too unpredictable? Next time, pull out your hybrid. You can even use your putting stance, grip, and stroke (be sure to choke down on the grip if you do so).
The ball will pop above the ground and, once it hits the green, will start rolling just like a putt. It takes some practice, but having this type of shot in your arsenal will make these types of short game scenarios less challenging.
The Final Tip
Hybrids are great clubs and I hope you will consider the above advice and trade out your long irons for some and enjoy better golf with them the next time you play. Fairways and greens to you!