Hybrid clubs are incredibly useful… as long as you know how to swing one.
In my opinion, they are probably the greatest clubs ever invented for amateurs but you would be surprised at how many golfers come to me with hopes of making use of these versatile clubs, often with no clue of how, or what, the hybrid was designed to do in the first place.
As golfers, we must understand that a hybrid is a long iron replacement, not a mini fairway wood. With this in mind I will give you some hints and tips on how maximise your hybrids.
• Ball position is the key fundamental
I find I get the best results with my hybrid when I position the ball as I would do with my 3 or 4-iron.
It is important to not have the ball too far forward in the stance. The goal is to position the ball just in front of the lowest point of your swing arc.
I often see golfers playing their hybrid too far forward in their stance, and this can cause many inconsistent strikes. This is just a simple tip that will see an improvement in the quality and consistency of your strike with this club.
• Give yourself space
I like to feel like I have plenty space at my set-up position. The distance from you and the golf ball should change in accordance with the length or loft of your hybrid. This means moving away from the ball by about an inch or so. It depends on the club.
To get more specific, check your hybrid’s length with your long iron. If it’s an inch longer, then stand an inch farther from the ball - bear in mind all manufacturers will differ. More space at the ball and a powerful posture will deliver better results.
TIP: Watch your posture. Standing too close to the ball is going to give you problems, inconsistent strikes, unnecessary body movement and a big loss in distance. In simple terms, bad posture = bad shots.
• Swing it like an iron... not a wood
I like to swing my hybrid the same as I would with a long Iron and not a fairway wood. To create a crisp descending strike on the ball, focus on taking the club back a little steeper on the backswing.
I hinge my wrists a little earlier in the swing than I would if I was playing a fairway wood. With my hybrid, I’m ultimately looking for accuracy and control. Keeping my backswing ¾-length will maximise my control of the golf ball.
TIP: Be a poser! You watch the pros pose for the cameras on tour - now it's your turn. It is important to finish with your weight down your left side and feel tall at follow-through.
• Try this drill
It is essential to stay down through the impact area and take a slight divot with your hybrid. If you struggle to get your hybrid airborne, here is a tip that will see the flight of your hybrid improve dramatically.
Place a ball around 8-10 inches between your ball and your intended target and, when swinging, have the feeling that you are going to make connection with both balls. This ensures your body stays low through impact and the clubhead is driven downwards.
Andy Carlton is the Head PGA Professional at Paisley Golf Club. For lessons, call Andy on 0141 884 4114. Follow him on Twitter @PaisleyPro
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