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When I’m coaching golfers or fitting them for new clubs, I often see players with long irons in their bag which they either don’t use or don’t have the ability to use. If that sounds like you, it’s time to take the long iron out and put a hybrid there instead.

You really can’t afford to have clubs that we can’t trust, it’s a waste of a space and unnecessary to have in your bag.

Hybrids are designed to be more forgiving and easier to launch than long irons. They’re also great for shots from slightly awkward lies in the rough. If you try and hit a long iron from the thicker stuff, you’re probably going to struggle.

• Do this the next time you play with a scratch golfer

When you’re hitting from the tee or fairway, use the hybrid as you would an iron. But, if you’re faced with a ball sitting down in the rough, try this three-point plan…

How to hit a hybrid from the rough

1. Put the ball further back in your stance

This will encourage you to get steeper to the back of the ball, thus helping your strike.

2. Have your weight slightly favouring your leading side at set-up

Again, this will help you to get the club moving better towards the ball and reduce the chance of you duffing the shot from the rough.

Long irons or hybrids
Keeping your weight on your lead side will help, especially in the rough. (Credit: Eve Conroy/bunkered)

3. During the swing, feel your weight stay in your leading side

While you usually want to transfer weight throughout the swing, keeping more weight on your lead side when in the rough is wise.

If you follow these easy steps with your hybrid in the rough, you will create a steeper angle of attack which, combined with the design of the club, will allow you to get more distance with less risk than with a long iron.

• Steve Johnston’s keys to better ball striking

I would suggest that you book a gapping session with your local PGA pro, and find what hybrid is going to bridge the gap between your woods and irons most effectively.

Gavin Abson is the Head PGA Professional at West Lancashire Golf Club. You can follow him on X.

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