Have you realized that it’s time to finally switch from long irons to hybrids?
Let me say from experience, for 99% of amateur golfers, making this equipment switch can help your game more than you could imagine.
While it’s fun to stripe a long iron off the tee or even off the deck, it’s not easy to do on a consistent basis. In fact, it’s really hard to do unless you have adequate swing speed and a very repeatable swing.
While you may get some grief from some of your playing partners, don’t worry about it. Remind them it’s all about the total score and that some of the best players in the world carry them. Once you start beating them I doubt they’ll have much to say about the switch.
Here’s everything you need to know about the clubs that can save you tons of strokes and increase your confidence like never before!
A hybrid is a relatively newer type of club that is a blend between an iron and a fairway wood. Hybrids tend to have the same length as a typical iron that it’s replacing (usually 3-5 iron) and a smaller clubhead than an equivalent 7 or 9 wood. Typically known as rescue clubs, hybrids can seriously help you lower your score if you know how and when to hit them.
Hybrids are becoming more and more popular, even among the best players in the world. In the most basic sense, hybrids are much easier to hit on a consistent basis when compared to a long iron. Let’s face it, long irons are tough to hit and very intimidating for most golfers, even if you are a single digit handicap. And although they are making a comeback recently, driving irons were almost extinct a few years ago.
The hybrid club head is the perfect size to make it easy to hit off the deck, in the rough, or even off the tee. Plus, the ball gets up higher, landers softer, and is much more forgiving than a typical long iron.
Another huge perk of hitting hybrids over long irons is that they are adjustable like your fairway woods and driver. If you have a big slice or hook, you can adjust your clubs to make sure they help you hit it straighter. Definitely not something you can do with a long iron!
Here’s how to pure your hybrids and replace your long irons forever.
Setup is key to hitting your hybrids well on a consistent basis. Some players treat them like irons while others screw up by playing them like they fairway woods. Instead, you need to treat them as the “hybrid” that they are of the two.
Here’s how to adjust your setup:
For most hybrids, you want to make sure your stance is slightly wider than shoulder width. As always, the longer the hybrid the ever so slightly wider the stance as well.
One problem a lot of amateur golfers face with hybrids and long irons is that they set up too narrow. This makes it hard to make a full turn around your body and make a complete swing.
Lastly, adjust your stance so you are about an inch farther away from the ball. You want to make sure there is plenty of room to clear your hips and release the club at impact.
The grip should be about the same as hybrids as it is with long irons. You want a 7 out of 10 on the grip scale but still avoiding the “death grip” as it adds unnecessary tension in your arms. If you’re hitting the hybrid from the deep stuff, you can go to an 8 or 9 as the rough will want to shut the clubface and pull the ball left at impact.
Ball position is key to hitting pure hybrids and another way that golfers who are new to hybrids tend to mix up. It should be slightly forward of the middle of your stance. Think of it as being slightly behind where you normally place a 3 or 4 iron.
Your goal should be to position the hybrid at the lowest point of your swing arc. You still want to hit down on the golf ball and not scoop it.
Hybrids can help you bring confidence to an area of your game that you used to dread. For some golfers, it can dramatically impact score and confidence if you can hit it straight.
Here are are a few strategies to make sure you hit your new clubs long and straight.
One of the biggest mistakes that most golfers make when adjusting to a hybrid is trying to play it like a fairway wood. Yes, even though it looks like a fairway wood, you still want to make a small divot when you hit a hybrid. Swing your hybrid almost like you would an iron in the fairway.
Like an iron, the divot should be slightly ahead of the ball and create thin, shallow divot. Don’t try to help the ball up as the clubheads loft and design will do that automatically. Lastly, make sure to not put the ball too far forward thinking it’s a fairway wood.
David Leadbetter shows you how to hit a hybrid in this video:
As hybrids are longer clubs, they do require you to get an adequate shoulder turn. Make sure that you take the club away smooth as a quick take away can lead to an arms-only swing. This will make sure you get enough speed to accelerate through the ball.
Hybrids are great because they are so versatile. You can literally hit them from almost anywhere your ball ends up on the golf course. Whether you tee them up on a long par 3, use them on long par 4’s or 5’s or even hit them from the rough.
Say goodbye to scary long par 3’s or short par 4’s with tight fairways by hitting them off the tee. The first thing to make sure to do is tee the ball low, really low.
A big mistake amateurs make when hitting hybrids and woods is teeing it too high. WIth hybrids, this can make you hit the ball high on the club head which produces very inconsistent results.
Hybrids are so much easier to hit off the fairways that tour pro Y.E. Yang doesn’t carry a long iron beyond a 5 iron! Again, make sure that you are not getting the ball too far forward at setup. Then, swing the hybrid as your normally would a long iron and hit down and through it.
Hybrids are known as rescue clubs for a reason — to rescue you out of trouble! One of the biggest benefits of using hybrids is that they are very easy to hit out of the rough, even if your ball ends up in the thick stuff.
When you’re hitting a hybrid out of the rough there are three main changes. The first is grip, make sure to grip the club with more pressure than normal. The second adjustment is to open the clubface slightly as the rough will close it at impact. Opening it will make sure you end up square when you hit the ball.
Lastly, make sure you take the club up slightly steeper on the way back so you can make sure to hit down and through it. Where you once used to be scared of long irons and rough, now you can hit it better than ever!
The main reason you’re topping your hybrids is that you’re trying to hit it like a fairway wood. Check out this video to stop topping your hybrids and fairway woods:
Yes, hybrids are a great option if you’re not a confident chipper. You can use a hybrid from a tight lie to chip it close. Instead of using a 6 or 7 iron, you can use a hybrid for a standard bump and run.
Act like it’s putt by choking up on the club, adding some forward shaft lean, and stand slightly closer to the ball. Here’s a great video to show you how to chip with a hybrid club:
Yes, hybrids are typically the same loft as your iron. Make sure to check the company website of your irons if you’re not sure.
Gone are the days of being scared of trying to swing hard and hit your long irons well. With a hybrid, you can have confidence back in your game. You’ll be able to hit more long par 4’s and maybe even some par 5’s to increase your chances for birides.
Once you find a hybrid you love, make sure to practice it on the range before heading out. Make sure your ball position is just front of center and focus on hitting down and creating a thin divot. Use it throughout your round and don’t be afraid to try it from a tight lie around the green.
Start using hybrids to save you strokes and start improving your game today!