One Club, Six Shots: Hybrids aren’t solely for long shots – they come in handy all over the place
When the R&A adopted the 14-club rule 80 years ago, little did they know that a club would be coming along that would make a mockery of it. With the searing power of a 2-iron, the easy launch of a 6-iron, the recovery powers of a wedge and the bounce of a sand iron, the hybrid takes your virtual club count well above legal limits.
All you need is a little know-how in how to make the most of this most versatile of clubs in all the situations it can turn its hand to. So from soaring tee shots into long par 3s to deft greenside chips, we give you six techniques for six scenarios... and the hybrid's famed forgiveness means that with just a little practice, you can quickly become adept at all of them. Here, we'll help you master the shots and we've got some advice about choosing hybrids – how to match them to your swing and get the ideal yardage gaps.
SHOT 1: THE LONG, HIGH, ACCURATE TEE SHOT
No club blends accuracy and power as well as a hybrid. Its relatively long shaft and straighter face help with distance, but it's the low, back weighting permitted by the head shape that really deliver the forgiveness and launch that leads to accurate, easy yardage.
That makes the hybrid the perfect weapon on tight, short par 4 tees, but also on long par 3s – like here on the 13th at Trump International. It stretches to 229 yards, so you need length and height to carry and hold the green. Use these techniques to make the most of it.
The real key to successful hybrid tee play is to prioritise smooth rhythm and strike quality over brute force. Tee shots generally mean letting rip with a driver, and the rounded shape of the hybrid can lead you into the same approach. Instead, treat the shot like an iron – control of power, not creation of it – and you will hit better shots more often.
Tee it like an iron
While we aim to hit slightly up with a driver and down with an iron, a teed hybrid works best with a level blow. Promoting extra height and carry, a level strike is ideal for par-3 tees. Use a low tee – basically like a good fairway lie – to encourage this attack angle.
Play the Ball Forward
Complement that tee height by positioning the ball midway between your lead heel and the centre of your stance. This position represents the low point of the club's arc and promotes that level strike.
Avoid Shaft Lean
You can further encourage a at-based sweep through impact by settling your weight 50-50 and setting the shaft vertical at address. Allow a small kink in your lead wrist and feel your glove badge is no further forward than the back of the ball
Swing: Focus on a smooth Transition
By far the most common issue club players have with hybrid tee shots is getting too quick, snatchy and aggressive from the top. Beat this by putting your big, slow-moving muscles in charge of the swing. Keep your hands and wrists quiet and instead use your core and shoulders to make a full, wide, controlled turn.
Keep the same feel on the way through. Focus on the tempo of your core rotation; keep your acceleration smooth and controlled, turning through to a full finish where your chest looks even left of the target (right-handers). As before feel your hands, arms and wrists are fairly muted, their movement driven by the steady rotation of your core.