How To Successfully Hit A Hybrid

Removing my long irons out of my golf bag and replacing them with hybrids was the smartest decision I made with respect to my golf equipment. This particular journey start in 2009 when I was diagnosed with Lymphoma for the first time. I was feeling a bit down and I decided to purchase a set of Cleveland launchers that had a 3, 4, and 5 hybrid instead of irons. I had thought about making the change to hybrids (dabbling with their use) and the time was right. Although my journey was a bit of a roller coaster ride, I think the decision to commit to using hybrids elevated my game to the next level.

Through the various club changes, I continue to stick with hybrids because I find that my ability to consistently hit them did not seem to waver. My technique has changed slightly as I adapted to the different models, but my swing plane has never changed. Before I explain my technique, there is a plethora of videos you can choose and I thought I would leave it up to you to decide which of the multiple techniques works best for your game.

When hitting my 3 and 4 hybrids, I use a slightly steeper angle of attack than I do with my woods. I try to emulate my 5-iron swing where I trap the ball between the club face and the ground. This descending blow works both in the fairway and the rough. If hit probably, the ball jumps off the face of my club. I hit my 3 hybrid about 195 to 205 yards consistently and my 4 hybrid about 185 to 195 yards. Of course these distances vary depending on the course conditions, wind, and ambient temperature.

There are a couple of things to I should point out that are important to maintain my consistent ball striking. First, I keep my head still for a count of one after contact. I stare at the contact point because this allows my body to complete proper descending swing.

Second, it is important that my follow through must stay on my aim point line. This movement prevents my hands from being overly active and ensures that my club face was square during contact. I realize that these points may not be connected, but they work for my game.

Lastly, I do not try to muscle any shot with my hybrids. I let the club do all the work. I realize that I should trust all my clubs, but hybrids seem more susceptible to overswinging. The harder I try to swing, the greater change of making a mistake.

The image below is of the 12th hole tee shot. It is considered the most difficult on the course because it of the narrow landing area. If the ball is on the left centre of the fairway or farther left, it will jump down into the woods. If the ball is in the rough on the right, chances are that your ball will roll into the woods. It you hit your ball 215 yards off the tee, you will end up with a severally difficult, downhill chip to the green. So, hitting the fairway is critical to play this hole.

12the tee shot at Osprey Links Golf Course.

Hence, my 4 hybrid is perfect for this shot. When I hit it properly and let the club do all the work, my ball will be about 10 yards short of the crest of the hill. My aim point is left of the white dot (actually a COVID sign) on the right centre of the picture. Basically I aim up the top end of the cart path; this aim line allows for some error, but landing on this line is the shot to make. As I said earlier, my 4 hybrid fits perfectly for my swing on this hole.

Hitting a hybrid is actually very simple. Using a descending swing plane is the key to consistent contact. Of course, this technique works best for my game. Only you can decide what technique works best for yours.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

4 thoughts on “How To Successfully Hit A Hybrid

  1. Jim, whatever the secret sauce is with the hybrids, I haven’t found it. Picked one up two seasons ago and have seen too many of my big misses with it. He’s in the basement hanging out with the old sets now. Maybe I’ll give it another go after some success on the range.

    Thanks,

    Brian

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,

      As I said to Kevin, there is no right answers here. If you do take it to the range, try swinging it like an 8 iron and work your way up to a 5 iron. This slow transition worked for me. My biggest issue is getting too handsie. Let me know if you give it a try.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just can’t seem to make myself a fan of hybrids. I hit them fine. I hit my long irons fine too. The trades off though for me come in in favor of the 3 iron. It’s simply more versatile and more accurate. And where I can’t reach with it, I can choke all the way down on my 3/4 wood set to 16 degrees and pick up right where the 3 iron leaves off.

    But I know plenty of people who have benefited from their hybrids and your advice about swinging it like an iron is exactly what I’ve heard advised many times since they came out.

    For me, I think I’d go back to a combo you might find a little strange, but it’s worked for me before. I’d drop the 4 and 5 irons and pick up a 7 wood and a 5 wood. The 7 and 5 wood really covered everything from my 5 iron at the time to far past the 3 iron. But the 3 iron is a specialty tool I don’t like going without. Hitting under the wind, slicing around corners, punching out low. It’s not a club I’m willing to part with. It was my driver for years. I got a covid hole enabled albatross last year with it. It’s staying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      That is no right answer here. Picking the proper equipment fornyour game is very important. I used to play a 5 wood but found less versatility than my hybrids. Funny how there is so many right answers to this topic.

      Cheers Jim

      Like

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