Is there a standard method to hit a hybrid that every players should know? That question haunted me for some time until I realized that hitting hybrids is easier than I thought. Many poor hybrid shots are rooted in poor setup positions such as ball position and shoulder position. Unlike woods, the ball position prior to starting is more important than with most other clubs. Each player will be slightly different with their set up, but in my case I was playing the ball to far forward. To determine if your ball is in the proper position for your swing, the ball flight is the greatest tell. Knowing what to look for is critical to ensuring solid contact and consistent results with our hybrids.
Currently, I use a 3 and 4 hybrid from Mizuno. These magical clubs have extricated my ball from some very difficult lies. I have learned, through practice, that ball position makes or breaks my success after contact. Before I start talking about making set up adjustments, I think it is important to start with what I consider to be my neutral hitting position.
In my case, I play both hybrids from the same position. I have found that by doing this I produce the same positive results with different ball flights. My intent is to produce a stinger type flight that is lower that an iron that bores through the air. I place the ball approximately one inch forward in may stance from center. Much like the second stance in the video below. This allows me to hit down on the ball and trap it at contact. The results of this swing path produces about 200 to 210 yards with my 3H and 190 to 200 yards with my 4H; both with similar ball flights.
To make minor adjustments the ball flight with my hybrids, I move the ball in inch forward or backwards depending on the requirement. This is where my pre-shot routine takes over and accounts for lie, wind, playing conditions, etc. By moving the ball backwards in my stance, I produce a lower ball flight and the opposite by moving it forward. The multitude of variables for each shot are extensive, so I do not have one rule regarding which ball flight is required for each shot. Regardless, the versatility of my hybrids is such that they are an intrical part of my game an will stay in my bag forever.
As I watched the video below from Rick Shiels, I really like his approach that that there is no one way to hit a hybrid. It depends on the players and they swing style. I think this type of approach to our golf swing can be expanded to all our clubs. Although I will state that there is a preferred method to hitting different clubs that does produce a foundation of success for all players. But, that 20% of uniqueness is what makes your golf swing yours.
Hybrids have changed golf for the better. At the amateur level, I have seen very few bags without a hybrid. They help amateurs, like myself, hit longer, straighter and more consistent golf shots. I figured that they were here to stay, so I took the time to figure out how to best hit them to produce the results I wanted. I am not disappointed I put the time in and I recommend you do the same.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!