Beginner Series: How To Hit A Hybrid

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Almost every golfer (you can exclude tour pros and scratch golfers from this statement) in the world should make the switch from long irons to hybrids, there is just no real reason not to.

In fact, it is such a no-brainer for most of us that even professional golfers are starting to make the change to some extent.

Hybrids are, in general, easier to hit, longer, more forgiving, have a higher ball flight, and land softer on the green than long irons.

Some golfers call hybrids the “cheat code” of golf, but is that a bad thing? After all, growing up, who did not use as many Nintendo cheat codes as they would allow? And yes, I am old enough to have played a Nintendo growing up.

As you continue reading this tutorial, our goal is to show you how to hit a hybrid (that you should count on the most), especially for beginners. We all have those clubs that, when we hold them in our hand, they just feel right. I had a 7-wood like that when I first started playing, and after reading this we hope your hybrid clubs feel like that every time you pull them out of your bag.

Step By Step Instructions

Hitting a hybrid is supposed to be “easy” compared to the alternatives. If you are a beginner or higher handicap player, then you know there are no golf clubs that are really easy to hit all of the time. Following these instructions, however, can help get you started on the right track to becoming a top notch hybrid player.

1. Check Your Equipment

Not all hybrids are created equal, so it is really important that you choose the right hybrid golf clubs for your game. The TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue is a very forgiving hybrid and the Callaway Mavrik Max are really good for beginners and high handicappers as well.

Read this article to see our suggestions on different hybrids for different skill levels and choose the one that is right for you. It is also important to choose the right golf ball for less spin and straighter shots. Click here to read more about which golf balls we suggest for beginners. 

You also want to make sure you don’t duplicate your clubs, so we would suggest, especially for beginners, starting with a 5 iron and replacing everything below that with hybrids.

We would also suggest having a 3 wood, and then making the decision on whether or not you want a hybrid or a 5 wood along with it. Choosing the right clubs at the right loft may take a while as you are learning the game, but it is really important to know what clubs work best for you.

2. Find Your Target and Consider Your Most Consistent Shot Shape

Most of the time you are going to try and hit your hybrid as straight as possible, but we all know that does not always happen. The next step in learning to hit a hybrid is to get a feel for the shape that the majority of your shots take. Find your target, oftentimes the green when you are hitting a hybrid but not every time, and then play your most consistent shot. I know as  beginner, consistency is one of the most difficult things to have, but you will know how your shot usually looks and play that to your target.

3. Setup

You will hit your hybrids a little more like an iron than a wood, so your setup will be a little different. You want your feet right at about shoulder width and you want the ball more towards the middle of your stance but slightly forward. Remember, with a hybrid you will be striking more down on the ball than into it so you do not want to have to reach. 

4. Grip Pressure

The same grip pressure tip should really just be a disclaimer for every club in your bag…Do Not Put A Death Grip On Your Golf Club! The phrase, “grip it and rip it” has nothing to do with how hard you hold onto your club. You want your swing to be natural, athletic, and full of potential and none of that is possible if you are gripping your club like you grip the bar of a roller coaster going down hill.

5. Take Away

Now you are ready to start your swing, and the takeaway, or the initial movement away from the ball is very important. You want your clubhead to be low to the ground and for your swing to start out wide so that you give yourself the chance to get your club in the right position.

6. Make a Full Turn

As you continue with your backswing, the next thing you want to focus on is making a full turn with your club. Getting the club parallel with the ground and perpendicular with your spine puts you in the right position to get the most power out of your swing and the best possibility to make an inside/out move.

7. Downswing

Your transition into a downswing should be smooth and natural. We all have the tendency to rush it and over swing because we want to see the result, but patience is key.

If you are swinging at 100% capacity, you are way over swinging. Your max shot, especially to begin with, should be at about 80-85% capacity so that you have more control over where the ball is going and how you follow through. 

Your downswing with a hybrid is even a little more complicated because of how the club looks. It is not quite an iron that you know you are supposed to swing down on and not quite a wood which is more of a swing into the ball kind of club.

Your attack angle with hybrids should actually be more similar to your 4 and 5 irons with your lower lofted hybrids and even more than that as you move up. The following link gives you a good breakdown of what your attack angle should like depending on your club:

chart for pga tour swing trackman data

(Photo courtesy of wizgolf.com)

8. Balance and Finish

If you are overswinging, you will not keep your balance and your finish will not be what it should. Your swing should be so controlled that your feet stay rooted to the ground until you move them and your finish should be with your club at about the same position it was at the top of your back swing.

When you lose balance, not only are you losing control, but you are losing power as well. Just check out some clips of Ernie Els or Vijay Singh in their time and you will see some of the most effortless power out there.

Check out this video from Chris Ryan Golf for a great beginner’s tutorial called “How To Hit A 3 Wood”

How To Use a Hybrid

When Should I Use a Hybrid?

Your hybrids can be used in a variety of situations. In general, they are better out of the rough than your longer irons or your woods. They are easier to hit and stop on the green than your woods and have an even higher ball flight than most of your long irons. The face of a hybrid looks more like a wood which helps off the tee as well. If you have a long shot out of the rough, need accuracy off the tee, or are hitting a long approach shot that you want to sit on the green, these are all situations to pull out your hybrid clubs.

How Many Hybrids Should I Carry?

Our suggestion is to carry enough hybrids to cover what would traditionally be in a players’ bag. If you are a beginner, then you are probably carrying 3 wedges at the most. We would also suggest at least a 3 wood, maybe a 5 wood, and starting at a 5 iron. With that said, if you carry a 3 wood, carry 3 hybrids and if you prefer a 5 wood carry 2.

Check out this video from US Golf TV to see some swing tips for hitting your hybrid well:

Final Thoughts On How To Hit A Hybrid

Hybrids really can be a game changer for any level of player but especially beginners and high handicappers. There are just so many advantages to carrying them we cannot believe that any player other than touring pros would even consider leaving them out of their bag.

They are easier to hit and more effective than most long irons and they are better out of the rough than fairway woods. The bottom line is that you want things to help your game and hybrids do exactly that.

We hope this tutorial gives you the confidence and know-how to shave some strokes off of your score with hybrid clubs. Just remember the step-by-step instructions here and try to put those things into practice on the range and the course.

Comment on this article and let us know what you think, and also take some photos of you with your favorite hybrid club so that people can see hybrids really are for everyone!

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