Hybrids to the Rescue
Learn to use your hybrids and save shots this winter
There is an old Danish expression that says, freely translated, “A beloved child has many names.” That certainly seems to apply to one of the most prolific additions to many golfers' bags in recent years. Variously called rescue clubs, utility clubs or hybrids – and sometimes mysteriously pronounced “high-breds” in the States – they are often characterised by pro shops and golf instructors as being easier to hit than, say, a three- or four-iron, and they are thought to be very useful when hitting out of short rough.
The hybrids were designed to replace the long irons and are therefore not the same set up as a fairway wood nor do they create the same distance.
Your hybrid might look a lot like a fairway wood, but you need to play it the way you would an iron. The hybrid's shaft is only slightly longer than the corresponding iron, so it's easy to set up to the ball the same way. For the fairway shot, play the ball in the middle of your stance, and keep your weight central. Your hands should be in line with the ball, and your shoulders, hips and feet should be square to your target. As you take the club back and swing through to a full finish, make sure to hit the ball with a descending blow.
If you are playing from the rough and the ball ’pops up’, the ball maybe sitting up and therefore the ball position should move forwards to sweep the ball like you would a driver on a tee peg.
If you are unfortunate to get a poor lie in the rough an wish to try the hybrid make sure you have enough loft and go down the shaft and play the stroke the same as the standard shot. Your follow through might be restricted as the lie may curtail the finish.
Hybrids are definitely here to stay and now you know how to play them will become great friends and very versatile for consistent hitting against long irons and fairway woods because of their design. Some of you may prefer to hit your hybrid from the fairway against your three or five wood as you may lose a little distance but that shorter shaft feels like you have much more control.
Lots of people feel they hit their hybrids longer than their iron counterparts – this is down to the fact that the carry generally is further:
Example 3 iron carry 165 total distance 190
Hybrid carry 180 total distance 190.