Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Hybrid Tips from Scratch
The Cave Man offers some really nice insight into the wonderful world of hybrids. The Cave Man might not be a Tour Professional, but he sure swings a lot of clubs!
Hybrids, rescues, utility clubs – whatever you call ‘em, they’re changing the game of golf. They cut through the rough like a blade, but can be as forgiving as a pitching wedge. They’ll sweep a ball as cleanly from a tee as they will the fairway and get you on the green from way back, or you can choke up and chip from the fringe with one. This Caveman will be taking a look at a handful of ways you can use these versatile clubs and you’ll see why so many pros (and duffers!) have added them to their bags.
For the most part, you’ll want to hit your hybrid like your 7-iron, with an emphasis on swinging down at the ball. But as you’ll see below, small adjustments in specific circumstances will help you get the most out of your hybrid:
* From the Tee – keep the ball tee’d low and in the center of your stance. Focus on your follow-through to maximize your power.
* From the Fairway – move the ball closer to the center of your stance but remember to still swing down on the ball. Concentrate on following through on your stroke to ensure you get the full force of the clubhead on your ball. You’ll want to take only a small divot – you sod farmers out there are likely losing distance by tearin’ up monster divots in the short grass.
* From the Rough – take only a three-quarters backswing to maintain control, but you can add power by accelerating down and through as you contact your ball. Make a complete follow-through and finish your stroke normally.
* From the Bunker – as long as the ball isn’t buried, a normal fairway swing with your hybrid (with a slightly shorter stroke) can add distance to your recovery shot. If your ball IS buried, your only option is to use a wedge and dig it out to a better lie.
* From the Fringe – choke down on the grip and use your regular bump-and-run chipping swing. Experiment on a practice green to hone your distance.
Just as you would with any new club, you’ll want to take some extra time to practice different shots before you hit the links for real. I think you’ll find a new hybrid, rescue, or utility will quickly become a go-to club and a valuable addition to your set.