No longer considered a novelty, the hybrid club has developed a new reputation as the go-to shotmaker from the fairway, the rough and, believe it or not, around the green.
How To Hit A Hybrid
If you’re supposed to hit down on the ball with your irons and slightly up on the ball with your woods, what in the world do you do with a hybrid club?
David Glod, president of Tour Edge Golf, says that the key to swinging a hybrid correctly is to look at what club(s) the hybrid has replaced. “Because most hybrids are designed to be iron replacements, we advise golfers to swing them like they would their middle irons.”
As such, remember that it’s not necessary to try and scoop the ball upward (as many feel they have to do with low-lofted irons). Instead, allow the low and deep CG to work its magic and launch the ball at a high and optimal angle. The trick? Don’t be afraid to swing down and through as you would with a mid- or long iron.
If you use a hybrid off the tee or in the middle of a round, take at least four practice swings to adjust to the different weight and feel of the club, particularly when you’ve been hitting woods for consecutive holes. Tee up the ball higher than you would a normal iron, which makes it easier to achieve square contact. Finally, swing with a moderate tempo and remember to hit down on the ball. As for those long irons? Kiss ’em goodbye!
Biased Base. The new Callaway Fusion FT-Hybrids feature a permanent draw, neutral or fade bias to help players improve their accuracy and shot-shape patterns. The center of gravity is either in the middle or toward the heel or toe, helping to offset the effects of off-center strikes. Also cool from Callaway is the bore-through shaft technology, which removes weight from the hosel and accentuates the effect of perimeter weighting along the trail end of the club.
Iron Shape. The popular line of hybrids from Tour Edge resembles irons more than fairway woods, making them an exceptional choice for golfers who prefer hitting irons rather than high-lofted fairway woods. But don’t be fooled. Despite the iron-inspired shape, these hybrids feature ample perimeter weighting and a lowered center of gravity for higher shots that produce the needed spin required to get the ball to land softly on the green.
Fairway Wood Shape. The 3DX hybrids from Nickent trend more toward a fairway wood shape for golfers who appreciate a low-profile, fairway wood appearance. Some claim the wood-like models afford greater shotmaking capabilities, but that’s not to say this style of hybrid isn’t forgiving as well. The long, flat sole design helps position a majority of weight low and deep in the clubhead, resulting in a high trajectory with ample spin for better control.
Adjustable Weighting. Some models such as the new TaylorMade Rescue Dual feature removable weight cartridges that allow for customized performance. Players can manipulate weight to favor a draw or fade, hook or slice, all with a simple click of a torque wrench. Typically, a draw bias will promote a lower trajectory than a fade bias, allowing golfers to adjust to different playing conditions as well as course demands and swing styles.
Composite Crown. Composite crown technology has already jumped from drivers to fairway woods, and with the help of the new hybrids from Yonex, it looks like the trend is here to stay in hybrid clubs. Having a composite crown enables more weight to be placed lower and deeper in the clubhead, helping golfers get the ball in the air faster with plenty of spin to promote softer landings. Look for this trend to really catch on in the next couple of years.
Hybrid Shafts. Don’t neglect the all-important shaft! New hybrid shafts are all the rage, with many of the leading driver shaft manufacturers unveiling their own special hybrid renditions. The Graphite Design YS-Hybrid Type II, Fujikura Fit-On E 300 Series, Aldila NV Hybrid, Grafalloy ProLaunch HY and UST Proforce V2 Hybrid graphite shafts all feature innovative technologies designed to cater to a variety of demands and playing characteristics. Before you buy a new hybrid, make sure you have the right shaft flex, weight and kickpoint for your game. Be assured a premium shaft can make a big difference in how well a hybrid performs.