Never Lay Up!

Make Solid Contact With Your Hybrids And Fairway Woods

This Article Features Photo Zoom

HERE I'M ADDRESSING the ball and making a swing with two different clubs, an 8-iron and a hybrid. With the 8-iron, I stand closer to the ball because the club is shorter. As a result, my swing plane is more upright. (Notice how, in my backswing, the club bisects my right shoulder.)

With the hybrid, which measures roughly four inches longer than the 8-iron, I stand farther away from the ball and swing on a flatter plane. (This time, note how the club bisects my bicep and is more parallel to the ground.)





The different angles of the club change the type of impact I create. With a steeper or more upright attack like the 8-iron, I hit down on the ball, take a divot and launch the ball in the air. With the hybrid, while I still hit down on the ball, the flatter, shallower plane produces a swing that goes around more than it goes up and down. I take little if any divot and produce a more penetrating ballflight.

The key takeaway from this lesson is to allow your swing to naturally use the angle that the club has when you first set up to the ball. When the sole lies flat on the ground, you’ll be able to accurately know what angle.

HERE’S AN UNUSUAL PHOTO: three balls in three different lies with three different clubs. What am I getting after? Well, I want to show you that you have options in the rough depending on what kind of lie you have.

Here I have a ball that’s sitting up, a “typical” lie and a ball that’s sitting down. Each lie demands that I approach it with a different mind-set and club. Although I typically wouldn’t choose to hit a driver out of the rough, the one lie is so good, I practically could. If you’re a risk-taker, try it out in a practice round and see how it goes. If you can’t make decent contact and you need an extra 20 yards, go for it. Just remember to firm up your left hand so the clubface doesn’t turn over.

The “regular lie” gives you a great opportunity to hit a variety of shots including hybrid and fairway woods. If it’s too far down, don’t mess with the metals—take an iron and escape! Point being, the hybrid is best used on a "typical" lie.

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