Never Lay Up!

Make Solid Contact With Your Hybrids And Fairway Woods

This Article Features Photo Zoom

SWEEP VERSUS STEEP


At the top of my “sweep swing,” my club is parallel to the ground, and I’ve retained my posture nicely from my original address position. My weight has moved into my back left heel, and I’m keeping some flex in my knees. I really like what I see here.

After starting my downswing with my lower body, my upper body (shoulders, arms and hands) follow suit. This sequence of events places the clubshaft so it bisects my bicep. When I see that happening, I know I’m on plane for a sweeping swing that travels more in a circle, but still with a downward blow.

I’ve transferred most of my weight now to my left side (notice how my right heel is coming off the ground), and my arms extend down the target line. The sweeping clubhead now travels on plane around my body while my spine angle remains the same as it was at address.

Despite my sweeping motion, I’m a little upright here at impact. I’d like the club to be a little flatter and more “around” my body. That said, because I’ve swept this shot, the ball had a little hook spin on it. Just the kind of shot shape the Tour pros favor.

As with the above “sweep swing,” my “steep swing” starts off nicely with all the weight in the right position.

But it breaks down here. I’ve started my downswing with my upper body first. Now I’m swinging over the top. The shaft is too upright and bisects my right shoulder. Note also that my right elbow is away from my body.

Now my followthrough moves left after impact, and I cut across the ball putting slice spin on it. It’s the classic result of a steep swing.

In this photo, you can see the ball moving left off the clubface, unlike in the photo directly above it. Hit your hybrids too steeply and you’ll end up with shots that go all over the place.

WHAT’S IN YOUR BAG?

WITH THE RISING POPULARITY of hybrids and their ease of use, it makes sense that players would want to hit as many as possible. Typically Tour pros might carry one hybrid, but that doesn’t mean you should limit how many you carry.

When juniors start playing the game, I suggest they carry a few hybrids to get the ball up in the air and in play. This breeds confidence, which is absolutely necessary for anyone new to the game.

As you improve, start swapping out hybrids for longer irons. Switch out a 24° hybrid for a 4-iron, and so on. As your ballstriking improves, move up to clubs that’ll produce the type of shots that you’re now capable of hitting.

Players with slower swing speeds should consider playing with an iron-wood set that incorporates the qualities of both irons and woods.



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