Hit A Hybrid On Short Par 4s

Bag The Driver For Your Best Birdie Shot

hit a hybrid 1-2We’ve all done it: Stepped up on the tee of a tantalizing, drivable par 4 (like the 4th hole at DeBell Golf Course in Burbank, California, shown above), pulled out the big dog and let ’er rip … with varying results. More often than not we miss the green or end up in a spot that the course’s designer dared us to take out of the equation. Maybe that’s water, or OB, or behind a buch of trees. Whatever. It ain’t good. Hello, double bogey. So, let’s back off for a second. On short par 4s I think the percentage shot is to leave the driver in the bag and hit a hybrid.

The only time to go with the driver would be if you have room to miss with no penalty shots (the aforementioned hazard and OB). If you do choose a driver on a short par 4 or a hole with a narrow fairway, try to hit a small fade. The ball lands softer than a draw which will help it stay in the fairway.

After taking careful aim at a specific target (Photo 1) I open the club face slightly to promote a fade without changing my grip or swing (Photo 2). I have always felt that it is easier to work the ball by changing my set up rather than altering my swing, especially under any pressure.

hit a hybrid 3-4A very accurate shot is a 3/4 punch shot with a hybrid, great play on short par 4s or narrow fairways, works great in the wind too. (Photo 3) Play the ball back in the stance to promote a predictable low draw, a great “go to” shot (Photo 4).

Whether you hit a driver or hybrid, there are things that both shots require for successful results:

hit a hybrid 5-6Always aim at a specific target!

  • Never take a swing without aiming.
  • Waggle to get a feel for the shot (Photo 5).
  • Make sure to make a smooth, one-piece takeaway (Photos 6 and 7).
  • A well-balanced finish really helps (Photo 8).

hit a hybrid 7-8Follow these simple steps to turn that short par 4 into a true birdie opportunity, rather than a recipe for disasters. In fact, playing the per-centages on holes like this will pay dividends throughout your round.

Bobby Hinds is a Southern California-based PGA teaching professional

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