The Versatile Hybrid
The equipment industry has changed the way we play the game, for sure, but I don’t think any single innovation has done more to make this game easier than the development of the hybrid. More and more golfers are carrying them – even the tour pros – because they are just so dang easy to hit, compared to longer irons. They get the ball in the air easier, handle rough so much better . . . the list goes on and on.

But one great use for your hybrids is around the greens, and if you haven’t experimented with them, you should really spend a little time learning what they are capable of.

In my own bag, I carry a Sonartec 19* hybrid, with a UST V2 shaft. Normal full swings produce about 208 yards, with a nice penetrating ball flight. But this club’s “hidden talent” is as a chipping club when a wedge shot just isn’t the best play. On Sunday, for example, I was just right of the first green, on a tight downhill lie, with a fast green running away from me. Even with my wedge confidence, that just wasn’t the shot. So, I took my hybrid, put the ball back a little in my stance, and “putted” the ball through the 8-10 feet of collar, onto the green and to about 6’, where I made par, and was happy to have it.

To hit this shot, you obviously need to grip down on the hybrid, as it is 6 inches or so longer than your putter. I like to grip down to just have my right thumb and forefinger on the shaft below the grip. I stand up a little straighter than when putting to make up for the added length.

And an important key is to grip the hybrid lighter than even a putter, as it is a lighter club and does not provide the resistance of a putter. A light grip will help you have the feel you need to control the distance the ball rolls.

“Putting” with your hybrid is a great shot to have in your arsenal. It also comes in handy when your ball has rolled up against the collar, with thicker grass behind it. Practice this shot just a little and you’ll find it saving strokes in the rounds ahead.
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[ comments ]
Tim Horan says:
Terry,
I've not given up on you yet! You will remember me telling you of my long putting woes and your suggestion that I should treat them with the same mindset as I do for pitch shots. I have taken this a step further and use my hybrid (18 degree) for long putts ON THE GREEN! It's working... Respect
12/10/08
 
wedgeguy says:
Tim,

Well, that's not exactly what I had in mind, but if it works, go for it. Keep me posted, OK?
12/15/08
 
Tim Horan says:
Terry,
I was thinking that because my strengths at these distances has always been with either a 6 or an 8 iron in hand that I would try these on the green. Guess what...the head green keeper objects, in no uncertain terms! Joking aside the extra length in the hybrid shaft and the slight check derived from the 18 degree about 7-8 ft out just gives me the confidence to hit it hard enough to get it to and just beyond the cup. It may be a little unorthodox but hey...there are no pictures on the card!
12/15/08
 
Rpoole11 says:
I've tried a couple of hybrids and can't seem to do anything but hit a nasty hook with them. I don't hook any other clubs in my bag (usually hit a high fade and a big slice is my miss) but I can't seem to hit a hybrid without closing down the face. I still keep a 17* Nickent 3DX DC in my bag for chipping and those situations when a hook is a must though. I love the hybrid around the green especially, like you said, on downhill lies.
12/18/08
 
Tim Horan says:
Rpoole11
I assume you are right handed (if left handed the oposite will apply. It may be that the additional shaft length is creating more turn in your back swing. Try slightly lifting your right heel at address and then swing. The effect is to keep the right leg more flexed at the top of the backswing.
12/19/08
 
Jose Kuhn says:
I feel the the best hybrids to carry are the smoother bottoms ones like Mizuno CLK and the Cobra baffler. The adams, and Nickent hybrids just dig into the sand too much with that sharper leading edge to be useful in a par 5 fairway bunker. WIth it's tall face the Cleveland hibore xls is great off the tee but a little more difficult to work.

You have to hit these things link a 5 iron not a 3 wood.
1/1/09
 
JWHpurist says:
Before there was such a thing as a so called "Hybrid", there was a club produced by Stan Thompson called "The Ginty". The first produced had 7 wd. loft& 4 wd. shaft length. When used in the proper manner the results are amazing! I have used these clubs for over 30 years and won't replace them with newer items. I have a full set of these clubs in laminated persimmon and metal (#1-#7) vintage 70's-80's and have found none better for the purposes intended. "New age Giant Clubs" don't cut the mustard, vintage clubs do!! JWHpurist
1/6/09
 
Albatross says:
Replaced both my 3 and 4 irons some time ago with hybrids. Both are longer and more versatile than irons and they allowed me to eliminate my 5 wood in favor of another wedge How bad can that be??
3/13/09
 
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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