Instruction

Hybrids: How to Make the Most Out of Your Long Game

ClubTest 2016: Hot Trends in Hybrids
GOLF equipment editor Rob Sauerhaft and our 2016 ClubTesters discuss the trends and innovations in this year's batch of new golf hybrids.

The hybrid is a minor miracle: It's forgiving, versatile and easy to hit—for most golfers. But if you're struggling to enjoy its many benefits, you may be swinging it with a sweeping, fairway wood motion. The result? Thin or fat contact. Instead, treat your hybrid more like a 6-iron. Swing it around your body, with enough of a descending blow to clip the ball off the turf. This setup position will help. You'll soon be hitting a lot more greens (from a lot farther out), and your hybrid will become your favorite club.

BACK IT UP

Letting the ball creep too far forward in your stance makes it difficult to hit down on the ball. Place the toe of the hybrid against your left heel, with the clubface pointing toward your body, and set the ball opposite the hosel. This is the perfect ball position for a hybrid.

BE NARROW-MINDED

You don't need a wide base. Set your feet under your armpits. A narrower stance makes it easier to deliver a descending blow—it prevents the "roundness" that leads to thin and fat shots.

SWING EASY, HIT FAR

Hybrids are longer than most approach-shot clubs, but that's not your cue to step on the gas. Think "long club, smooth swing." Imagine you're holding a short iron or even a wedge. Don't worry—most hybrids still have enough oomph to send the ball 200 or so yards, even with a less than full swing.

PRESS FOR SUCCESS

A little shaft lean will promote ball-first, ground-second contact. Press your hands forward until they're even with your left thigh. Think of your hybrids as mid-irons, and you'll soon be hitting greens from way downtown.

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