The Teacher Says: Let’s face it, you’re not going to win any long-drive contests. But by carrying three woods and four hybrids, you will hit more fairways and greens. And if your ball lands in the rough, your hybrids will give you a chance to advance it close to the green. They’re also a better option into the green than irons.
Why only 12 clubs? Because with your slower swing speed, there’s less of a yardage gap between clubs — more like seven yards versus 10 — so you don’t need as many. You’ll like the lighter bag, too.
Hybrids: One Club, Five Shots
Once you start playing these hybrids you might find you don’t need any other clubs because hybrids let you play all five shots you need. Not only are they great off the tee (1), in the fairway (2) or from the rough (3), but they’re useful chipping around the green too (4) — in particular, when you have a lot of fringe to carry or your ball rests up against the collar (5).
Playing the ball against the collar
This is the trickiest of the five hybrid shots because there is so much uncertainty. How hard do you have to hit the ball to get it to the hole? Imagine the hybrid chip is a putt, then make your normal putting stroke for that distance.
The ball will jump off the clubface and into the air, so it will hold its line better. Though the length of your stroke is the same as it would be for a putt, keep the head of the hybrid gliding along the top of the grass. Because it has a wider sole and more mass behind the face, the hybrid will ride through the grass much easier than your wedge or putter, so you can make solid contact with the ball.
Full shots – Hit down
When you play a fullswing shot with these hybrids, apply the same technique you would with your irons. Because of the hybrid’s wide sole, the club won’t dig as much and you’re less likely to chunk it.
So don’t be afraid to hit down on the ball. Play the ball farther back in your stance, make sure to shift your weight to your front leg on the downswing and make an aggressive swing.
|MICHAEL BREED Director of instruction at Sunningdale Country Club in Scarsdale, N.Y.|