How To Hit a Hybrid Golf Club From Tee to Green

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Hybrid Golf Club

Hybrids are a gift from the Golf Gods. I’m convinced these mythical beings got tired of seeing golfers struggle with hard to hit long irons and gave an engineer the idea for a smaller fairway wood. 

Thus… the hybrid was born in the early 2000s. Now, they’re a staple in all types of golfers’ bags, including some of the best players in the world. 

While almost everyone can benefit from hitting hybrids, a lot of golfers get confused on how to hit them. Often wondering…

  • Do I hit down on a hybrid?
  • When should I use my hybrid? 
  • Can I use a hybrid from the rough?
  • Do I hit a hybrid like a fairway wood? 

Today, we’ll answer all those questions and more. Keep reading to learn how to hit a hybrid club with impressive consistency (Hint: it’s easier than you think). 

How to Hit a Hybrid From the Fairway

If you don’t have a hybrid (or two) in your golf bag, you’re making golf much harder on yourself. The days of attempting to hit long irons that come with your iron set are over. Do not settle for the 3 or 4 (or maybe even 5 iron) that comes with your iron set. 

Hybrids, high lofted fairway woods, and utility irons are a much better choice. Hybrid golf clubs are the focus of this article and great because they are:

  • More forgiving
  • Easy to hit from the rough
  • Help you launch the ball higher
  • Are extremely versatile and can be used for all type of shots
  • Perform much better overall (even with slower swing speeds) 

But they’re only effective if you learn how to hit them. Follow our step-by-step process below to start hitting hybrids better than ever.

Related: Driving Iron vs. Hybrid 

Step 1: Buy the Right Hybrid

Before getting into the setup and swing, it’s important to make sure that you buy the right hybrid. For example, if you want to replace your 4-iron, you might think buying a 4H is the best choice. But it’s not as simple as swapping a hybrid for the same long iron. 

Even if the loft is the same between the two clubs, hybrids go further thanks to the larger head design. Studies have shown that these clubs go 8-12 yards longer so buy accordingly! 

Usually, clubbing down is the way to go. So if you want to replace your 4-iron for the same distance, you would want to buy a 5H instead. 

Additionally, make sure to buy the right clubhead as there are so many options. Some are larger heads that more closely resemble fairway woods and built for distance. While other hybrids are smaller and made for more skilled golfers who prefer to shape the ball. 

Step 2: Setup Accordingly

Here’s where most golfers mess up and make it hard to hit hybrids well – the setup. Since a hybrid is a blend of fairway wood and iron, it’s easy to get confused and wonder… “Should I hit a hybrid like an iron? Or a fairway wood?”

The answer: hit your hybrids like your irons.

You want a slight descending blow to create a shallow divot when hitting hybrids. To do this, you need to set up to the ball accordingly.

First, make sure your feet are about slightly less than shoulder width apart to build a sturdy base. Since this club is 40-42 inches long, you need enough width but not too much so that it’s hard to swing down on it. 

Next, make sure the ball position is in the front-center part of your stance. You don’t want it as far up as you do with fairway woods or drivers. But you also don’t want it too far back or you’ll get too steep on the downswing. 

Finally, make sure you’re standing comfortably from the ball and not reaching for it. Standing slightly closer to the golf ball will actually help you get the club on the correct plane. 

Also Read: How To Hit Long Irons Like a Pro

Step 3: Swing Smooth

Once you’re set up the right way, swing the club like a normal mid-iron and press the handle slightly forward at address. A slight shaft lean with the correct setup will help with a descending blow.

Then, swing smoothly with your hybrid and don’t try to kill it. Most amateurs make the mistake of trying to swing too hard and their ball striking suffers as a result. 

Remember, the club is built for high-launch and long distance; you don’t need to swing out of your shoes to make this happen. Instead, swing smooth throughout the entire swing, specifically in transition to hit it well. 

Sternum Over the Ball 

If you aren’t making consistent contact, check your chest position too. As Michael Breed said in the below Golf Channel video, “Make sure that the chest is staying down in the shot and almost pointing toward your lead foot.” 

How to Hit a Hybrid Off the Tee 

Please note, your setup shouldn’t change much whether you’re hitting a hybrid off the ground or from a tee. But the biggest mistake most amateur golfers make with hybrids is teeing the ball up too high. This makes it easy to hit underneath it and possibly leave a nasty skymark on your golf club.

Instead, tee it low, just like you would with an iron. Remember, you want to hit down and through the shot like an iron. A ball that is teed up lower will also promote a more descending blow at impact. 

Hitting Hybrid Off a Tee

How to Hit a Hybrid From the Rough 

Hybrids are great because they can help you escape the rough! 

If you have a decent lie in the rough, you can hit a hybrid from here too. But always make sure to check if the lie is good enough before pulling this club out of the bag. Since a hybrid is larger than an iron, if you try to hit it from very thick rough the club can close and result in a massive pull. 

However, if the lie is decent, a hybrid is a great option from the rough. If the ball is sitting up on the grass (known as a flier lie), try to swing slightly more up on it. Also, plan for it to travel an extra 5-15 yards too thanks to the great lie.

If the ball is sitting down in the rough, move the ball slightly closer to the middle of your stance to hit down and through it. It’s also not a bad idea to slightly open the face at address to account for the rough closing of the face at impact. 

When you keep the chest down and rotate through the shot you will make much better contact. Thinking about your sternum will help you cover the ball and create the descending blow that is needed. 

Press Into Your Lead Leg 

Another good swing thought to have with hybrids is to press down into your lead leg. Since most golfers try to “lift” the ball up, they never transfer their weight properly. This leads to hitting well behind it and hitting a dreaded top shot since the low point is adjusted.

Clay Ballard illustrates this perfectly in the below YouTube video. “The left leg is going to pop forward toward the target a little bit. This will get my low point and my divot farther in front.”  

This move will ensure 70% of your weight is on your lead foot and not hang back for a proper weight shift.  

Top Questions About Hitting Hybrids

Do you have extra questions to master your hybrids for a more efficient long game? If so, keep reading to learn even more about these golf clubs. 

Are hybrid golf clubs easy to hit? 

Yes, hybrid golf clubs are much easier to hit than long irons or even utility irons. Due to the larger head and forgiving design, these clubs are great for almost every type of golfer. Not only are they easy to hit off the fairway but also a great choice from the rough too. 

Do you hit a hybrid off the ground? 

A hybrid is one of the most versatile clubs in the bag; you can hit it from the turf easily and also use it for:

  • Tee shots
  • Out of the rough
  • Greenside bump and run shots
  • Fairway bunkers (if the lip is low enough) 

Do you hit a hybrid like an iron? 

Yes, hybrids resemble irons more than fairway woods due to the shorter shaft length and smaller clubhead. To hit a hybrid well, you need to hit down on it with a descending blow just like you would with an iron. Even when the ball is teed up, make sure to hit down on the shot. 

How can I hit a punch hybrid?

One of the few (maybe only) downsides of a hybrid is that it’s hard to flight it low. Due to the design of the head, this club is meant to get the ball in the air quickly.

If you find yourself behind some trees and need to punch out to the fairway, a hybrid isn’t the best option. A better idea is to use your longest iron and hit a punch shot to get back in play.

However, you can flight a hybrid lower with a few adjustments. For example, if you’re between clubs and need to take off some yardage or hit into the wind, a knockdown hybrid is a great idea.

Here’s how to execute the knockdown: 

  • Choke up 1-1.5 inches on the grip.
  • Adjust the ball position so the ball is just ahead of center.
  • Take a three-quarter backswing and make an abbreviated follow through. Try to keep your follow through below your ribs to flight it lower.

This should help you hit a piercing hybrid 10-15 yards less than normal but still hold a green. 

Should I carry a 5 wood or 3 hybrid?

5-woods used to be very common in most golf club sets. But with the invention of hybrids, a lot of players aren’t sure which is easier to hit.

Both are between 18-20 degrees of loft but the 5-wood will go further thanks to the longer shaft and bigger clubhead. Fairway woods are harder to control and not as easy to hit from the ground as hybrids though. 

Ultimately, it comes down to what distance you need the club to go and what type of shots you want to use it for. Click here to read more about 5 wood vs. hybrid to see which you should carry. 

Do pro golfers hit hybrids?

Yes, a lot of professional golfers choose hybrids instead of long irons. While some prefer a 7-wood or utility iron, tons of golfers including Jordan Speith and Hideki Matsyuama like hybrids. 

Should I use my hybrid for chip shots?

If you have enough green between your ball and the hole, yes, this is a great idea. Since hybrids have such low loft, they’re great to use for bump and run type shots around the green.

The ball will pop off the face and once it hits the green, roll like a putt would. If you have a ton of green between you and the hole, this is a much better option than a high lofted pitch shot.

It’s a pretty simple and reliable shot to help you save strokes around the green. Here’s how to chip with a hybrid:

  • Build a narrow stance.
  • Choke up 1-2 inches on the grip. 
  • Stand closer to the ball and raise the handle, just like you would with a putter. 
  • Make a simple putting motion to see how it jumps and rolls like a putt.

Wrapping Up

Remember, these clubs are a gift from the Golf Gods who got tired of seeing the everyday player struggle with long irons.

A hybrid (or two) are some of the best clubs you can add to your arsenal. They can make some of the toughest shots in golf so much easier and help you attack par 5s in two shots. 

Whether you’re a 7 or 30 handicap, chances are you can benefit from a hybrid golf club. As long as you make the adjustments mentioned above, these can help you out from tee to green.

If you need one takeaway it’s this – swing hybrids like you do mid-irons. Think about hitting down on the shot (even if it’s on a tee) to make great contact. 

Do you have at least one hybrid in your arsenal? 

Let us know in the comments below. 

Picture of Michael Leonard

Michael Leonard

Michael Leonard is a full-time writer, author, creator of Wicked Smart Golf and +1 handicap amateur golfer. He left his corporate career in 2017 to pursue entrepreneurship and professional golf; since then, he’s competed in 160+ tournament days and went to Q-school in 2019.

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