5 Beginner’s Tips to Hit Your Hybrid like a Pro

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Nicolas Drozdoski-Richardson
Nov 20, 2023
6 minutes

Hybrids are some of the most mysterious golf clubs on the market, but golfers would gain from adopting them. Many new golfers are shying away from hybrids because they are not exactly sure how to hit them or don't feel like spending more money on a new club. They can seem tricky as they are a combination of an iron and a fairway wood, two club types requiring a very different approach to the attack angle at impact.

However, with so many benefits from learning how to use a hybrid and with plenty of quality budget hybrid clubs out there, we brought Nick Drozdoski, one of our in-house experts, to help bring more variety to your golf bag, and provide some crucial tips that will allow you to finally hit your hybrids better than ever. These tips will help you nail your hybrid and add a new facet to your game when you’re out on the course! Stick around until the end as the last tip might surprise you. Let’s get into it!

Here are the 5 best tips to hit your hybrid according to Nick:

  1. Make sure to have a proper set up to your swing
  2. Swing down and compress the ball like an iron strike
  3. Keep a composed tempo through the swing
  4. Ditch the aggressive play and play it safe
  5. Opening the clubface will help your trajectory

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1. Proper swing set up to hit your hybrid

The way you set up for a shot with a hybrid club is very important. As it is a cross between two club types, it’s also crucial to combine the technique associated with both club types. This means that you’ll physically set up as if you’re positioning yourself to hit a fairway wood.

There’s one main difference with the fairway wood setup and it concerns the weight distribution between your lead and tail leg. Ensure your stance is balanced and comfortable, similar to your iron shots. In other words, make sure to distribute your weight at address evenly.

What’s the correct ball position for a hybrid?

Positioning the ball correctly in your stance will be critical. While you’re hitting down on the ball, as you would with an iron – which we’ll cover next – you’ll want to place the ball slightly more forward than you would with your mid-length irons. Position the ball in your stance just like you would with your woods or long irons.

Avoid placing the ball too far forward like you would with your driver. This will lead to higher launching strikes, but the ball flight will be less piercing and most likely won’t cover as much distance.

How to hit a hybrid off the tee?

When hitting your golf ball off a tee with your hybrid, you should still look to compress the golf ball by swinging down on it. A sweeping swing, similar to the fairway wood’s or driver’s, can be effective, but it brings in the risk of topping your golf ball.

RELATED: The 5 BEST Cobra Fairway Woods Under $175

2. Compress the golf ball at impact

Do you swing your hybrid like an iron? Well, you’d be right to do so. That’s right, you’ll want to try and compress the golf ball with your hybrid. If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, compressing the golf ball simply means that you’re looking to leverage the compression of the ball against the ground by the impact of your club.

Take a marble as an example. If you were to squeeze a marble between two of your fingers, this marble would try to escape the pressure of your fingers and will shoot out of there once it manages to wiggle free. The same concept applies to the ball, which replaces the marble, the club, and the ground, which replaces your fingers.

Also, try to avoid "sweeping" the ball off the turf as you would do with a fairway wood. While this works great with woods as they are designed to be hit at an upward trajectory, the same technique would result in wasted energy with your hybrid. Using compression properly with your hybrids will produce long strikes without requiring a high level of exertion.

Instead, focus on making a controlled, descending strike, just like you would with an iron, to promote solid contact.

RELATED: The 8 BEST Fairway Woods Under $175

3. Perfecting the tempo of your swing

Just like it is with every club, maintaining a smooth and consistent tempo is crucial when using a hybrid. A smoother swing will not only allow you to feel better throughout your swing, but it should also produce longer and more consistent strikes.

Hybrids are versatile clubs that respond well to a controlled and steady tempo, which can lead to more accurate and powerful shots.

To do so, however, you must avoid rushing your swing; instead, focus on a balanced and rhythmic motion. A jerky swing can lead to poor strikes because the synchronization of your actions will be out of order.

If you want to optimize your tempo and work on the flow of your swing, we recommend you check out our Top 5 Fairway Wood Drills. In there, you’ll find the Upside Down Club tempo drill that can be applied to your hybrid swing just as well. All you’ll need to do is flip your club over in your hands, as to hold it by the narrowest part of the shaft. Your objective is to swing the club and produce an audible “whack” sound. Be sure to check it out to improve your swing!

RELATED: The 5 BEST Titleist Hybrids of All-Time

4. No need to go for the green in two with the fairway wood, go with your hybrid

Don’t attack the green if you don’t have to. While laying up can be frustrating at times, especially when the green is so tempting on so many par 5s, it is more commonly your best bet if you’re looking to set up a third shot that will most likely be much easier than the results you could get by trying to attack the green from distance.

Hybrids are known for their forgiveness and ease of use, this means that even if you were to hit a poor strike on your approach shot, the penalty would most likely be much less important than what you could produce with a fairway wood.

The hybrid's versatility allows for more precision and better control, increasing your chances of making a successful approach to the green. Keep in mind that you can always go for the green if you feel confident, but when in doubt, you can always trust your hybrid.

RELATED: Top 8 TaylorMade Fairway Woods Under $250

5. Don’t be shy and open the clubface of your club

The design of hybrid clubfaces may make them appear more open than they actually are, but in reality, you need to trust the club's design and alignment and not be overly concerned about the visual perception of an open face, where your clubface is slightly angled away from you (to the right for righties, left for lefties).

The compression you’re trying to apply to the ball with your hybrid will save you from hitting off-trajectory strikes, even when you open the clubface. This is great for golfers who struggle with a slice when they’re out on the course.

Also, the hybrid's design helps launch the ball higher and straighter, providing a forgiving and effective tool for various shots, so feel free to go ahead and trust that the club will provide you with the performance you’re expecting.

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After reading these tips, we believe that you should be better positioned than ever to next time you’re out on the course. Don’t forget to set up properly, compress the golf ball, keep a smooth tempo, don’t be shy to be conservative on your approach, and feel free to open the clubface and limit the ball trajectories to the inside.

Finally, if you need any help finding the right hybrid, we suggest you take a look at our full hybrid buying guide. It should provide you with all you need to know about buying hybrids. If you prefer a face-to-face approach, you can always book a free call with one of our experts.

Until next time,

The Golf Avenue Team

Further reading

Find the best golf hybrids you can buy in 2023. Top-rated rescue, utility & hybrid golf clubs from TaylorMade, Titleist, Callaway, Cobra and Cleveland.

Looking to buy a hybrid club? What about rescue clubs or driving and utility irons? Find everything you need to know about their differences, how to use them, and our top picks!