How to Hit a Hybrid: A Clear & Simple Guide

By Todd Kolb
September 1, 2020

How to Hit a Hybrid: Master Setup & Swing to Get the Most out of the Best Club in Your Bag

If your hybrid is not your favorite club, it may just be because you’re not sure how to hit a hybrid.

I personally believe the hybrid is one of the best inventions in the last fifty years of golf. For golfers who struggle with their longer irons, this club fills that gap. With your hybrid, it’s much easier to get that ball up in the air and flying straight.

But in order to reap those benefits, you need to know how to hit a hybrid. If you aren’t that impressed with their hybrid’s performance, odds are, you’re trying to hit this club like an iron.

I’m going to walk you through:

  • The purpose of your hybrid
  • Why you should learn how to hit a hybrid
  • The correct ball position for hybrid shots
  • How to set up with the proper body and club shaft position
  • The right swing motion for your hybrid

Let’s jump in.

Why You Should Learn How to Hit a Hybrid

In order to understand the value of your hybrid, you need to understand the purpose of this club.

Why does a hybrid exist in the first place?

Just as the name suggests, the hybrid golf club was designed using the best features of two different clubs: long irons and fairway woods.

Long irons have always plagued amateur golfers. Due to the small club face, these clubs don’t offer much room for error. They also feature a low loft, making it much harder to get the height you need for a long flight down the fairway.

Fairway woods have a larger sweet spot and brush through the turf more easily. The trade-off is that they feature a longer shaft. This makes it a little more difficult to master the swing mechanics of a fairway wood.

This is where the hybrid comes in. You hybrid has the broad face of a fairway club with a flatter sole to achieve a lie angle that’s closer to what you’d get with an iron. The swing mechanics of a hybrid are similar to an iron, so there’s less of a learning curve.

But make no mistake: hitting a hybrid is different from hitting the ball with an iron.

I’ll get to that in a moment. Before that brief lesson in the physics of golf, let’s talk about who stands to benefit from using a hybrid.

Who is a Hybrid Golf Club For?

Anyone can benefit from using a hybrid golf club. But those who tend to love the hybrid the most are amateur golfers or golfers with a slower club head speed.

If you struggle with your 3, 4, and 5-irons, you can probably transform your game just by learning how to hit a hybrid. The hybrid was designed for you.

The long bottom makes it easy to sweep the turf so you don’t have to hit down on the club. The design of the club head helps you get the ball up in the air even with a slower swing speed.

My daughter loves her hybrid. So do some of my tour pros . . . typically the professionals who have a slower swing speed.

A hybrid is for everyone. And if you don’t know how to hit a hybrid already, learning this skill can change your game.

What’s Better: A Hybrid or a Driving Iron?

Driving irons are really popular right now. But before you jump on the bandwagon, be aware that they’re popular among top players for a reason.

Professionals who have a club head speed of 110, 115 or 120 miles per hour can do incredible things with a driving iron. In their hands, it’s a valuable tool.

But this club is better suited for high swing speeds. If you’re reading this article, you are probably not swinging fast enough to use a driving iron to its full potential. Focus on hybrids for now.

Correct Ball Position for Hybrid Golf Clubs

If you follow us here at USGolfTV, you know I’m all about ball position. Getting the ball in the right place is the easiest, quickest, and sometimes the most effective way to improve your golf game.

When your golf ball is in the wrong place, you are going to hit the ball at the wrong part of your swing arc. This affects the trajectory of your shot and can cause disastrous results from a deep divot to a horrifying slice.

You can have incredible swing speed, but if the ball is not in the right position, all that power is worthless.

If you have been having trouble with your hybrid, it may not be your golf swing. It may be because you’re using the same ball position you would use for an iron shot.

Ball Position for Irons vs. Ball Position for Hybrids

As you may already know, you always want to hit down on your irons. That is to say, you want to catch the ball just before the very bottom of your swing, when your club head is still descending.

This is not the case with your hybrids.

While you don’t want to hit up on your hybrids like you do with your driver, you do want to make contact at the very bottom of your swing arc. Slightly forward of the bottom is okay, too.

In order to accomplish this, your golf ball should be just slightly forward of center. To find the right spot:

  1. Take your golf setup.
  2. Position the golf ball just off the inside of your lead heel or one roll back from that position. (In other words, roll the ball one rotation away from the target.)

If you use a Rimer Short Game Trainer, this is a great time to bring it out. If you know your regular ball position for iron shots, start from there. Move the slider on your trainer slightly forward of your iron position. Then take a shot with your hybrid and see how it feels.

If you’re not familiar with the Rimer, you can learn more about it here. This is one of my favorite training aids to use when I’m helping students master golf ball position.

Importance of Shaft and Body Position

Now that you’ve mastered hybrid golf ball position, let’s talk about your hands, club shaft, and body position.

How to Position the Club Shaft for Hybrid Shots

We talk a lot about grip in golf. But the position of your hands is just as important as the way you hold the club. If you set up your hybrid shots the way you set up your iron shots, your hands are probably too far forward.

From this position, you are guaranteed to drive the leading edge of the club face down into the ground. This negates the design features of the hybrid that are meant to help your golf swing. As a result, your ball flight will most likely be low and to the left (if you’re right-handed).

In order to make the most of your hybrid, position your hands in a neutral position. This should bring your golf club into a neutral position as well.

Before you take your golf swing, make sure the club shaft isn’t leaning back (away from the target) or forward (towards the target).

How to Position the Body for Hybrid Shots

Remember, you don’t hit down on your hybrid the way you do with your irons. This means you want more of a sweeping golf swing motion. And your body position can do a lot to help you reach this goal.

When you take your hybrid setup:

  1. Square your shoulders.
  2. Tilt your shoulders away from the target just slightly so your trail shoulder is lower than your lead shoulder.

If you’ve read our article on driver setup, you know I’m a big fan of using that shoulder tilt in driver shots, as well. Just know that this is different. Your hybrid tilt should be very slight compared to your driver tilt.

How to Hit a Hybrid: The Swing

Now you know the best golf ball position for hitting a hybrid. You know how to position your hands, club shaft, and body. Now that you’ve mastered stance and setup, it’s time to take a look at your golf swing.

As I mentioned earlier, the beauty of the hybrid is that you can hit great shots without generating a ton of swing speed. Your hybrid is not a “grip it and rip it” club like your driver. What you do need in your hybrid golf swing is solid rhythm and tempo.

My best advice for achieving this is shockingly simple.

As you take your golf swing, focus on getting to a balanced finish. You want to finish with your knees touching and your body facing the target.

It sounds too easy, but I promise you: if you take your swing with the goal of reaching that exact finishing stance, the rhythm and tempo will follow.

The Next Time You’re at the Golf Course . . .

Let’s have a quick recap.

The next time you pull that hybrid out of your golf bag, mentally walk through these checkpoints:

  • The golf ball is just off the inside of the lead heel (or one roll behind).
  • Your hands and club shaft are in a neutral position.
  • You have your shoulders square to the target and tilted slightly away.
  • Finish with your knees touching and your body facing the target.

Follow these checkpoints consistently, and I promises you’ll see a difference after your next eighteen holes.

Thoughts? Questions?

Has this been helpful? Do you have any questions or any hybrid tips of your own to share? Do you disagree with any of my advice on how to hit a hybrid?

Whatever is on your mind, please join us in the comments!

For more in-depth golf tips, visit us at GreatGolfTipsNow.com. This golf instruction is completely free and packed with detailed advice to help you play better golf!

2 Comments

  1. Super interesting! I have a question– I use women’s clubs that are hybrid clubs 3 through PW. Should I use a forward ball position for all of these hybrids? Thanks for your help!

  2. Lori,

    Great question! Yes, hybrids are designed to sweep the club off the turf, not compress down the ball like an iron. Therefor, a ball position of slightly forward of center is ideal for most all hybrids. Hope that helps!

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