swing shorter and hit down

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - 3-Wood V 3-Hybrid -

For av­er­age play­ers, the hy­brid is still new enough to raise a ba­sic ques­tion: Do you hit it like an iron or a wood? I’d put it more in the iron cat­e­gory be­cause you should hit down on the ball rather than sweep it. But be­cause the hy­brid I carry is a 3-hy­brid and on the outer range of length, the swing is less down than it would be with a shorter hy­brid.

My stance is about the same width as with the 3-wood shot, but my ball po­si­tion is slightly fur­ther back to pro­mote that down­ward hit (1). I also stand a bit closer to the ball, which makes the swing a lit­tle steeper. But I still want the same sta­ble base with my feet and legs, es­pe­cially when I’m in a bunker, as you see here. And I still want to di­rect the swing more with my shoul­ders and core than with my arms.

Be­cause the hy­brid swing is steeper, it’s also a lit­tle shorter at the top (2). The most im­por­tant thing here is to avoid try­ing to over­power the shot. I never swing at more than 80 per­cent. Swing­ing the hy­brid harder doesn’t seem to pro­duce longer shots for me. So I make my nor­mal swing, re­mem­ber­ing to stand tall at ad­dress and main­tain my pos­ture all the way through.

Fi­nally, I ac­cel­er­ate smoothly through the strike, tak­ing just a small divot – or in this case, a lit­tle puff of sand (3). One fi­nal re­minder: Al­ways hit the ball first. The divot comes after.

When to pick this club:

You’re play­ing from rough, sand or an un­even lie. You have to carry a hazard. You’re play­ing down­wind. You need to land it softly. You’re hav­ing an off day. Hy­brids are more for­giv­ing.

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