How to Hit a Hybrid Golf Club from Tee to Green

Most amateur golfers need one of these in their bag - the hybrid golf club

I added a Cobra hybrid to B-Dogs golf bag years ago and he loves it in replacement of some longer irons. It’s versatile because it's easy to hit the hybrid off the fairway and out of the rough. You can even chip with a hybrid around the greens and say good bye to terrible long iron shots. 

How to hit a hybrid golf club

The answer to how to hit a hybrid: you set-up with the golf ball 2 to 4 inches inside your front foot heel, and swing the same as when you hit a 7 iron (with a downward angle into the ball). You must not try to lift the golf ball up into the air, because the loft and design of a hybrid is created in a way that it does everything for you. Trust it.

Hybrid golf clubs are more difficult to shape shots compared to long irons but that's the only big disadvantage. Considering how versatile the hybrid is and how most handicap golfers do not need to shape the ball, they add confidence to the game of most mid-to-high handicappers struggling to hit more than a 7-iron.

Where to place hybrid golf clubs in your stance

You should place your hybrid in the same part of the stance as a 6 iron or any long iron.

You can place the ball between 2 and 4 inches inside your front foot heel. It will depend on you but you can test it out by hitting the ground on the driving range and identifying where your club bottoms out. You place the ball in front of the beginning of the divot you make. Yes you can make divots with the hybrid. 

How to hit a hybrid off a tee and off the ground

hybrid

There are minor differences between hitting a hybrid off a tee and hitting a hybrid off the ground (fairway and rough).

Whether you hit the hybrid off a tee or off the fairway, you should try to hit down on the ball. Sweeping action is better for the tee shot because the ball is elevated but be careful of that habit because on the fairway, you may top your shot. The key is tee height. 

Hybrid golf clubs are made to get the ball airborne from both the fairway and rough – so if you’re thinking about hitting your hybrid off a tee, try not to tee the ball up too high. Teeing the ball lower on the tee will encourage a consistent strike onto your hybrid so you can hit it from everywhere. 

If you tee it too high, the club can go right under the ball and the golf ball can hit the crown of the club, sending it very high into the air. 

I suggest getting yourself some very short tees, and teeing the ball up maybe half an inch maximum above the ground to ensure you promote a downward strike onto the ball everywhere on the golf course. 

How to hit a punch shot with a hybrid

You can play a punch shot with a hybrid in the rough because the clubhead glides through the grass unlike a long iron which gets tangled. 

Outside of the rough, a punch shot is easier to play with an iron - like a 3, 4 or 5 iron. It's easier to keep the ball low with a long iron, but a hybrid is designed to help increase the height of your shot. 

If you want to play punch shots with your hybrid try this:

  1. Ball must be back of the stance (behind center is your ball position)
  2. Put your hands ahead of the ball to help de-loft the club and promote a downward strike.
  3. Keep your glove badge moving TOWARD THE TARGET. This will help keep the shot low and not top the ball.
  4. Focus on that badge going to the hole and finish with the badge at worst, facing the sky. By focusing on that, you stop the flipping action which makes the ball pop up into the air. 


How to hit a hybrid out of the rough

Place the ball in the correct part of your stance for the best results:

If the ball is sitting down in the grass

Set-up with the ball behind center in your stance much like the punch shot above. Hit down on the ball and make sure you follow through because the club will definitely help you as long as you hit a decent swing. 

If the ball is teed up in the grass

Hit the ball like you would hit the hybrid off the tee - you got really lucky! The wide sole of the club will glide through the long blades and hit the ball instead of getting the grass stuck between the club and the ball. 

How to hit a hybrid straight

Hitting a straight shot with a hybrid is the same as your other golf clubs. It should be noted that hitting a straight shot is very difficult. But you can reduce the shape of the shot by following fundamentals in all golf shots. 

If your ball position is correct (2-4 inches inside your front heel) and you hit down on the ball like with a 6 iron, you will hit a straighter shot. The problems come when you try to add loft to the shot because you do not trust that the ball will fly into the air. 

The hybrid is probably the best designed club in the entire golf bag for hitting easier shots. They have made hybrids with the sole purpose of making it easy to hit longer irons without needing a longer iron. 

To hit a straighter shot, your swing needs to be on plane and your club face control needs to be created with a good setup - posture, stance, grip and takeaway. 

How to hit a 3 hybrid

The 3 hybrid golf club is the most popular choice for amateur handicap golfers. The way to hit the 3 hybrid is identical to any other hybrid.

Other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the easiest hybrid to hit?

The higher the loft, the easier it will be to hit. That is why when you learn how to hit a hybrid with your golf swing, longer shots become easy.

You can find the forgiving and best hybrids for high handicappers here.

A 6 iron hybrid will be easier to hit than a 2 or 3 hybrid. You can get hybrids all the way down to 6 or 7 iron if you have trouble hitting the iron version. 

Every manufacturer creates their hybrids with small deviations, so try them all out before you decide between Ping, Callaway, Taylormade or Cobra. 

Why do I keep topping my hybrid? 

If you keep topping your hybrid, it is because of a few reasons. These are the most common:

Early extension and poor impact position

If you stand up out of your posture before impact, and your left arm and golf club make a straight line before impact, it can be difficult to control the bottom part of your swing. This means you actually get to impact position FRACTIONALLY too early and so the wrists need to flip and if you don't then the bottom of the club collides with the top of the ball. Grip plays an important role in ball striking.

Your best bet is to see a swing coach to help recreate the only universal thing in golf: the impact position. You can see my lesson on impact position here:

Swaying off and ahead of the ball

Swaying was one of my worst problems in my golf swing because it can stopped me rotating back and through the ball. My head would move way back and then on the way to hit the ball, move in front of the ball. This is a guaranteed way to top and fat the golf ball.  Here's my first ever golf lesson where I learned about this. 

Misconception of how a hybrid works

If you’re topping the ball with your hybrid, it can often be due to mental errors, not only mechanical golf instruction.

Most handicap golfers think they need to flip and scoop the ball into the air instead of hitting down and allowing the loft and club design to get the ball airborne. The reason this leads to topped shots is because most mid handicapper or high handicappers will fall onto their back foot trying to create an upward angle of attack. This is surefire topping. 

When you hit your hybrid, hit down on it like a 6 or 7 iron through the ball and not UP into the ball. 

Can I use a hybrid as a chip and run club?

chipping with a hybrid

You can and should use your hybrid around the green. The hybrid is best used around the greens on tight lies when your wedge feels like you will thin it across the green. When you are against the collar next to the green, the hybrid is easier to brush through the long grass. 

To play this shot with a hybrid, grip down on the club, near the graphite shaft, stand closer to the ball and make the club sit very flat and square on the ground. You use a putting stroke to execute the shot and remember to use enough pace to get the ball rolling to the hole. 

Working on how to hit a hybrid around the greens means more up and down chipping for you. 

Should I carry a 5 wood or 3 hybrid?

5 wood vs 3 hybrid is a very common debate and they are indeed similar golf clubs in performance. They are played in the same place in the stance.

Both the 5 fairway wood and the 3 hybrid have similar lofts but the weight in the hybrid is near the face but the fairway wood has weight toward the back of the club head. 

The five wood in general will fly further and fly higher than the 3 hybrid which has a lower flight with less rollout. That is because the hybrid is in fact a replacement for a long iron. Overall distance is roughly similar. It just depends on what you prefer the look of and which you prefer to hit.

If you like the look of a fairway wood at address then the 5 wood is a good option.

If you like to look down at hybrids (with the smaller iron-shaped head), then you will like the 3 hybrid instead of a fairway wood.

Whatever you choose, you have to feel 100% confidence with to execute great golf shots.

Why should I carry a hybrid vs long iron?

The decision to carry a hybrid vs a long iron depends on how you like the look at address and if you have a fade or a draw. The other consideration is whether you can get a long iron airborne often enough or whether you prefer a 7 wood vs a 4 hybrid.

I would suggest a long iron if you can hit it airborne often out the sweet spot, and hit a natural draw shape. The long iron will tend to fade.

If you cannot get a long iron airborne, then a hybrid is for you. If you tend to fade your long irons even if you can hit them, the hybrid tends to pull left.

Here are the pros and cons of each.

Hybrid

The hybrid is suited to the mid to higher handicapper and definitely can help you get the ball in the air.

Pros
  • Easier to hit in the air than long irons
  • Skims through rough easier than irons
  • Can be easier to hit off the fairway
  • Engineered to get the golf ball airborne easily even with slower swings
  • Versatile to use as a bump and run club around greens
  • Generally higher ball flight compared to long irons
Cons
  • Wide sole makes it less workable left and right (this is good if you are a higher handicapper)
  • Keeping the ball low is harder because it's designed to elevate the ball
  • Usually bought individually, not part of your iron set


Long irons

Long irons are still popular among lower handicappers and pros, but are slowly losing favor and are often excluded from iron sets, past the 5 iron. 

Pros
  • Easier to work the ball because of narrow sole and smaller club face
  • Irons are easier to keep low when you need to hit a punch
  • Usually part of a set unless you purchase from 6 iron down
  • Low handicap players prefer the long irons due to higher swing speed
Cons
  • More difficult for most mid handicappers and high handicappers to hit than a hybrid
  • Slow swing speed will find it hard to get the ball airborne and if they do, the ball won't go as far as their mid irons
  • Long grass in the rough tangles the club head easily because of the sharper edges
  • The slice is a common shot with long irons while hybrids tend to draw
  • Missing the sweet spot hurts your hands and arms unlike a hybrid


Closing thoughts

Hybrids are a game changing alternative for a lot of golfers struggling with long irons. You don't have to soldier through the long iron struggle, losing balls. I promise!

They are so easy to hit from the fairway and rough and are lovely around the green.

Forget about the workability of a hybrid. If you need to work the ball, you are probably too low of a handicapper for a hybrid. Hybrids are for hitting straight shots to make it easier for everyone and more fun!

Every mid handicapper and high handicapper should begin with a hybrid and even include some fairway woods.

Last Updated on August 25, 2022 by Matt