September 21, 2008
When to select a wood over a hybrid
To get the best result from the rough, you need to understand how woods and hybrids are different. From short rough, the flat bottom on the 3-wood skids easily through the grass--even easier than a middle iron. But in thicker rough, you need the heavier clubhead mass and smaller, more compact head of the hybrid, which helps keep the clubhead stable as it plows through the deeper grass. Most hybrids also have more loft than fairway woods. This helps get the ball up and away from the deeper grass. A higher-lofted wood, like a 7-wood, can be effective out of medium rough, but if it's a borderline call, sacrifice the distance and use the hybrid to extricate the ball from trouble.
What to watch for in your setup
Longer clubs are less forgiving when it comes to setup mistakes, so make sure you're in good shape before you swing. Many players open their shoulders (aiming them left of the target) and play the ball too far forward to try to launch it in the air. Hold a club across your shoulders, and make sure it's parallel to the target line (left). Then, set your ball position so it's just inside your left heel (inset)--not off your big toe, like for a driver. From there, you can sweep through the shot with a slight downward blow.