Panic ButtonMay 7, 2016

Swing your hybrids like middle irons

Know where your irons end and hybrids begin
Getty ImagesMy swing speed with the driver is in the high 90s, and my carry distance with the 7-iron is 155 yards. My iron set stops with the 4-iron; I use hybrids in place of the 3- and 2-irons. The average man swings the club slower than I do, which means he should carry even more hybrids, possibly starting with a 5-hybrid and maybe even a 6-hybrid. On our tour, hybrids are so popular that many players' bags look like flower pots, with headcovers sprouting all over the place. Many of these players hit their hybrids more accurately than their pro-am partners hit their wedges. Hybrids are an unstoppable trend in golf. Don't fight it--unless you dislike hitting the ball high, straight and far.

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Hybrids have transformed how average amateurs approach longer shots. They're easier to hit than long irons, but many players still aren't getting the most out of those clubs.

To pure your hybrids, stop thinking of them as mini-fairway woods and start using them like you would a 6- or 7-iron, says top Georgia teacher Mike Granato, whose academy is based in White. "Hybrid heads will launch the ball just fine," Granato says. "You want to make contact with a slightly descending blow, just like you would a middle iron."

Instead of trying to skim the club along the turf like a 5- or 3-wood, go ahead and make a small divot -- after the ball. "The worst thing you can do is try to hang back and scoop the ball in the air because you're afraid you won't get enough height," says Granato. "You're going to hit behind the ball and bounce the club into the equator, and end up hitting a grounder anyway."

Hit down to launch it, and all of a sudden those 180 to 200 yard targets are back in play.