My introduction to Hybrid clubs came many years before they even came onto the market. A golf club designer and Clubfitter to the Tour Pro’s in the 80’s and 90’s called Randy Henry, made up a set of clubs for me.The name may sound familiar as he and his brother Ross, formed the Golf Club Company, ‘Henry Griffitts.’ This set that Randy made up for me started at the 9 iron as standard length and then with different increments to the standard 1/2 inch between each club, went in 3/4inch increments.
So this was quite a change to the norm. As the clubs got longer, so too did the shafts once again compared to the standard. So a standard 2 was 39 inches long, however my 2 iron was now 403/4 inches long. That’s 1 3/4inches longer than the standard.
Now you probably already know that one of the largest influences on distance in shaft length. If you haven’t read my article on Tips for buying new golf clubs yet, then I would recommend doing so.
So with a longer shaft, I was always going to hit it further, however swing weight now became a problem. To counteract this, Randy grinded off the top of my clubs top reduce the weight.
That started off with the 6 iron where just a bit was grounded off it, then down to my 2 iron where there had to be a fair bit taken off. By grinding off the top edge of my irons, not only did it reduce the weight but it also brought down the center of gravity.
It made my irons more low profile. By doing this, it created a much higher ball flight so I could now fly my 2 iron about 210m or 230 yards on the fly. This was a considerable difference from my old 2 iron which I struggled to hit it 190m or 210yards.
Not only was the distance a great benefit, but in laymen’s terms, it meant I could now fly the ball much higher onto a green and STOP it. Previously with my old 2 iron that was a problem – it just came in too low and hot.
So obviously this effect was felt with all my other long irons too. The key to this was the lower center of gravity to achieve the higher ball flight. Thus, we saw pro’s all over using modified irons to get this effect.
Of course it was then a knee jerk reaction from designers then to come up with a club that not only performed like this, but also looked good too. I couldn’t give a damm about how my clubs looked, as long as they performed and did the job.
However, the paying public want also something that looks good too. I see it’s more of an ego thing with amateurs; who’s got the best looking clubs. Well, that’s just my opinion anyway as I so often see people using clubs well beyond their capability.
So the evolution of Hybrids has come along way since then, however the concept still remains the same. Think of them as long irons instead of woods and you will have more luck with them.
If you think of this story, it will remind you about the 2 key issues;
1. With a longer shaft you can hit the ball further
2. The lower center of gravity allows you to hit the ball higher with more control
By keeping these 2 points in mind, treat each hybrid like an iron, therefore play it just like one.
Play the ball in the same spot as if your were playing any other iron. I am a big believer that if you keep the ball position consistent when hitting from the grass, then you ball contact, weight shift and balance will remain consistent.
Teeing Up Hybrid Golf Clubs
If you are teeing up a Hybrid Golf Club, then don’t go over board. Just put it on a small tee as if it is sitting up and a nice fluffy lie. You don’t want to tee it up too high as you can easily sky them.
Remember, we are hitting down on the ball with an iron, exactly the same with a Hybrid.
Hybrid Versus Fairway Woods
As I just mentioned, Hybrids should be considered to be a replacement of an iron. Therefore fairway woods will have a completely different purpose. I have always maintained that we only need to carry 3 different woods in out bag.
Obviously the first one is a Driver (Or could be a 3 wood for beginners), or a club we use predominantly from the tee.
The second fairway wood will have enough loft that you are confident of hitting it form the fairway to gain maximum distance. Generally won’t want to go too high as you will want it to hit and run.
The 3rd fairway wood will be a club that will allow you to hit out of the rough or a wood from the fairway that will fly high enough to enable to ball to stop on the green if you land it on the green.
Just one last key point about hybrids, they should have the same shaft flex and type as your irons. I see too many people struggling with them because they have a mis-match of shafts and there is no consistency of feel between their shorter irons and hybrids.
If you would like to find out more about how to choose the right hybrids for you, then check out my article on Tips For Buying Hybrid Golf Clubs, or to get Jim to personally help you with your game, go to www.learntoplaybettergolf.com to find out more.
If you have any questions regarding your Hybrids, please do not hesitate to contact me or if you have any comments, leave them below and I’ll get back to you a.s.a.p.