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Hybrid and Wood Tips

Video Tips on Hybrids and Woods

I have a tendency to fall off to the right when I try to hit long irons or wood shots. Any ideas what may cause that?
What is the proper ball position when hitting a fairway wood?
I cannot hit a wood solid unless I have an even lie. Anytime the ball is below or above my feet, I completely mishit the wood. Any suggestions for being able to make solid contact with my woods with uneven lies?
Should my swing using a fairway wood be flatter than say, a 9 iron?
Should I ever take a divot while hitting a wood out of the fairway?
I have trouble hitting my 3 wood out of the rough. Is this typical?

Premium Tips

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  • Switch to Hybrids

    If you haven't already, you should switch your 3 and 4 irons out for a 3 and 4 hybrid. Some players even do well staring with a 5 hybrid. They are much easier to hit and more reliable. They are also more versatile allowing you to hit out of the rough easier than with an iron in most cases. The wide sole and lower center of gravity provide a lot of forgiveness on miss hits that you won't get with your long irons. If you are a player that hits behind the ball and sees a lot of inconsistency with long irons, make sure you give hybrids a try.

  • Hybrids Have Many Uses

    Hybrids are very versatile clubs. We use them from the fairway, the tee and from the rough, but we can also use them to hit chip shots around the green. In fact, I find hybrids are some of the easiest clubs to chip with. The wide sole helps prevent digging so if you are a player that sometimes chunks your chip shots, this is the club for you. Simply treat them like you would any other club when hitting a bump and run, but be careful not to add too much forward press and de loft the face. Make a nice pendulum back and through and let the wide sole and lower center of gravity pop the ball up nice and easy.

  • Position Hybrids Like an Iron

    When setting up to hit a hybrid, you can pretty much play them in the same position as you would an iron. I recommend for most of my students that they play the ball in the middle or one ball forward of middle of their stance with their irons. I think one ball forward of middle works very well for hybrids as you want to make sure you can still hit down on them. Playing them too far forward will make you catch them too much on the up swing.

  • Hybrids are Easier Than Fairway Woods From the Rough

    When your ball is in the rough a hybrid can be much easier to hit than a fairway wood. Because they have a bit more loft and a more narrow head with weighting at the bottom, they help to cut through the grass whereas a fairway wood can drag and get caught in the grass easier. To play it out of the rough set up similar to how you would if you were hitting an iron out of the rough. Make sure to have a steep angle of attack and a little bit of a more firm pressure with your grip so your hands don't slip if the grass grabs your club.

  • Hit Hybrids Like Fairway Woods From the Tee

    When teeing off with a hybrid I recommend swinging it like a fairway wood. Keep in mind we still hit down on fairway woods, just not as much as we do with an iron. When hitting a hybrid off the ground however, I recommend swinging it like an iron. This means that off the tee you are a little big more level and very smooth. Off the fairway however, you can be a bit more aggressive with a downward strike and try taking a little divot.

  • Tee Up Low With Hybrids

    When teeing off with a hybrid set the ball on the tee so that only 1/4 of the ball lies above the top edge of the club. Hybrids have a low center of gravity so this would be the maximum height I would recommend that you tee the ball. Teeing it too high will cause you to scoop that ball as it will just roll up the clubface. Many players do well teeing up just a tiny bit.

  • Feel Long and Slow With Fairway Woods

    When swinging fairway woods feel like your swing is long and slow. One of the biggest issues golfers have with these long and low lofted clubs is that they get too quick and jumpy. This causes body parts to fire out of order and thus causes the swing to get out of sync. If you think "slow and smooth" and feel like you stay in the swing forever, you are more likely to release the club at the right time and hit the ball a lot more square in the face.

  • Hit Down With Fairway Woods

    One of the biggest mistakes you can make with a fairway wood off of the ground is to try to help them up into the air. This has the opposite effect and causes you to knock them down. What typically happens is when you try to swing up you also lean back or fall back onto your back foot. This causes you to catch the ball on too much of an upswing and catch it thin. Remember that fairway woods still have a reasonable amount of loft and to make that loft effective you need to hit down on them. Try taking a small divot to make sure that you are hitting with a descending blow. The loft on the face will shoot the ball up into the air for you.

  • Play Fairway Woods Forward of Center

    When hitting fairway woods off of the ground play them forward of the center of your stance so that you don't catch them too much on the down arc. If you did that you would strike the ball with a hooded face with little loft. The result would be a super low shot that won't give you the carry distance you need. Be sure however to transfer your weight properly through the strike and still try to hit down enough to take a small divot.

  • Choose the Right Fairway Wood

    When it comes to fairway woods only hit what you need. In other words, 3 woods are difficult to hit, especially off the ground. If you are on a par 5 and can't reach the green and are going to have to hit another shot anyway, pick a 5 or 7 wood. You are much more likely to hit them consistently and in the center of the face. Why risk topping or spraying a 3 wood into trouble. Now, if you are on a hole where if you hit the 3 wood you could reach the green and it's worth the risk then go for it.

Hybrid and Wood Tips from the Ask Maria Archive

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