Expert Guide to Playing Hybrids

Nancy Quarcelino

As women, we will usually not hit the ball with as much club head speed as our male golfer friends.  Because they hit the ball with more speed they will also hit the ball higher.  So WE need hybrids as these clubs will hit the ball higher and we can now land the ball on the green, over water and greenside bunkers and stop it!
Hybrids are built with more mass under the center of the face.  This definitely helps.  But when selecting a hybrid, do not forget to get a shaft that is right for you.  I find that women need a softer tipped shaft (lighter) to help get that ball higher.

My favorite set up tip with the hybrid –  play the club head in the middle of your stance.  This will put the ball slightly forward in your stance!

The Nancy Quarcelino School of Golf is currently located at Gaylord Springs Golf Links, in Nashville, TN.
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Deb Vangellow

Now that hybrids are in the majority of our bags, consider using a hybrid for chipping.

Set up like a putt with hybrid sitting upright at address. Move your hands down the handle end to shorten this club like a putter. With a steady head and little or no body action and little or no wrist hinge, simply putt the ball with your hybrid, brushing the grass so that the ball will lift/loft, skipping off the fringe and roll towards the hole.

Low risk and high reward, the Hybrid Chip will save strokes around the green!

Our LPGA Director of Instruction Deb Vangellow leads the team of expert LPGA and PGA qualified instructors. Deb can be reached online at, and on Facebook and Twitter.
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Jin Young Ko at the 2019 CME Group Tour Championship Ben Harpring
Jin Young Ko at the CME Group Tour Championship | Photo by Ben Harpring

Cindy Miller

Hybrids might be the greatesty innovation in the game of golf ever!
The best way to hit the ball clean, airborne, and straight with your hybrids is to:

Be sure the face is square. Allow the club head to lie on the ground.
Play the ball off your front foot.
Be sure to swing the club shallow back and through. You must brush the grass before the ball like a fairway wood to ensure the ball goes in the air.

Have fun!

Cindy Miller is a former LPGA Tour Player, a current member of The Legends Tour of the LPGA, a Golf Channel Academy Lead Coach, and 2010 LPGA National Teacher of the Year. Follow Cindy at and on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.
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Kellie Stenzel

It can be helpful to consider your hybrid to be a friendly long iron with loft.  Not only do they help launch the ball into the air, because they don’t have a hosel (heel of the club that causes shanks), they are very forgiving.

Because your hybrid is effectively an iron it is important to set up similarly where the club position is relatively centered in your stance.  Also, like an iron you want to make sure that your club hits the ground enough to make a mark in the ground or a thump sound so that the loft of the club can get your golf ball into the air.

Be mindful to set your hybrid flat on it’s bottom, where the sole of the club sits flat on the ground.  This lofted club may look open due to the loft.  Lofted can look open, but added loft is what makes this a great club for all women.

Kellie Stenzel is a PGA Master Professional and Class A LPGA Teaching Professional. Visit her website and follow Kellie online on TwitterFacebook, and Youtube
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Jeongeun Lee6 at the 2019 CME Group Tour Championship Photo by Ben harpring
Jeongeun Lee6 at the CME Group Tour Championship | Photo by Ben Harpring

Elena King

Using Your Hybrid Around the Green. When the ball is sitting up on the edge of the rough or next to the rough when you are right around the putting surface using your hybrid is a good decision!

Set up

Narrow stance and stand closer to the ball like a normal chip set up.
Ball position is off the trail foot (away from the target).
Aim a little left (right handed golfers) as with the ball back in the stance you tend to catch more on a inside path and will start off more to the right of your target.
Weight or pressure is on lead foot (toward the target).
Handle a little forward of the club head

Stroke – Just like your putting motion

A small relaxed putting motion will do the trick, no need to try and help the ball up in the air.
The club head will not go above your knees
Hold your finish in good balance for better contact and distance control!

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Kristin Walla

Hybrids can be miraculous and forgiving clubs that should fly HIGHER than your long irons. The classic amateur mistake is incorrect ball position—too far forward or back. The trick is to first set the club down, let it lie FLUSH, and only then set your stance and body up to match the club face.

Are you chunking it? Then it’s too far back and you’re de-lofting it. Are you topping or fading it? It’s too far forward, causing you to slide through it. Remember: golf is 90% setup & 10% ignorance! 

Are you hitting it perfect? Okay, well why are you reading this?! And your position is probably correct—just forward of middle! 
From the correct position you can swing the club like all of your full swings: turn your shoulders and hinge the club up to an L, then release freely into a balanced finish. 1-2. Keep it simple.

You’ll want this tattooed on your forearm (okay, maybe sharpie on your golf glove): On the course, your thoughts are TARGET and FEEL oriented. Learn it. Forget it. Golf doesn’t have to be hard!

Contact Kristin Walla on 512.661.8714 or by visiting You can also follow Kristin on FacebookInstagram, and Youtube.

See all of Kristin’s lessons on Women’s Golf.

Pete Kelbel

Everyone should use at least one hybrid.  Remember, they are half wood, half irons and are meant to replace irons.  This design allows you to sweep the grass and hit the entire ball without taking a divot that so many players struggle with.

Hybrids are not fairway woods!  Don’t set up with the ball as forward as your woods!  This mistake can cause your swing to bottom out before the ball,  causing drop kicks, tops and fat shots.

Turn your back to the target and attack the ball by clipping the grass underneath it from the inside (7:00 to 1:00)!

Pete Kelbel is Director of Golf at Walloon Lake Country Club. Follow Pete online on Twitter and Instagram.
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Lydia Ko at the 2019 CME Group Tour Championship Ben Harpring
Lydia Ko at the CME Group Tour Championship | Photo by Ben Harpring

Trillium Rose

Have you tried a hybrid from a fairway bunker?  One of the big advantages of using a hybrid is that it is designed to get the ball up in the air faster and carry farther than an iron, which makes it a great choice for longer distance bunker shots.

Try it by gripping down an inch on the club to shorten it, and then make a full swing.  Don’t spend too much thought trying to hit the sand because a clean pick with a hybrid can often lead to a great result. You’re going to love this shot! 

Trillium Rose is Director of Instruction at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland. Visit and follow Trillium on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.
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Christina Ricci 

Hybrid clubs have become wildly popular with their easy-to-hit design, replacing many irons in the bag. Common culprit of mishits is the set-up. Players treat hybrids as woods and tend to play the ball too far forward. Instead, treat your hybrid set-up as you would the iron that it is replacing. Example, 7-hybrid replaces the 7-iron.

Ball in the center of your stance and sternum over the ball.

Christina Ricci is a PGA and LPGA Class A Member and Titleist Performance Institute. Visit, watch lessons on her popular Youtube Channel, and follow Christina on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.
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Mi Hyang Lee at the 2019 Indy Women in Tech Championship Ben Harpring
Mi Hyang Lee at the Indy Women in Tech Championship | Photo by Ben Harpring

Sue Powers

Are you experiencing thin or fat contact with your hybrids? Your ball position and weight transfer may be the culprits.

  • Position your ball one ball width closer to your target side, using the center your stance as your starting reference point.
  • Same width of stance as an iron, no need for a wider base.
  • Your weight moves in the same direction your club is moving. Weight transfer involves both shifting and turning.

Your hybrid might look more like a fairway wood, but treat it more like a long iron and soon you will be hitting more greens.

Sue Powers has been a LPGA Top 50 Best Teacher since 2018 and is the part owner of  Follow Sue on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Natalie Adams

Hybrids are a great alternative to having to play much more difficult to hit longer irons. They have the shorter length of an iron combined with the larger head of a wood. The head size allows the weight in it to be moved further away from the impact area and this results in much more forgiving off centre strikes, so straighter and higher golf shots!

They are available in a variety of lofts so you can fill those yardage gaps between the fairway woods you carry and your mid irons, plus the higher ball flight that they produce makes them much easier to hit from the rough. This higher flight also means they carry further and are easy to land and stop on the greens. Plus you can use them to easily play an effective long chip and run shot into the pin so what’s not to love about hybrids!

Natalie is an AA class PGA Professional based in the U.K. with over 25 years of teaching experience and the owner of Smash Factor Golf Coaching. Follow Natalie on Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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Coach Shayain

If your hybrid isn’t already your best friend then you are missing out.  It is a very versatile club that gets under used. The only way to enjoy all the benefits a hybrid has to offer, is by practicing with it to build your confidence. 

Once you feel confident you will use it in the fairway with a full swing, you will choke down on the grip with a half swing for a mid size shot and then use it green side for your favorite chip shot forgetting your pitching wedge ? 

Practice and be amazed!

Shayain Gus, known everywhere as Coach Shayain is an LPGA certified golf teaching professional from Vancouver, Canada. Foillow Coach Shayain at and on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.
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Sue Shapcott

Should a hybrid be played like an iron or a fairway wood? Well, “yes” to both options!
When we refer to playing a hybrid like an iron, we mean positioning the ball in the center of the stance. This promotes a strike at the lowest part of your swing.
If we play a hybrid like a fairway wood, it means moving the ball position slightly forward in the stance. This helps you strike the ball on the upswing.
Try both ball positions and see which you prefer. If it varies based on the lie of the ball, that’s okay too!

Sue is the founder of Change Golf Instruction based in Madison, WI. and you can subscribe to Sue’s YouTube channel at
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Megan Johnston

The hybrid is a forgiving iron but a lot of people top the ball or make poor contact because they set up to the ball like a fairway wood.

Treat the hybrid like a long iron. Set up with the ball center or just front of center. Keep your stance shoulder width apart but not too wide. Then focus on swinging down and through. You want to create a small divot in front of the ball just like an iron. Don’t try to help the ball up and into the air. Instead you can allow the club to do the work! 

Lastly, don’t just use this club for long approach shots. The hybrid is a great tool around the greens. Set up like a putter, stand tall, grip down the club, and use a no wrist putting stroke from the edge of the green. This is a great tool for tricky lies or chip shots that scare you! 

Follow Megan on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter where she shares tips and recommends simple drills for improving your game.

Feature Photo of Lydia Ko at the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and all photos in this Expert Guide taken by Ben Harpring. See more of Ben’s LPGA Tour Photography on Instagram.

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