Switch to a Hybrid

How to rescue your short game without a wedge.

In the ten years since Todd Hamilton won the 2004 Open Championship by chipping with a hybrid, golfers who lack consistency around the greens have opted to follow his lead. And for many, it’s worked. Hybrid clubs usually have between 18 and 22 degrees of loft. By comparison, putters typically have about 4 degrees of loft and wedges can range anywhere from 46 to 60 degrees. The hybrid is designed so that it doesn’t dig into the ground and glides nicely through the grass, and its loft will get the ball to pop up just enough to allow the golfer to negotiate a small or large amount of fringe easier than with a putter.

Shown below are three examples of shots to use the hybrid:

1. Golf ball rests against the fringe of the green that interferes with the backswing.

2. The ball sits up in high rough just off the fringe Long Chip shot uphill to a back pin placement. It’s as simple as putting from a chipping stance.

3. The ball sits up in high rough just off the fringe

Swing Drill

Align shoulders and feet with slope of hill when necessary.

At Address:

• Use normal putting grip but choke up on the club because a hybrid’s shaft is much longer than a putter’s, and choking up will give you more control.

• Position the ball off your back foot

• Put weight on forward foot

In swing:

• Use your normal putting stroke with a little bit of a downward stroke

• Feel weight on your forward foot from the start of the swing all the way to a held finish. This will encourage the downward stroke


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LPGA Class A Professional Elena King is the founder of ExperienceGolf and the winner of top instructor awards from Golf Digest, Colorado AvidGolfer and the LPGA Central Section. She teaches at CommonGround Golf Course in Aurora and Meridian Golf Club in Englewood. 303-503-0330; experiencegolf.biz.