If you're new to golf, it's important to try an make it as easy as possible for yourself. One of the ways you can do that is by taking advantage of the best hybrid clubs, which are far more forgiving than long irons. In the video and article below, Golf Monthly Top 50 coach Alex Elliott explains how you can get the most of of your hybrids.
First things first, whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, I recommend getting yourself at least one hybrid. They are so versatile and make the game far easier for golfers of all levels.
If you've got a hybrid, the first scenario in which it is really useful is as a long iron replacement. Long irons are really hard to hit and require a combination of precision of speed that is hard to produce consistently. In contrast, because the head of a hybrid is bigger, the centre of gravity can be moved lower and further back, which makes it more forgiving and easier to launch.
These are the three rules I stick to when playing from the fairway. The first relates to the stance and I want you to imagine the inside of your heels match up with your armpits. Once you've done that, slightly flare your feet out for some extra stability. That's going to allow you to turn more and help you control the bottom of your swing.
Next up is the ball position. Set up with the ball about a clubhead inside your left heel. This might take some practise to get used to so get the alignment sticks out next time you're going to the range.
Finally, this is the most important rule. Although it doesn't look like an iron I want you to treat your hybrid like an iron, so don't be scared to hit down and take a little divot after the ball.
Another great advantage of the hybrid is that it's brilliant from the rough. The lie I'm faced with in the video above isn't great, but the beauty of this club is that I can use exactly the same technique as I would from the fairway.
Hybrids glide through the grass better than irons and with the centre of gravity further back, you can still get the ball in the air and hit it a decent distance.
So, same as before, get the ball a clubhead inside your left heel and adopt the same stance with your feet slightly flared out. And remember, it's like an iron swing, so hit down and don't be afraid to take a divot.
The final situation which is great for hybrids is around the greens. As a beginner golfer or an accomplished golfer, chipping is something a lot of people struggle with. The hybrid chip shot is a brilliant alternative.
The technique is nice and simple. Keep your stance nice and narrow, walk in close, and all I want you to do is imagine you're making a putting stroke motion. It's going to come off the face a little hotter so it doesn't need a long stroke but it should roll really nicely towards the hole.
This video was shot on location at Infinitum Golf Resort in Spain.
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Location: Mottram Hall
Alex spent a great deal of time learning the game from fellow northwest golfer, Andrew Murray, who was a European Tour regular from 1979 to 1995. He spent three years on the European Tour caddying for Andrew’s son, Tom, before taking his PGA qualifications. His passion for the game and personality in front of the camera has helped him to create a thriving social media platform on Instagram and YouTube, where he offers a whole host of tips and advice to help viewers shoot lower scores.
Most significant influences on your teaching:
Mike Bender's book, 'Build The Swing Of A Lifetime', which I read during my PGA qualifications. He uses so many different tools to help students deliver the club better when hitting the golf ball. Andrew Murray, too. He helped form the way I interact with golfers and simplified what can be a complex game for a club golfer.
Advice for practice:
I like to get students to work in sets of five golf balls – three drills shots to two course shots. The drill shots have no consequence, but with the two course shots, I ask the student to create a green or fairway and go through a full routine.
Greatest success story:
One of my students hadn’t played golf for ten years - he'd lost his love for the game. After watching my online Instagram and YouTube content, he came for several golf lessons and has now joined a local golf club. Knowing I've helped get someone back into golf... you can't beat that.
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