How To Hit A Hybrid Out Of The Rough

Five-time European Tour winner David Howell explains how to hit a hybrid out of the rough

David Howell hitting a hybrid out the rough at the 2016 BMW Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's a shot that can come in very handy when you inevitably find your ball in the rough and you need to advance it down the fairway to give yourself the best chance of saving par. In the video and article below, David Howell explains how to hit a hybrid out of the rough.

There's nothing worse than wandering up the fairway after you think you've hit a good drive and finding your ball has drifted into the rough. As if the game isn't hard enough. And such frustration can lead to rash decisions, like reaching for a long iron in a desperate attempt to negate any lost ground.

However, with one of the best golf hybrid clubs, the damage can be minimised. Not only will you be able to escape the long grass more routinely, but you'll be able to advance the ball a great deal further than if you had to hack out with a wedge.

And who better to give some advice on how to hit this shot than five-time European Tour winner David Howell.

Attack from the rough

When you find your ball nestling in the rough, the forgiving nature of your hybrid will come into its own. It's why they've become so popular with all types of golfers, from high handicappers all the way through to tour pros such as Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy.

When the lie is good, you can just take your normal approach and the ball should travel more or less the same distance as it would from the fairway - you might get a little less carry and a little more run.

However, if the ball has settled down in thicker rough, this is where a hybrid will offer you a lot more distance than trying to risk hitting a long iron. Really catch one and you could even advance it as much as 200 yards depending on your swing speed. You will, however, need to make a couple of adjustments.

Related: Best hybrid golf clubs for high handicappers

It may sound counter-intuitive for maximising distance but start by opening the clubface a little at address. The reason you need to do this is because the thick grass you're in will likely wrap itself around the hosel at impact and close the face.

Secondly, most often fail to understand what the right ball position is for hybrids. For this shot, move it slightly further back in your stance and place a little more weight on your left side than usual. This will help you find a steeper angle of attack to avoid getting too much grass stuck between the club and ball.

Another feeling that can also help is to imagine you're trying to play a cut as it'll keep the club as stable as possible and give you the best chance of a clean strike. Armed with these changes, and a little bit of practice, a club as versatile as the hybrid can become a real weapon out the rough.

Andrew Wright
Freelance News Writer

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he decided to go freelance and now covers a variety of topics for Golf Monthly. 

Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.

As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as,, and

What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Mizuno mp32 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x