Ernie Els: How to hit hybrid clubs from bad lies
The wonderful thing about the best golf hybrid clubs is the versatility they give you. Not only can they be used from the tee and the fairway as a handy alternative to a long iron, but they are very valuable when you encounter a nasty lie in the rough or even roll into a divot.
Thanks to its shallowness, an escape accompanied by a decent amount of yards is possible, and in the above video, four-time major winner Ernie Els shares his best tips for how to hit hybrid clubs from bad lies.
Stick to the basics
When you find yourself in a tough spot, for example a divot, you need to alter your address position in order to produce an attack angle that allows for clean contact to be made. This means moving the ball back in your stance to somewhere near the middle, therefore encouraging a downward strike more like the kind you’d expect from an iron.
From there, opening up your stance a little – for right-handers this means aiming slightly left and vice versa for lefties – is a good idea as it further promotes the desired club path.
Your sternum should also be set nicely over the ball, which again is important for a good strike. When you’re in position, you’ll notice the difference from your normal set-up as it should feel like you’re preparing to play some sort of low punch shot.
Now that you have the ingredients to adopt the most efficient address position, it’s time to play the shot. Since you’re going to be driving the club down more than if the lie was perfect, you need to create a match-up with the follow-through to ensure the ball still flies towards the desired target.
When the attack angle is steeper, a golfer needs to feel like they ‘swing left’ into the follow-through, otherwise the tendency will be to hit low hooks. That might sound complicated so a useful feel to create this pattern is to imagine you’re trying to play a fade.
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Not only will this give you the best chance of producing a reasonably flighted shot given the circumstances, but it will also minimise how much the clubhead can turn over through impact.
Another simple thought that will help is to grip the club a little tighter in the left hand. (The opposite applies when hitting a draw – loosen the grip pressure in your left hand.)
By making these adjustments, the ball should come out powerfully and on a good line, even from bad lies. It’s a shot that’ll take some practise like most things, but is an extremely useful one to have up your sleeve when you find yourself off the beaten track.