How to judge your lie

When you arrive at your ball in the fairway, rough or bunker, your first challenge is to judge the lie. If it’s sitting on a good lie in the fairway, no problem – you can continue to work out your yardage and strategy from there. But if the lie is anything but perfect, you need to make decisions about the sort of shot you are going to hit.

One of the key choices you’ll need to make is over when a hybrid is a better option than a long iron and vice-versa. Remember the hybrid is designed to help you cut through some of the rough and heavier ground before the ball. The curved sole makes the rough less likely to snag around the heel – one of the main problems to look out for is the hosel getting caught, closing the face through impact and causing the ball to go left. The hybrid is less likely to suffer this fate than the long iron.

Also the hybrid has a slightly deeper face than the long iron. That will help the club get under the ball and aid the launch of the shot. With the mass lower and deeper in the head you’ll create the spin required to get the ball up for a high launch and plenty of carry.

However, most importantly of all, you have the forgiveness of the head to fall back on. Your mishit should perform far better with a hybrid than a long iron.

The only occasions when a long iron might be a better option is if you want to shape the shot or, in particular, keep it low. The long iron is designed to do that and certainly the faster swingers amongst you will notice that benefit. The best thing to do is test both from a range of lies and you’ll seethe results clearly…