The Leading Edge Season 2 Episode 5
Golf Digest Chief Digital Instructor Michael Breed shows you everything you need to know about the most versatile club in your bag: the hybrid.
Released on 2/25/2019
Welcome to Golf Digest Schools and The Leading Edge.
I'm Michael Breed.
So excited to be able to help you with your game
and I appreciate you joining me today.
I've got Greg DuCharme my assistant.
Who is one of the best young teachers here with Golf Digest.
We're talking to you today
about this club here, the hybrid club.
One of my favorite clubs.
One of the most versatile clubs in the bag
and I'll show you some of the things
that I mean about that but specifically what I want
to talk to you about today
is how you're going to be able to make this club
a very productive club for you.
What I would tell you is if you don't have
at least one hybrid in your bag you need to change that.
These clubs are going to allow you to get
the ball up into the air,
create a little bit of a softer ball
as it lands on to the green
and when you have those longer shots
where you might typically be going
to a long iron of some sort, three, four five iron,
the hybrid club is a wonderful replacement.
But there are things that you need to understand
in order to be able to hit it now.
Couple things that go into hitting this club.
First you've gotta pay attention to ball position.
So many times we get a club that has some sort
of a mass on the end of it
like a three wood or a five wood.
We start thinking ball forward, ball forward.
No, you don't wanna do that.
What you wanna do is you want
to make sure that ball position
is back just a little bit from what you think.
You start getting this ball up here
and then because of the loft or lack thereof on this
you start trying to help this get up into the air
and you top this shot.
And everybody goes well this is the easiest club to hit.
Why can I not?
Because you have the ball in the wrong position.
So what I like to do with that ball position
is I like to feel like it's just inside
sort of in between the buttons of my shirt
and my armpit just inside that logo.
So I look at that, get comfortable with that position.
It may feel like it's a little bit back to you.
But that's what we want to have happen.
And what you can see when I hit that shot from there.
First of all plenty of distance.
But what I want you to look at come on over here.
We start to look at apex.
Now that apex right there is about 95 feet.
My apexes typically are at about 90 feet.
If I were to take a two iron or three iron,
my apex is going to be very very low.
And when I have a low apex what
that means is my greens shrink.
Because when the ball lands it starts to run through.
When I take this shot,
I have it flying in the air about 221.
It rolls out to about 229.
So at 95 feet in the apex,
that ball is rolling out somewhere about
I don't know maybe 25 feet.
That's plenty of room for me to be able
to land that comfortably in the middle of the green
and it's not gonna roll through.
That's one of the big advantages to this.
Now we've talked about ball position.
We need to make that sure we're aware
of that ball position all the time.
Now we have to understand what we're trying to do
to be solid with this.
Well the first thing you have to understand is
it's called a hybrid for a reason.
And the reason why is what I want you
to be thinking about is I'm going
to hit this like an iron.
So when I hit an iron here what am I thinking about?
Well I've gotta make sure I can press that ball.
And that club has to be going in a,
in a sort of a steepening direction
down into the strike and when I do that,
I'm gonna hit the ball and the ball's gonna take off.
So I take this seven iron and I get this feeling
that it's coming down on sort of a downward,
downward strike and then all of a sudden
I'm hitting the ball first.
I feel a different compression.
I feel that ball and the face kinda smooshing together.
It's the same thing you wanna feel when you've got the iron.
I mean the hybrid.
That's why we call it a hybrid.
It looks like a wood but we want to hit it like an iron.
So we want to get that feeling that
that club is going in a downward direction
almost like I'm taking a divot.
And that's really the mindset that I want you to have.
So when you start to get in here
after you've got that ball position.
I want you to feel that you're gonna get
this club traveling down into that ball.
And get the feeling that you're gonna take a divot.
And again when we start to do that,
and that one wasn't my greatest strike.
I got that a little bit out on the toe.
But when we look over here at the apex of the shot,
wanna take a picture and see did I get
that thing close to that?
Look at that.
Come on over here.
Come on with me.
Let's go and have some fun.
Look at that right there.
90 feet of apex.
That's exactly what I'm trying to get out of this.
Even though you feel like man I'm hittin' down.
You're not hitting down.
The ball's gonna go up into the air.
You gotta trust that.
Now how do we do that?
The key is gonna be centering the body
into the stance in the down swing.
So many times what I see happen with you
is when you're coming down,
you're trying to get this ball to get up into the air.
The right shoulder stays back.
The head starts moving behind.
And you start letting the club bottom out back in here.
So when it starts to bottom out here,
now the club is on an upward angle
as it comes into the ball.
That's how we top it.
So we get in here like this.
Back up and now all of a sudden,
I'm falling back and the ball is staying along the ground
because I'm trying to help it get into the air.
So I start taking my shoulders and tipping them up.
And my shoulders now don't stay
in my footprint or in my stance.
What I want you to do is I want you to get the feeling
that you're gonna center your body
in between your feet as you start that downswing.
So you get into here.
Back now we're gonna center up just like this
and then we're gonna go through
and as we go through now all of a sudden,
that clubhead starts to be in a downward direction
as it comes into the strike.
But you gotta make sure that you center this up.
It may feel like you're moving forward.
And now when we hit that shot,
now all of a sudden it's nice and solid
but look at where my body is.
I'm nice and forward here.
I'm not leaning back.
I'm not putting any pressure on the toes of the trail foot.
I'm leaning forward.
I'm up on the toe.
Let's try that again.
And get used to that feeling of the trail foot feeling light
when you come through here.
As you hold that follow through,
that trail foot needs to feel light.
Now I'm sitting here, I can tap this here.
This works nicely.
What did the ball do?
Okay so it hits my target.
Didn't go in, how does that happen?
But still really good and
as I start to get that look at my apex.
That apex up there 100 feet.
That's really high for that hybrid.
I'm not a lot of clubhead speed.
I don't have a lot of clubhead speed.
Not a high clubhead speed player.
But I do get the apex high because of this club.
So you need to make sure that you've got that happening.
Get that body, that upper body to center
into that the middle of the stance there.
And then you're gonna have success.
Now one of the other things that I want you
to be paying attention to as you're centering
is the height of the lead shoulder.
When we start to center our body into our framework
the lead shoulder is gonna stay down a little bit.
I don't want that lead shoulder to pop up into the air.
As that lead shoulder drives up into the air,
that's when you start falling back.
I want that lead shoulder to stay low.
And as that lead shoulder stays low now I'm centering up.
Now I'm getting that club to get into the ground,
hit the ball, and then get the ground or take a divot.
So feel that lead shoulder staying down in there.
Again this is a solid strike just a little bit off the toe.
But a very good shot, very accurate.
Let's see what my apex is.
So as you see,
I'm right in that 90 foot range there
and as I get into that 90 foot range,
now I know that I am able to play.
So let me put this all in a nice little bow
for you here so you understand.
One, ball position, pay attention to ball position.
Don't let it creep too far forward.
Get it sort of in the right where that logo is
on the backside of the logo in between
the buttons and the armpit.
That's the first thing that you're gonna do.
Make sure that you've got that ball position
really focused in that spot.
Then as we start to do this
we're gonna feel that body almost getting centered
into the stance by that lead shoulder
and we're gonna get this feeling
that this club is going in a downward,
angle right there.
Greg, you got anything you wanna know about?
You got any questions here for me?
Anybody tagging on your coat tails?
So what happens with the hybrids sometimes
they can spin a little too much
and they can float in the air a little bit too much.
What do you do to limit the backspin in that sense?
So what ends up happening is
when we start to get the ball just going
a little forward in our stance.
And that backspin right there is about 3000, 3100.
When I start to get the ball too far forward in my stance,
and I start swinging across this thing,
and I'm actually able to create a solid contact
but it's gonna be a,
a little bit of a slice shot.
Which is what I'm gonna get.
What you end up doing is you end up starting
to put a little more backspin on that ball
and it starts to spin up and it glances off the face.
It kind of makes contact here.
And starts to roll up the face this way.
Now it's not in contact with the club long enough
to actually roll up towards to the toe.
But it does start to impart a little bit
of movement towards the toe.
And as that starts to happen,
we start to get a little bit of side spin.
So what you could see is I made that move right there.
Come on up here with me.
And what you're gonna see remember
the one before was at about 3100.
Now look at what happened here.
I made the move.
You can see all that side spin was 1900 RPMs to the right.
My spin rate, my backspin rate gets up to almost 5800.
Now that's not quite double.
But it's close.
But what ends up occurring at that point
is now all of a sudden my distance goes down.
I only got that thing to carry in the air 191 yards.
So I lost a lot of distance because of that glancing blow.
So Greg to your question,
one of the reasons why that happens is because
we get that ball position so far forward.
And then we start swiping across it
so we create a glancing blow.
And we get a glancing blow,
we don't get the distance that we want.
So let me just take one more for you here,
go through this whole thing.
Ball position's gonna be back.
We're gonna center up that framework,
make sure that lead shoulder
is gonna stay low when we hit that.
And when we do that I should get this thing up
to an apex of about 90 feet and I should get
about 220 out of this shot.
So there's the shot.
Now little bit more draw on that one
than I really wanted to have.
Let's take a look at what our final numbers are
when we hit this and let's see how we did.
So I told you I was gonna get about 220.
I got about 225 on that.
See the backspin number come down?
So that backspin number comes down under 3000.
Remember the other one was at 5700.
Now look at my apex.
94 feet, that's right in my number.
If I'm trying for 90 and I get it to 94 feet,
I'm doing really well.
All right so you gotta keep reaching out to us.
Greg and I are trying to help you play better golf.
We need to hear from you.
Send those emails Michael.breed.@golfdigest.com.
Wanna thank you so much for joining me over here
on The Leading Edge and remind you
you have any questions on your game,
you want to know how to improve it.
All you need to do is reach out to us here
at the Golf Digest Schools and what we're gonna do,
we're gonna listen, we're gonna read,
we're gonna watch, and we're gonna help you
make sure and you join us.