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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Jackie Stoelting on Hitting Hybrids

Jackie Stoelting, former Big Break winner and back-to-back Symetra Tour winner, was on Morning Drive Tuesday morning. After they talked to her about her two recent wins, she headed over to the simulator to hit some hybrids and wedges.

Here's the video of Jackie hitting shots in the simulator. I want you to pay special attention to the first part where she talks about hybrids. She has a very different approach from most players.

Did you get that? Jackie says hybrids are the best part of her game... and she feels that she hits her hybrids more like wedges, not fairway woods as so many players teach. A different approach indeed!

In doing this, she specifically mentions that she puts the ball a bit more forward in her stance with a hybrid than an iron. She also says she tends to "pick" or "sweep" them off the turf, although she credits that to time spent playing on Bermuda grass, which is thicker than a lot of other common golf course grasses.

But this is much more of a mental approach than a technical one. Most of us feel more comfortable standing over a wedge shot than a fairway wood. Stop and think about this for a moment... what do you do different when you play a wedge than when you play a fairway wood?
  • Although Jackie says she plays the ball a bit more forward than a typical iron, she isn't playing it as far forward as most weekend players might play a fairway wood. So you might try playing your ball just slightly ahead of the center of your stance, and move it forward slightly as an experiment until you find the most comfortable spot for you.
  • Because wedges have shorter shafts, most of us make a shorter backswing with them. You might try making a three-quarter swing with your hybrid.
  • Most of us also put our weight just a bit more on our lead foot with a wedge. Perhaps that's worth trying with your hybrid -- just don't put as much weight forward as you would with a wedge. This is a longer shafted club, after all!
  • And since most of us don't drive our legs hard when we hit wedges -- we're after accuracy with them, not distance -- I would also suggest a bit less leg drive with your hybrids. You can always swing a bit harder once you feel comfortable hitting your hybrid.
Bear in mind that Jackie Stoelting isn't unusual. If you watch the LPGA much, you've heard the commentators comment about how much closer the ladies hit their hybrids than the men. I've frequently heard their hybrid proximity to the hole likened to the PGA pros' 8-iron shots.

Perhaps the ladies get short iron proximity because they approach their hybrids like short irons. I know I'm going to try it!


  1. Payne Stewart used to do a three wedge then three driver


  3. Distance may be more a factor on wedges

    1. That's true but you also have to consider the loft difference. The hybrids are flying lower and coming in hotter but the gals are still stopping them. That definitely indicates a difference in technique, compared to the men.

  4. Women are more flexible so they generate lower spin and carry. I'm surprised fewer hybrids used off fringes/collection areas