By Butch Harmon
Photo by J.D. Cuban
Nothing's worse than being just short in two and making 6 because you bladed one over the green. The hybrid chip can be a lifesaver, especially when you have a lot of green to work with. One thing to keep in mind: The ball comes off a hybrid pretty hot, so it's just a little bump to get it going.
I use my putting grip because the motion is a lot like a putting stroke. Set up with the ball off the instep of your back foot to make sure you catch the ball first. Stand close to the ball, and choke down on the grip a few inches to shorten the club. The shaft should be pretty upright at address. This will help you make a straight-back, straight-through stroke. If you stand farther from the ball, the stroke will be more rounded, which makes it tougher to make crisp contact.
The stroke is a simple back and through with firm wrists. Why not just putt it? Because a putter has almost no loft, so you'll tend to hit the ball down into the turf and come up short. The hybrid launches it a few inches in the air, so the ball skips off the fringe and rolls like a putt. You're gonna love this little shot.
Sometimes you're in greenside rough, and you have very little green to work with. That's when you need a high, soft pitch. Grab your most lofted wedge, open the clubface, then take your grip. Play the ball off your front instep, and swing the club up abruptly with some wrist hinge. As you swing down and through, let the clubhead release past your hands through impact (above).