Hybrids are a simple chip-in
Hybrids are an easy alternative when chipping
We have all been there on the course or watched it on television. The ball coming to rest just off the putting surface in a closely mown area, or better described as a tight lie. In order to pull this shot off with accuracy a player must be precise with his or her chip shot. If they catch the ground a fraction too early it will result in a chunked, or “fat” shot and the ball will never make it far enough to the target. Alternatively, if the player catches the ball a little too high it will cause a “thin” shot propelling the ball too far.
This is why so many teaching professionals stress to their students that it is a good rule of thumb to putt whenever possible. Personally, I find this to be a flawed solution, trying to swing the putter hard enough to propel the ball far enough can be a challenge. And the fringe can disrupt the roll of the ball, knocking it off line or slowing the pace too much. Overall, I have found putting from the fringe a risky proposition.
Since most golfers do not have the time to practice as much as the PGA or LPGA Tour professionals, there is another option. It is not a completely unique idea, but one that was made more famous by Todd Hamilton, during his 2004 Open Championship run at Royal Troon.
The Scottish links are known for their tough conditions and are full of challenging shots from tight lies. Hamilton’s strategy was simple. Because the ground was too hard and the risk for attempting a traditional chip shot with a wedge was too high, he chipped with his hybrid.
Most hybrids are designed as fairway woods with fairly flat sole plates that all but eliminates the chance of hitting the ball too fat. They are also designed with a deeper face and small leading edge that eliminates the second problem of hitting the ball too thin. Additionally, most hybrid clubs come with various lofts from 17 to 23 degrees. This allows the golf ball to get air born for a brief period of time during the shot just as it would in a normal chip shot.
The ball will basically react the same as it lands on the green and rolls towards the flag stick.So when you find yourself in a tight lie and unsure if you should chip or putt, take the guesswork out and try the hybrid to knock it close.