Since Todd Hamilton won the 2004 British Open Championship, hybrids have been the “in” club. Hamilton used his hybrid in place of his 3-wood, but it was his decision to chip with it that really gained attention in the golf community. Since then, chipping with a hybrid has become a popular option for all golfers. The techniques are easy to master and applicable to many different types of chip shots.
Ball Sitting Up
Because hybrids are intended to replace long irons, they tend to have similar lofts. These clubs are perfect to use with a putting stroke from the fairway or the apron around the green, as the small amount of loft allows you to keep the ball low to the ground. However, this also means that hybrids are not well-suited for digging balls out of rough after they have settled down in it. If the ball is sitting up on top of the rough--that is, most of the ball is above the top of the rough--your hybrid may be a good choice for the shot.
Since you will be using a putting stroke, it is natural to use your regular putting grip. This will encourage the smooth pendulum stroke you want. In addition, The Golf Channel's Brad Brewer points out that the wide bottom of the hybrid helps keep it from digging in too much; this helps prevent stubbed chips.
The shaft of a hybrid is much longer than that of a putter. As instructor Robert Baker has noted, this is an advantage when you are some distance from the green because you can use your putting stroke to generate much more club-head speed without over-swinging. When you are closer to the green--perhaps just off the edge or on the apron--you can choke down on the shaft for more control.
Even though you are making a putting stroke, you want to angle the swing slightly more downward on the ball than when you putt. The increased loft of the hybrid, combined with the rougher surfaces from which you will normally use your hybrid, make a downward stroke much more practical because it helps you get the ball up on top of the grass. This will cause the ball to bounce more but, as professional instructor Jim McLean says, this is necessary when you are making a long, low shot across rough ground.
Up Against the Collar
One tricky situation that golfers sometimes face is a ball that rests against the collar--the high grass surrounding the green. The trick here is the position of the ball. If it has nestled into the collar, Brewer says he would prefer to use a wedge, but if it is resting on the short grass and merely leaning against the collar, he likes a hybrid. In this case, just make a more downward stroke than normal.