When and How to Hit a Punch Shot

When and How to Hit a Punch Shot

There are certain types of shots that every player should learn. The punch shot is one of those shots. Not only will it help you have more control when attacking pins, but it’s also handy for escaping trouble and playing in windy conditions. In this post, we share the steps and explain the different scenarios when you should use a punch shot.
Let’s tee off!

What is A Punch Shot in Golf?

A punch shot in golf is also sometimes called a “knockdown.” This type of shot requires players to take an extra club, make a shorter swing, and flight the ball on a lower trajectory compared to a full swing shot.
This type of shot can be hit with anything from a 5-iron to a wedge, it just really depends on what your lie calls for.

When Should You Play a Punch Shot in Golf?

There are a number of situations where it might be a good idea to hit a punch shot in golf.
You need to keep the ball out of the wind breezy conditions can make it very difficult to have any sort of accuracy when hitting approach shots to the green. A punch shot will allow you to keep the ball low and out of the wind, giving you better control and hopefully a good look at birdie!
You need to hit the ball underneath an obstacle let’s face it, every golfer will get into trouble at some point in their round. A punch shot is a useful shot to have in the bag when you need to avoid obstacles like low-hanging branches.
You’re looking for a little extra control on your approach one of the best things about the punch shot is that it allows you to take a little extra club and swing easy. When you don’t feel pressure to make a full swing, you’ll notice you make much better contact with the ball and you’ll have more control.
Also, a punch shot from the fairway allows you to control the amount of spin on the ball, helping you to have better distance control.
So, how do you hit a punch shot?

How to Play a Punch Shot In Golf

A large part of pulling off the punch shot in golf is making sure you start in the proper setup position. Let’s take a look at what that means.

1. Take an Extra Club

Because you’re trying to hit the golf ball on a low trajectory, understand that it’s not going to carry as far. In order to make sure you still hit the ball the proper distance with a punch shot, consider taking an extra club. For example, if you would normally hit a 7-iron, use a 6 or even a 5-iron instead.
The other benefit of taking an extra club is that it allows you to focus on making a nice, smooth swing rather than killing the ball.

2. Choke Down On The Handle

Next, grip the club closer to the shaft. This will help provide more control and promote better contact. Don’t worry about losing any distance by doing this. If you have taken an extra club as recommended in the last step, you’ll have plenty of juice to get the ball to the green!

3. Move the Ball Back in Your Stance

In order to hit a successful punch shot in golf, you need to make sure the ball starts on a low flight-path. To do this, consider moving the ball back in your stance. Don’t go to any extremes – shifting the ball two, three, or four inches back of center will do.

4. Make Sure The Shaft Is Leaning Forward

Another way to get the ball started on a low, piercing trajectory is by adding some forward shaft lean to your set up. This is done by simply shifting your hands slightly towards your target.

5. Shift Weight to Your Front Foot

Shifting about 55-65 percent of your weight to your front foot will help you attack the ball on a downward angle. This delofts the club, helping it to shoot off the clubface like a bullet and cut through the air on a low trajectory.

6. Control Your Tempo

The key to a successful punch shot is solid contact. Without a smooth tempo, solid contact is very difficult to achieve. Because a punch shot requires a short follow-through (see next step), often golfers will be tempted to make a short, choppy swing.
You might get lucky and hit the occasional solid shot, but you’ll be much more consistent if you focus on making a smooth swing.

7. Finish with a Low Follow-Through

Finally, finish the swing lower than you typically would on a regular shot. A good rule of thumb is to stop your follow-through at hip-height. This is yet another way to start the ball off on a nice low trajectory.

Other Considerations for Hitting a Punch Shot in Golf

Accelerate through the ball one of the biggest pitfalls amateurs experience when trying to hit the punch shot is that they’re too focused on making a short follow-through. This causes them to decelerate before impact, leading to a poor strike.
While a short follow-through is an essential ingredient of the punch shot, it’s important that you make contact with the ball before decelerating the club.
Strike the ball on a downward angle another common mistake players make with the punch shot has to do with their angle of attack. If you come at the ball from too shallow of an angle, the club will have more loft, causing the ball to launch higher into the air. Instead, try and strike the ball on a downward angle. This will help reduce the loft of the clubhead and ensure a low-launching flight.
Choose the right clublastly, it’s critical that you select the right club when hitting a punch shot. For example, if you need to flight a ball under some branches but you choose a club with too much loft…CLUNK… you’re probably going to hit the branches.
Of course, the club you select will depend on what the individual situation calls for, but in most cases, you’ll be better off using a low lofted club when performing the punch shot.

What’s the Difference Between a Stinger and a Punch Shot in Golf?

If you’ve been around the game long enough, you’ve probably heard of a type of shot called the stinger (especially if you’re a fan of a little known guy called Tiger Woods). While similar to the punch shot, it’s important to understand the difference between the punch shot and the stinger.
The stinger is generally used on full shots, such as from the tee or on the second shot into a par five or long par four. A punch shot, on the other hand, is used in special circumstances where you need to maximize control. This could be a short approach into the green, a recovery from underneath tree branches, or a number of other situations.

The Takeaway – How To Hit A Punch Shot In Golf

In order to successfully pull off the punch shot in golf, there are 7 main things you need to keep in mind:
  1. Take an extra club.
  2. Choke down on the handle.
  3. Move the ball back slightly in your stance.
  4. Make sure the clubshaft is leaning slightly forward.
  5. Tilt your weight slightly to your front foot.
  6. Control your tempo.
  7. Finish with a low follow-through.
Keep these 7 things in mind and you’re well on your way to adding the punch shot to your bag!
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