How To Hit a Punch Shot: 5 Tips

How to Hit a Low Shot in Golf: The Ultimate Guide

No matter how much you practice, what kind of club you use, or what golf course you find yourself playing on, you will eventually have to hit a low punch shot from the tree line.

Instead of dreading these moments like most golfers, you're going to learn how to hit a punch shot and conquer every one that comes your way. You know, those nifty shots that come in handy when you need to keep the ball low and controlled in tricky situations.

In this ultimate guide to punch shots, you'll learn what they are exactly, when to play one, the top five tips, and the answers to some FAQs.

Let's get started separating the forest from the trees.

What is a punch shot in golf?

A punch shot refers to a controlled and low-trajectory shot typically used to navigate challenging on-course situations. It involves a compact backswing, a descending strike, and a controlled follow-through.

Mastering and playing the punch shot is crucial because it allows golfers to effectively maneuver the ball under trees, navigate windy conditions, or when faced with obstacles that require a lower ball flight. Learning this shot opens up a range of strategic options, giving many golfers the confidence to tackle tricky on-course situations with precision and finesse.

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Choosing the Right Club

Let's talk about setting ourselves up for punch shot greatness; club selection is key here. You wanna grab a club with higher loft like a 7-iron or 8-iron. Trust me, these clubs are your punch shot partners in crime.

Keep in mind that the clubs you wind up choosing will depend entirely upon the lie your ball winds up in.

If the ball is positioned in a lie where it's sitting lower or partially buried or obstructed, like in the rough or in a divot, stick with the 7- or 8-iron club.

If your ball is positioned in such a way that allows for a clean and unobstructed strike, you might want to consider a lower lofted club to prevent the ball from jumping or flying too far.

To play it safe in any scenario, whip out the trusty old P3 Pharaoh Wedge. It's versatile enough to nail those tricky punch shots.

Now, let's talk grip. Loosen up your grip on the club just a tad and embrace the fine-tuned control you'll have over the ball. A relaxed grip leads to a controlled punch shot.

Swing Technique

Alright, it's time to move on to the punch shot swing technique.

Punch shots are played with a relatively fast swing; think of it as a snappy, quick, back-and-through boxing jab. It's more of a chip or pitch shot instead of a full swing.

It's key to keep your backswing compact. Think of it as a miniature version of your normal regular golf swing, a chip shot of sorts. Don't go swinging for the fences, this shot is all about finesse and control.

On the downswing, focus on a crisp and descending strike. Picture yourself squashing a pesky bug on the ground - that's the feeling you want to replicate.

Finally, as you follow through, finish low and balanced like a graceful dancer ending a mesmerizing performance.

Ball Position

When hitting a punch shot, you want to set up the ball right in the middle of your stance.

This will make it much easier for you to keep the golf ball from coming off the clubface too hot.

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Controlling Ball Flight

Now let's talk about dialing in that distance, speed, and trajectory by making some swing adjustments.

To adjust the distance, tweak the length of your backswing. Need less distance? Keep it shorter. Need more? Lengthen that swing. It's pretty straightforward.

To have more control over the trajectory of your punch shot, adjust your clubface loft. Need a lower flight? Use less loft. Want it to soar through the air? Open up that clubface and watch it rise to the occasion.

Common Low Punch Shot Mistakes to Avoid

Let's wrap this up by addressing some common blunders to save you from embarrassment.

One big mistake is over-swinging. You're not trying to hit the ball into orbit; you're aiming for control. Keep that swing in check.

Another pitfall to avoid is neglecting your lower body stability. We're not auditioning for The Rockettes here, but a stable lower body gives you a solid foundation for executing the perfect punch shot.


How do you hit a punch shot under a tree?

To hit a low punch shot under a tree, you need to adjust your setup and technique. Choose a club with enough loft to clear the obstacle. Position the ball back in your stance and choke down on the grip. Take a shorter backswing and focus on a descending strike, making sure to keep the ball flight low. This allows you to navigate under the tree while maintaining control and accuracy.

How do you hit a punch draw?

To play a punch draw, start by aiming slightly to the right of your target. Set up with a closed stance and a grip that promotes a draw. During the swing, focus on a compact backswing and a slightly inside-to-out path. Combine this with a descending strike and a closed clubface at impact. The result should be a controlled low shot that starts right of the target and curves gently back to the left.

How do you hit a punch fade?

To play a punch fade, begin by aiming slightly left of your target. Set up with an open stance and a grip that encourages a fade. During the swing, focus on a compact backswing and a slightly outside-to-in path. Combine this with a descending strike and an open clubface at impact. The outcome should be a controlled low shot that starts left of the target and gently moves to the right.

What is a golf knockdown shot?

A golf knockdown shot, also known as a "stinger" or "low punch shot," is a controlled shot that flies low and straight, with reduced ball trajectory and spin. It is typically used to combat strong winds or when hitting into tight landing areas. To execute a knockdown shot, you take a shorter backswing, limit the follow-through, and focus on a crisp and descending strike. The result is a controlled shot that flies under the wind and runs upon landing.

How is a punch shot different than a stinger?

While both a punch shot and a stinger are low-trajectory shots, they differ slightly in execution and purpose. A punch shot is generally used to navigate challenging situations, such as hitting the ball under trees or dealing with obstacles, while maintaining control and accuracy. On the other hand, a stinger, also known as a knockdown golf shot, is specifically designed to combat strong winds by flying low and straight. The focus of a punch shot is on controlled ball flight and navigating obstacles, while a stinger emphasizes minimizing the effects of strong wind on the ball's trajectory.

Congratulations! You've now unlocked the secrets of the punch shot. Remember, practice makes progress, so get out there and embrace the challenge. With a compact backswing, descending strike, and controlled follow-through, you'll have the punch shot in your repertoire to conquer any tricky situation that comes your way.

So, go forth, master the art of the punch shot, and dazzle your golf buddies with your newfound control and accuracy.

Until next time,

Matt Stephens
Inventor: Pyramid Putter, Pyramid iCOR Putter

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Very good descriptions of punch shot

Kit Lefroy

I use the punch shot a lot. Good advice in the article. My biggest problem is distance. Could use more help on that side of the equation. Thanks


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