Hitting a punch shot on the golf course is a great way to control the ball. The shot requires a late hit or release down onto the ball that guarantees strike and drives the ball out on a low powerful trajectory. When the top professionals compete in the British Open the punch shot is regulary used to drive shots under the wind. In essence the ‘stinger shot’ that Tiger Woods has made famous is a punch shot.
Where to Hit a Punch Shot
- There are several circumstances where hitting a punch shot is the best way to hit the ball. The most obvious one is when a golfer is hitting into a wind where trajectory control is mandatory. Just watch the British Open on televison to see how many pros hit punch shots on a links course. A punch shot will send tee ball out on a low trajectory that cuts through the wind enabling longer distance and control.
- If the ball is sitting down on a tight lie, the late hit that a punch shot necessitates guarantees the strike that is needed to hit down onto the ball.
- If a golfer is prone to hitting the shot left and pulling the ball, the body action on a punch shot, which sets up the late release, makes it much more likely to hold the blade open through the ball.
- The first thing to do when hitting a punch shot is move the ball position towards the back foot. This makes sure the ball is hit as the club head is coming down in the swing. The further back the ball is positioned the more the swing arc is on the way down.
- A punch shot requires more resistance at impact to give a golfer something to hit or punch against. This is set up with faster weight transference from the top of the backswing. To hit a punch shot it is vital to shift the weight onto the left foot much quicker than in a normal golf shot.
- The main characteristic of a punch shot is the finish position. Rather than a long flowing follow through, the punch shot finish is short and curtailed. If the body weight transfer is carried out correctly there is so much resistance at impact the golfer can stop the club only a few feet after hitting the ball. Watch the British Open on television to see how short the finish position becomes when the pros play a links course.
Tips to Practice a Punch Swing
- Make sure you do some warm up stretches before you hit balls. A golfer, inexperienced at hitting punch shots, will find they are moving the body faster than normal.
- Go to the range with your five iron and get a small bucket of balls as hitting punch shots is hard work.
- Take up your stance but with the feet closer together than on a normal shot. Make sure you have the ball back in the stance as this helps make sure you hit down onto the ball.
- Make a normal backswing, commit to full power and concentrate on not letting arms pass much more than hip height after hitting the ball. You won’t be able to finish that short but it is the correct feeling. This in itself will make you transfer the weight naturally faster.