The punch shot is never a happy prospect for golfers. When you’re hitting a punch shot, it generally means that you hit a bad drive into the trees, that you muffed your approach behind some branches or that you missed a spot and have to run it up to the green on a couple bounces. A punch shot is intended as a low shot that bounces off of the club, and usually up to the green.
What is a Punch Shot?
The punch shot never goes much higher than 20 feet in the air, and often bounces and bounds down the fairway. Punches shots are used to keep the ball low, and can often be hit as far as 150 yards. An important “rescue” shot, the punch shot can be an essential tool in saving a par or stealing a birdie in the best of situations.
Club Selection For a Punch Shot Swing
During the punch shot, the lower the loft of the club, the better the chances of your success. The 4 iron and 5 iron are among the most popular choices for punch shots because they often will not produce a very high shot and because they are long enough clubs to hit the ball solidly. For a 150 yard punch shot, a three quarters punch swing with a 5 iron could travel all the way to the green when done correctly. For shorter punch shots around 40 yards, a 5 iron can be used with a quarter swing, or a club such as a seven iron can be used with a half swing, if you have a little bit of room to pop the ball a bit higher in the air.
Stance When Hitting a Punch Shot
On a punch shot, set up your stance as normal and grip your club as normal. You may choke up on the club to ensure extra control of your shot, but this is a matter of comfort. Place the ball during your punch shot in the back of your stance. Putting the ball at your back foot will allow you to miss the sloping part of the swing that increases the chances of putting the ball very high into the air. Keeping the ball back will keep it as low as possible.
Swing When Hitting From Under a Tree
The punch shot swing is a unique animal in golf. When you are punching it, it can be better to keep your wrists as firm as possible, and try not to break them. This shot may be tougher, because it is unnatural, but keeping your wrists unbroken will ensure that you keep the ball low. On your back swing, determine your length by judging the distance of the shot and take a normal swing at the ball. There are two keys to the punch shot, and these are: 1) make sure you are not hitting under the ball or the punch will die far short and 2) stop your follow through as quickly as possible. Stopping your follow through will kill the momentum of your swing and allow you to keep the ball as low as possible.