Punch Your Way to Lower Scores

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Don't stop turning and keep your club low.
Bob Atkins

Ever sit on your couch and watch a PGA player scorch a ball under a sprawling tree so hard and fast that it makes you drop your Skittles all over the floor? Well now you can hit that punch-shot too.

Why you need it

The punch flies with a piercing, lower-than-normal
trajectory that, amazingly, stops with more spin
than a shot hit with your standard full swing.

When to play it
The classic punch-shot situation is into a
headwind. The lower trajectory allows your ball to
maintain its flight pattern without ballooning and
falling short of your target.

How to do it

You can hit a punch shot with
any iron in your bag. (Plan for a
loss in distance equal to one
club.) Your primary goal is to
get your clubface as square to
your target as possible at
impact with your weight firmly
on your left side. It’s a 3/4
swing, which is much easier to
produce than a full one. Here
are the specifics to keep your
ball low when you have to.

Address

Play the ball slightly back of
center and forward press your
hands so they’re in line with
your left thigh. Pre-set about 70
percent of your weight on your
front foot.

Swing
Make a 75 percent backswing
with a tiny shift of weight to
your right foot. On the
downswing, use the big
muscles of your hips and torso
to turn back toward the target.
Don’t get handsy! Keep your
left wrist firm at impact, with
your hands ahead of your
clubhead (just like at address).
Keep your clubhead low to the
ground after impact. This
ensures that your left wrist will
lead the way through the
hitting zone.

Try This Drill

To make sure your weight is forward at
impact (a priority when playing a
punch), get into your address position
and raise your right heel. Now make
your swing. Swinging with your right
heel off the ground will stop you from
overshifting your weight to your right
side on the backswing and help you
keep more of it on your forward foot at
impact. You can even use this drill for
your practice swing prior to playing a
punch shot on the course.