How to Hit a Punch Shot
Whilst most people know of the punch shot, few people are able to vary there flight enough for this to be an effective and controlled option when playing in challenging conditions or situations.
The aim of the punch shot is to lower the ball flight lessening the effect of high winds or when trying to hit below an object such as branches. This shot often gives a player better control over there distances and also improves there accuracy. It must be stressed however that this is mainly when the shot is practiced and mastered.
So how exactly do you play the punch shot?
Club choice - Take more club than you would normally use from the distance you are faced with. You may find you need to club up 1 or 2 clubs depending on a variety of factors. The strength of the wind will play a factor along with what your practice tells you about the distance changes from your normal flighted swing.
Ball position - The ball needs to be further back in your stance than normal.
Hand position - Hands should be ahead of the golf ball creating shaft lean both at address and impact. This should be helped with the ball position being further back in your stance.
Weight distribution - Your weight should favour your lead leg with roughly a 60-40 split.
Swing - The swing will be a smooth, ¾ length golf swing with very little weight shift in the backswing. This helps to maintain the shaft lean through the strike and keep the ball flight low. You should think of the swing being mainly controlled from the middle of your chest with body and torso working as one unit. Your follow through wants to be low and driven towards the target keeping the follow through to only ¾ in length.
The combination of the stance adjustments and swing ideas should help to produce a lower ball flight, giving you more control over the flight of your ball in windy conditions. What should be stressed is any golf shot needs practice to increase the chances of a successful shot and know when the shot is needed for the various situations you may face on the golf course. A great way to learn these shots is with a PGA professional either on the range or better still during an on course lesson in the true golf environment.