Occasionally, on the golf course, you will need to hit a lower shot. Whether you are trying to keep it under the wind, or below the limbs of a tree. This video (below) and short blog explains some simple steps you can take to lower your ball flight successfully.
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How To Hit A Punch Shot
Why Not Just Club Down?
A simple way to hit a lower shot is to drop your club down a number or two. If you’re into a strong wind, dropping from an 8 iron to a 7 iron, or even a 6 iron, is a simple way of getting that ball to come out lower with less backspin.
However, when you do this, you are opening yourself up to more sideways misses, as a lower lofted club can impart more side-spin (or tilt the spin axis more) for any given face-to-path error.
Learning to play a punch shot can give you all the benefits of clubbing down, without the loss in accuracy.
Three set-up Keys
In the set up, playing the ball back in the stance will place the ball in a part of the arc where the loft is lower. As loft at impact is the main factor for launch angle, this will encourage the ball to start lower and stay lower.
Placing a little more weight on the front foot at address (and keeping it there throughout the swing) will also encourage more forward shaft lean at impact – hence less loft.
However, these things also shift the low point farther ahead of the ball. This places the ball on a part of the arc where the club path is more in-to-out (to the right, for a right handed golfer). That can encourage pushes and hooks. So we need to add something else.
As this picture shows, the farther back the ball is in our stance (red part of the arc), the more the club path (black arrow) is from the inside.
However, by simply aligning our shoulders or body lines more to the left (open), we effectively neutralize the path.
And One Swing Thought
If the 3 set up keys is not too much cognitive overload, and you have some mental space for a swing thought, why not try this.
Swing back and down as normal, but feel as if you slam on the brakes post impact. Try to maintain as much speed at impact as possible, but really decelerate the club after impact, stopping the club from going too high in the follow through.
What this thought does is self-organizes a later release and more forward shaft lean at impact.
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