A golf punch shot is a shot played with a deliberately controlled and low trajectory. It is an extremely valuable shot to learn to play well, as correctly executing a punch shot when it is required out on the course will reduce your score by several valuable shots.
If you are playing in windy conditions, being able to deliberately control and play low shots will massively improve your accuracy and length. If you are playing high shots into a strong wind the ball is going to be blown about, making distance and accuracy very difficult to control. Being able to play a shot under the wind will allow you to retain both your distance control and accuracy when out on the golf course.
A further advantage of playing a punch shot correctly is that it will allow you to recover well if you get out of position on the golf course. If you have finished up in a position where there are overhanging branches between your ball and the target, then being able to play a low punch shot will help you to recover and get back into a scoring position on the hole, instead of only being able to play a sideways small chip!
In order to play a punch shot correctly, you need to make a few adjustments at set up.
First of all, play the ball further back in your stance than you usually would as this will allow you to connect with the ball on the club's downswing while it is still de-lofted, giving you a lower flight. Now push your hands more forward than usual as this again will de-loft the club face and produce a lower flighted shot than usual.
When your hands are forward, you will notice that the shaft of your golf club is now tilted so that the handle of the club is closer to the target than the club head and you should feel more weight on your left side (for right handed golfers). Work on maintaining the straight line that you have created from your left shoulder down your left arm and then down through the clubs shaft to the club head. Maintain this line as you swing back so that you do not hinge your wrists. Hinging your wrists produces a higher ball flight so keep the straight line and restrict your backswing to just above waist high maximum.
Make sure you strike the golf ball with your hands forward and the shaft tilted as it was when you set up and maintain the straight line as you swing through. Your follow through will be restricted and 'laid off' if you maintain the straight line as the club head will finish below your hand height – again do not use your wrists on your follow through to maintain a low ball flight.
To encourage the correct position as you strike the golf ball, use an impact bag and practice striking it with the shaft of the club rather than the club head. This will encourage you to achieve the position we have just discussed and you will begin to see a much lower and more controlled trajectory to your shots.