When golfers struggle with the conventional method for playing a punch or knock-down shot, they typically miss right and short, hitting a slight push-fade that balloons in the wind – the exact opposite of the intended result.
This is caused by a swing that’s too steep coming into the ball, and perhaps too far inside the target line. The first two fundamentals to check are your ball position and weight distribution. If the ball is too far back in your stance – right of center for a right-hander – you’ll pick the club up too abruptly, return it to impact too far inside the line and fail to release the clubhead. The same thing happens if excess weight – more than 55-60% -- is balanced on your left side at address.
If your ball position and balance are correct and you still flare punch shots to the right, check your takeaway. The club should stay low to the ground, just like a drive or standard iron shot, on the way back. Pick it up too quickly or hinge the wrists to early and you’ll initiate a steep downswing angle.
A final tip if the above adjustments don’t do the trick: Try standing slightly farther from the ball, which will flatten your swing plane and shallow the club’s path.