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How Women Golfers Should Create The Basic Start Position And Golf Swing For An Effective Punch Shot 1

While the interchangeable terms “punch shot” and knock-down” may sound like boxing lingo, they actually describe a specific kind of golf shot that comes in quite handy on windy days.

Played correctly, a knock-down flies lower than a normal shot, penetrating the wind and providing added control. A knock-down is especially useful when hitting into a headwind, where a shot of normal trajectory might “balloon” and fall well short of the target.

Its a good weapon for other situations, too. For instance, playing a layup where extra roll is needed, or hitting a run-up (bump-and-run) approach to a green. Most commonly played with an iron, knock-downs can be hit with hybrids and even fairway woods as well.

For a great example of the knock-downs utility, watch highlights of the 2011 Open Championship. In winning the title, Darren Clarke displayed a mastery of the punch shot no other contender could match.

Its not difficult to hit a punch once you know the basic method, but it takes practice to develop a reliable setup and swing. Heres how its done:

  • Use at least one more club than the distance would normally call for, depending on the winds strength.
  • Set up with the feet slightly wider than normal for the chosen club – perhaps a half-inch wider on each side.
  • Weight should favor your left (lead) side by just a touch – about 55% vs. 45% on your right foot.
  • Grip down an inch on the club (give or take) and place the ball in the center of your stance, with your hands ahead and the shaft leaning toward the target.

Keep the club low to the ground on the takeaway to ensure a shallow swing path.

Swing at about 80% of full power, making sure to rotate your body all the way through the shot.

Your finish should be shorter than usual, with your hands stopping around shoulder height.

The last two points are absolutely crucial to executing a good knock-down. If you swing too hard, youll impart excess backspin and cause the ball to fly higher than you want – any wind in your face will send it shooting skyward. By focusing on a short, low finish, youll instinctively make an abbreviated swing.

If you follow the above steps but still struggle to keep the ball down, try moving it a little forward in your stance and adjusting your balance closer to a 50-50 split. Both tricks will take the steepness out of your swing.

If you regularly play in windy conditions, play courses with firm turf or find many opportunities to run shots onto the greens, you should absolutely add the punch shot to your arsenal. Senior and women golfers, visit these pages for tips geared toward your specific abilities:

Seniors: Play a Punch Shot Correctly

Women: Basics for a Correct Punch Shot

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Not a bad idea when playing downwind, but highly discouraged when its blowing right at you. More loft plus a harder swing equals a higher launch and extra spin. The wind will eat it up.

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Generally, the closer toward your left (lead) foot you position the ball, the higher it will fly. Youll also have a harder time trapping the ball against the turf with a de-lofted clubface, losing the very control a punch shot is meant to provide

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

No shot from the fairway should be played from this address position, least of all a knock-down. The hands must be forward, the shaft leaning toward the target, to pull off this specialty shot.