How to Punch it Out of the Woods

By John Lindell

One of the most critical times during a round of golf can occur when a player hits her ball into the woods. Once the ball is found, the golfer needs to overcome the urge to try to strike a "miracle shot" and simply punch the ball back onto the fairway to minimize the damage to her score.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Step 1
Choose a club with a much lower loft than a pitching wedge. The idea is to keep the ball as low as possible to avoid having it hit an overhanging branch. Utilize a four or five iron, depending on which club you feel more comfortable hitting.
Step 2
Choke up on the club a couple of inches. Once again, hitting the ball a long distance is not the idea. You are simply trying to play it to a spot on the fairway that gives you an excellent look at the green for the next shot. Choking up on the golf club gives you better control of it.
Step 3
Be sure to center the ball in your stance. As you stand over the ball, have it between both feet. Look down and visualize a line going straight down through your breastbone to the ground. That is where the ball should be before you hit it. Keeping the ball centered will insure that it comes out low when you strike it.
Step 4
Employ a shorter backswing than normal. As you bring the club back, take it to a point where your left arm is in a position that is parallel to the ground. Cock the wrists and bring the head of the club through the ball as you swing. Try to keep your hands forward so that they are in front of the golf ball but make absolutely certain that the face of the club stays square to the ball as it strikes it.
Step 5
Keep your follow through short. Bring the club up only as high as your hips after you hit the ball. You will find that your swing will be quicker with a shorter backswing and by keeping the follow through short you won't cause the ball to fly high in the air, which is ideal for a punch shot.

Tips & Warnings

Practice the punch shot on the range to get a feel for how hard to hit the ball to get it out of trouble or better yet find a field where you can actually hit balls from the fringe of the woods.

About The Author

John has written thousands of articles for Demand Studios, Associated Content and The Greyhound Review. A Connecticut native, John has written extensively about sports, fishing, and nature.

Subscribe Today

Get our best training tips, videos, and tee times deals -- straight to your inbox

Tee Times Deals to your inbox
Join our mailing list today!


Pablo G.  Scored 89 at  Rio Hondo Downey, California

Craig T.  just went PRO!

Joe E.  Scored 96 at  Legacy Ridge Bonham, Texas

Alex M. unlocked the Golf Guru Achievement!
Reviewed 5 golf courses.

View Activity Feed

Video of the Day
Long Greenside Bunker Shots Watch Video>>

Tee Time Deals

Saturday, Mar 24 to Thursday, Mar 29

Related Articles

Article Image Golf Course Clothing Etiquette

Team sports have uniforms. Individual sports, such as swimming or gymna...

Article Image When to Use What Golf Club?

From your first tee shot to your last putt, what club do you select for...

Article Image How to Speed up your Golf Play

Golf enjoyment for players, and profitability for courses, is dependent...

Article Image How to Dress Appropriately to Play Golf

Golf is a sport seeped in rich tradition. Dressing appropriately for th...

Article Image How to Stand When Hitting a Golf Ball

With their backs straight, knees flexed and heads steady, many beginnin...

View All Related Articles