Charles Schwab Challenge

Colonial Country Club

Approach Shots

The Perfect Punch Shot

August 29, 2016

Unless you’re a freak of nature, you’re not going to be in the fairway off of every tee. And that’s fine -– every guy on tour misses fairways. For those times you're so far off the fairway that you're in the trees, you need to be able to hit a good punch shot to get out. Hitting it in the trees isn’t a mistake, but not knowing how to get out is.

Swing coach Jeff Ritter has a few tips to help you get out of trouble and back into the fairway. First, he says to look at your shot and pick the widest part of the gap to hit through. There’s no point in being a hero. Trying to thread the ball through a tight gap is more likely to result in still being stuck in the trees than getting out. Instead, make the safe play and punch into the fairway.

When looking at that gap, Ritter says to also look at what trajectory you need in order to get out cleanly. You’re likely going to need to keep it pretty low, so Ritter says to pick a low-lofted club, and play it back in your stance.

As for the swing itself, Ritter warns that the faster you swing, the higher your ball is going to launch. So, make sure your swing is short, smooth, and controlled.

Following these tips will get you out of the woods, and help keep double or triple off the scorecard.