9 Different Types of Golf Shots to help your game, Today!


Golf is a game unlike any other. The greatest challenge within the game is that you are put in various situations that require different shots.  Hardly any two shots are the same because of the hole and variables such as pin placement, lie, wind, and even the temperature.

The better we get, the more shots we can typically hit.  We are here to help you understand the different shots that the game of golf requires.

We will also help you understand how to better hit these shots.  

The better golfers are able to play a variety of different shots depending on what the course calls for.  A golfer can play at a pretty high level with only having one shot pattern.

However, the more shots in your repertoire, the better.  You are a more versatile golfer that can play different courses in different conditions.  

For example, most Jack Nicklaus designed courses require you to hit a fade to truly score well while Augusta National is known to favor those that can hit a draw.  It doesn’t eliminate your from being able to play different courses, but the best in the world can play both shapes (left and right) and even some amateurs can.

We will start off with a basic review of the different shots, then dive into some of the more advanced shots and finally get into the “how to” portion of hitting different golf shots.  Golf is truly a journey and we are here to help.

Make sure you practice and spend extra time on your short game!

Different Types of Golf Shots: The Basics

Drive – This is the first tee shot on every hole.  On par 4’s and par 5’s the most common club used is the driver.  They key is to be able to hit the ball far enough and straight enough.  Many beginning golfers struggle with the slice off of the tee shot or the drive.  Some will end up hitting a 3 wood as traditionally it is easier to hit straighter due to the additional loft when compared to the driver.

Approach Shot – This is the shot on a hole where you are able to hit the ball far enough to reach the green.  Typically, these shots are hit with your irons in your golf bag, but more and more golfers, especially juniors and seniors, are now hitting more hybrids due to them being easier to hit a bit higher and further.

Chip – This shot takes place around the green and typically rolls further than it flies in the air.  This shot can be played with a variety of clubs, usually between a 7 iron and a lob wedge. You have many options here as the key is accuracy and distance control versus pure distance.  The game has become more and more difficult with many of the new course designs that required more air under your short game shots. The greens are also faster and firmer than 40 years ago.

Pitch – This is a shot that typically spends more time in the air than on the ground, but does not require a full swing.  This shot is typically played with one of the wedges in your bag, ranging from your pitching wedge (around 48 degrees) up to your lob wedge (around 60 degrees).  This might be the single most important shot in golf to lower your sores. The pitch can be practiced many places and doesn’t require a great amount of strength, speed or fantastic technique.  Instead it takes time and repetition.  

Putt – This is the shot once you have reached the green or the fringe where you use the putter to keep the ball rolling on the ground.  Putting is another great place to save shots. Did you know that the PGA Tour make percentage from 8 feet is only 50%? Get out there and practice your 3 to 10 footers and you just might see your score improve significantly.  

Different Types of Golf Shots: For The More Advanced Golfer

Punch Shot – This is a shot that is used from a variety of different places, but mainly when you are out of the fairway and in the rough and potentially even in the trees.  This shot will stay lower and then run out a decent distance. You will see even the best golfers get stuck in the trees and have to play the punch shot to get the ball back in place and free of restrictions.  The ability to hit the punch shot can save several shots per round.

Stinger – This too is a lower shot, but is traditionally played to keep the ball out of the wind.  When the wind is blowing strong in your face or strong left to right or right to left, playing the stinger is a low penetrating shot that the wind has less impact on when compared to a traditional shot.  Tiger Woods made this shot famous in the early 2000s. This shot is also used frequently at the British Open or when playing links golf due to the wind and the firm ground conditions. The ability to keep the ball out of the wind is a sign of a good golfer.

Draw and Fade – These are shots that curve in a controlled manner either left (draw) or to the right (fade) for the right handed golfer.  These shots are played intentionally to attack a certain pin placement or to take advantage of the curvature of a hole. Many doglegs can be shortened by being able to hit a draw or a fade depending on the hole.

Hook and Slice – Rarely does someone play a hook or a slice intentionally.  Instead these shots are usually hit on accident as a result of poor mechanics.  The weaker golfer will struggle with the slice, while the more advanced golfer will fight the hook.  Ben Hogan spent the first part of his career fighting the hook. That is why later in his career you see the weaker grip.  The slice is often caused from cutting across the ball, which you will learn more about in the ball flight law section.

The 9 Different Shaped Shots

There are 9 different shape shots that make up every shot in golf.  Tiger Woods is known to practice hitting into the “windows” of the 9 shaped shots.  The image below shows where you should want to start the ball to try to hit each of the shots.  The goal is to have the ball land in the middle, but start in one of the window. Here is a list of each shot, followed by the image.

  • Low Draw
  • Medium Draw
  • High Draw
  • Low Straight
  • Medium Straight
  • High Straight
  • Low Fade
  • Medium Fade
  • High Fade
These are the 9 shots to maximize your golf game!

Practice

When you are at the driving range, try hitting these 9 different shots. If you are struggle with it. Just work on hitting at least 3 of the shots. For example learn one side of the image. Practice hitting 3 different fade shots: low, medium and a high fade. Don’t worry, even the pros would struggle to hit all 9 in a range setting on any given day. I can hit each of the draw shots on demand, but would struggle to consistently hit a fade that doesn’t over fade.

Overview Ball Flight Laws

In order to be able to hit these windows a basic understanding of the new ball flight laws will help.  First, let’s talk about where the ball will start. The ball will generally start in the direction that the club face is facing at impact. 

For example, if your club face is open to the target line the ball will start to the right. It will then curve away from your swing path. So if your face is 2 degrees open and your path is 5 degrees to the right, you will hit a push draw.  This is the shot that starts right and curves back towards the target.

The opposite of this is the club face that is 2 degrees closed or left of the target line and path that is 5 degrees left of the target line.  This will produce a shot that starts left and curves to the right or what is considered a fade.

The ability to control your club face and your swing path will help you ht each of the nine windows displayed in the image above.  The slice or hook results from big gaps between the face angle and the swing path.

For example, a golfer that has a 1 degree closed face and a path 11 degrees to the left will hit a massive pull slice that might end up in the next fairway or two.  The closer you can match up the face with the path, the straighter the shot will fly. 

MythBusters

Many people seem to think that you need a closed club face to hit a draw.  The reality is that it can be open to the target line, but it needs to be closed to the swing path.  Your face can be 5 degrees open and if your path 7 is degrees to the right, you will hit a push draw. 

It might not curve all the way back to the target line, but it will start right and draw. Pull draws and push fades are also a possibility.  As golfers like Arnold Palmer (pull draw) and Lee Trevino (push fade) his these shots and are golf hall of famers.

How to Hit a Draw and a Fade

The best instructor I have come across to help people hit a draw and a fade is Shawn Clement.  He spends a significant amount of time talking about the setup prior to the shot. He will recommend the face be pointed one way (typically down the target line) and then setting up your body in the direction you want your swing to go.  

He also stresses picking a target in the distance and letting gravity take over. He believes we are gravity geniuses and can give our body a task and will accomplish that.  He doesn’t believe in trying to get into positions in the golf swing. His approach is refreshing and helpful.  

Here is an excellent video on hitting a draw and a fade.

If you are struggling to hit a draw, you must check out Jim Venetos. His approach is unique, but he can get you hitting a draw!

Take Action…

Is it time you finally start playing consistent golf and reaching your full potential?  Then you need to check out our post on the top 5 online golf instructors, here.

Also consider training with the SuperSpeed Golf System.  We all need additional speed and distance in our golf swings. Check our our review on the SuperSpeed System, here.

If you want to buy a SuperSpeed, don’t forget to use discount code Golfjourney365 for a 10% discount at SuperSpeed Golf.

One other options for speed: Gain 30-40 yards in 30 Days – Swing Man Golf

We have also provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

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