What should you do after you hit your drive to the left of the fairway and into trees? Or what should you do after you hit your drive to the left corner of a dogleg-left fairway, with the corner trees blocking your way to the green?
The simple and safe answer could be to chip back into the fairway and into a position where you are no longer blocked by the trees. In many cases, that would be the correct shot selection. But in some instances you may be able to push your ball closer to the target by using a draw punch shot.
As the name suggests, a draw punch shot is a type of golf shot that stays low to the ground – under tree branches – and spins towards the target when it is safe and out of harms way.
Use the tips below to master the drawing punch shot and get your ball closer to the target.
Keep the ball flight low
Draw the ball on a right-to-left spin towards the green (or along the fairway)
Open the Clubface Towards the Right of the Trees
In order to draw the golf ball you must first make adjustments to your address and setup position. And the first modification you need to make is to point the golf club towards the right of the trees, where you want the ball to travel to initially.
If your objective is to see the ball fly just to the right of corner trees then you simply point your clubface towards that initial target. You do this because according to the new golf ball flight rules, 85% of the initial ball direction is dictated by the clubface direction.
Close your Stance Relative to your Clubface
The second adjustment you need to make to your setup and address position is to your stance. Indeed, rather than seeing you adopt a square stance you will need to close your stance in relation to your clubface.
That means that you will aim your feet even more to the right of the corner trees than the clubface.
This mismatch between the line of your feet in your stance and the clubface direction is what will produce sidespin in your golf shots. The greater the mismatch, the greater the sidespin.
Since your clubface is now closed to the swing path (dictated by the line of your feet), the ball will fly on a right-to-left spin that is associated with a draw, for right-handed golfers.
Use a Low Lofted Club
Now that we know how to draw the ball we now need to make sure the ball flight stays low. And that can only happen using a lower lofted club.
There is no point in trying to use a lob wedge to hit a golf shot low that will draw and roll towards the target. That club – and any wedge – was meant to send the ball high and over a short distance.
Use a low lofted club instead. Anything over a 6-iron is probably using too much loft but you can decide what to use based on how low the branches are and how far you want the ball to travel.
The point remains, the lower the loft, the lower the ball flight, generally speaking.
Ball Back in your Stance
Next is how you position the ball in your stance. We have already covered how to position your feet and clubface in relation to the ball but where should we place the ball in relation to your two feet?
You should position the ball slightly back in your stance.
That will help the club strike the ball down early in the swing path where the loft will be lower than if the ball were placed forward in your stance. Placing the ball back will help de-loft the club and keep the ball flight low.
Grip Down on the Club
Your final address position modification should be to choke down on your club.
That means to hold the club lower on the grip than you normally would. This will help you gain more control over your golf shots by putting you closer to the ball.
Drawing a punch shot is somewhat of a delicate shot indeed and the better the control, the better the chance you have at success.
Use a Short Backswing
Finally, since you are within trees you may find yourself restricted in how wide of a swing you are able to make. Indeed, branches may block you from executing a full backswing and follow through.
But that’s OK because a short backswing and follow through will actually help you keep the ball low.
Keep your swing compact and low to the ground and see your ball start off just to the right of trouble and curve back into play with some pace.