February 25, 2021

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Types of golf shots

Knowing and using the basic types of golf shots will make you an expert golfer. You'll easily be able to play good games on different fields and in all weather conditions.

In this article, we've collected the basic shots you will need on the golf course.

We've covered each type of shot depending on whether it's used in a long game or a short game.

We'll also cover shots that are considered bad shots and teach you how to spin a golf ball.

Let’s get started!

Types of Golf Shots

There are two types of games in golf: long and short.

Long-game shots are made from beyond 100 yards of the green, while short-game shots are made from within 100 yards of the green.

A long-game shot requires strength and long-range trajectory. The golfer's task is to get the ball to the green in the fewest number of strokes.

For the short game, more dexterity and skill are needed, as the shots must be accurate.

Success in golf requires you to have both a good long game and a good short game.

Let's consider the types of shots you should use for each type of game.

Shots for the Long Game

The long game includes shots made from the tee box or fairway.

A player with a good long game will hit a ball over long distances with high accuracy. Shots are considered part of the long game if they are made more than 100 yards away from the green.

In the long game, the following types of shots are used.

Drive

The player's task is to send the ball a long distance and get it as close to the green as possible. Drives are performed from the tee box, or sometimes from the fairway. Use a club called a driver for this shot.

Approach

The aim of this shot is to deliver the ball to the green. An approach can be used for any shot after the first shot. This shot is used on holes with a par greater than 3. If the hole is shorter, then a golfer will likely reach the green from the tee ground and not require any shots after the drive.

Irons are used for approach shots. A lower-numbered iron is good for long shots, while a higher-number iron is good for short shots.

Lay-Up

This shot is taken from the fairway right after the drive when there is hazard on the course. Use this shot to send the ball a shorter distance and more accurately than usual. Wood clubs are used for this shot.

This is a good shot for cases where water hazards, bushes, or trees are in a straight line in front of green. A lay-up allows you to steer the ball into a more comfortable position for the next hit and avoid any hazards.

Three-Quarter Shot

During this shot, the golfer only swings 3/4 of the way on both their back swing and their follow-through. The shortest wedge club is used for this shot.

Because a full-strength shot may make the ball travel too far in some cases, using a three-quarter shot is a good way to hit your target.

Punch

This shot is made when the ball must be kept closer to the ground. It can be used to prevent the ball from hitting trees.

Blind Shot

If the player can't see the target from their current location, they performs a blind shot. For example, the player's view may be obstructed by a tree. In this case, the golfer needs to time his shot to overcome the obstacle and get closer to the hole.

Shots for the Short Game

Short-game shots are used if the player is on or near the green. Shots from a distance of less than 100 yards count as the short game.

In the short game, the following shots are used:

Pitch

A pitch shot is made at close range, and the ball has a high trajectory and only moves a short distance. The shot is most often performed with a pitching wedge.

Pitch-and-Run

The ball has a high trajectory, but after landing it still moves a sufficient distance toward the hole. This shot should be used on solid ground or in strong winds.

Chip

This shot has a short-range impact with a low trajectory. The ball rolls a relatively long distance after landing.

A chip shot is used next to the green or to get the ball out of a hazard. Golfers use the wedge to execute this shot.

Chip-In

This is a modified chip shot. It is also a short shot with a low trajectory, but after landing on the green, the ball rolls into the hole. This is difficult to calculate and execute, and golfers who succeed are very lucky.

Chip-and-Run

Golfers use this shot to hit the ball a short distance. After landing, the ball will continue to travel a longer distance toward the hole.

This shot is applied next to the green whent here are no hazards.

Flop

Golfers use this shot if they want the ball to fly very high, cover only a short distance, and stop immediately after landing.

The goal is to send the ball to green. Use a lob wedge club for flop shots.

Bunker Shot

If the ball hits the sand bunker, the golfer uses the bunker shot to return it to the field. A special sand wedge club is used.

Putt

This is a short-distance shot for rolling the ball on the ground. These shots are used on the green, with the goal of getting the ball into the hole. In most cases, the finishing shot that sends the ball into the hole is a putt. Use a putter for this type of shot.

Lag

If a player needs to land the ball next to the hole, not send it directly into the hole, they use a lag putt. This may be necessary when it's unlikely that the player would get into the hole in one putt.

Off-Green Putt

This shot is used if the ball is behind the green on the fairway or rough. It's used as an alternative to the chip shot.

Up-and-Down

This is two consecutive shots: a chip and a putt. The chip sends the ball to green, and the putt sends it into the hole

Sandie

This is a sequence of two hits: a bunker shot and a putt. The bunker shot sends the ball from the sand bunker to the green, and the putt sends it into the hole.

Unsuccessful Shots

Not all golf shots are successful. Here are the terms for certain shots that definitely don't help golfers play a good game.

Shank

During a shank shot, the golfer accidentally hits the ball with the hosel of the club, or any part of the club other than the head. This causes the ball to fly to the side: to the right for a right-hander or to the left for a left-hander.

Top

During a top shot, the player hits the ball too low on the club face. In flight, the ball gets too much spin and hardly rolls after landing.

Fat

During a fat shot, the player hits the ball too high on the club face, and the club digs into the ground. The ball doesn't fly very far after this type of shot.

Ball Spin Types

Draw

The ball flies straight after being hit, but then it moves from right to left for right-handers, or from left to right for left-handers.

Fade

The ball is flies straight after being hit, but then it deviates slightly to the right for right-handed players or to the left for left-handed players.

Push

The ball flies to the right of the target for right-handers and to the left of the target for left-handers.

Pull

The ball flies to the left of the target for players with a right-handed stance and to the right of the target for players with a left-handed stance.

Slice

The ball flies straight but then deviates significantly to the right for right-handers and to the left for left-handers.

Hook

The ball flies straight but then deviates significantly to the left for right-handed players and to the right for the left-handed players.

Conclusion

Golf has many versatile shots that you can't do without. The most important are drives and putts, but because all courses are different, each course requires a different combination of shots.

If you know them and know how to apply them, you can play a good game on any field and get out of different situations during the round.

Now you know which shots you should learn to get the ball closer to green if you are in the long game, and also what shots will help you hit the ball into the hole during the short game.

FAQ

What are the 13 basic golf shots?

To feel confident on the golf course, you just need to master the following basic shots. For the long game you need: drive, approach, lay-up, three-quarter shot, punch, and blind shot. For the short game you need: pitch, pitch-and-run, chip, flop, bunker shot, lag, and putt.

What is the most important shot in golf?

Three shots are essential in golf: the drive, the chip, and the putt. The drive helps you get the ball as close to the green as possible. The chip helps you overcome hazards and send the ball to the green. The putt is essential for the final hit to send the ball into the hole.

What is the most challenging golf shot?

The drive is the hardest shot in golf, but it is also one of the most spectacular. If done correctly, the ball's range can reach 270 yards.

What is the easiest golf shot?

The greenside bunker shot is the easiest golf shot. You don't even need to hit the ball with your club. The club enters the sand just behind the ball, and the ball flies out of the bunker on a sand cushion.

Sources

  1. The 6 shots you need to turn good rounds into great ones - GolfDigest
  2. Golf has only nine shots - Andrew Rice Golf