7 Shots Every Golfer Needs And How To Play Them

In this video, Neil Tappin is joined by PGA Professional Alex Elliott to talk through the 7 shots every golfers needs, and how to play them

7 Shots Every Golfer Needs And How To Play Them

This video covers everything from hitting fairways off the tee, controlling ball flight and getting up and down to save your score. These might not be the flashy shots that every golfer wants to play but they are the ones you’ll need to master if you want to get your handicap down.

WATCH: 7 Shots Every Golfer Needs And How To Play Them


7 Shots Every Golfer Needs And How To Play Them

7. Half-pitch shot

The main problem here revolves around incorrect setup. First things first, grip the club in the middle of the grip to shorten the club. The ball should be in the middle of the stance and the shoulders should be parallel to target line.

The lower-half should be slightly open too which allows you to open the body to the target. A lot of players when they stand square on, they get very scoopy with the club-face and the opening of the feet should help eradicate this.

6. A stock shot

Every golfer needs a stock shot they can rely on to get the ball in play and working out where your game sits on any given day plays a role in that.

For example Alex recommends just hitting five golf balls (3 with 7-iron, 2 with driver) to gain an understanding of what the ball-flight is doing on a specific day. That way the ball-flight can dictate to you how to play and what to cater for on the course.

Another handy tip Alex uses is to differentiate swing thoughts when playing. He uses a thinking zone to think about technique and swing thoughts first, and then when addressing the ball he is in the playing zone, where he lets the shot dictate the swing.

5. Chip shot over a bunker/hazard

This is one of the most intimidating shots in golf and too many people try to play the shot like Phil Mickelson, which brings all the trouble into play.

At a base level it is probably better to overcompensate and try to land the ball in the hole like Alex mentions in the video.

Again setup is key here, ball position goes in the middle of the stance, use the most lofted wedge, keep the shoulders parallel to target whilst opening up the lower half.

The stance should be narrow, put your weight slightly on the left side and then commit to the shot because a lack of speed and commitment will result in a poor strike.

4. Punch shot

The main things we want to achieve in an iron shot are hands in front of the golf ball and making contact with the ball before the turf – a punch helps with both of these things.

Grip the club towards the steel of the shaft and the ball should go slightly back in the stance. Your weight should go slightly left and then open up the lower half and feet to avoid the ball squirting right. Alex also recommends swinging along the line of your feet too.

3. Chipping from bad lies

Taking the duff, thin and double hit out of play is the key here and there are two factors to consider. First, club selection is huge and second, setup plays a big part too.

In terms of club selection, usually specialist wedges have been designed to help here because they have more bounce and have been manufactured to improve your interaction with the turf.

In terms of setup, Alex recommends feeling as if the toe of the club is on the ground, stand a little bit closer to the ball and grip the club just short of the steel. Keep the weight left and feel as if the toe is brushing the ground during the swing.

2. Long-range putting

Getting the speed of the greens is key here and before the round Alex, instead of putting to the hole on the practice green, putts to balls to try and get a feeling for the pace of the greens.

This also tunes in the mind to focusing on the pace of the greens rather than be preoccupied with whether the ball went into the hole or not.

When you get out onto the course, when you are faced with a long putt, go to roughly halfway and make a triangle between the ball and the hole. Then walk back and this gives a great perception of distance and feedback.

1. Chip and run

We have all played this shot but most rarely practice it because it is not a glamorous shot. It also requires some thought too.

For a start, can you putt the shot? Second, if you want to chip it, then go and walk onto the green and see what the shot will actually look like. This will give you a better idea of distance and depth perception.

In terms of setup, it is best to stand closer to the ball compared to a normal shot and make the swing slightly wooden in form to get a straight back, straight through swing.


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