You’re struggling through a round, spraying the ball everywhere but straight and consistently missing shots fat, thin, heel and toe. Nothing is working. Now you find yourself in the trees, and with no way to advance the ball toward the green you decide to pitch out. You choke down, play the ball back in your stance, and punch it back out to the fairway.
Sweetness. The ball shoots out low, bending around the trees and hustling into play again. It’s the most solid contact you’ve had all the day.
Why is it that some days, in the midst of mad swing disease, the crisp, abbreviated punch shot is the only way you can get the clubface on the ball? Why wait to use it only after you’ve buried yourself in trouble?
We Americans, lovers of the high-flying, all-carry, squishy-turf version of the game only think to employ the punch shot when extricating ourselves from the woods. The truth is, if we’d used it first we wouldn’t be in the trees. Our overseas cousins, who play where the links are firm and the wind is always up, know this shot is far too resourceful to keep in the bag only for moments of peril.
It should be no different for you. The fact of the matter is that the punch shot, with its with its easily repeatable piston-like swing and low, searing ball flight, is a tool built for almost any situation and climate. It’s about control, efficiency, purpose—all things that aren’t condition specific. All things you could use more of.
The Scots understand the beauty of the punch shot, and so does the Checklist. Use it.