3 Golf Shots You Didn't Know You Needed

In this video, PGA pro Alex Elliott shares his tops on how to play three useful recovery shots

PGA pro Alex Elliott hitting a punch shot at Infinitum Golf Resort in Spain
(Image credit: Tom Miles)

A game of golf rarely goes exactly to plan, so it helps to be able to know how to recover when things go awry. In this video and article below, Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Alex Elliott runs through three shots that could bail you out of trouble and save you precious shots...

1. Hybrid chip and run

This shot is brilliant in certain scenarios or if you're not a confident chipper. In the video, I've got quite a bit of fringe to go through so I've opted for the hybrid. It gives the ball a little bit of loft and gets the ball rolling like a putt. It's definitely a shot I'd recommend adding to your locker.

PGA pro Alex Elliott setting up to hit a hybrid chip and run shot at Infinitum Golf Resort in Spain

Move in closer, grip down and open up your feet slightly

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

To play it, walk in a little bit closer than you would normally with a hybrid and hold it right at the bottom of the grip as shown. Open up your left foot a little, keep your weight on your left side and just make what feels like a putting stroke. It couldn't be simpler.

2. Toe down chip shot

This is a technique used by even some of the world's best golfers and makes chipping a far less daunting prospect for amateurs. The first thing to do is address the ball out of the toe of your wedge. Then, like the shot above, walk in closer so the shaft angle steepens and grip down so your almost touching the steel of the shaft.

PGA pro Alex Elliott hitting a chip shot at Infinitum Golf Resort in Spain

This method will help you make better contact more often

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Keep your weight on your lead side and make a very simple motion that resembles an extended putting stroke. With the toe down, the heel won't dig into the ground and cause the dreaded chunk, allowing you to slide the club under the ball much easier. You can use this technique with any of your wedges and it offers a nice, safe greenside option.

3. The punch shot

The final one is the low punch shot. The scenario in the video is an extreme version of what you might face on the course but the steps to hit it are the same. It's such a valuable shot to have when in trouble and there are five compensations you need to make.

The first is to do with club selection. If the yardage you're faced with would normally call for a 7-iron, you're probably going to need at least a club or two more. The next change is to grip down the club so it's easier to keep the ball flight down.

PGA pro Alex Elliott setting up to hit a punch shot at Infinitum Golf Resort in Spain

Keep the weight forward and the ball position back

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

The third compensation is all about the ball position; move it further back in your stance to lower the flight. Fourth on the list, I want you to keep your weight on your lead side throughout the shot, and finally, just make a shoulder height swing going back and through. 

PGA pro Alex Elliott hitting a punch shot at Infinitum Golf Resort

Make a shoulder height swing back and through to hit a punch shot

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Put these things into practice and you'll be able to get out of trouble without wasting unnecessary shots.

Alex Elliott
Top 50 Coach

Location: Mottram Hall 

Alex spent a great deal of time learning the game from fellow northwest golfer, Andrew Murray, who was a European Tour regular from 1979 to 1995. He spent three years on the European Tour caddying for Andrew’s son, Tom, before taking his PGA qualifications. His passion for the game and personality in front of the camera has helped him to create a thriving social media platform on Instagram and YouTube, where he offers a whole host of tips and advice to help viewers shoot lower scores.

Most significant influences on your teaching:

Mike Bender's book, 'Build The Swing Of A Lifetime', which I read during my PGA qualifications. He uses so many different tools to help students deliver the club better when hitting the golf ball. Andrew Murray, too. He helped form the way I interact with golfers and simplified what can be a complex game for a club golfer.

Advice for practice: 

I like to get students to work in sets of five golf balls – three drills shots to two course shots. The drill shots have no consequence, but with the two course shots, I ask the student to create a green or fairway and go through a full routine.

Greatest success story:

One of my students hadn’t played golf for ten years - he'd lost his love for the game. After watching my online Instagram and YouTube content, he came for several golf lessons and has now joined a local golf club. Knowing I've helped get someone back into golf... you can't beat that.