Step-by-step guide to playing the punch

The next time you’re on the range, try Clive Tucker's step-by-step guide to playing the punch and you’ll soon get the hang of it.

Step-by-step guide to playing the punch

It doesn’t matter how low your handicap is, the punch is a surprisingly easy shot to master and one that is incredibly useful out on the course. The next time you’re on the range, try this step-by-step guide to playing the punch and you’ll soon get the hang of it.

1 Push the ball back

Start by moving the ball, one-ball’s width, back in your stance as shown below. You should notice how your hands are now a fraction ahead of the ball at address. This de-lofts the club to create the exact launch conditions you’re after.

Step-by-step guide to playing the punch

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2 Weight shift

Now set a little more weight on your front foot. With a normal mid-iron shot your weight will be split 50/50 at address, I now want you to change that to 60/40. This helps you deliver a steeper angle of attack through impact – exactly what you are looking for.

3 Left arm level

The next element in our step-by-step guide to playing the punch is to control the swing itself. Do not swing the club past the point at which your left arm is parallel to the ground. It is a much more compact motion than usual but it really works well to keep the flight down.

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4 Shaft level

Again, you need to shorten the swing on the way through. I want you to put the brakes on the swing – stopping it when the shaft reaches parallel to the ground on the way through. This takes some getting used to because you are still making a powerful motion.

This step-by-step guide to playing the punch is the simplest and easiest way of keeping the flight of your shots down. You should be able to deliver clean contacts and driven trajectories with your mid-irons – ideal for whenever you are playing in the wind!

Neil Tappin
Neil Tappin

Neil has worked for Golf Monthly for over 15-years. Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. Neil is currently a 3-handicap golfer who has played the game for as long as he can remember. In his role at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing all new drivers and is part of a team testing golf balls. He is able to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!"


Neil is currently playing: Driver: Titleist TSi3 Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X