Andy Sullivan punch shot masterclass

Golf Monthly playing editor Andy Sullivan explains how to play the punch shot in golf

Andy Sullivan
Learn the punch shot with GM's playing editor Andy Sullivan
(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Golf Monthly playing editor Andy Sullivan offers his punch shot golf tips to help you combat windy conditions

The punch shot is one shot that every golfer, no matter what handicap, needs to learn how to play. Whether you often compete on links courses or not, it pays to be able to control your ball flight whenever the wind blows. I've put together a piece on crosswinds already but here are the basic elements you'll need to understand...

Read our definitive guide to the punch shot here.

The process starts with the set up. Firstly move the ball back in your stance – this will ensure you take loft off the club through impact. Now, because you have set the ball back in your stance at address, the clubface will have a tendency to aim a fraction right. So as you set up to the ball you need to aim a little left of target.

Then move your hands right down the grip so that you are almost holding the metal of the club. The reason this is so important is that it’ll help take speed out of the clubhead through impact – speed creates backspin which in turn creates lift. If you can reduce that backspin, you’ll also reduce the height of the shot. So, likewise, during the swing itself, keep the rhythm as smooth as possible. Concentrate on restricting your follow through as this will help you swing a fraction softer than usual, further aiding your chances of keeping the flight down - top coach Clive Tucker explains more about this in his video lesson.

Like any part of the game, it does take time to master but my golf punch shot tips are designed to give you all the knowledge you need to pull off this vitally important shot. If you can develop this shot in practice you’ll be able to control shots in the wind far easier and set up better birdie opportunities more regularly.


Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience 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 are 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!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."

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. In his time 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. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 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