Different golf shots

8 Types Of Golf Shots For Ultimate Power And Precision

Author: Larissa Allard

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Comments: 0

When I was learning to play golf early in my career, I tried to hit the ball with similar shots in different situations. This prevented me from improving my game and scoring well, resulting in frequent penalties.

Gradually, I watched my fellow players play different kinds of shots and imitated that, which helped me learn to play a variety of shots.

When I incorporated them into my game, my gaming excellence increased thrice. Thus, I realized that learning to play different kinds of shots is essential for a beginner to grow in the game. 

So, in this article, I have listed down the eight different types of golf shots that every beginner should know for fulfilling different kinds of purposes in the game.


  • The Drive Shot is all about hitting the ball as far as possible, but it might not always be the most accurate shot.
  • Approach shots help you get the ball closer to the green and are usually played from the fairway or rough.
  • Chip shots are low-trajectory shots used when you’re near the green and want to avoid those pesky hazards.
  • Putt shots are used during the final part of the game when you want to roll the ball into the hole.

There are different types of golf shots played depending on the situation of the ball, the player’s technique, and the purpose. The following are some of the common shots played in golf: 

1. Drive

When you play a long-distance shot from the tee, it is known as a Drive. Apart from the tee, the drive can also be taken from the fairway when required.

It can help you increase the ball’s distance on par 4 or 5. The drive is the longest shot you can make regarding the distance covered. 

However, you can face a problem with the accuracy of the drive shot because it has a higher chance of slicing and hooking.

The goal of this kind of shot is to strike the golf ball to the farthest distance possible. If you are a beginner, you can drive the ball up to 200 – 260 yards. But expert golfers can make the shot up to 300 yards. 

Clubs used to play a Drive Shot:

  • Driver
  • 3-wood
  • 5-wood

2. Approach

Your ball doesn’t need to always go from tee to the hole. You can also make a regular shot that doesn’t go in the green, then play another one to put into the hole. This shot is known as an approach. 

It is used to hit the ball into a par 4 or par 5. You must make a full swing with the club to make the ball reach the green. 

The approach is often played from the fairway or rough towards the hole. Also, the distance and difficulty level of the shot depends on the position of the ball.

For instance, if the ball is in a tricky situation near an obstacle and far away from the green, it can be challenging to make a perfect hit. 

Similarly, if the ball is near the green and not close to any obstacle, then it will be a comparatively easy shot. The purpose is to take the ball near the green precisely. 

Clubs used to play an Approach Shot: 

  • Fairway woods
  • Hybrids
  • Long irons
  • Mid irons
  • Short irons

3. Chip

We usually use a full swing to take a perfect shot. But, when you make a short shot without a full swing, it is called a chip. Since there is no full swing, the ball covers a shorter distance, unlike the drive. 

The purpose of this shot is to make the ball avoid any potential hazards or stay away from man-made threats.

It is a low-trajectory shot used when the golf ball is near the green but above it. So, your end goal is to take the ball closer to the hole. 

For this shot, you must step slightly backward from the ball and place your hands ahead. This body posture will help prevent the club from digging into the ground. Moreover, it requires minimum wrist action.

Clubs used to play a Chip Shot: 

  • Sand Wedge
  • Lob Wedge

4. Lay Up

When your ball reaches an obstacle or hazard, it becomes challenging to make a safe shot toward the green. In such situations, you may invite penalties.

It is easier to play a layup shot because you only need to apply a little pressure to position the ball in your preferred place. 

To avoid these problems, you can opt for a layup shot to help you keep the ball in an ideal position for subsequent attempts. Furthermore, it will keep the ball safe and easy for others to play. 

For example, If your ball lands near the water or boundary wall, you can play a lay-up, removing it from the obstacle. Consequently, you can take a subsequent shot toward the green and keep your ball safe.

The clubs that you must use to hit the ball depend on the obstacle that you want to overcome.

Clubs used to play a Lay Up Shot:

  • Mid Irons
  • Shot Irons
  • Wedges 

5. Putt 

Putt often comes into play during the final part of the game when you need to put the golf ball in the hole. It is a short distance where you want to roll the ball on the ground. For this shot, it is essential to follow the line to the hole and slope to make correct aims. 

It is not an easy shot because you must use absolute power to make a hit to ensure it reaches the hole. It will either make you win the level or lose it, which makes it a risky one. 

For this shot, you must keep your feet shoulder-width apart and parallel to the target line. Maintaining a relaxed posture with a smooth motion for playing a putt. 

Club used to play a Putter Shot:

  • Putter

6. Punch

Punch is shot to avoid tree canopies or other obstacles. Additionally, it is helpful to hit the balls during strong winds to prevent them from being carried farther by the force of the winds.

For playing a punch shot, you need to make some changes in the shot and swing and keep the ball near your back foot.  In addition, keep a firm grip on the club without putting excessive tension on the wrist. 

This shot lowers the ball’s flight and decreases the spin to give you better control over the ball in adverse weather. Further, it increases the chances of keeping the ball on target, reducing extraneous impacts. 

However, it is difficult for a beginner to make a punch shot. It requires practice and mastery to make this accurate shot.

Clubs used to play a Punch Shot:

  • Long irons
  • Mid irons
  • Short irons

7. Flop 

In contrast to the Punch shot, you can use a flop when you purposely want to take the ball over the objects with force. It takes a high-arched trajectory more than the distance it travels. 

Usually, a flop shot is used when you want to stop the ball as soon as it hits the ground. A backspin is used to stop such types of shots.

Clubs used to play a Flop Shot: 

  • Wedges 
  • Short Irons

8. Pitch Shot 

When you want to hit the ball with a moderate distance and medium trajectory, it is known as a pitch shot. In this shot, the ball flies a greater distance than it covers by rolling, bringing it closer to the pin. 

For the pitch shot, you need to keep the ball in the center and slightly forward.  Also, your body weight should be slightly more towards the front foot. It helps to make a downward strike.

Further, you need a comfortable grip with increased club control to make an accurate swing. However, you can also use the regular grip with certain adjustments.

They are versatile shots that can cover a distance of around 30 to 100 yards. 

Clubs used to play a Pitch Shot: 

  • Pitching wedge
  • Sand Wedge 

Apart from these, there are other shots such as Bunker Shot, Stinger, Fade, Slice, Hook, Draw, Flop, Shank, Top, and Fat.

Summing Up

We have reached the end of this article, and now you know about the eight most common shots in golf.

Learning about these different golf shots will bring you closer to understanding and playing the game. 

When you practice and master these shots, you can plan your game and learn about using different clubs.

Consequently, you will get better control over your game which will increase your chances of taking the ball closer to the green and putting it in the hole.


  1. What is the best shot in golf called?

    The best shot in golf is called a “hole-in-one”.

  2. What is the first shot in golf called?

    The first shot in golf is called the “tee shot” or “drive”.

  3. What are the four special shots in golf?

    The four special shots in golf are Fade, Draw, Bunker shot, and Punch.

<a href="https://golfgearz.com/writers/larissa-allard/" target="_self">Larissa Allard</a>

Larissa Allard

Larissa has been a flamboyant golfer since the raw age of 8. With her savvy mind and keen observation skills, she mastered the sport faster than anyone else could. Larissa has always been eloquent with writing and is a graduate of Creative Writing from the University of California, San Diego. Being a golf player for 16 years and a professional golfer for 8 years, she's adapt and has coached many amateur golfers as well.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *