Practice Your Medicine Shot!

Extremely underrated skill everyone should work on. You need to have a low punch shot that you can advance a variety of distances. Bonus points if you can “work” a consistent shape.

Getting a consistent punch shot I can hit 150 yds that never gets more than 8 ft off the ground is one of the biggest skills I improved to drop my double bogey %. If you hit it in the woods you need to accept that you have just incurred a 1/2 to 1 shot penalty and you need to pick a line and distance you are 90% confident you can hit. Most of the time I make bogey but every now and again I punch it up near the green and save par. I can’t emphasize how having this shot has improved my attitude. Hit it in the woods and I start saying to myself “time to hit a great shot out and then stiff a wedge”

@Adamyounggolf will also tell you that playing around with this skill on the range will almost certainly have carry over benefits to your ball striking. Your body is learning how to control dynamic loft

Last thing… I NEVER try and cut the ball when taking medicine and I really play a pretty consistent 10 yd draw out of the junk (my typical miss is left of the fairway)

If I miss right of the fairway, I have to really be stern with myself and pick a line and distance to get out safely. Really bad things happen if I talk myself into hitting a hero cut shot (typically that is double bogey city)


I try to practice this shot quite a bit. There is nothing like being in the junk and hitting your punch out into the center of a pine tree to have it bounce back at you or in the wrong direction. Sometimes this shot takes a lot of precision. I know you have to play the shot that you can handle but there are times when you have to thread the ball through an opening that you aren’t comfortable with. For me I like to practice the starting line of the shot. After you clear the trees in front of you, the curve is a bonus. The starting 10-20 yards depending on the shot at hand is critical to taking your medicine correctly! Take half a bucket of balls at the range and try to start the ball in different directions while practicing. The low shot is a lot more difficult if you never practice it or rarely do.

Focus on one thing and go for it. My swing thought is keep my hands low through impact on this shot. Don’t be a hero, be practical and practice more than just normal shots. It’s hard enough to swallow your medicine so don’t put yourself in a spot where you have to take it twice in a row if possible!

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We have oak trees down the left side of our range

I literally go in the woods and play balls out! Fun way to get your creative juices going

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That’s awesome to have on hand like that! Being in New England there’s now shortage of trees here. I have had to hit backwards a couple of times just to keep the ball in play.

I guess I could sneak over to the side of the range and hit some balls through the trees, can’t say I have tried that but there is a range nearby where I could probably do it !

Better to ask for forgiveness than permission

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really like this idea I never practice this and find myself in the trees at times and get lucky most of the time. would be nice to really solidify this skill and have complete confidence when the situation arises

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Its useful to know how high this shot gets and how far it carries in the air. Dont ask me why i need to know the answer to the question.

Failing to clear the rough is almost like getting punched in the tenders. If i had a personal strokes lost hole chart like -1,4 for fairway bunker, -0.3 rough, i probably lose 0.7 strokes per hole for general stupidity, another 0.3 for stubbonness. Does block practice or random practice work better on pure aggression and unshakeable confidence in self?

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One great practice idea that I have used is to hit every club a certain distance, say 100 yards. So when I am practicing I’ll start each club trying to hit it 100 yards before moving on to full swings. It looks a little goofy when you get to driver but developing that feel and seeing the trajectory is a huge benefit to the inevitable shot from the trees we all have.


This is one of my favorite things to practice as well. If you can hit every club right around the 100 yard marker then you have good control. It forces you to know where the clubface is and you may not be able to swing full, but you still have to be crisp.

My buddies and I like to joke that we’re all pretty good at the punch out since we have to do it so often during a round, but in reality we could be a lot better. I am actually pretty good at the low running hook, but I struggle (honestly I pretty much can’t do it) with low fade.


Fun game if you practice with buddies is to pick a spot and club, closest to mark wins, but always a lot shorter than a full swing goes. Keeps it fun and serves a good purpose.

If you learn how to hit the low fade let me know how!! I can hit a 40 yard running hook from death but if I have to hit a 5 yard fade I may as well not even try.


I don’t even try either. I’m more likely to hit a 300 yd drive.

I did hit a low fade last night, but I thinned my 4 hybrid off a downslope + ball below my feet lie. TBH I think the fade at the end may have been from rolling over a divot or sprinkler head and not actual spin.

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Same boat.

I don’t ever try and hit a low fade…

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Low fade is my stock punch ‘get out of jail’ shot. When I try for a low draw, I tend to smother the shot. Alas,…