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Decoding Golf Shots for the Golfing Novice

A golfer

The biggest challenge in a game of golf is that every situation requires a different kind of shot. As a novice, it may overwhelm you—given different things you have to take into consideration—but once you get a hold of it, there’s no turning back. 

Shots vary because of the type of hole, pin placement, wind, lie, and temperature. Here are some of the basic golf shots you need to master to move up in the game. 


The drive is a shot for long distances, typically taken from the fairway or the tee. This shot is perfect for moving the ball in a long distance in the direction of the green. As a novice, you can drive the ball to around 200 – 250 yards. Some of the most experienced golfers can drive the ball to more than 300 yards.


The approach is a subsequent or second shot that brings the ball to the green. Commonly, this shot is taken with a different club depending on the distance needed. 


Unlike drive, the putt is a shot for short distances that rolls the ball on the ground until it reaches the hole. While putting, you should pay attention to the line that goes to the hip along with the slope of the green.

It will ensure that you aim and strike the ball correctly with adequate power. Putt is a major shot, and failure to perform it well can break your game. 


A chip shot is a short distance shot. It doesn’t require a full swing, and it’s used for shorter distances than a putt. Chip shots are also used as lay-up shots to save the ball from a hazard.

A golfer playing a shot


A punch shot ensures that your ball is close to the ground. It helps you avoid hitting the trees or any hanging hazards. This shot is also perfect if you’re playing in strong winds and don’t want the ball to go higher. 


Flop is the exact opposite of a punch shot. A flop shot takes the ball above different objects. The ball’s trajectory is arched very high, but it doesn’t travel farther. Some players play the flop shot if they want the ball to stop immediately after hitting the ground. 

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