How to Hit Approach Shots

How to Hit Approach Shots


In golf, there are four main categories: driving, approach play, short-game, and putting. Out of all these categories. Approach shots amount to 40% of the scoring advantage among PGA professionals. So if you are looking to score better it’s a good idea to look into how you can improve your approach shots!  Approach shots start at least 100meters from the hole and are generally the second and third shots from the fairway. 

Here are 4 Common situations you face after your tee shot and tips on how you can master these approach shots! 

The Fairway:

For fairway shots, it’s good to remember to focus on your tempo and ensure you have solid contact. Firstly don’t rush up to your ball and then have to wait. We recommend taking everything at half speed in order to let your mind and body slow down. This is particularly important if you are nervous about a shot. Once your mind and body are right it’s time for your swing.  When it comes to your swing, ensure you maintain a steady rhythm and swing freely.


  • Keep your tempo 

  • Center ball position

  • Ensure you have a balanced / full finish

From the Rough:

It is inevitable that sometimes we will miss the fairway, so it is important to know how to play out of the rough. Shots from the rough generally test your judgment as much as your skill. In some cases, a lie will allow for any shot but some others do require caution. Generally, for these shots, you need a steeper angle of attack. For this shot play the ball back and hinge your wrist sooner. It’s also important to open the clubface slightly so it slides through the glass. Elevate the clubhead on the backswing and not on the through swing.



  • Elevate your lie

  • Evaluate the grass

  • Club up 

  • Steeper Swing

  • Open Your Club Face 

Fairway Bunker:

Bunker shots require a different technique than hitting from the fairway. These shots can often prove difficult and are often considered one of the most dreaded shots by amateur golfers. It’s important to remember to swing more with your arms. Ensure you have the ball slightly back from where you would normally. Open your clubface and hinge your wrists early.  As your feet are planted in the sand you must remember to add flex to your lead knee by doing this it will allow for your weight to be put forward and promote ball-first contact. Think of this swing as more hands and less body turn.



  • Check your Lie

  • Choose the Right Club

  • Stand Closer to the Ball

  • Keep your lower body still

Downhill lie:

When approaching this shot you must remember to tilt your body with the slope. The first step is to widen your stance and ensure your lead foot has good balance. Grip down on the club and tilt your hips and shoulder more with the slope. Having some flex in your needs will allow your hips to be level with the slope. If you are looking to get more trajectory, position the ball up in your stance and open the clubface.



  • Widen your stance

  • Ensure you have a good balance

  • Grip down

  • Tilt your hips and shoulders

  • Trace the Slope