The Golf Money Shot List: Master These And Level Up Your Game

Think you’ve learned all there is to learn about shotmaking? Think again. Learning to master these shots; succinctly known as money shots, can make a huge difference in your score, and set you up to play in the big leagues.

Never heard about these shots before? Read on below to see which of these you are yet to master.

The Rescue/ Hybrid Shot

As an aspiring golfer, you may find yourself faced with challenging golfing scenarios, where your ball may land in a tricky spot, or where you have a long distance to cover with a less-than-perfect lie. In such situations, the Rescue or Hybrid shot can be a game-changer for you. Mastering this shot can prove essential, providing you with the means to recover from difficult positions and improving your overall performance on the golf course.

hybrid shot with hybrid club

The Rescue or Hybrid shot owes its name to the kind of club used to execute it. A hybrid club, as the name suggests, is a blend of an iron and a fairway wood. This club design integrates the forgiving nature and distance of a wood with the accuracy and control of an iron. Using a hybrid club for your shot can often be the best option when you're a long way from the green and your ball is sitting in the rough, or when you're faced with a shot that's too long for an iron but too risky for a wood.

A key aspect of the Hybrid shot is its versatility. In golf, unpredictable circumstances can arise, and being adaptable is a skill that will certainly serve you well. Unlike some clubs which may be reserved for specific situations, the hybrid can be used in various scenarios. For instance, if your ball is lying in the deep rough, where the long and flexible shaft of a wood would struggle to power through, or the sharp and narrow sole of an iron might get stuck, the hybrid with its design combines the advantages of both.

In addition, hybrids can be extremely beneficial for long shots, where you need the distance of a fairway wood but the lie or wind conditions don't permit it. Hybrids can provide an easier and higher launch than long irons, ensuring your ball can cover significant distances even from tight or difficult lies. It's important to note that the aim with a hybrid shot is to strike down on the ball, similar to how you would with an iron. This can help to achieve clean, solid contact with the ball, leading to a more consistent and controlled shot.

However, like all shots in golf, the Hybrid shot requires practice. The more familiar you become with the club and how it behaves, the more you can exploit its versatility to your advantage. You'll need to understand how it performs from various lies and how it responds to different swing speeds. Once you get the hang of it, you'll find that the hybrid club will be a go-to in your bag, offering a blend of control, distance, and consistency.

The Tee Shot On Par 3

As a golfer, one of the essential shots you'll encounter is the tee shot on a par 3. This shot serves as the opener for the shorter holes on a golf course and, despite their relative brevity compared to longer par 4s and 5s, par 3s often require strategic thinking and precise execution. The objective is clear: from the tee box, your goal is to land the ball on the green in a single stroke. Achieving this gives you the best opportunity to score a birdie or better on these holes.

When preparing for your tee shot on a par 3, there are several factors to consider. 

whole in one bar

Initially, assess the layout of the hole, including the distance, the location and size of the green, and any hazards that might come into play. This will help you determine which club to use. Unlike on longer holes, where a driver is usually the go-to choice, you'll most likely use an iron or sometimes a hybrid club for these tee shots.

Next, consider the weather conditions. Wind direction and speed can significantly impact the flight of your ball, so be sure to adjust your aim and swing accordingly. Also, if the ground is wet, the ball may not roll as much when it lands, which could require you to aim for a longer carry.

Your technique is also paramount. The tee shot on a par 3 requires a smooth, controlled swing that prioritizes accuracy over power. Your aim should be to strike the ball cleanly and consistently, enabling it to follow the intended flight path and land on the green. Remember, the loft of your club will provide the distance, so focus on making solid contact rather than forcing extra power into your swing.

And don’t neglect the impact of fueling your body the right way. A solid breakfast and a Whole In One Bar between holes will keep you playing at your best.

Lastly, always have a plan for your next shot. While your intention is to hit the green, plan your tee shot so that if you miss, you're in the best possible position for your next stroke. An effective strategy often involves aiming for the center of the green, which gives you a margin for error while still keeping you in play for a birdie.

Successfully executing a tee shot on a par 3 can be a thrilling moment in any round of golf, and it's an opportunity to score well. Practice and experience are key, so embrace these challenges and continuously work on improving this crucial shot.

The Draw and Fade Shot

In the game of golf, the draw and the fade shots are two pivotal tools that you can use to navigate your way around the course. Understanding how and when to use these shots can drastically improve your game, giving you a marked advantage over the competition. 

A draw shot in golf is one where the ball starts to the right of the target and then gently curves back to the left in the air. The draw shot is usually preferred by golfers who want to achieve more distance as the trajectory of the ball is typically lower, leading to increased roll when the ball lands. This shot is especially useful when you're facing a hole that bends from right to left, known as a dogleg left. To hit a draw, you will generally want to have a slightly closed clubface relative to your swing path at impact and swing from inside the target line to outside.

On the other hand, a fade is a controlled golf shot that starts left of the target and gently curves back to the right in the air. The fade is often the preferred shot of many professional golfers because it tends to stop quickly once it lands due to its higher trajectory. This can be extremely beneficial when you're hitting into a green surrounded by hazards or when the hole moves from left to right, also known as a dogleg right. To execute a fade, you need to set up with a slightly open clubface relative to your swing path and swing from outside the target line to inside.

Remember, both the draw and fade are advanced shots and require practice to master. The key is to understand when to use each shot, considering both the layout of the course and the prevailing weather conditions. As with all aspects of golf, it's not just about having these shots in your repertoire, it's about knowing when and how to use them to your advantage.

The Stinger

You've probably heard about the famous "stinger" shot in golf, popularized by players like Tiger Woods. It's an incredibly valuable shot to have in your golfing arsenal, especially when facing windy conditions or tight fairways. 

tiger woods playing golf

So, what exactly is a stinger? Well, the stinger is a type of golf shot where the ball is hit low and hard, resulting in a penetrating trajectory that stays under the wind. It's a perfect blend of distance and control, giving the ball a low, piercing flight and then a generous amount of roll once it hits the ground.

To execute a stinger, you'd typically use a long iron, although some skilled golfers can also hit stingers with woods or even drivers. You position the ball farther back in your stance than usual, maybe about an inch back from center, and you'll want to maintain a forward shaft lean to de-loft the club at impact. It's vital to have a smooth, controlled swing and to hit down on the ball, which will give it that low, stinging trajectory.

The stinger isn't a shot you'll use all the time. Its primary function is to maintain control and accuracy when strong winds might otherwise play havoc with your ball flight. It's also excellent for when you need to keep the ball in play on narrow fairways, reducing the risk of landing in the rough or out-of-bounds. 

The Knockdown Shot

There’s something about the name of this shot that just sounds beastly. And I love it. The knockdown shot is actually quite the potent weapon in your golfing arsenal. It's an adaptable stroke that can help you negotiate challenging conditions, and with some practice, you'll discover it can be a game-changer. 

To understand the knockdown shot, imagine a shot that flies lower than your standard trajectory. It might sound counterintuitive, but there's a good reason for it. A lower shot is less likely to be affected by wind conditions. This means that whether you're facing a headwind, crosswind, or any gusty situation, a well-executed knockdown shot can keep your ball on a straighter path. 

Executing the knockdown shot requires a few modifications to your usual technique. 

First, you'll need to position the ball further back in your stance. Then, grip down on the club slightly to shorten its length. Both of these adjustments will help lower the trajectory of your ball. When swinging, focus on maintaining a smooth, controlled motion. You'll want to finish your swing with your hands lower than usual, as a high follow-through can lift the ball's flight.

The key is to remember that a knockdown shot is about control, not power. You're trading distance for accuracy and a lower trajectory. This makes it a perfect shot when you're under trees or when the wind is whipping across the course. Use it when you need to keep the ball below the wind, or when you're facing a tight pin placement and need to land the ball softly on the green. It's also a fantastic shot to use when you want to prevent the ball from rolling too far after it lands.

The Lob Shot

Golfing is about more than just driving and putting; it's also about the finesse shots that get you out of tough spots and closer to the pin. One such shot is the lob shot, an essential addition to your golfing repertoire.

lob shot water hazard

The lob shot, often synonymous with the flop shot, is a high-trajectory shot that you use when you need to cover a short distance with maximum height and minimal roll after landing. It's the perfect shot to utilize when you're faced with a situation where you need to get over a hazard close in front of you, such as a bunker or a water feature, or when you need to land the ball softly on a tightly tucked pin.

When executing the lob shot, it's critical to understand the technique. It involves a full, but controlled swing with the clubface kept open through the whole motion. Unlike most other shots, where your stance is square, the lob shot requires you to set your body slightly open to your target. You position the ball forward in your stance, closer to your front foot, to enhance loft.

A common club choice for this shot is the lob wedge, generally with a loft between 58 to 64 degrees, helping to create that high trajectory. However, the use of this shot and club comes with caution: the lob shot is considered one of the most difficult shots to master. It requires precise timing, swing speed, and a clean, sweeping contact to successfully loft the ball high and land it softly.

In essence, the lob shot is your go-to when you're close to the green and need to navigate over an obstacle with limited landing space. While it's a tricky shot to perfect, with enough practice and patience, it can become an indispensable tool in your golfing arsenal. So, when you find yourself in a tight spot, don't hesitate to pull out that lob wedge and execute a beautifully high, arching lob shot.

The Breaking Putt

Welcome to the mystifying realm of Breaking Putts - no, not Breaking Bad, although sometimes, just like the show, this part of golf can feel like a suspense-filled thriller. But fear not, for we're here to guide you through the intricate dance of understanding and executing breaking putts. 

First, let's delve into what a "breaking putt" is. This is the curveball of the golf world. Unlike a straight putt, where the ball's path is as straight as a laser beam, a breaking putt is where the ball decides to take a detour, curving or "breaking" to the left or right. This can be due to the slope or undulation of the green, or sometimes, your ball just wants to do its own little waltz toward the hole. Who said golf wasn't poetic?

Knowing when to use a breaking putt is like knowing when to tell a joke at a dinner party - timing is everything. Typically, you'll use this shot when the green's slope won't allow a straight shot. When the lay of the land indicates a distinct tilt left or right, it's time for you to get a little break in your step, or rather, in your putt. 

To execute this shot, think of yourself as a pool player. You need to calculate the angle, force, and roll of the putt to account for the break. Remember, it's not just about getting the ball to the hole, but allowing it to take the scenic route. A successful breaking putt is a thing of beauty, like a plot twist in a good TV show. A little challenging, yes, but always exciting.

Though it might seem daunting at first, don't worry. Like Walter White in Breaking Bad, you too might find this to be your forte. And unlike Walter, your newfound skill won't get you into any, shall we say, trouble. 

Final Words

Mastering these money shots will bring a whole new level of gameplay to your time on the course, and put you on track for some real dough. Just remember that owing to the relative difficulty of them, don't be discouraged if you don't manage to pull them off in the near future.

Some of them take years to master- but the key is to start consistently practicing them now.