Push Shot In Golf – What It Means and How to Avoid It?

When the golf ball takes to the right and then continues on a straight path on that line – now that’s a push shot in golf. No lateral spin produced, just a straight-traveling shot that you mis-hit to the right side of your target.

So how do you go about fixing this very common issue? Well, there are many solutions. Now which one is going to work for you depends on what exactly is the cause behind it. Why are you pushing the ball to the right, to begin with? Let’s find out!

Push Shots – What Are They?

A push shot in the game of golf is a kind of mis-hit where the ball flight starts toward the right side of your target (or left if you’re a left-handed golfer) and takes on a straight path only to finish up on the right of that target.

With hook shots, the ball pretty much the same way begins toward the right, but then it curves to the left. However, in the case of “push” shots, the golf ball does not curve. Rather you see a straight flight path that’s traveling toward the right. Whereas fade shots and slices start from the left and, just like hooks, curve toward the right.

Push shots work another way altogether since you hit the ball in a way that it follows a straight line, thus pushing the shot. It’s just that the golf ball is mis-hit toward the right. There’s no curving, rather the ball takes on a straight trajectory.

What Causes A Push In Golf – How to Stop Pushing Golf Shots Right?

Here are the most common causes for pushing the golf ball, along with their own most effective solutions.

One thing you should know is that all of these causes pave the way for a clubface that’s open at impact. That’s how you wind up toward the right side of the target. And now why and how does the clubface open on impact, let’s find out!

1. You’re Aligned to the Right of Your Target

Solution: Correct both your stance and aim or just aim left

Bad alignment may be the culprit. After all, a push shot consists of a straight ball flight that is mis-hit to the right of your target. So how about checking your aim and making sure that you’re not set up to the right or aiming to the right. Instead, aim straight at your target at the time of setting up to take your shot.

You can do this by pointing that clubface directly at your target with the feet positioned in a parallel manner to the target line for forming that perfect square stance (and not a closed stance). Understand more about how to aim properly in golf, so your shots can travel in the correct direction and fly straighter and longer.

However, not every golfer wants to go through the trouble of modifying the golf club path, swing, etc. Or perhaps you find making these changes very difficult. Then why not simply just aim to the left of your target?

I won’t lie, this is a temporary fix. Nevertheless, aiming left is incredibly helpful in the case of specific clubs (such as high-loft wedges) that always lead you to push your shots.

2. An Inside-Out Golf Swing

Solution: Square the clubface

It really goes without saying that your swing path may be the problem here. Don’t make the mistake of taking the golf club back inside. Rather square that clubface by taking your club back outside during takeaway. You might want to check out this complete golf swing sequence guide for a better understanding of how a swing should work.

3. Weak Grip

Solution: Adjust your grip strength

You know your grip is all messed up if the clubface remains open to your target at the point of impact. Because if you’re properly aligned and the clubface is square, then the chances of an open clubface at impact resulting in shooting the golf ball to the right of your target are very much high.

The easiest adjustment here would be to strengthen the grip. A weak grip is one where you can see just one knuckle of the left hand during address. The right approach, however, is one where you get to see two knuckles, which indicates that your grip has become more neutral.

You can strengthen the grip even more by rotating the hands on your golf club till your three knuckles come into view. It’s all about knowing how to grip a golf club correctly.

A weak grip could also mean excessive grip pressure. How can you expect clubface release on impact to take place seamlessly when the actual physical pressure of your grip is too tight! That is actually one of the most effective ways to intentionally open the clubface at impact.

What you ought to be doing instead is keeping the grip pressure moderate. To be more specific, it’s like holding a real bird. In short, form a grip that’s more on the lighter and gentler side in terms of pressure.

4. Spinning Your Lower Body Open Very Soon

Solution: Extend and release your arms across your chest with a closed stance

On your downswing, if you spin your lower body open before you’re supposed to, a big push is unavoidable. The knees and hips turn aggressively, and then your club approaches the golf ball too far from the inside and doesn’t get the opportunity to release. Thus, the clubface remains open and hits the shot toward the right.

At such times, what has proven to be helpful is keeping the lower body movement to the minimum. Instead, focus more on swinging the arms past the chest at impact. If you keep your stance closed, the lower body will keep from rotating open. Then allow the extension and release of your arms across your body.

5. You’re Blocking Your Golf Shots

Solution: It’s a golf swing error, so fix the issue immediately

How to resolve the problem of blocking your shots i.e. not completing your swing? When you block golf shots this way, it’s only natural for the clubface and your body to “open” to your target at the moment of impact. So the solution is to hit through that golf ball.

Easier said than done of course, but most part of the effort lies in not considering ball contact or impact as the final goal of your swing. Instead, form a mindset where the golf ball is only a part or thing that’s placed in the way of a properly executed, complete swing.

6. Locking the Right Knee At the Top of the Swing

Solution: Focus on keeping your right knee slightly loose or flexible

Push shots are shots unintentionally aimed toward the right, right? This means your right knee could be doing something it’s not supposed to, especially at the top of that golf swing of yours. Locking it is a mistake that many golfers make when bringing the club to reach the top of the swing.

Now there’s nothing wrong with that, meaning locking your right knee is completely okay unless it’s leading to that unwanted inside-out golf swing path, which we want to avoid at all costs.

So why not be more mindful about your right knee during the top of the swing, keep it a tad bit loose or flexible throughout your swing. Just don’t lock up the right knee, that should be the goal!

7. Sliding Your Hips Forward

Solution: Rotate your front hip back

We’ve already talked about the problem of spinning your lower body open too soon on the downswing, correct? Much the same way, golfers also tend to slide their hips forward during the downswing, which means the clubface doesn’t get time to square up and remains open.

The way to fix this sliding of the hips forward is to swing your golf club perpendicular to that target line of yours. Keep it going straight down the outer part of the front foot. At this point, the club works as that thing that guides your movement. Focus more on rotating back your front hip, so there’s enough room for your arms to naturally come down at the ball.

8. Using the Wrong Configuration of Golf Clubs

Solution: It’s obvious, isn’t it? Get fitted!

When the clubs you’re hitting have a very flat/low lie angle, push shots are likely to occur. You don’t want the heel part of the golf club to stick out. So the best thing to do at such times is to purchase clubs with a more upright lie angle.

Likewise, standing too tall is also a potential cause. And to remedy that, slightly increase your knee flex and/or forward spine tilt.

9. Incorrect Ball Position In Your Stance

Solution: Bring the golf ball slightly forward in your stance

You may already know by now that an inside-out swing path and clubface facing to the right of your target are how you finish up your shots toward the right. And both mistakes – inside-out swing path and clubface aiming to the right – are made when the ball is positioned way too behind in the stance.

This way, premature contact is made with the golf ball, which doesn’t give the clubface the required time for a full rotation. Hence, an open clubface on impact. So shift the ball a little ahead in your stance, even if you’re not used to that. Here’s a useful bit of information about proper golf ball positioning when setting up for a shot before your swing.

That’s About It!

Just because push shots cannot be completely eliminated from the game of golf doesn’t mean you can’t make necessary changes to cut back as much as possible. And these changes or modifications in your swing technique, grip pressure, stance, golf ball placement, etc. may seem like too much at first, but I assure you that nothing has to be altered majorly.

These are all golf fundamentals that, either way, you have to work on someday or the other to hit straighter, longer shots, and, ultimately, lower your golf scores.

Photo of author

Jim Furyk

One of the PGA TOUR’s most recognizable and talented golfers, Jim Furyk was born on May 12, 1970 in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It seems like Furyk was born to play golf; his father Mike as an assistant pro at Edgmont Country club, and young Jim was raised into the game. Jim Furyk’s only golf instruction came from his father; and many note that might account for his unusual—yet effective—swing. In addition to Edgmont Country Club, Mike Furyk also served as head pro at Uniontown Country Club.

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