Despite our website being named the Left Rough, we all know what the right rough feels like too. It’s a frequent place for the everyday golfer as so many of us suffer from the dreaded slice thanks to a faulty swing path.
A pushed shot is a golf shot that no one loves to see happen and can hurt your total distance. Not to mention hurts your accuracy and just makes the game harder for a right-handed golfer!
But another reason you might be finding the right side of the golf course too often is from pushing the golf ball right of the target line. These are known as blocked shots and can make it hard to score well if you’re always missing right of your intended target.
The reasons you’re pushing the golf ball are very different from a slice. So if you’re ready to start hitting more fairways and greens, keep reading to stop pushing golf shots and improve your swing path.
Pushing the Golf Ball (Push Shot)
If you’re like most golfers missing right you’ve probably asked yourself, “Why am I pushing the golf ball?”
Let’s review some of the most common reasons for a push shot to help you hit it straighter.
Slice vs. Push
First, a pushed golf shot is not a slice.
A slice starts off straight at your intended target then leaks right or severely right if it’s a banana slice. I bring this point up because it’s important to analyze your shots correctly so you can find the right solution.
Too many players lump their misses together and it can make it difficult to improve your golf swing in practice. A pushed golf shot is when you miss on the right side of the fairway or green.
Even with the club straight, it’s likely a path issue and happens from coming too much from the inside. The ball starts right and stays right the entire time.
But you can have variations of these shots too:
- Push slice: This shot starts right of your target and keeps going right.
- Push draw: This shot starts right of your target but starts coming back to the left thanks to a draw.
While the opposite of these shots from a different swing arc include a pulled shot, pull cut, or a pull draw. If you’re struggling with any of these issues make sure to read these popular articles below:
Check Your Alignment
The first thing to evaluate with blocked shots is your alignment. Don’t change anything with your swing yet and start by looking at your aim. Too many golfers mess up their aim at address position which leads to all sorts of issues in the backswing.
Sometimes you’re blocked shots are a simple fix by switching your alignment. If you’re aimed right and hitting it dead straight, it might look like a block when in reality, it was a straight shot… aka the hardest shot to hit in golf.
It’s always a good idea to record your swing and notate your feet, hips, and shoulder alignment. If this is an issue, use alignment rods to set up squarely to the target. If this fixes the issue, great!
But if you’re still pushing the golf ball right of the target, keep reading.
Change Your Ball Position
Whenever I’m facing a consistent miss in my swing or even on the greens, I always look at alignment and ball position. This way you don’t have to make any swing changes and can make sure the golf swing basics aren’t giving you inconsistent results.
If you’re missing shots right it might be from a ball position that is too far back toward your right foot in your stance.
When the ball is too far back there isn’t enough time in your golf swing to square the face at impact position. Move the ball up in your stance so it’s more in the center or even front-center for longer clubs.
Adjusting the ball position will help you close the face more and hit it straighter without swing changes.
Adjust Your Lie Angle
Another issue that is leading to a blocking golf shot is equipment that doesn’t match your swing. While playing the right clubhead, shafts, and grips are key, don’t forget about lie angles either.
Clubs can have three types of lie angles; too upright, correct lie angle, and too flat. If the lie angle is correct your golf ball will launch directly at your target. If it’s too upright, you will miss a lot of shots left and should get your clubs bent 1-2 degrees flat.
The opposite is true if your clubs are too flat. When the sole of the club is hitting the grass / turf more toward the toe then the lie angle is too flat. This causes you to miss a lot of shots to the right of the target. To fix this, you would need to make the clubs more upright at address (typically 1-2 degrees).
If you bought your set of irons and wedges off the rack, they should have a standard lie angle. But if you bought them from a friend or eBay, it’s a good idea to get your lie angles checked at a golf store. You can also do a fitting and adjust them more upright or flat to match your swing to stop blocking golf shots.
Go here to read our full article on lie angles.
Don’t make golf harder by playing equipment that doesn’t match your swing!
Check Your Clubface
Another issue that leads to pushes and pulls without realizing it is poor club face alignment. Sure, you need proper alignment with feet and shoulders but the club is just as important. So many golfers don’t have enough club face awareness and wonder why they’re missing right! If you’ve never even thought to check out your clubface at impact, you need a cheap training aid.
This golf club magnetic stick makes it easy to identify where your face is pointed at address position. It’s a cheap training aid that can have a huge impact on your alignment and accuracy.
Also, make sure you commit to picking a secondary target in your pre-shot routine. This is a target that is 1-2 feet away from your ball and in line with your long range target. Set the face of the golf club to this and then confirm it with your long range target.
If you skip this step you might also miss a lot of shots right or left.
Strengthen Your Grip
If you’re missing shots right then it might be time to check your grip. If your left hand grip (for right handed golfers) is too weak, it can lead to pushed shots.
Strengthen your grip so it feels like more of your hand is over the club. You’ll be able to see more of your left hand knuckles from this position.
This will lead to a better backswing position and make it easier to square the club at impact. Also, make sure to keep consistent grip pressure throughout your golf swing too.
We’ve got a full article on a strong versus a weak grip you should review if you find yourself with the blocks.
Improve Your Takeaway
If your clubs are right for your swing and grip or alignment aren’t an issue, it’s time to look at your golf swing. One issue that leads to a lot of blocked shots is a takeaway that is too far outside; this leads to an inside out swing path. An inside out swing path is desired by most amateur golfers but you can overdo it.
While a lot of golfers pull shots (from a steep downswing) you might have the exact opposite issue. You’re actually coming too far from the inside and the backswing might be the reason.
If you take the club back too far outside, it’s natural to loop it back inside. While a little bit of this motion is okay (and actually encouraged), too much can lead to a lot of pushes and blocked shots. If it’s drawing back, it’s not a big deal but it’s never a great idea to rely too much on wrist action in your swing.
To fix this issue, try to take the club back more inside so it’s a straight path. You want to have the club face slightly outside your hands at P2 – when the club is parallel to the ground.
You can even get to this position, check it with a brief pause, then finish your swing at the driving range. It’s an easy drill to feel a better backswing and start making changes in your next few practice sessions.
Try Out the Plane Mate Swing Trainer
If you want more help with a better takeaway and downswing, check out the Plane Mate by Tour Striker. This unique training aid makes it easy to feel an efficient backswing and create lag effectively on the downswing.
What I love about this training aid is that it gives you instant feedback. Whether you take it too far inside or outside, this tool can help. Plus, you can hit shots with it attached to any of your clubs to feel the necessary changes.
Rotate Don’t Slide on the Backswing
To create power and improve ball striking it’s vital that you rotate around your body – not slide. Too many average golfers laterally sway their hips and it leads to all sorts of timing issues on the downswing.
Because when you sway back laterally, you have to move back at address. If your timing isn’t perfect, it’s easy to hit a lot of blocked shots.
Focus on keeping your lower body stable during the swing and rotate your shoulders at least 90 degrees. Keep your knees flexed throughout the swing and turn around your lower body. This makes it easier to unwind and load the weight on your left side to start the downswing.
Step Back from the Ball
If you’re hitting blocked shots with the majority of your clubs, try to stand farther away from the golf ball. If you’re crowding the ball too much it might change the lie angle of your club face and make it too flat.
By taking a small step back you have more freedom in your backswing. This should help you take the club back less outside and not drop it from the inside as much in your downswing.
Buy a Divot Board
Another useful training aid to help you hit it straighter is a divot board. These training aids are great because you get instant feedback and can study your divot pattern. It makes it easy to feel a difference in your swing and great for at-home practice.
FAQs About Blocked Shots
Do you have more questions about push shots and making solid contact to get the ball flying in the right direction? If so, keep reading to check out the most frequently asked questions and answers below.
What is a blocked swing? What does blocking a golf shot mean?
A blocked swing is when the ball starts right of the target and stays there. Tiger Woods has faced a lot of blocked shots (especially with his driver) so if this sounds like you, don’t beat yourself up. Try out the different setup and swing techniques above to straighten out your ball flight.
It could stem from poor alignment, ball too far back in your stance, or a lateral slide toward the target.
What is pushing the ball in golf?
Pushing the golf ball occurs from coming inside too much on the downswing. An inside out path can happen for a variety of reasons including the ball position being too far back, weak grip, and other issues.
Why do I push my irons right?
If you push your irons (and not woods or hybrids) to the right, it could be an equipment issue. If your clubs have a lie angle that is too flat it can lead to a lot of blocked shots.
Make sure to get your iron specifications checked out at a golf store to see if they’re standard, upright or flat. Then, schedule a quick appointment to adjust your lies as needed.
Missing right happen a lot but it’s not that hard to fix. The key to successfully diagnose your miss and understand if it’s a slice or a push (aka blocked shot.
A slice happens from an open clubface at impact. While a push happens from coming too far from the inside on the downswing. And a push slice is a combination of the two.
The key is to make the necessary adjustments in your setup (alignment, grip, clubface alignment, etc.) before making swing changes. Usually these simple setup adjustments can make a huge difference in hitting it straighter.
But don’t be afraid to use a training aid like the Planemate for more feedback and get the ball starting at the target as well. Hopefully you will start hitting more fairways and greens in regulation to shoot lower scores.