The Push Shot: Tips to Stop Hitting Blocks

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Although our website is called the Left Rough, all of us know what the right rough feels and feel like. 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.

Pushed shots are not something anyone loves to see and can reduce your overall distance. It can also affect your accuracy and make the game more difficult for right-handed golfers. 

Pushing the golf ball too close to the target line is another reason you might not be finding the right side. 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 shot at golf 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 make the same mistakes and it can be difficult to improve your game. A pushed golf shot refers to a missed shot on the fairway, green, or fairway. 

Even with the club straight, it’s likely a path issue and happens from coming too much from the inside. The ball starts perfectly and stays there the entire time. 

These shots can be modified to suit your needs:

  • Push slice: This shot starts right at your target and continues straight. 
  • Push draw: This shot starts right in front of your target but begins to come back to the left due to a draw. 

The opposite shot from a different swing angle is a pulled shot or pull cut. If you’re struggling with any of these issues make sure to read these popular articles below:

  • How to Make a Slice (10 Ways).
  • How to Fix Pulled Golf Shots

Check Your Alignment

With blocked shots, the first thing to assess is your alignment. Don’t change anything with your swing yet and start by looking at your aim. Too many golfers misalign their aim at address, which can lead directly to backswing problems.

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, you can use Alignment rodsTo be squarely in front of the target, set up. If this solves the problem, 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.

You can adjust the ball position to close your face and hit the ball 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 choose from three types of lie angles Too straight, incorrect lie angle, and too flat. If the lie angle is correct, your golf ball will launch directly towards 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.

If your clubs are too flat, the opposite is true. If the sole of your club hits the grass/turf more towards the toe, then the lie angle is too low. This can cause you to miss many shots to the right. This can be fixed by making the clubs more upright at the address (typically 1-2°).

If you bought your irons and wedges off the shelf, they should have an established 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. To prevent them from blocking your shots, you can do a fitting to adjust their position to better suit your swing.

Click here to see our complete article on lie angles.

Don’t make golf harder by playing equipment that doesn’t match your swing! 

Check Your Clubface

Poor club face alignment can also lead to pushes/pulls without realizing. While proper alignment with your feet and shoulders is important, the club face alignment is equally 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 Magnetic stick for golf clubs 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.

You should also commit to choosing a secondary target during your pre-shot routine. This is a target which is at least 1-2 feet from your ball and aligned with your long range target. This is the face of the golf course. Next, confirm it with your long-range target.

You might also miss out on a lot of shots left or right if you skip this step. 

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. 

You can strengthen your grip to feel like more of your hand is above the club. You’ll be able to see more of your left hand knuckles from this position. 

This will result in a better backswing and make it easier for you to square the club at impact.  You should also ensure that you maintain consistent grip pressure throughout your golf swing.

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. A takeaway that is too far out can cause blocked shots. This leads to an inside-out swing path. Most amateur golfers want an inside out swing path. However, it is possible to overdo it.

Many golfers can pull shots (from a steep upswing), but you may have the opposite problem. 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. Although it is fine to do a little bit of this motion, too much can lead you to 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 reach this position. After checking it, take a short pause and then continue your drive at the driving range. It’s an easy drill to feel a better backswing and start making changes in your next few practice sessions. 

The Plane Mate Swing Trainer is a great option

The Plane Mate by tour striker offers more assistance in improving your takeaway and downswing. This unique training aid allows you to feel a more efficient backswing, and create lag efficiently on the downswing. 

What I love about this training aid is that it gives you instant feedback. This tool is great for anyone who takes it outside or inside. You can attach it to any of your clubs to make the necessary changes.

Click here for our complete review on the PlaneMate of Tour Striker.


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. Many golfers slide their hips laterally, which can lead to timing problems on the downswing. 

Because you must move at your address when you sway back lateally. If your timing isn’t perfect, it’s easy to hit a lot of blocked shots.

Keep your lower body steady during the swing, and rotate your shoulders at least 90°. Keep your knees bent during the swing, and then turn your lower body around. This makes it easier for you to unwind. 

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. 

You can have more control in your backswing by taking a step back. This will help you to swing the club less from the outside and allow you to use your downswing more freely. 

Buy a Divot Board

A helpful training aid that will help you hit it straighter, is a divot board. These training aids are great because they give you instant feedback and allow you to study your divot patterns. It is easy to see a difference in your golf swing and can be used for at-home practice.

Click here to view our full review.

FAQs about Blocked shots

Do you have any questions about making solid contact and pushing the ball in the right direction? You can find the most commonly asked questions and answers below. 

What is a blocked swing ? What does it mean to block a golf shot? 

A blocked swing is one in which the ball does not reach the target. Tiger Woods has faced a lot of blocked shots (especially with his driver) so if this sounds like you, don’t beat yourself up. You can straighten your ball flight by trying the different setups and swing techniques listed above. 

It could be due either to poor alignment, too much ball in your stance, or a lateral fall toward the target.

What is driving the ball in Golf?

Pushing the golf ball can be caused by coming too close on the downswing. A variety of factors can lead to an inside out path, including too much downswing, poor grip, or too far back. 

Why do my irons keep moving right? 

It could be an issue with your equipment if you push your irons to the right (and not hybrids or woods). It can cause a lot of blocked shots if your clubs have a too flat lie angle. 

Make sure to get your iron specifications checked out at a golf store to see if they’re standard, upright or flat. Next, make an appointment to adjust your lies if necessary. 

Final Thoughts

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 occurs when there is an open clubface at the impact. A push occurs when you are too far from the inside during the downswing. A push slice is a combination.

The key is to make any adjustments necessary in your setup (alignment grip, clubface alignment etc.). Before making swing changes. These small adjustments can make a big impact on hitting the ball 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. You will hopefully be able to hit more fairways and greens in regulation, which will help you shoot lower scores.

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