Have you ever wanted to hit that perfect shot that moves from left to right? Well, get ready to learn all about the cut shot! The cut shot is one of the most powerful shots in golf and can give you the edge on the course. Let’s break it down and take a look at why and when you should be playing a cut shot, as well as how to master this technique.
What is a Cut Shot?
A cut shot is an intentional ball flight path that curves from left to right for righties or right to left for the left-handed golfer. It is essentially the same as a fade or a controlled slice. However, there are a few differences. Let's explain.
For many golfers, a slice is their worst nightmare. It is one of the most common swing faults among beginners. It is a shot that turns uncontrollably from left to right often with a lack of distance and accuracy.
A fade is a shot that starts just left of the target and turns a few yards right to the target. A fade can also start out straight and tail off to the right. In essence, it is a controlled, subtle slice that doesn't have the wicked turn of a slice or the lack of distance.
It is not uncommon for golfers to use the terms fade and cut interchangeably. If there's a difference it lies in the intent of the golfer. A fade can be unintentional while a slice is almost always unintentional. However, a cut is intended.
When Should you Play a Cut?
A cut is useful when you need to get out of trouble, avoid trouble or set up for a better approach angle to the green. Let's take a closer look.
You pull your drive into the trees. Luckily you can see the green but you have to work some magic to reach the green. You pull out your trusty 5 iron, position the ball back in your stance, and hit a low driving shot under the tree branches that turns quickly from left to right around the trees and rolls onto the green. Now that golfers is a cut and it just got you out of trouble.
You hit a perfect drive and are sitting pretty in the middle of the fairway. The green ahead is open to the left but has a water hazard on the right. It's time for your lucky 7-iron and the perfect cut shot. This way you can avoid the water on the right by aiming a little left of the green and cutting the ball in.
How do You Execute a Cut Shot?
The key ingredient for executing a successful cut shot is understanding your swing mechanics and how they affect your shots. Every golfer has their own unique swing which means each golfer will need to make adjustments accordingly in order for them to hit consistent cuts.
With that said there are a few key elements that will help ensure a successful cut shot. For starters, make sure your stance is slightly open and your weight is distributed evenly on both feet. Position the golf ball in the center of your stance or where you would normally depending on the club that you're hitting. Obviously, if you're trying to cut it under the trees you'll want to play the ball further back in your stance.
Aim slightly left of the target. This will allow the ball to move from left to right. Your backswing should begin slightly outside with your downswing coming inside - an out-to-in swing. The clubface should be slightly open at impact.
And if the shot calls for a more severe cut or a true slice (intended of course) then open the club face a little more, and exaggerate the swing path a little more outside to in.
So there you have it. The quick down and dirty on how to hit a par-saving cut shot. Just remember like anything in golf it takes practice.
Make sure you take time to hit balls on the range before taking your new cut shot to the course. The last thing you want to do is to start experimenting on the course.
It's pretty simple - a cut shot is an intentional shot that curves from left to right. It's caused by sidespin at impact. It's an effective tool when you're looking to set up better approaches into the green or get out of trouble.
With enough practice and experience playing cut shots, you'll soon be able to master them like any other shot in your arsenal!
Good luck out there!
If you're looking to practice you cut shot at home we've got two great solutions below.
If you're struggling with a slice, you need to tap below.