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What Is A Half Shot In Golf? – Explained!

what is a half shot in golf

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of expressions and technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those expressions often thrown out in conversation and television broadcasts is the term “Half Shot”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly does a “Half Shot” mean in golf?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what a Half Shot is in golf, along with some examples to solidify your comprehension.

What Is A Half Shot In Golf?

In golf, a Half Shot is a golf swing performed with a smaller backswing, raising the club behind the golfer less high than for a regular golf swing. The half shot in golf typically allows for a more controlled shot, at the cost of optimal power and carry distance.

In the great game of golf, the term “Half Shot” is a word that is fairly common to hear. Most golfers have heard of the term “Half Shot” before, as half shots are part of the arsenal of many golfers.

When you hear the word “Half Shot”, it will generally be around the time a golfer is about to take a shot that requires more control and finesse.

In golf, a Half Shot is a modified golf swing with a reduced backswing. During a half shot, the golf club is raised backwards less than during a normal backswing. A half shot is used when you need more control on the trajectory of the golf ball.

How far the backswing goes during a half shot depends on the amount of the optimal mix of power and control you are looking to get out of the golf club. Using a half shot over a full shot will often result in a loss of potential power, but the extra control gained is sometimes worth it.

A half shot is also referred to as a “half swing” sometimes.

You can see about an example of a Half Shot, down below.

Golf Half Shot Setup
Golf Half Shot Setup

In the image above, you can see that the Half Shot incorporates a much lower backswing than in a normal, full golf swing. The rest of the half shot technique is performed essentially like a full golf swing.

It is obvious to see how a half swing will result in more control and more accurate shots than a full swing. The full swing increases the swing length, which creates more opportunities for errors and deviations from the ideal swing path.

If you are not convinced of the added control benefits of a half shot, simply try it out the next time you are at the driving range or out on the golf course.

On the other hand, it is easy to see how a shorter backswing that like in the half shot will generally lead to a lot less power and carry distance.

Regardless, if you are a beginner golfer, practicing half shots before utilizing full golf swings can help you get the basics down correctly and improve your accuracy. By practicing more half shots initially, beginners can learn the correct swing path and how to hit the sweet spot consistently.

Over time, beginners can increase the height of their backswing as they get more comfortable and their accuracy becomes consistent at the previous backswing height. You can think of this gradual increase in backswing height as being analogous to a bodybuilder who increases the weight they lift over time.

Half shots generally increase in usefulness as a golfer approaches the putting green, where more control is required than when blasting a golf ball off the tee.

In addition, if you have a bad lie, you may find yourself using a half shot over a full golf swing because it is otherwise a trickier shot to take.

Half Shots can also be a great tool to use to exit some kind of rough terrain, or during chip shots to approach the putting green.

Half Shots are very useful in some cases, and you should be able to know when and where to perform them to increase your likelihood of making a decent-to-great shot.

The origin of the term “Half Shot” is obvious. Simply put, the backswing in a half shot is about “half” the backswing of a full golf swing, hence why it is called a “half shot”.

If you would like to lower your golf score and improve your chances of taking perfect Half Shots, you can read our guide: How To Improve Your Golf Score? – 9 Pro Tips.


There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly what the term “Half Shot” means in golf. You also got to read about some examples to further improve your understanding of the meaning of a “Half Shot”.

Do you have any other words you wish to know more about? When do you perform half shots in your golf game? Let us know in the comments down below!

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