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What Is An Approach Shot In Golf? – Explained!

what is an approach shot in golf
what is an approach shot in golf

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those golf terms commonly mentioned on golf courses and TV broadcasts is the term “Approach Shot”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly is an “Approach Shot” in golf?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what the expression “Approach Shot” means in golf.

What Is An Approach Shot In Golf?

In golf, an “Approach Shot” is the act of striking the golf ball with the intention of landing it on the putting green, generally starting from outside of the putting green. An “Approach Shot” aims to land the golf ball as close as possible to the golf hole, in one single stroke.

In the great game of golf, the expression “Approach Shot” is often mentioned on golf courses and on TV broadcasts.

In golf, the expression “Approach Shot” is the name given to the act of hitting the golf ball, usually from outside the putting green, with the intention of landing it as close as possible to the hole.

An “approach shot” in golf is a short-to-medium distance strike on the golf ball that requires accuracy and finesse to land the ball close to the golf hole.

For example, if a golfer’s ball is located on the fairway, a few yards off the putting green, a golfer will attempt an approach shot.

Depending on the scenario, the golfer might use a wedge, or a different type of club, but they will try to hit the ball onto the putting green, as close as possible to the hole.

Another possible scenario is if a golfer’s ball is on the putting green, but near the very edge of it. Assuming the hole is far away from the ball, the golfer is likely to attempt an “approach shot” to get closer to the hole and get the ball ready for an easy second putt, resulting in a two-putt.

Without using the approach shot on a long putt, the chances of missing the hole are very high. In addition, by missing the hole, the ball may end up further away from the hole than if you had gone for an approach shot instead.

In essence, an approach shot is a golf shot meant to bring the ball close to the hole in order to have an easy set-up to putt the ball in on the next stroke. Approach shots are used when a golfer knows they have a small chance of holing the ball with only one more stroke.

Approach shots can be especially useful on putting greens that have a lot of elevation changes and slopes that can be tricky to navigate.

In these situations, an approach shot can allow a golfer to send the ball to a flat part of the green, to get an easy second putt, as opposed to running the risk of sending the ball in the treacherous slopes near the hole to get a one-putt.

It is a common mistake for beginners to try their best to hit the ball into the hole with one-putts instead of using approach shots. If you often miss your putts, hitting them way too hard past the hole, you should hit an approach shot to get closer to the hole first.

Professional golfers all around the world commonly use approach shots to get the best score they can. In some situations, golfers can perform so well that their drives or fairway strokes can serve as approach shots, as they manage to get the ball close to the hole, even with long shots.

If you would like to get better at approach shots, and improve your golf score, read our guide: How To Improve Your Golf Score? – 9 Pro Tips.

Origin Of The Term “Approach Shot”

The origin of the expression “Approach Shot” in golf is quite simple.

Quite literally, in the English language, the verb “to approach” means “to come near or nearer to something”. In golf, the “something” we want to come nearer to is the golf hole on the putting green.

Therefore, when a golfer performs an “approach shot”, they want to hit a shot that “approaches” the golf ball to the golf hole.

For this reason, it makes perfect sense where the term “approach shot” got its name from in golf.


There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly what an “Approach Shot” is in golf.

Do you have any other golf expressions you wish to know more about? What is your favorite golf club to use to perform an “approach shot”? Let us know in the comments down below!

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