What Is An Approach Shot?

An approach shot in golf is a player’s stroke aiming to land the ball on the green. It is typically the second shot on a par-4, the third on a par-5, or the first on a par-3, following the tee shot.

Mastering the approach shot in golf is crucial as it sets the stage for a putt. An effective approach requires understanding the terrain, the right club selection, and an accurate assessment of wind conditions. The goal is to place the ball as close to the hole as possible, setting up an easy putt. Whether executed with a long iron, a wedge, or wood, the approach shot is about precision and control.

Golfers spend countless hours perfecting their approach technique because it significantly impacts their score. A well-played approach can compensate for a less-than-ideal tee shot, keeping a golfer on track for par or better. Conversely, a poor approach might lead to a challenging putt, even a bogey, or worse.

The approach can vary greatly depending on the distance to the green and the obstacles in play, like bunkers, water, or trees. Some golfers may opt for a high trajectory to land softly on the green, while others might choose a lower shot, hoping for a roll closer to the pin.

Ultimately, the approach shot is about strategy and execution, requiring mental and physical skill. It’s a defining moment in a round of golf that can turn a good score into a great one, highlighting the finesse and strategic elements of the game.


Check out our easy-to-understand guide for all the golf terms and phrases you’ll hear on the course:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z