HomeBeginner’s GuideHow to Play Hammer in Golf?

How to Play Hammer in Golf?

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Ever found yourself in a tricky spot on the golf course where a regular shot just won’t cut it? Enter the hammer shot, a powerful and versatile technique that can get you out of tough situations and give you an edge over your competitors. Whether you’re a beginner looking to expand your repertoire or an experienced golfer aiming to refine your skills, mastering the hammer shot is a game-changer. In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about playing the hammer shot in golf, from the basics to advanced techniques.

Understanding the Hammer Shot

The hammer shot in golf is a specialized technique designed to deliver a powerful, downward strike on the ball, resulting in a strong, penetrating ball flight. This shot is particularly useful when you need to navigate challenging situations on the course, such as getting out of dense rough or clearing low-hanging branches.

Unlike standard golf shots, the hammer shot emphasizes a forceful impact that maximizes power while minimizing spin, allowing for greater control and distance. By mastering the hammer shot, golfers can enhance their versatility and improve their performance in difficult scenarios.

How to Play Hammer in Golf?

Hammer is a golf game that adds a gambling element to the standard round. Here’s how it works:

Before you start:

  • Agree on a starting bet amount for each hole. It can be anything from a dollar to a friendly amount.
  • Decide on any variations to the rules (more on that below).

Basic Gameplay:

  1. At any point during a hole, a player can yell “Hammer!” This essentially doubles the bet for that hole.

  2. The opponent then has two options:

    • Accept the challenge: They agree to play for the doubled amount.
    • Fold: They concede the hole at the original bet amount.
  3. The key element is the hammer rotates after it’s used. So, if Player A hammers first, Player B has the opportunity to hammer back on the next hole, and so on.

Things to Consider:

  • Hammer can get expensive quickly, especially if the stakes are high and the game goes back and forth.
  • The strategy involves not just playing well but also understanding your opponent’s risk tolerance and using the hammer at opportune moments.
  • There are some variations to the rules you can discuss before playing. For instance, you might limit the number of hammers allowed per hole or agree on specific zones where hammers aren’t allowed (like putting).

Here are some resources for further reading

Read also: 20 Ways to Play Golf Cheap

Equipment Needed

Choosing the right equipment is crucial for executing the hammer shot effectively.

Ideal Clubs for the Hammer Shot

For the hammer shot, wedges, and short irons are typically the clubs of choice. These clubs allow for a steep angle of attack and provide the necessary loft and control.

Importance of the Right Golf Ball

Don’t overlook the golf ball. A ball designed for lower spin can help maintain control and accuracy, which is essential for the hammer shot’s success.

Fundamentals of the Hammer Shot

Before diving into the mechanics, let’s cover the basics: grip, stance, and posture.

1. Grip

A proper grip sets the foundation for any good shot. For the hammer shot, you want a firm, yet relaxed grip. This balance ensures you can deliver power without sacrificing control.

2. Stance

Your stance should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, providing a stable base. Bend your knees slightly and keep your weight centered.

3. Posture

Good posture is key. Bend at the hips, not the waist, and maintain a straight back. This position helps you generate the necessary power for the hammer shot.

Swing Mechanics

Now, let’s get into the swing mechanics: backswing, downswing, and follow-through.


A controlled backswing is essential. Keep your arms and wrists firm, and focus on a smooth, deliberate motion. This sets up a powerful downswing.


During the downswing, shift your weight onto your front foot and drive the club downward with force. This is where the hammer shot gets its power.


A proper follow-through ensures you complete the shot effectively. Maintain your form and allow your body to naturally complete the motion.

Read also: How to Play Wolf in Golf?

Practicing the Hammer Shot

Practice makes perfect. Here are some drills to help you master the hammer shot.

Drills for Improvement

  • Towel Drill: Place a towel a few inches behind the ball. Focus on striking the ball without hitting the towel.
  • Impact Bag Drill: Use an impact bag to practice your downswing and follow-through, emphasizing power and control.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

  • Overgripping: This can reduce control. Ensure your grip is firm but not too tight.
  • Incorrect Stance: A narrow stance can lead to instability. Remember to keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Poor Follow-through: Failing to complete your swing can result in a lack of power and accuracy.

Common Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Even experienced golfers can fall into bad habits when executing the hammer shot. Recognizing these common mistakes and knowing how to fix them can significantly improve your performance. Here are the top 10 common mistakes and how to address them:

1. Overgripping

Mistake: Gripping the club too tightly.

Fix: Maintain a firm yet relaxed grip. Practice holding the club with a light touch to improve flexibility and control during your swing.

2. Incorrect Stance

Mistake: Stance is too narrow or too wide, leading to instability.

Fix: Ensure your feet are shoulder-width apart, with your weight evenly distributed. This stable base allows for better balance and power transfer.

3. Poor Follow-through

Mistake: Failing to complete the swing properly.

Fix: Focus on a full, controlled follow-through. Practicing with a smooth, continuous motion helps maintain power and accuracy.

4. Early Release

Mistake: Releasing the club too early in the downswing.

Fix: Work on delaying the release until just before impact. This timing ensures maximum power and proper ball contact.

5. Inconsistent Ball Position

Mistake: Placing the ball too far forward or back in your stance.

Fix: Position the ball slightly forward or center. This placement promotes a downward strike, essential for the hammer shot.

6. Over-swinging

Mistake: Trying to generate too much power by swinging too hard.

Fix: Focus on a controlled, powerful swing rather than sheer force. Smooth, deliberate movements often result in better distance and accuracy.

7. Poor Posture

Mistake: Hunching over or standing too upright.

Fix: Bend at the hips, not the waist, and keep your back straight. Good posture ensures a more effective and powerful swing.

8. Misaligned Clubface

Mistake: The clubface is not square at impact.

Fix: Check your alignment regularly. Ensure the clubface is square to the target line to improve accuracy and consistency.

9. Lack of Practice with Drills

Mistake: Not incorporating specific drills into practice sessions.

Fix: Regularly use drills like the towel drill or impact bag drill to hone your hammer shot technique. Consistent practice with focused drills can correct many common errors.

10. Ignoring Mental Preparation

Mistake: Not mentally preparing for the shot.

Fix: Take a moment to visualize the shot and focus on your intended outcome. Mental rehearsal can enhance your confidence and execution.

Read also: How to Mark a Golf Ball?

Advanced Techniques

Once you’ve got the basics of the hammer shot down, it’s time to take your game to the next level with some advanced techniques. These methods will help you refine your shot, adding precision and versatility to your arsenal. Here are the top 10 advanced techniques to master the hammer shot in golf:

1. Adding Spin to the Ball

To add a backspin and control the stopping power on the green, open your clubface slightly at impact. This technique creates a higher loft and more spin, making the ball stop quickly after landing.

2. Controlling Trajectory

Adjusting the angle of attack and swing speed can help you control the trajectory of the hammer shot. A steeper angle produces a higher flight, while a shallower angle results in a lower, more penetrating ball flight.

3. Varying Swing Speeds

Experiment with different swing speeds to find the right balance between power and control. Faster swings generate more distance, while slower swings offer better accuracy and control.

4. Adjusting Grip Pressure

Fine-tuning your grip pressure can influence the shot’s outcome. A firmer grip can enhance power, while a lighter grip can improve finesse and control.

5. Utilizing Different Clubs

Don’t limit yourself to just wedges and short irons. Experiment with mid-irons and even hybrids to see how they affect the hammer shot. Each club can provide different advantages in various situations.

6. Shot Shaping

Learn to shape your shots by altering your stance and swing path. Practice hitting fades and draws with the hammer shot to navigate around obstacles and adapt to different course layouts.

7. Enhancing Impact Precision

Focus on striking the ball precisely at the bottom of your swing arc. This technique ensures maximum power transfer and minimizes spin, resulting in a more effective hammer shot.

8. Incorporating Body Rotation

Engage your core and hips more actively in the swing to generate additional power. Proper body rotation can help you achieve a more forceful and controlled hammer shot.

9. Practicing with Obstacles

Set up practice scenarios with various obstacles like trees or tall grass. Practicing in these conditions helps you develop the ability to execute the hammer shot effectively in real-game situations.

10. Mental Visualization

Before taking the shot, visualize the entire process—from the backswing to the ball’s flight path and landing. This mental rehearsal can enhance your focus and execution, improving the consistency of your hammer shot.


Mastering the hammer shot can significantly enhance your golf game, giving you a powerful tool for navigating challenging situations on the course. By understanding the fundamentals, practicing diligently, and learning from the pros, you can add this impressive shot to your golfing arsenal. So next time you’re faced with a tough lie or a tricky obstacle, remember the hammer shot and swing with confidence.


  1. What is the hammer shot in golf?
    • The hammer shot is a powerful, downward-striking golf shot used to navigate tough terrain or obstacles.
  2. What clubs are best for the hammer shot?
    • Wedges and short irons are ideal due to their loft and control capabilities.
  3. How can I practice the hammer shot?
    • Drills like the towel drill and impact bag drill can help improve your hammer shot technique.
  4. When should I use the hammer shot?
    • Use the hammer shot in situations requiring power and precision, such as thick rough or navigating obstacles.
  5. What are common mistakes to avoid with the hammer shot?
    • Common mistakes include overgripping, incorrect stances, and poor follow-through. Practice with proper technique to avoid these issues.

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