What Is A Cut Shot In Golf? (+6 Easy tips To Execute Perfectly)

Do you ever hear experienced golfers discussing their rounds and wonder what they are talking about?

Is a slice a good shot? Are you upset or happy when you hit a draw? What is a cut shot in golf?

Golf lingo is both simple and complicated. It can be intimidating at first, but once you understand it, it is easy.

In this article, we’ll focus on the cut shot, covering:

  • What Is A Cut Shot In Golf?
  • Do You Want To Hit A Cut Shot In Golf?
  • 6 Tips To Execute The Perfect Cut Shot In Golf

Let’s get started.

golfer hitting a cut shot

What Is A cut Shot In Golf?

A cut shot is a shot that curves slightly to the right when hit by a right-handed player. A left-hander hits a cut when it curves slightly to the left.

Let’s look at the basics. The terms cut, fade, slice, draw, and hook describe how the golf ball curves after you hit it.

Some of these terms have a positive connotation (cut, fade, draw), but others describe a bad/poor shot (slice, hook).

It is also important to remember that the type of shot will change if you are right-handed vs. left-handed.

For example, a hook for a right-handed player curves left, but for a left-handed player, it curves to the right. With this in mind, here are the definitions:

  • Cut – the ball curves slightly away from your body (right for a right-handed player)
  • Fade – the ball curves slightly away from your body (yes, cut & fade are synonyms)
  • Slice – the ball curves violently away from your body
  • Draw – the ball curves slightly towards your body (left for a right-handed player)
  • Hook – the ball curves violently towards your body
lady attempting a cut shot in golf

Do You Want To Hit A Cut Shot In Golf?

Now that you know the answer to the question “What is a cut shot in golf?” you probably have a follow-up question. Do you want to hit a cut shot?

Cut shots are a favorite shot of many professional golfers that play on the PGA Tour.

There are a couple of reasons it is a great shot to play.

First, most players hate and fear a duck hook.

A draw is a sweet shot shape, but if you overdo it, it becomes a hook. Lee Trevino famously said, “You can talk to a fade, but a hook won’t listen.

Second, a cut/fade lands softly on the green. Firm greens are no problem if you can put a nice cut on your iron shots.

Golf journalists used to say that Ben Hogan’s iron shots landed on the green “like a butterfly with sore feet.”

What is a cut shot in golf? It is a shot shape you should learn to hit – need some advice? We got you covered!

6 Tips To Execute The Perfect Cut Shot In Golf

lady with open stance while hitting a cut shot in golf

#1: Be Open To It

Yes, we want your heart to be open to love, but that isn’t what we mean here. We want your stance to be slightly open.

An open stance will promote the swing path that can generate the perfect cut shot.

The best way to work on and improve your stance is with alignment sticks. Place them on the ground where you want your feet to aim (slightly open).

The hardest thing about practicing on the driving range is keeping your concentration and executing each shot.

The alignment sticks will ensure your stance and alignment stay the same on every shot – look closely the next time you watch golf on TV – most players have them in their bags.

What is a cut shot in golf? It is a shot that you need to be “open to” if you want to hit it.

#2: Don’t Be Afraid To Be Weak

golf coach explaining how to grip a club when performing a cut shot in golf

The way you hold the golf club will impact how your ball curves. We would typically recommend your grip is slightly strong, but you may need to weaken it slightly to hit a cut.

Not sure if your grip is strong or weak? If you are a right-handed player, how many knuckles can you see on your left hand when you prepare to hit a shot?

If you can see 3-4 knuckles, your grip may be too strong to hit a cut. You can weaken it by slightly twisting your left hand to the left.

What is a cut shot in golf? A shot that may require you to tweak your grip to hit consistently.

#3: See The Cut

lady golfer focusing on technique for a cut shot

We all know golf is a mental game. Arnold Palmer said, “Success in golf depends less on strength of the body than upon strength of the mind“.

You may be able to learn the cut shot in golf by simply visualizing it – can you see it in your mind?

Close your eyes and picture the shot you want to hit. Open your eyes and make a golf swing trying to re-create what you saw.

You might be surprised by the result. What is a cut shot in golf? A shot your swing can create once your mind sees it.

#4: Outside In

man hitting a cut shot in golf

We understand – #3 was more of a mental activity than a swing tip. We all learn in different ways – some golfers are “feel” players and others prefer to focus on technique.

With that in mind, let’s talk about the type of golf swing that will create a cut shot in golf.

A nice soft cut will be generated by a swing path that goes slightly from the outside in at impact.

To put it another way, your club cuts across the golf ball. This is why it is called a “cut”.

Of course, you don’t want to overdo it – this will lead to a nasty banana slice.

What is a cut shot in golf? The shot shape you will hit when your swing path comes slightly from the outside.

#5: Let Your Divot Be Your Instructor

a divot following a cut shot in golf

Would you be interested in free golf lessons?

An instructor who is always available and provides you with immediate feedback after each shot? Just look down!

Your divot can be your swing coach. It provides you with the evidence that you need to determine if you executed the swing you attempted.

If you are working to hit a cut shot in golf, the divot you leave on the ground is critical. When done correctly, it will point slightly to the left of your target.

In fact, this can be a swing thought that helps you hit a cut. Grab your 7-iron, aim a bit left of your target, and try to make a divot that points a little to the left.

If you can make that divot shape, you will hit a cut. What is a cut shot in golf? A swing that creates a divot that points slightly left of your target.

#6: Develop New Shots On The Driving Range

lady hitting a golf cut shot

Look, there is a time and place for everything. The golf course is not where you should try to learn new shot shapes.

We don’t care if you are trying to learn the cut shot or the draw, do it during your practice, not during your round.

Pick a flag on the driving range. Select the correct iron for that distance. Aim slightly left of your target and try to get the ball to start left and curve slightly back to the flag.

Try different tips on our list – what works for one player might not work for another one. It is all about learning what works for you and your golf swing.

What is a cut shot in golf? It is a skill you should develop on the range before you take it to the course.

We have one more answer for you. What is a cut shot in golf? It is one of the shot shapes you want to learn, but it isn’t the only one.

Scratch golfers have the ability to curve the ball in both directions depending on what is required for their current shot. The more tools in your toolkit, the better.

Up Next: Let’s learn To Hit The Draw!

Photo of author
Ray has been playing golf for 35+ years, including being part of his High School and College golf teams. While he still enjoys playing in amateur tournaments, Ray now focuses on growing the game of golf through teaching and coaching. He has two sons that both play golf competitively and loves spending time watching them compete. Ray continues to play in local amateur golf events and currently has a +2 handicap.

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