What Is a Push Shot in Golf?

The push ball flight from the perspective of a right-hander.
The push ball flight from the perspective of a right-hander.

Illustration by William Glessner


The "push" or "push shot" in golf is a type of mishit that results in the golf ball starting out to the right of the target (for a right-handed golfer) and flying in a straight line to wind up right of the target. With a push shot the ball does not curve to the right, its path is straight but it travels to the right.

In other words, the golfer is hitting the ball on a straight line when she pushes a shot, but the ball is off-target to the right.

(For a left-handed golfer, a push starts out to the left and winds up left of the target, without curving in flight.)

A push is the opposite of a pull. A push is distinguished from a slice by the fact that a slice curves to the right (for a right-hander) while a push travels on a straight path to the right.

A golfer might talk about the push shot by saying, "I pushed that one" or "I've been pushing the ball."

In our Ball Flight Faults and Fixes article, golf instructor Roger Gunn recommends that golfers struggling with the push first make sure they aren't just aiming to the right (or to the left for a left-hander). If set-up isn't the problem, make sure your golf ball is not positioned too far back in your stance. Check the article for tips on how backswing and downswing issues could be contributing to a plague of push shots.

There are many instructional videos on YouTube that help golfers eliminate push shots.