Cut Shot In Golf: The Must-Have Skill Every Golfer Should Master

What is a cut shot in golf?

A cut shot is a description of a type of shot that is controlled by a golfer to have a ball flight that fades.

This means, for a righty, the ball will move in the air starting from the left and then moving to the right. If you are left-handed, a cut will go from right to left. 

Are Cut Shots and Fades The Same Thing

What is the difference between a fade and a cut in golf?

Cut shots and fades are usually used similarly by golfers in terms of definition.

A fade can be discussed with a slightly different meaning in some cases though, referring to any shot hit from left to right regardless if the golfer was intending to create that type of ball movement. 

Some golfers use the word “cut” referring to purposely hitting the ball from right to left. For example, they can say “I’m going to hit a cut around those trees.”

Either intent or usage of the word works fine. 

How to hit a cut shot

To hit a cut first you need to open up your stance or slightly open your clubface keeping your original stance. Whichever you’re more comfortable with. 

Then, swing at the ball and make sure your clubface is open upon impact. 

Next, make sure you’re swinging outside to in to create the spin on the ball that causes it to cut from left to right. 

The more dramatic you need your cut shot to be the more you’ll open your stance. 

That was basic instruction on how to hit a cut shot. The following video will showcase Rickie Fowler instructing how to do it.

How do you hit a low-cut shot?

A low-cut shot is also known as a stinger since you’re trying to keep the ball flight down when you hit the ball. PGA Tour star Tony Finau is known for hitting these shots to get him out of trouble. 

Golf instructor Josh Kelly shows in the video below Tony Finau’s low-cut stinger and then teaches step-by-step how to replicate the shot.

When To Play A Cut Shot

The appropriate time to play a cut shot can be at any time especially if you’re comfortable with it and naturally move the ball from left to right.

The usual scenarios would be to move the ball around an obstruction in the flight path such as around trees or to avoid a pond or hazard. 

One example is if your ball is in the right rough and there are trees ahead of you. If you fly your ball from left to right you can avoid hitting the branches and still produce a shot that lands on or near the green. 

Another example is if there is water next to the green on the back-right of it, you could play a cut shot that starts from the left and allow the ball to land in the front or middle rather than aiming straight at the middle of the green causing more room for error if you push it to the right accidentally in the water. 

Cut vs slice in golf

A slice is a shot that includes a drastic left-to-right movement of the golf ball with the ball losing a significant amount of distance as well. Slices aren’t intentionally hit like cuts are. Cuts don’t cause the ball to lose distance.

📢 Need To Know: The opposite of a cut shot is a draw. Draws move from right to left and usually have more rollout and distance when hit.

How to stop hitting a cut shot in golf

To stop hitting a cut shot, move your stance back to a normal square stance rather than it being open. Also, make sure your club head is square or slightly closed instead of open when striking the ball at impact.


What’s the difference between a cut shot and a fade in golf?

In golf, a cut shot is when the ball curves from left to right (for right-handed golfers), while a fade is when the ball curves from right to left. The main difference between the two is the direction of the curve.

What is the opposite of a cut shot in golf?

The opposite of a cut shot in golf is a “hook” or “draw” shot. A cut shot curves the ball from left to right (for a right-handed golfer), while a hook or draw shot curves the ball from right to left for a right-handed golfer and left to right for a left-handed golfer.

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Lawrence Smelser has been part of the Golfible writing staff since 2019 and is a freelance golf journalist. Smelser has covered the PGA Tour including the U.S. Masters with He holds a journalism Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M and a Master’s journalism degree from the University of North Texas. Learn more about our team at Golfible on our About Us page.

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