If you want to get your handicap to below 9, it is a must to have the low punch shot in your arsenal. You'll need the punch shot when the wind is strong and you want to keep the ball low so that the wind does not blow it offline. On a gusty day at a links course, a good three quarter of your shots will be "knock-down" shots under the wind. You may also need the punch shot when you find yourself in the trees and you need to keep the ball under the branches. Many good players also use the punch shot or a "three quarter" swing when they want to take some distance off a club, such as hitting a soft 8-iron the same distance as a 7.
It is generally easier to keep a punch shot straight because it doesn’t get high in the air and there is not much chance for it to go offline. There are some physical attributes that make the punch shot easier, such as strong forearms and wrists that help you delay the release of the club through the hitting area.
Here are some tips that you can apply to start hitting punch shots like tracer bullets:
Move the ball back an inch or so in your stance so you can catch the ball earlier in your downswing. Don't go overboard with this and move the ball back too far or you will hit the ball thin.
Choke down on the club by moving your hands down the grip. This will shorten your swing arc and help you hit the ball lower.
Hitting the ball hard crates backspin. Backspin looks great when you are hitting a wedge into a soft green but it will cause the ball to climb high into the air. Reducing your club head speed and not hitting the ball so hard will reduce spin and help you keep the ball low.
Clubbing down simply means, if the shot would normally call for a 6-iron, take a 5-iron to punch the ball lower. However, don't go too low on your club selection: trying to punch a 4 or 3-iron, for example, will cause you to smoother the ball.
When hitting a punch shot, you want a shallow swing path so that you sweep the ball off the fairway. Golf is a game of opposites, if you hit down on the ball, it will go up. If you attack the ball from a steep angle then the ball will have lots of spin on it (causing the wind to make it rise in the air) and it launch higher.