What Is an 'Air Shot' in Golf?

An "air shot" is something that no golfer wants, because if you just had an air shot, you missed the golf ball entirely. That's right, an "air shot" is a swing and a miss.

Or, to put it another way: air shot is another term for a whiff. An air shot and a whiff are the same thing, the two terms are synonyms.

Both terms mean that the golfer stepped up to the ball, took his stance and address position, swung the golf club with the intent of smacking the golf ball ... and missed. Made no contact with the golf ball at all.

The inclusion of "intent" in the preceding paragraph is a key element in the next question: If you have an air shot, do you have to count it in your score? The answer is probably yes. If you were trying to play a stroke and missed the ball, then definitely yes, you have to count that.

If, on the other hand, you intentionally raised your club up or otherwise intentionally missed the ball (maybe a noise distracted you or you caught a glimpse of something or someone out of the corner of your eye and thought it or they might be in danger from your swing), then no, you don't have to count it.

But don't sweat the air shot, especially if you are a beginner. All golfers have done it. Even the best golfers in the world have done it. It's embarrassing, sure, but just laugh along with your buddies and keep swinging.

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