How to Hit a Flop Shot on the Golf Course
There are many circumstances on the golf course when a normal chip or pitch shot will not work. In many of these situations you need a flop shot (also known as a lob shot) that produces a high trajectory where the ball will land on the green and stop quickly. You might be forced to hit a flop shot if you are hitting to a tight pin or over a bunker. A flop shot should be reserved as a last resort, when a typical chip or pitch will not work. Phil Mickelson is famous for his ability to pull off these incredible shots.
Select the proper loft and bounce to hit a flop shot. A lob wedge with 58 to 64 degrees will help make the shot easier. If you do not have a lob wedge, use the club with the highest amount of loft in your bag, typically a sand wedge. Also, depending on the lie the bounce can determine the success of the shot.
A club with a higher degree of bounce will make it easier to hit out of a greenside bunker and more difficult to hit from tight lie around the green. A club with less bounce will make it easier to hit from a tight lie, however, it will be slightly more difficult to hit from a greenside bunker. A sand wedge or lob wedge will typically indicate somewhere on the club head the degree of bounce.
Position the ball slightly forward in your stance and open the club face at address. Open your stance in relation to the target line when you set up to the golf ball. The target line is an imaginary line that extends through the ball and the target. The set up will promote the ball to go straight towards the target. Also, position your feet slightly wider than a chip or pitch shot.
Swing the club in the direction your body is lined up. Since your stance is open in relation to the target line it will appear you are swinging the club on an out to in swing path. You will control the distance and trajectory of the shot by your swing speed and length of the backswing and follow through. When hitting a flop shot make sure to accelerate through impact and follow through to a solid finish. Your wrist will hinge in your backswing and forward swing since you are making a bigger swing. One of the most important keys to the shot is acceleration through the golf ball.
Matt Keller, PGA
FEATURED AUTHOR: Matt Keller is a PGA Golf Professional with over 15 years of experience. Throughout his career he has worked at courses in Pennsylvania, Maryland,Florida and Delaware. Matt has conducted thousands of golf lessons to players of all ages and ability levels. Currently, he is a PGA Professional at Cripple Creek Golf and Country Club located near Bethany Beach, DE