Tips

How to Hit the Perfect Flop Shot

It’s just you and the ball, all alone in the rough. You’ve short sided yourself and there isn’t a whole lot of green to work with. To make things worse, there is that wonderful bunker just up ahead. It’s almost challenging you with a menacing stance, daring you to get your ball to the hole, which seems so close, yet so far away, as it lies protected behind the hazard’s strong borders.

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Your mind immediately goes to all of those amazing flop shots you’ve seen Phil Michelson lob out effortlessly. With a flick of the wrist, the ball shoots up into the air and gracefully lands on the green, safely out of harm’s way. The only problem is, you’re not Phil, and the flop shot could potentially be your more embarrassing golfing moment.

phil-mickelson-flop-shot

However, even if you’ve had more “fluffs” that you’d like to admit, learning how to hit a flop shot is something every golfer must be able to do. No matter what your skill level, you will be faced with this shot often enough to make learning how to hit a flop shot a necessity.

But, learning how to hit a flop shot doesn’t have to be hard or difficult. This here is your one-stop-shop for learning the simple steps to a successful swing. Keep reading for some practical tips, and with a little practice, you’ll soon be hitting them like the pros.

The Perfect Flop Shot Set-Up

The whole point of using the flop shot is to get the ball to fly really high, rather than travel really far. You want the ball to have a nice, soft landing on the green near the hole, the direct line to which is usually protected by the hazard. To maximize your chances of making it over, you’ll want to use your highest lofted club — a sand or lob wedge works best in these situations. Here it’s important to note that you don’t want to attempt this shot from a tight lie, as you are almost guaranteed to scull the shot. A short chip shot is a better bet for those sticky situations.

Setting Your Flop Shot Stance

Learning how to hit a flop shot all starts with the perfect stance, which is almost exactly the same as the green side bunker shot. First, you’ll start with an open stance, with the club pointing at the direction of the sky and the hole. Take a wide stance, with the ball slightly in front of you, and play off your big toe. The swing for the flop shot really comes from the arms and shoulders, so your legs will stay pretty quiet here.

Ready, Set, Swing!

The object of your swing is to accelerate through the shot. The trick is to aim slightly behind the ball so that you are able to slide right under. flop-shot-guideEven though you want to move the ball only a short distance, the swing is going to be pretty long, as you really want to make sure that you’re able to slide under the ball. Make sure to use plenty of wrist hinge to increase your angle of attack, and then move into a steep back swing. Be sure not to quit or punch at this shot as you may not be able to get the height you desire. We can’t stress this enough: Follow through is key!

You do not want to leave this shot short or hit it low. Find yourself in deep rough? Try to keep your wrists firm as well as a firm grip, even past impact, to keep your club head speed strong. When you starting practicing how to hit a flop shot, it’s a good idea to really pay attention to your wrists and grip.

Practice Makes Perfect

The flop shot is one that you’ll want to work on over and over again. This is a shot that requires imagination! Experiment to see how short of a distance you can flop the ball. Try hitting flop shots into buckets, kiddie pools, or that old birdbath that’s gathering dust in your backyard. It sounds a bit kooky, but these kinds of skill drills can do wonders for your timing. Whatever you do, have fun with it. This is one of those shots that is a necessity, so be sure to frequently include the flop your pre-practice routine.

Remember, the tips above are some helpful hints to get you started with a solid flop shot. Experimenting with ball positions and your stance can also yield nice results. Get the mechanics down, but don’t overthink it! With just a bit of practice you can effectively say good-bye to all those skulls over the green and have a nice flop shot under your belt for your next round.

About the author

Chris Lollis

Chris Lollis

Chris is the founder of Golf Tribune and avid golfer. His home course is the Bayou Country Club in Largo, Florida. He currently hits Mizuno irons, Callaway Wedges, and the TaylorMade M2 driver and fairway woods. You can contact Chris directly at chris@golftribune.com.

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