How To Hit a Flop Shot in Golf

A flop shot aims to propel the golf ball at a higher arc compared to a regular chip or pitch, at the expense of distance. With practice, golfers can master this tricky technique, which is also known as the high lob.

Here are the steps to hitting a flop shot in golf:

  • Examine the placement of the ball. Evaluate its depth in a sand trap, the obstacles surrounding it and its distance and direction from the cup. This will allow you to gauge the power you need in order to move the ball nearer to your goal. You may need a powerful flop shot to get the ball over a steep sand bank or line of trees.
  • Visualize the trajectory of the flop shot. This will help your muscle sense control your stroke and hit the ball where you want it to go. Account for environmental factors such as wind and shrubs.
  • Select the sand wedge. You may also use the lob wedge. Avoid a wedge with an angle of less than sixty degrees.
  • Keep the club face as parallel as possible to the sky and land when it hits the ball. This near-horizontal orientation will place as much vertical force as possible to the ball with minimum horizontal movement. The ball can then avoid hitting high obstacles over short distances.
  • Flick your wrist during your downswing. This will add a backspin on the ball that will assist it in moving back to the target or stop immediately upon landing on the green. This is necessary for flag sticks that are located near the edge of the green, limiting the area which you can place your shot. You may also drop your shoulder during the downswing to hit the ball at a higher angle. Don’t apply force during the downswing; rather, let gravity work for you.
  • Avoid releasing the toe. The heel of the club head should lead. Executed correctly, the face must align with the sky after impact.
  • Hit the ground an inch to the rear of the ball. Done correctly, the ball will be propelled upward with an explosion of sand and turf.
  • Practice. Flop shots work differently for individuals and only through repetition can each golfer find out the best way to execute the swing. Practice with different scenarios and conditions to fine-tune your shot and allow you to anticipate difficult maneuvers.
  • Watch flop shot videos for reference. While images and diagrams are useful for studying each step of an effective flop shot, nothing beats a video for studying the complete motion under different scenarios. There are plenty of online video tutorials you can watch for free; you can also buy DVDs of professional tutorials or actual game play to enhance your technique.

Flop shots help the ball get out of sand traps or past an obstacle of small trees, especially if the cup is just past these obstacles. This nifty technique is a valuable tool to include in a golfer's range of skills.


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