In this issue we continue the countdown to #16 of the 20 Toughest Shots In Golf. There is a corresponding drill afterwards.
Toughest Shot #16 – The Flop Shot
We’ve all been there: You come up short with your 7-iron. Your ball stops about 20 feet from the pin. You have some green to work with, but there’s a bunker between you and the hole. You need to get over the bunker and have the ball bite, if you want to save par. This is the perfect time for a flop shot. If you can get the ball to bite when it hits you’ll have a short putt to complete your up and down.
Below are five keys to hitting a flop shot:
· Set up with your weight balanced
· Make a bigger swing than normal
· Let the club pass through your hands
· Clip the grass beneath the ball
· Finish with the clubface facing the sky
Club selection is easy. If you don’t have a 64-degree wedge, use your most lofted wedge and open it all the way. But be careful. Opening the wedge brings the prospect of hitting the ball thin into play for many golfers.
How well you hit this shot depends on how you adjust to the lie you have. If the ball is down deep in the grass, you’ll want to open the clubface about 10-15 degrees. Aim left of your target and swing along your toe line. If this sounds like you’re hitting a cut shot, you’re right. Play the ball back in your stance to create a steeper swing path.
If the ball is sitting up in the fairway, don’t open the club up quite as much as before and set up more square to the target. This adjustment enables you to use more of the clubface, making for an easier shot. You’ll need to make more of a sweeping swing here, so position the ball forward in your stance.
This shot takes some work to master. But it saves strokes, so it’s worth the time and effort. Just remember to check your lie carefully.