Has this ever happened to you?
You are standing in the fairway, have only a 9 iron in and are desperate to hit the ball close to the hole. The pin is tucked behind a bunker on the front corner of the green, and you take dead aim. You hit a good shot, but pull it a little and the wind pushes the ball off the green. You miss the bunker, but are left with a shot where you now have to hit the ball up in the air to carry the bunker, and there is no room behind the bunker to land the ball and get it to stop near the pin. You are stuck and are going to struggle to get up and down to save par.
It is the perfect time to hit an amazing flop shot. But how?
Here are the keys to hitting an amazing flop shot everytime
- Hit it high. Loft is your friend and you need loft to hit a flop shot successfully. It you don't carry a wedge with loft exceeding 52 degrees I would suggest you invest in a 58 or 60 degree wedge. It will give you a high initial launch angle necessary to halt the ball quickly on the green - you want your ball land like a butterfly with sore feet!
- Add more loft. Even with a 60 degree wedge, you should add more loft to launch the ball quickly. To do this, simply rock the wedge back so the face is pointing more to the sky.
- Grip the club lightly with both hands and allow loose and supple wrists as you waggle the club back and forth
- Control the distance you want the ball to go by adjusting the length of your backswing. To hit the ball higher and farther make a full backswing, for shorter flops - a shorter swing. It is key is to always accelerate.
- Release the club under the ball. In order to flight the ball high and soft, you need to create an action through impact where the clubhead slides under the ball like a scythe. You want to minimize contact with the ball to a slight touch as the club is passing beneath it.
- Don't release the clubhead. Do not turn the clubface over through impact, instead keep the face pointing at your target as long as possible. This will encourage the ball to start online and reduce the chances of hitting the ball too far.
- Watch contact. A common fault when hitting flop shots is to peek, which causes your head to rise and often leads to a skulled shot. Keep your eyes on the ground until well after the ball has left the clubface.
- Allow a smile, as your ball jumps quickly in the air and lands softly on the green like a cotton ball!
Learn the flop shot and you will love the flop shot. It is a fun shot to hit and will save you some strokes on your scorecard!
Lee Tamburano - Ottawa Golf Guru