How to Hit a Flop Shot With the Golf Ball

By Herm Otto
An effective flop shot flies high and lands soft.
An effective flop shot flies high and lands soft.

You are at greenside with trouble between your lie and the hole and you have little green to work with. You need a shot with a high trajectory to clear the obstacle and a soft landing to stay put near the hole. The flop shot is just what you need for this situation.

Determine the distance (in yards) between your lie and the hole and whether or not low obstacles exist, such as a bunker or water, that your ball needs to fly over. If you are within 75 yards of the hole, and a high trajectory is needed, the flop shot is what you need. Grab your 60-degree lob wedge from your bag.

Stand behind your ball and visualize a line between your ball and the hole. If the green is pitched, adjust the line to above the hole to allow for the ball to run downhill after landing. On the adjusted line, spot a mark about three feet beyond your ball that you can reference for alignment purposes.

Take your practice stance about a step away from your ball striking stance. Align the ball with your back foot placing the ball well back in your stance. Align your feet with the line of the desired ball flight direction. Bend your knees to allow for the shorter length of the lob wedge. Take a couple of practice swings. If not in a hazard, swing the club so that the club head just scrapes the ground surface where the bottom of the ball rests. You will want to strike the ball just beneath it to pop it up.

Adjust your swing to the actual yardage, based on your game. If your full swing results in a 75-yard shot with your lob wedge, use a 3/4 swing for 55 yards or a half swing for 35 yards.

Step up to your ball striking stance and repeat the positioning of your feet and the bending of your knees. Use or re-establish your mark for alignment. Strike the ball with the appropriate swing for the yardage and your ball should pop up and land on the green. Due to the high trajectory, the ball should not run far after landing. If you allowed for the break, it should run downhill toward the hole.

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