How to Hit a Flop Shot: Mastering the High-Lob Technique in 2024

How to Hit a Flop Shot

How to Hit a Flop Shot: Golf enthusiasts and players often encounter situations on the course that require a delicate touch and finesse, particularly around the green. The flop shot is an advanced golfing stroke designed to achieve high trajectory over a short distance, enabling the ball to land softly on the green with minimal roll. This shot is particularly useful when a player must navigate over hazards or challenging rough to a pin that is closely guarded with little room to work with.

Mastering the flop shot demands a combination of correct club selection, proper stance, and precise swing mechanics. Players typically reach for a high-lofted wedge with adequate bounce to facilitate the clubhead sliding under the ball, promoting loft without digging into the turf. The stance is adjusted to open both the clubface and the body alignment in relation to the target, creating a wider swing path that allows for the necessary elevation of the ball upon impact.

Crucially, the execution of a successful flop shot hinges on a confident, committed swing that ensures the ball is struck cleanly. A tentative approach often results in mis-hits or failed attempts to get the ball airborne. Golfers must maintain a smooth tempo and ensure that the hands and arms follow through, propelling the ball upwards with the required gentleness to secure its soft landing on the green.

Essentials of a Flop Shot

The flop shot is a highly skilled golf shot designed to help a player overcome immediate obstacles with a high-arcing trajectory. Mastery of this shot requires understanding its mechanics and using the correct equipment.

Understanding the Flop Shot

The flop shot is executed to launch the golf ball high into the air with minimal forward roll upon landing. This is useful when players must clear obstacles like sand traps or thick rough close to the green. The ball should arc steeply and land softly, akin to a butterfly with sore feet. It involves a precise swing where the clubhead travels more under the ball, utilising the bounce of the club to avoid digging into the ground.

Choosing the Right Equipment

Club Selection: A key factor in executing a flop shot is selecting the appropriate club. Typically, this is a lob wedge, which has a high loft from 58° to 64° angles. The right wedge will provide the necessary loft and bounce to perform the shot effectively.

Bounce Considerations:

  • High Bounce (10° or more): Suitable for soft conditions or sand
  • Mid Bounce (7° to 10°): Versatile for various conditions
  • Low Bounce (less than 7°): Ideal for firm conditions and tight lies

Choose a club with adequate bounce to ensure the clubhead skims along the turf rather than digging in, which could impede the loft necessary for a successful flop shot.

Executing the Flop Shot

To execute a flop shot effectively, the golfer needs to address the ball correctly and apply precise swing technique to ensure a high trajectory with minimal forward roll upon landing.

Addressing the Ball

Ball Position: The ball should be placed forward in the stance, near the inside heel of the lead foot. This promotes an upward strike, which is crucial for creating loft.

Stance: The golfer’s stance should be open, with the lead foot pulled back and body alignment left of the target. The clubface must be sufficiently opened prior to taking the grip to increase loft.

Swing Technique and Impact

Backswing: A full wrist hinge is vital for a steep backswing. The golfer should use a relaxed grip and ensure a fluid takeaway.

Downswing and Impact:

  • Club Path: On the downswing, the club should approach the ball from an outside-to-inside path, matching the body’s open alignment.
  • Engaging the Bounce: The club should slide under the ball, leveraging the bounce to avoid digging into the turf. This requires a shallow angle of attack with the wrists unhinging slightly before impact, maintaining acceleration through the ball.

Follow-Through: The follow-through will be high and full, with the hands finishing high to mirror the high trajectory of the ball.

Shot Optimisation

In golf, mastering the flop shot is a game of precision and finesse. This section provides guidance on evaluating your situation and making informed decisions to optimise your shot for the best possible outcome.

Assessing the Lie

The golfer must scrutinise the ball’s lie before attempting the flop shot. A clean lie on short grass allows for an aggressive approach, as the club can slide under the ball with minimal interference. Conversely, a ball nestled in longer grass may require a more conservative swing to avoid unpredictable results.

  • Grass Length: Short = Aggressive play; Long = Conservative approach
  • Lie Quality: Clean = Lower risk; Poor = Higher risk

Managing Risk and Expectations

Golfers should weigh the risk versus the potential reward when deciding to execute a flop shot. The key is to set realistic expectations based on one’s skill level and the difficulty of the shot. Not every situation is suitable for a flop shot, and sometimes opting for a simpler, more predictable shot could yield a better outcome.

  • Skill Level: Be honest about capabilities
  • Shot Difficulty: High-risk shots require precision
  • Alternatives: Consider safer options if risks outweigh potential gains

Practising the Flop Shot

To effectively add the flop shot to one’s golfing skill set, dedicated practice focused on technique and club selection is imperative.

Drills and Exercises

One must engage in specific drills that prioritise control over the club face and the ball’s trajectory. A common exercise is to place a towel about a club-length in front of the ball and practise hitting flop shots without touching the towel. This encourages a high, soft launch while fostering precision.

  • Towel Drill: Position a towel a metre in front of where the ball lies. Attempt to hit shots over the towel, forcing an elevated trajectory.
  • Bucket Challenge: Place a bucket approximately 10 metres away as the target. Strive to land balls within this bucket, honing in on loft control and soft landing.

Incorporating these drills into regular practice routines will sharpen the ability to execute flop shots under a variety of course conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a flop shot and a lob shot in golf?

A flop shot is designed to achieve high trajectory with minimal roll upon landing, ideal for clearing obstacles close to the green. It contrasts with a lob shot, which also travels high but with an intent for the ball to land on the green with backspin for control.

Which club is best suited for executing a flop shot effectively?

Typically, a golfer would use a high-lofted wedge such as a 58° or 60° for executing a flop shot. These clubs provide the necessary loft to lift the ball quickly into the air with a steep angle of descent.

Can you provide tips for mastering the flop shot technique?

Mastering a flop shot involves a combination of correct club selection, open clubface orientation, ball position favourably towards the front foot, and a swing path that allows the club to slide under the ball. Keeping the wrists flexible and utilising a full follow-through are also crucial.

What is the key distinction between a chip shot and a flop shot?

The key distinction lies in the ball’s flight and trajectory. A chip shot is a low-flying shot with more roll, used for shorter distances near the green. By contrast, a flop shot has a higher trajectory, less roll, and is utilised when a golfer needs to elevate the ball over an obstacle or a rough patch.

How does the choice of wedge impact the execution of a flop shot?

The choice of wedge affects the flop shot’s loft and bounce. A higher-lofted wedge provides a steeper launch angle necessary for a successful flop shot, while the sole’s bounce angle assists in preventing the club from digging into the turf upon impact.

Is it difficult for amateur golfers to consistently hit flop shots?

Flop shots can be challenging for amateur golfers due to the precise technique and timing required. Consistent practice and proper understanding of the mechanics are essential for achieving proficiency in executing this shot.