The Flop Shot
One of the hardest obstacles in golf are the hazards. Mentally, they can be extremely intimidating to come face-to-face with one, especially if the round is on the line. If you don’t have tons of green to work with, it can be tough to get the ball over the danger and have it land softly. One of the most effective ways to get your ball to play nice is by utilizing the flop shot.
The flop shot is widely recognized as a staple of Phil Mickelson’s game. It’s a shot that takes loads of imagination, focus, and practice. So CoachUp has put together a couple helpful tips for mastering the very tricky flop shot. Although Phil is a lefty, we'll be discussing it from the perspective of a right-handed hitter.
In the simplest terms possible, start envisioning the flop shot as a very high lob shot. So you'll need to use a club that has about 60 degrees of loft in the face. Use a very open stance to compensate for your open clubface. If you’re hitting off firm grass, like a fairway, you should have most of your weight on your back foot to make sure you get under the ball.
Before every shot you hit, you'll need to imagine exactly how you want it be hit. It may seem silly, but it’s a really great habit to get into. With a flop shot, you need to think about how high and far the ball needs to go to achieve your goal. Make sure you consider the landing and subsequent movement once it's back on the green. Read the break of the green accurately so that you can let the grain do all the work and watch on as the ball rolls to the hole.
First and foremost, always swing parallel to your body. Your clubface should point to the sky throughout the entire swing, that will ensure it gets the proper loft. On your downswing, make sure you lead with the heel of your clubface and that the toe does not release, as this will cause you to blade your shot. Most importantly, remember that you need to hit the ground first. Then, the bounce of will kick your clubface into the ball and give it the additional loft you need.
(Related: Read about improving your chip shot here.)
The flop shot is a very risky attempt for a golfer at any level, it hardly matters if you’re a beginner or a PGA Professional. In order to effectively make this shot, you’ll need so much club head speed to get the ball in the air at all. So, if you do mishit the shot, you could be in serious trouble.
If you want to add the flop shot to your game, but don’t want to spend months and months of time on the course learning and executing those fundamentals, try a private coach. CoachUp offers a wide range of talented, experienced golfers for athletes at any level that aspire to be better. Who knows, a successful flop shot might be the difference between you and your personal course records! What are you waiting for?