Phil Mickelson is well known for making the flop shot look easy. Learning this shot comes in handy for clearing bunkers, while at the same time adding a spin to the ball and directing it to the desired spot. However it’s actually one of the most difficult shots to perfect. Below are some of the technicalities of the flop shot that will assist you in practicing your drills.
The right club for a lob shot
A club that should be present in every golfer’s golf bag is a sixty degree lob wedge. Many golfers prefer using a sand wedge for a flop shot, but for the purposes discussed here, the sixty degree lob wedge is the best tool for the job.
Setting up your clubface for a lob shot
When making a perfect flop shot, you should have two goals in mind:
- You should aim to get lots of height on the ball.
- You should aim to add a spin on the ball which will make up for too much distance if you hit the ball further away from your target than what you intended.
To perform these two tasks, you will need to turn your sixty degree lob wedge so that the face is 100% flat facing upwards. The face should be as level as you can get it to make this shot do what it is meant to. Remember to grip the club in this position, rather than compensating your wrists and turning it into this position post-grip.
Aiming your lob shot
Because you’ll be adding a spin to the ball, it’s important to compensate for this by aiming slightly to the left of your desired target. Twenty degrees to the left is enough of a slant to make the flop shot. The spin you will put on your ball won’t be too heavy, so only a slight deviation left of the target is necessary.
Too much height – Too much spin
This shot will take some practice to perfect. Depending on the distance of your target, try and find a good balance between flying the ball over the bunker, and adding enough spin to it for when it lands. Remember that the harder you hit, the higher—not further—the ball will travel, so make the call on which of these you want to achieve.