Visualise this – Your ball is stuck behind a bunker and the pin is just over the sand with very little green between the flag and the lip of the bunker. You need a get out of jail shot.

Attempting this shot will often end in one of two ways:

  1. Catch the ground heavy before the ball and drop the ball in the sand. Shot wasted.
  2. Catch the top of the ball and shoot it across the green. Fore! Shot wasted.

What you need is a flop shot technique that will launch the ball high but not travel a great distance.

This following method might be different to what you’ve seen or been told to do in the past. In order for it to work and strike the ball correctly you will need to follow each and every step. Don’t just take bits of it and hope for the best!

  1. Choose a high lofted club (56 degrees plus ideally). Pre set the clubface open before taking hold. This will mean that the leading edge is aiming right of your target.
  2. Wide stance with knees flexed to lower your centre of gravity.
  3. 60% weight on your left side with ball position just forward of centre.
  4. Align your stance square to target and then drop your left foot back.
  5. Swing the club along your stance alignment rather than towards target. The club should slide under the ball and increase the launch angle of the ball.

This shot is all about confidence. Don’t attempt this shot unless you have spent the time to practice it around the short game area. In competitions always weigh up the risk and reward before attempting a flop shot. You might be better off taking your punishment and playing safe.

Let me know how you get on with this.

Mark Nelson – PGA Professional

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