Perhaps one of the most exciting parts of learning to play golf is practicing different shots. You understand how shots differ from each other and which shot is best for certain situations. Yes, golf is not simply hitting the ball with your club and hoping for the best. You must have a strategy! One shot in particular that is often daunting for beginners is a flop shot.
Is a flop shot difficult to learn? It depends on the golfer’s experience and skill level. But, like any other golf shot, flop shots are doable with practice and dedication. To help you get started, we have put together a guide for beginner high-handicap golfers!
Different Types of Shots in Golf
Before focusing on the flop shot, get an overview of the different types of golf shots and how they differ. Understanding how each shot is best for specific situations will also help your progress as a golfer.
A drive is a long-distance shot that you usually take from the tee. If necessary, you can also take it from the fairway. A drive is your go-to shot if you need to move the golf ball as far as possible toward the green.
An approach is the intermediate distance golf shot that moves the ball from the fairway to the green. It would be best if you had an appropriate iron club for this shot, and the angle of attack must be moderate.
For short-distance shots, a putt is what you have to master. A putt intends to roll the ball on the green. You have to consider many things when doing this shot. Aim correctly and strike with just the right amount of power because it makes or breaks a round!
If you need to make the current shot safe or your next shot easier, a lay-up is what you need. It is a short-distance shot that takes the ball from the fairway to the green and helps you avoid hazards.
A chip shot can also be a short-distance lay-up. It’s a short approach shot, so you take it without a full swing. It’s also perfect for getting the ball out of a hazard.
If a putt rolls the ball along the ground, a punch keeps it close to the ground. You take it to avoid hitting trees, any low-hanging hazards, or when you’re hitting strong winds. A punch helps you stop the ball from climbing higher than necessary.
Golfers also adjust every shot through different spins like the draw and fade. For beginners, it’s common to take embarrassing shots like a shank, top, or fat. The most important thing to remember is to keep practicing and understanding the basics!
What Is a Flop Shot For?
Now let’s focus on flop shots because they are sometimes tricky and intimidating for beginners. A flop shot is a high-lofted, short approach shot that helps the ball go over obstacles and land softly on the green. You’ll take it if you find yourself in a situation where you must clear an obstacle.
You’ll also take flop shots when you are close to the green and face a tight lie. With flop shots, you can flop the ball over the obstacle and land it close to the green. It’s the opposite shot of a punch and some type of a chip. It has a high-arched trajectory and is also perfect if you want the ball to quickly stop when it hits the ground.
Many golfers consider the flop shot a trick because it requires a lot of practice and experience. Amateurs rarely attempt it, especially if they don’t have the fundamentals to get the flop shot right. Yes, a flop shot is advanced, but it’s not impossible to learn. After all, if you want to be a professional golfer, you must start somewhere!
Hitting a Flop Shot
The first thing to remember when learning the flop shot is that mistakes are inevitable. The flop shot requires finesse and accuracy, so you must practice getting it right. Here are some tips to help you start practicing:
Free Yourself From Tension
Of course, flop shots are intimidating, so some tension is unavoidable. But you must make sure it’s not affecting your grip and posture. Take your time, relax your body, and take slow deep breaths. Golf is a mind game, so controlling your mental state is essential.
Use the Correct Club
It would be best to use a club with as much loft as possible for flop shots. It could be a sand wedge or a lob wedge, and the most ideal would be a 60-degree lob wedge. The correct club will make a flop shot much easier and less risky.
Check Your Lie and Shot
A flop shot isn’t something you just take without considering your lie. You must check the lie and make sure you can flop your ball over the hazard. If it’s too close, a flop shot will be difficult. Also, you must know your goal post-flop shot. It’ll help you line up your flop correctly.
Imagine Your Shot
Once you’ve checked your lie and flop shot, it’s time to visualize how the flop will look. Before taking the flop, imagine the flop shot’s trajectory and the ball’s landing. You must also consider the power you will use for flop shots. It should be soft and gentle but powerful enough to flop the ball over the obstacle.
Mind Your Stance and Grip
Having the correct posture is also key to flop shots. You’ll need a wider stance than usual, and you must get low. This stance will ensure that your flop shot will be a high one. Always remember to keep your grip light and firm. You’ll need to flop the ball softly, and a light grip will help you perfectly.
Position the Ball Properly
Positioning the ball properly is essential for flop shots. Generally, you’ll want to place it in the middle of your stance and slightly forward. This setup will give the flop the right trajectory! It’ll be tough to do a flop shot if the ball is too far back or too far forward. Once you find the perfect flop spot, it’s time to flop!
Prepare To Take the Shot
Don’t panic! Flop shots can be nerve-wracking; don’t worry about the flop itself. Focus on posture and your grip to flop it correctly. Once you’re ready, keep your head down and flop the ball. Make sure to hit it at the bottom of the ball because flop shots require the ball to lift in a high arch. If you flop it correctly, the flop shot will fling off the ground and over the obstacle.
Once you flop, aim for the green. Flop shots require accuracy and precision, so flop them toward your target. Also, do not flop too hard. The flop should be soft and gentle but powerful enough to drop the ball over the obstacle. This move will need countless practice, so don’t be disheartened if it isn’t perfect the first time.
Mind Your Wrist Movement and Swing
Flop shots require precise wrist movements and swings. Keep them as smooth as possible because flop shots don’t need much power. The flop should be flicked and not forced. If you flop too hard, the shot will fail. So use a smooth flicking motion to drop the ball over the hazard. Also, remember to shift your weight on your left leg to do it perfectly.
The last and most important tip is to keep practicing flop shots. Again, the flop shot is advanced, so most beginners won’t flop correctly the first time. Don’t get flustered, and keep doing it! With enough practice, you’ll master flop shots in no time.
It’s best to practice the flop shot on the green with someone else around to give you tips. An experienced flop shot golfer can guide you on properly hitting the ball. Remember, you don’t always have to do the flop shot on the course. There are specific situations that flop shots will help you get out of, so go for flops when needed.
High-handicap beginners have so much to consider when on the course. Everything can be overwhelming initially, but it can be fun and relatively easy if you practice enough. As for flop shots, see it as a challenge you must overcome. You’ll need it in tough situations, so learning it is a must.
When taking flop shots, consider the flop shot’s location, visualize how you’ll flop it, and be mindful of all your movements. Spend time practicing flop shots on the green, and have a professional golfer help you. Your first encounter with the flop shot will most likely be confusing and frustrating, but with enough practice and guidance, flop shots will become a breeze.
If you find an obstacle and flop shots are necessary, go for it. With the right flop shot techniques and focus, you’ll flop it over the hazard and fling it to the green. Good luck on your flop shot journey, and enjoy it!