How to Hit Higher, Softer Pitches
Keep the 'flop' in your bag and use this
By Tom Patri
Top 100 Teacher
This story is for you if...
• You fear hitting flop shots...
• ...but you need a high, soft shot around the greens.
You're within 40 yards of the green and the hole is cut so that your only option is to play a high, soft wedge.
The Usual Solution
Hit a Phil Mickelson Special: the flop shot. Trouble is, you're not Phil Mickelson.
The Smart Play
With modern 60-degree-plus wedges, you can get all the loft you need with a regular pitch. Check the trajectory of a typical LW. You'll never need more loft than that.
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HOW TO LOFT THE BALL HIGH, SHORT AND SOFT
STEP 1: Address
Take your address with the clubface slightly open and your feet aimed five yards left of your target. Position the ball just forward of center, choke down an inch and weaken your grip until the Vs formed by your forefingers and thumbs point a shade left of your shirt buttons.
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STEP 2: Backswing
Hinge the club with your wrists, but otherwise keep your hands quiet. Keep in mind that this is a control shot—never make more than a three-quarter backswing. A 75 percent backswing with a 60-degree lob wedge rotated slightly open should give you about 50 yards of distance.
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STEP 3: Downswing
Swing down with almost full force. The mistake most people make on this shot is easing up and leaving it short. A more aggressive swing will create an even higher ball flight and more spin so you can land the ball softly near tucked pins from short distances.
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