During a round of golf, left handed players will be faced with a myriad of problems especially around the putting surface.
One such problem is when an obstacle such as bunker lies between the ball and the pin or the flag is just on the putting surface and there is very little green to work. This situation calls for a high, soft lob shot which floats into the air and lands extremely softly.
The lob shot is a difficult technique to master but is an essential part of the short game armory. Great exponents of the flop shot, such as Phil Mickleson, have used it to thrill galleries and more importantly save par!
One thing left handed golfers need to execute the shot is appropriate equipment. To hit a high lob, the club should have a high amount of loft (upward of 56 degrees). The best club to use for a lob shot is a lob wedge which normally features 60 degrees of loft.
The Lob Shot
One reason why the lob shot is so difficult is the massive amount of alteration required at set up. Because the club face needs to be laid open to increase the overall height the ball will travel, the body also needs to be set open at address. Follow this guide to execute the lob shot.
1. First rotate the club open so the face points directly up at the sky. Imagine you can rest a glass full of water on the face without it falling off.
2. After the club face has been rotated, take your normal grip, holding further down the handle will increase control. Taking hold of the club and then rotating the face open would have a negative effect as the club face would simply rotate closed through impact.
3. If you were to hit the shot with a normal set up (body parallel to the target line), the ball would fly high and left of the target. To make sure this doesn’t happen, rotate the body to the right until the leading edge of the club points at the target.
4. The club should be taken away steeply using a quick wrist hinge, similar to a bunker shot. A quick wrist hinge will help the left handed golfer swing down and underneath the ball.
5. When swinging down, club head speed should be high. You should try to ‘cut the legs’ from underneath the ball and accelerate through to a full follow through.
6. If the shot has been played successfully the ball will fly high and land softly on the green.
Although the flop shot is technically demanding and daunting when tried for the first time, it should be practiced and grooved so it can be successfully deployed during competition.