Can A Weaker Grip Help Me Master The Soft Lob Shot? (Video)
Can A Weaker Grip Help Me Master The Soft Lob Shot? (Video)

I wish they would take those tin cans away. Right so I’m ready. So can a weaker grip help me master those soft lob shots? Yes, the answer is, but let's talk about what is a soft lob shot? Well just imagine you are just around the green maybe just 10 yards away from the green, but you have got a big bunker a big gaping deep bunker between you and the green. The flag just tucked on the other side of the pin so you can get this image in your mind like me at the moment, it’s almost I need to kind of just get the ball and just throw it right up in the air and land it – as soft as possible because I have got to carry the bunker I have got to land it soft. So anything going low is going to go low and have a top spin on, so a soft lob shot. So hopefully in your mind you think yeah I have got that image now, is one that we throw right up in the air. So first of all club selection, club selection just go with the most lofted club so ideally a 60 degree lob wedge, 62, 64 that’s the club really to play that soft lob shot if you’ve got one in your bag. If not I’m going to show you the technique of try and create it but the more loft you have got the better.

So slightly a weaker grip. A slightly weaker grip is important because a normal grip would be where the V is going to between my chin and my right shoulder, in this place here. A slightly weaker grip is where I move my left hand slightly back so it's now going to the left of the club for us right handed golfers. And that will allow my right hand to, sit more on the top, now the importance of this is a couple of things, first of all let me put that club face down what we don’t want to do is what we see in a normal golf swing where the hand is normally coming into the ball and release the club rotating the club face from what was square to a club face that’s coming in closing as we actually release through we don’t want that, we want the hands to be inactive, so a weak grip helps us. So we have shown you the position of the hands, ball position when you want to play a soft lob shot it's very important that we have actually set ourselves up with the ball forward in the stance. And the reason for this is we want this club to literally come into the ball and hit right underneath the ball rotate the club face to slide right underneath. So we have got the grip we have got the ball position. The setup as you know for any sure game shot would be one where the feet are top the left what we call an open setup. So from this position here if I set myself up there is the ball position and my hands are in a nice position where they’re nice and straight with the club face, they are not too far ahead and they are certainly not behind, always have your hands lightly forward. So you have got the picture in your mind from here, now let's look from the angle now this is the important bit. Here is a setup, I need to make sure that we hold this club face in the position as it was at as addressed so the weak grip is going to do this and the ball position being so far forward will allow this club to slide right underneath okay. As we set ourselves up in this position the ball forward because we have got a weak grip it allows my shoulders to go slightly left, so you can see my shoulders are aiming left of the target here not parallel as we would normally do. From this position here this would allow me then to swing the club back on a line which would be slightly outside the line and then from there we would come inside the line, but because that grip was weak remember the position here, not there back here, the hands are now docile they are sleepy so as we come in the club face is in the same position as it was when it started and the club face will slide right across the ball imparting lots and lots of spin up in the air and it will land soft. So lets demonstrate the golf shot in real time, here is the setup weak, grip left hand back and from here I am just going to concentrate here I am just swinging it with my arms, weight left side and up very, very high golf shot coming down and it stopped almost dead, so now you have got the knowledge a slightly weaker grip can help you play those soft lob shots even better.
2014-07-30

The lob shot is an incredibly handy weapon to have in your golf arsenal.

Can a Weaker Grip Help Me Master the Lob Shot?

When you find yourself in a tricky spot around the greens and you need to get the ball to stop quickly after it lands, it’s likely that you’ll turn to the lob for help. Or, if you are well below the level of the green and you need a high shot simply to reach the putting surface, again the lob can be your friend. Players who are able to use the lob effectively on a consistent basis have a nice edge over players who aren’t comfortable with this shot.

While there is no doubt as to the usefulness of this shot, it is important to note that learning to play the lob properly is extremely difficult. This is one of the trickiest shots in the game to master, and many players never do get a handle on it. To hit proper lob shots, you need to blend solid technique and great touch – and that is never an easy thing to do. With this article, we hope to provide the foundation you need to build a lob shot that you can trust when you need it most. We are going to cover the overall technique that you should be using, and we’ll talk specifically about how the way you grip the club can influence the results you achieve.

It is important that you don’t expect immediate results when you begin to work on your lob shot. By anyone’s standards, this is a tough shot and it is going to take some time to learn how to execute it properly. If you fail to put in the work in practice, or if you give up shortly after getting started out of frustration, you will never find success. Stick with it at the beginning and you should start to see signs of progress sooner rather than later.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

Basic Technique for a Lob Shot

Basic Technique for a Lob Shot

In the next section, we are going to get into the specifics of how your grip will impact your performance on lob shots. For now, however, we are going to talk about the basic technique that you’ll want to use when attempting to hit a lob. This is a unique shot in the game of golf, in that the technique you use here really isn’t used anywhere else (a bunker shot is similar, but slightly different). If you think that you’ll just be able to use your basic chipping technique with slight modifications in order to hit a lob, you are going to be disappointed with the results. The players who have the best lob shots tend to have built the technique for those shots from the ground up.

So, what are the keys to making the right kind of swing to produce a lob shot? Let’s take a look.

  • A wide stance. Despite the fact that you are standing relatively close to the green when using a lob shot, you still need to start off with a wide stance. You are going to be making a pretty big swing here, and the wide stance will help you to stay nicely on balance during that swing. If you were to keep your feet close together, as you usually do when hitting a chip shot, it would be tough to balance nicely from start to finish. Set your feet just outside of shoulder width apart when taking your stance to establish a firm base. Also, your stance should be somewhat open to the target line, and you should have plenty of flex in your knees. Building a good address position is one of the biggest keys when trying to create a quality lob shot.
  • An open club face. This is a key ingredient for a lob shot, and yet many golfers seem unwilling to take this step. When you set up over the ball, you should be holding your most-lofted club – for most golfers, that means either a 58* or 60* wedge. However, the loft which is built into the club is not going to be enough on its own to produce the height you need for this shot. In addition, you will need to lay the club face open at address. For a true lob shot, the face should be dramatically open, to where the club has nearly 90* of effective loft. You are trying to hit this shot almost vertically, with just a bit of forward movement. To make that happen, you need as much loft as you can manage to create. It will look odd at first to hit a shot with such an open club face, but you should get used to it with a bit of practice. In time, you will come to trust the fact that an open club face combined with an excellent swing can lead to a perfect lob shot.
  • A big backswing. It’s likely that this is the part of the process which will give you the biggest challenge early on. Simply put, it feels unnatural to make such a big swing while you are so close to the hole. For example, imagine that you are standing just a few feet off the green, facing a chip shot that involves a significant downslope. In order to stop the ball quickly, you want to use a lob shot to carry the ball over the downslope and onto a flatter part of the green. That’s a great plan – but you are going to need to use a big swing to make it work. Can you muster the courage to make such a big swing despite standing so close to the hole? That’s the inherent challenge you face with the lob shot. If you can manage to trust the swing, you will often be rewarded in the end.
  • Maintain speed through impact. Once you get over the mental hurdle of making a big backswing when you are so close to the green, the next challenge you will face is keeping the speed of the swing up through the hitting area. Again, this is a move that just doesn’t feel right when you are first learning the shot. It seems that the ball is going to go too far if you keep the speed up – so many players decelerate on the swing and leave the shot short in the end. Remember, the extreme degree of loft on the club is going to cause the shot to fly mostly up and only a little forward, so maintaining speed through the ball should work out fine.
  • Keep your eyes on the ball. One of the oldest golf tips in the book comes into play here, as you do need to make sure to keep your eyes on the ball as you swing through impact. Yes, it is always a good idea to keep your eyes on the ball, but it is particularly important on this kind of shot because the temptation to look up early is going to be strong. You will probably be a little nervous about the outcome of the shot, meaning you’ll be tempted to look up early and see how you’ve done. Of course, if you do that, it’s likely that you will hit the shot thin, and the ball will rocket across the green and beyond. Before each lob shot, remind yourself just how important it is to keep your head down. If you can do so successfully, you’ll take a big step toward finding success.

While there isn’t anything particularly complicated about the technique used on a lob shot, it will take quite a bit of practice before you can trust it fully. Do your best to incorporate a few lob shots into your standard short game practice sessions. As time goes by and you rack up more and more repetitions with this shot, you should see your results gradually improve.

The Role of the Grip

The Role of the Grip

At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of how the technique works when trying to hit a lob shot. However, in the previous section, we made no mention of the role that the grip plays in this swing. We’ll address that here, including touching on the issue presented in the title of this article – whether or not a weaker grip can help you play an effective lob.

First, let’s discuss what your grip needs to accomplish when playing a lob shot. The main job of your grip during this swing is to maintain the loft of the club through the hitting area. You setup with the club face dramatically open at address for a reason – you want to use as much of that loft as possible when you actually strike the ball. If your grip causes the club face to close down at impact, you’ll lose some loft and the shot will not come off as you were hoping. So, as you decide what kind of grip to use for your lob shots, be sure to keep in mind the main goal of maintaining loft through the hitting area.

Now that you know what you are trying to achieve with your grip, we can talk about what kind of grip is most likely to help you arrive at that outcome. If you were to use a strong grip, there would be a lot of control placed in your hands during the swing, making it easy to rotate the club through the hitting area. That can be good news in many cases when talking about the full swing, but it is not necessarily good news for a lob shot. Face rotation is exactly what we are trying to avoid here, since letting the face rotate is going to rob you of loft at the moment of impact. You want to hold the face open while you use your body to turn all the way through the shot and into the finish.

So, if a strong grip isn’t particularly desirable, you can probably guess what we are going to say next – a weak grip is a good idea for most players when trying to hit a lob shot. The weak grip is going to take some of the control over the swing out of your hands, which is good news in this case. We certainly aren’t saying that using a weak grip is going to make the lob easy, but it may make it a little easier.

Once you have moved your hands into a weaker position on the grip, the next step is to work on swinging your upper body through the shot properly and into a full finish. You might find it helpful to think about your right shoulder during the downswing on this kind of shot. Keep that shoulder moving all the way through the hitting area so you can maintain the speed of your swing without having to flip your hands and release the club. It will take some practice to get used to the way this kind of swing feels at impact, but you should gradually gain confidence with every shot you hit.

Your grip plays an important role on every shot you hit on the golf course, and the story is no different with the lob shot. While we do think that it is a good idea to lean in a weaker direction with your grip on these kinds of shots, it’s important to recognize that some golfers may find better results by opting for a strong grip. This is why practice is so essential in the process. You need to experiment with various grip positions to learn what is going to be most effective for you. If it turns out that a strong grip leads to better results, so be it. Whether it is a weak grip or strong grip that help you conquer the challenge of learning a lob shot, the only thing that matters is building your confidence and adding this option to your golf tool box.

How to Practice

How to Practice

On the surface, it seems like it would be pretty easy to practice your lob shots. Can’t you just head out to the local golf course, find the short game practice area, and get started? Well, yes, you certainly can do just that. And, for now, that’s probably a good way to go. However, as you continue to work on developing this shot, you will want to refine your approach to practice in order to make as much progress as possible. When you are ready to take that next step, please consider the tips below.

  • Aim for landing spots. The big challenge that you will face on each and every lob shot you hit is hitting the ball the right distance. It’s easy to get the ball on line since you are only a short distance from the hole. While the direction is easy, the distance is going to be quite tough to manage. To work on improving your performance in this area, try setting a landing spot target on the practice green while hitting some lob shots. If you can land the ball consistently near this target, and do so from a variety of distances, you can have confidence that you’ll be able to succeed on the course.
  • Play from a variety of lies. You never know exactly what kind of lie you are going to find when you miss a green. You might be on the fairway cut, or your ball might be sitting down in the rough. To prepare yourself for as much as possible, try to set up a variety of lies during your practice sessions. It would be a shame to practice from only one kind of lie only to draw a different lie on the course and be unable to respond properly. Seek out variety during practice not only with your lob shots, but with all of your short game shots.
  • Go back and forth. One of the big mistakes amateur golfers tend to make during practice is to hit the same shot over and over again, until it works. You don’t get that opportunity on the course. Rather, you have just one chance on the course to get it right, which is why you should practice in much the same way. Unless you are working on building your initial technique, in which case it’s okay to hit a bunch of shots in a row, you should alternate between types of short game shots, so you don’t get too comfortable. Hit a lob shot, then hit something like a bump-and-run, and go back and forth. This is going to present you with a bigger test in practice, which is exactly the right way to get better.

It’s not enough to simply practice your lob shots – you need to practice them with focus and purpose. Just ‘going through the motions’ in practice won’t make you any better, so don’t make that mistake. Have a plan before you start, execute that plan, and look forward to making progress in the near future.

Picking the Right Opportunities

Picking the Right Opportunities

To wrap up this article, we want to talk about finding the right chances to use your lob shot. As we’ve already mentioned, the lob shot is a difficult shot to learn – in fact, it’s one of the toughest shots in the game. That being the case, you don’t want to use it unless you actually need to. The tips we offer below should help you to make wise shot selection decisions when weighing your short game options.

  • Think low to start. When at all possible, you want to keep the ball down close to the ground in the short game. That means thinking about a bump-and-run shot first when you get up to your ball, and then gradually looking higher and higher as you cross out options. So, for example, if you need to go over a bunker to reach the green, you will quickly be able to ignore low shots that run along the ground. You’ll obviously need to get the ball up in the air to have success. Once you know that, you can decide exactly how high the shot needs to go in order to work out. If the conditions are right, it might be that a lob shot is your only viable option.
  • Consider risk factors. A failed lob shot can put you in a bad position in a hurry. If you hit your lob shot thin, it is going to go much farther than you imagined, and probably find a bad spot before it comes to rest. Pay attention to your lie and make sure you aren’t attempting a lob shot in a bad situation. If you have a poor lie for this kind of shot, pick a safer option to avoid making a big number.
  • Are you nervous? The lob shot is difficult even in practice, but it can get even harder when you are under pressure on the course. When you are in a tight spot during a round, you might feel that your nerves are getting in the way of your performance. If that is the case in a given situation, try to avoid going for the lob shot if at all possible. Attempting a lob shot while nervous is just asking for trouble.

When you pull off a lob shot just right, it is a great feeling. Of course, in order to enjoy that feeling, you need to put in plenty of hard work during practice. We hope the information offered in this article will help you make progress with this difficult shot. Many golfers find that a weaker grip does help create the right conditions for a lob shot, but your experience may vary, so be sure to try a variety of grips as you practice. Good luck!

I wish they would take those tin cans away. Right so I’m ready. So can a weaker grip help me master those soft lob shots? Yes, the answer is, but let's talk about what is a soft lob shot? Well just imagine you are just around the green maybe just 10 yards away from the green, but you have got a big bunker a big gaping deep bunker between you and the green. The flag just tucked on the other side of the pin so you can get this image in your mind like me at the moment, it’s almost I need to kind of just get the ball and just throw it right up in the air and land it – as soft as possible because I have got to carry the bunker I have got to land it soft. So anything going low is going to go low and have a top spin on, so a soft lob shot. So hopefully in your mind you think yeah I have got that image now, is one that we throw right up in the air. So first of all club selection, club selection just go with the most lofted club so ideally a 60 degree lob wedge, 62, 64 that’s the club really to play that soft lob shot if you’ve got one in your bag. If not I’m going to show you the technique of try and create it but the more loft you have got the better.

So slightly a weaker grip. A slightly weaker grip is important because a normal grip would be where the V is going to between my chin and my right shoulder, in this place here. A slightly weaker grip is where I move my left hand slightly back so it's now going to the left of the club for us right handed golfers. And that will allow my right hand to, sit more on the top, now the importance of this is a couple of things, first of all let me put that club face down what we don’t want to do is what we see in a normal golf swing where the hand is normally coming into the ball and release the club rotating the club face from what was square to a club face that’s coming in closing as we actually release through we don’t want that, we want the hands to be inactive, so a weak grip helps us. So we have shown you the position of the hands, ball position when you want to play a soft lob shot it's very important that we have actually set ourselves up with the ball forward in the stance. And the reason for this is we want this club to literally come into the ball and hit right underneath the ball rotate the club face to slide right underneath. So we have got the grip we have got the ball position. The setup as you know for any sure game shot would be one where the feet are top the left what we call an open setup. So from this position here if I set myself up there is the ball position and my hands are in a nice position where they’re nice and straight with the club face, they are not too far ahead and they are certainly not behind, always have your hands lightly forward. So you have got the picture in your mind from here, now let's look from the angle now this is the important bit. Here is a setup, I need to make sure that we hold this club face in the position as it was at as addressed so the weak grip is going to do this and the ball position being so far forward will allow this club to slide right underneath okay. As we set ourselves up in this position the ball forward because we have got a weak grip it allows my shoulders to go slightly left, so you can see my shoulders are aiming left of the target here not parallel as we would normally do. From this position here this would allow me then to swing the club back on a line which would be slightly outside the line and then from there we would come inside the line, but because that grip was weak remember the position here, not there back here, the hands are now docile they are sleepy so as we come in the club face is in the same position as it was when it started and the club face will slide right across the ball imparting lots and lots of spin up in the air and it will land soft. So lets demonstrate the golf shot in real time, here is the setup weak, grip left hand back and from here I am just going to concentrate here I am just swinging it with my arms, weight left side and up very, very high golf shot coming down and it stopped almost dead, so now you have got the knowledge a slightly weaker grip can help you play those soft lob shots even better.