10 Best Tips

(You've Never Heard)

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It may seem counterintuitive to use “knockdown” and “flop shot” in the same sentence, but I’m here to tell you it works. Hitting a good, go-to flop shot is easier than you think! First, make sure you notice the loft of your lob wedge. Most hover in the 58- to 60-degree range, meaning you’ll have no problem lifting the ball into the air. There’s no need to try to lift the ball upwards!

To hit the knockdown flop shot, position the ball front of center in your stance, with your hands just ahead of the golf ball. Because you already have plenty of loft, there’s no need to rotate the face open. Keep it square to the target.

As you initiate your backswing, cock your wrists so the club is already parallel to the ground when the hands reach your thighs. Continue your backswing as you normally would, and keep that angle! As you transition from the top of your swing to impact, here’s the most important bit of info: Keep the hands ahead of the ball and stay low! If you try to flip the ball up, sure, you may occasionally hit a lobber. But good luck controlling it. Instead, stay low both at impact and through the finish, as I’m doing in this sequence. The result will be a nice mid-high lob shot that trickles a few feet forward once it hits the green.

Can you hit a draw with an open face? Yes! Here’s a little secret. Hitting a draw actually can be achieved with a slightly open face at impact, so long as the clubhead is continually closing through the impact zone.

To hit an open-faced draw, first make a few practice swings and work on excessively closing the clubface through the hitting area. In fact, it’s a good idea to go as far as hitting a series of snap hooks off the tee, again with the clubface rolling shut through the hit.

Notice in the photos to the right how the clubface approaches the ball with an open face, then closes after contact with the ball. What that tells you is that the toe of the clubface is moving faster than the heel, meaning the toe will inflict greater force onto the ball. The second photo, where I’m simulating impact, shows the clubface slightly open, but because the toe is moving faster than the heel, the ball is still going to have some draw spin once it leaves the clubface.

The key in making this work is to keep the clubface rotating all the way through (and past) the impact zone. This phenomenon is one reason better players struggle with hooking the ball. Better players sometimes square the face too early or too soon, not realizing that you actually can hit a straight or slightly drawing shot with the clubface slightly open at the moment of impact.

Once you’ve mastered the hook, the trick is to begin dialing back your timing so you continue to rotate and release the club; only you need to learn how to initiate the rotation later in your downswing than before.

To work on timing your release later in your swing, you’ll have to test it a few times and determine where in the swing you can go ahead and get the club rotating. Odds are, after a few practice sessions, you’ll learn that the right spot is a few feet before the ball with a slightly open face at impact.


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