Short Game Prowess

Knock it stiff more often

This Article Features Photo Zoom
THE POWER FLOP SHOT


Swing down and through the shot, not up and away! Be aggressive!

Release the hands and let them retain their speed.

Don't be afraid to engage the lower body in this shot.

If you really need to elevate the ball off the ground and get the ball in the air, follow these guidelines. First, don't set up to the ball and then open the face! Instead, grip the wedge with an open face first, then set up to the golf ball.

Second, get aggressive! The flop shot isn't really a finesse shot. It's a power shot, and you have to accelerate through the stroke. So get ready to swing harder than you would when hitting a regular pitch from this distance. Third, don't go to great lengths to try to lift the ball up into the air. To add that necessary loft, situate the clubshaft with some negative shaft lean. By that, I mean play the ball a bit forward in your stance and lean the shaft away from the intended target. From here, stay aggressive and allow the hands to release through the shot!

Another good rule of thumb for this shot is to keep your hands close to your body as you hinge, unhinge and hinge again through the followthrough. By staying close, you'll be forced to hinge a lot quicker. That's the trick for hitting high flop shots, folks.

DEAD-HANDS PITCH SHOT


Sometimes pitch shots that fly high and stop quickly aren't the types of pitches you want to hit. What if you want a midheight flier that takes two hops and releases 3 to 6 feet toward the hole? For this type of result, try the dead-hands pitch shot.

To hit this shot, the critical variable is how the hands work through the stroke. In essence, the hands ought to deaden. By that, I mean the hands are merely an extension of the arms. Yes, you hinge your wrists and they release, but they do it a lot slower and later in the stroke. So, to hit this type of shot with dead hands, you have to be ready to turn more with the body through the stroke. In the photo sequence, notice how much my body has rotated through the strike. That's what you want. Also, in the finish position, check out how low my hands are and how the shaft is practically horizontal. That's an indicator that I've hit this shot by using the rotation of my body as the driving move, not the release and flick of the hands.

Try this shot on your own and imagine having dead, inactive hands. You'll hit softer pitches that fly lower and have some release when they hit the green.





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