U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)

Short Game

It looks weird, but this ‘auto scoop’ shot could be your new secret weapon


First, let’s start with a couple words of warning: This is a shot that’s going to require some practice, and it’s one the shot’s inventor, Golf Digest Best International Teacher Shauheen Nakhjavani, says is best suited “specifically to high level golfers.”

But become a master of it, and it could be your new specialty weapon around the greens.

Shauheen is a great follow on Instagram and as explains in his post below, the shot is designed for one specific purpose:

“When you’re short sided on a fast green running away from you,” he writes. “You need to be close to the green to use it, as it’ll want to land just a few feet from where you’re standing.”

For many golfers it’s the kind of shot they would putt, but when there’s rough in the way, that’s not an option. It’s why you usually see players hit epic full-swing flop shots in these spots: Because they’re trying to carry the ball over a short distance, than have it land dead.

But that might literally be the most difficult shot in golf, which brings us back to Shauheen’s “auto-scoop shot,” which involves some key setup adjustments, as he explains:

“Put the ball back in your stance. Keep your hands and handle even further back. Pre-set your trail wrist into max flexion, and don’t change it throughout the swing to expose the bounce & loft of the club. Just rotate back and through from there without changing your arm structure.”

Setting up this way, with your hands way behind the ball, effectively pre-sets impact so the club hits the ball with lots of loft. It’ll feel “awkward” at first, Shauheen goes onto say, but as you get used to it, you’ll notice the ball come out high but lands dead. An interesting method to make one of the trickiest shots in golf, a little simpler.