Short Game

Lob Shots Made Easy



You fired at the flag but missed. Now your ball is in the rough, and you've got about five feet of green between you and the hole. Your best—and probably only—option for getting up and down is a lob shot. You need to hoist the ball way up in the air, and drop it close to the hole like it has a parachute strapped to it. How do you do it?

First, know that you should only attempt a lob if you've got some cushion under the ball. If it's on hardpan or sitting down in the rough, simply pitch onto the green and hope you can two-putt to get out of there with minimal damage to your scorecard. But if your ball is sitting up, you can easily execute a lob shot if you do this.

Grab your club with the most loft, open the face before you take your grip, and then get into a significantly wider stance than normal. Last setup adjustment: Lower the handle. All of this gets you in position to make a very shallow through-swing, letting the wedge glide through the turf under the ball and hit it with a lot of loft.

Now that you're in the right setup, here's one thing to execute this shot. Create the letter L with your clubshaft and lead arm (left arm for righties) as you take the club back (above). Then create a backward L with the clubshaft and trail arm as the club passes under the ball. Think L to L as you swing, and this hinging and rehinging will speed the club through the grass and pop the ball up. Commit to it, and you just might save par.

Mario Guerra, a Golf Digest Best Young Teacher, is the head professional at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y.