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Tour short-game guru: Instead of a flop shot, try this simple shot

July 09, 2024
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We know the temptation well: The ball is sitting up nicely in the greenside rough. There isn’t a lot of green between you and the pin. And the thought sneaks into your mind, I should hit a flop shot. I’ve seen tour players do it, how hard could it be? Pretty hard, actually. If you’re an average player who hasn’t dedicated a lot of time to practicing this difficult shot, attempting the flop is going to hurt you more than help. Gareth Raflewski, a short-game coach trusted by over 65 tour players, says to try this shot instead.

Take your sand wedge and set up to the ball. “Put 80% of your weight on the front foot, this will steepen the angle of attack,” Raflewski says.

“Take a full swing back and then stop the swing through at about halfway, making sure the face is pointing up.”

By stopping halfway and holding the face open, Raflewski says you’ll get higher launch. By putting your weight forward, you’ll get better contact: “You'll hit closer to the ball not catching the rough,” Raflewski says.

As tempting as it may be, don’t try to do anything fancy when you’re in a situation where you need to chip the ball up in the air and have it stop quickly on the green. Follow Raflewski’s advice and just take your normal swing and cut it off halfway with the clubface pointing up. You’ll be surprised how easily the ball pops up high, and then lands softly on the green. It’s not as glamorous as the flop, but it will help you save par much more frequently.