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The Flop Shot from Hard Pan

Well, we’ve all been here. The ground is dusty and scorched. You’ve missed the green left and short-sightedly left a huge bunker between the flag and your ball. You couldn’t have manufactured a harder situation if you’d stood at airport security yelling bomb, bom, bom, bom, bomb and there’s more chance of you convincing Mariah Carey to whip off her top and snog her mate than feathering a flop shot to the flag which gently skids to a gimme distance away. That is, of course, until Jeff Ritter steps in and shows us the easy way to pull this shot off every time.*

The Brief:

To loft the ball in the air, over the trouble and land it softly on the green from a lie more uncompromisingly hard line than Ann Widdecombe.

The Weapons:

You will require your sand iron or trusty lob wedge and you will also open the face right up.

The Execution:

First of we need to put the weight on our left side. Really feel it on there. Feel like 80% of your body weight is resting on your left knee. A good way to do this is to rest your left hand on your knee. The tension you feel is equivalent weight distribution you should feel over the shot.

Second, we need to make sure that our hands are set just behind the ball. The reason for this is we’re trying to create as much loft as possible on this shot so the ball will pop up into the air and over the trouble.

The next tip requires a little imagination. I want you to imagine a line drawn at the base of the ball. This line goes through the ball towards your feet. What we’re going to have to do is ‘whip the line’. We need to feel like the club is skimming under the ball and the best way to create this motion is to feel as if you’re whipping that line and snapping the club under the ball.


What should we expect when playing this shot? In practice, to knife a couple over the green. On the course, for the ball to float high, land soft and release on a yard. Getting the bottom of the swing in the perfect spot is the key. If you strike too far behind, an open face on a hard lie will surely lead to disaster!

*that said, Jeff bladed his first two attempts

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