However much we practice and however many lessons we take, most of us will never hit our drives over 300 yards, and we will never be hitting our second shots onto the greens of 580-yard-long par 5s.
There are areas of the game, however, where we can improve and knock shots off our handicaps. In particular, we can work on improving our short game. We hit far more shots with our wedges and our putters than we do with our longer clubs, so it makes sense to practice more with them and develop our knowledge of how to lay different sorts of shots with them. One of the shots we can benefit from mastering to help us turn three shots into two around the greens is the "flop shot."
Select your most lofted wedge and lay the face open to maximize the loft on this shot.
Position the ball forward in your stance, close to your right heel, and stand a little open to the line of the shot. This will promote an out-to-in motion through the ball, keeping the clubface open all the way through the shot so that the loft is maintained throughout.
Keep your hands level with, or even slightly behind, the ball at address. If you have your hands in front of the ball, you will deloft the club, which you want to avoid.
Make a long-and-lazy-feeling swing, cocking your wrists quickly as you start back from the ball. Then make sure you accelerate through the ball to a full finish. Avoid rotating the clubface closed, as you would with a full shot. You want the clubface to stay open and pointing up at the sky all through the swing.
Tips & Warnings
The flop shot requires great feel and imagination. It is hard to make the full and relaxed swing necessary to play it successfully on such a short shot. Rehearse playing the flop on the practice range to get the feel for how far the ball will travel. On the course, concentrate on making a full, smooth swing, staying down over the shot and completing a high follow-through.