English Golf Courses

How to hit a flop over a tree


David Patrick shows you how to play the risky but awesome flop shot

To hit it as high as possible, increase clubhead speed with a shallow angle of approach with your most lofted club. You can do this a variety of ways but I’ll show you the simplest way to calibrate loft onto the club and work out how high each shot will go.

The key to this shot is set up. But like any shot, it requires practice – and this one may require more than other because you have to be 100% committed. As soon as doubt creeps in, disaster strikes.

Set up to the ball with the clubface square to the target and your feet parallel. The butt of the club should be pointing straight towards your zip.

Add loft to the club by laying the shaft back whilst maintaining the clubface pointing towards the target.

Notice how the handle has got lower, this has now increased the dynamic loft on the club.

Lowering the shaft also forces you to stand further away from the ball which lowers your centre of gravity and promotes a shallower angle of approach.

Finally, shuffle your feet round so the butt of the club is again pointing straight at your zip.

It is imperative you keep the clubface pointing at the target and keep the handle in the same position.

The amount you need to lower the butt of the club and add loft depends entirely on how high you want to hit the shot. The more loft you add the harder you need to swing to hit the ball the same distance as the energy will have gone into the higher flight. Your grip should be light and in the fingers to promote hinge and a smooth swing.


From this set-up, swing the club along the lines of your body, trusting the preset loft on the clubface. Because of the amount of loft on the clubface, the ball will fly where the clubface is pointing, straight to the target. If the ball goes left you have closed the face. Ball position is just inside the front foot. Weight should be fairly evenly distributed and keep the weight centred throughout the swing. The more loft you add the wider the stance needs to be.



David Patrick is an award-winning PGA professional and teaches at Kingsfield Golf Centre. For lessons, you can call David on 07773 427233. Follow him on Twitter: @shortgamedoctor

Originally published on bunkered on January 1, 1970.

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