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  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Facebook: Bob Hammerstrom at The Nashua Telegraph


    Chelsea Demers demonstrates the "flop shot" onto a putting green at the Golf & Ski Warehouse in Hudson recently.
  • Golf ball and two tees, one white, one orange. Isolated on white.
  • Staff photo by Bob Hammerstrom


    Facebook: Bob Hammerstrom at The Nashua Telegraph


    Chelsea Demers demonstrates the "flop shot" onto a putting green at the Golf & Ski Warehouse in Hudson recently.
Sunday, August 14, 2011

Equipment Corner: Use lofted golf club to perfect your flop shot

EDITOR’S NOTE: Equipment Corner is a weekly golf equipment review by Chelsea Demers, the 2010 women’s state amateur golf champion and 2011 women’s state amateur runner-up. View a video of Demers hitting the clubs at www.nashuatelegraph.com and www.nh.com/golf.

Golf is a sport that puts players into compromising positions and causes them to think irrationally too quickly. Some of those positions include being placed greenside close to the pin but with some kind of obstacle between you and the hole.

You have most likely seen Phil Mickelson’s phenominal short game. He has a good short game because he has mastered the flop shot and you are about to as well. That is what these kinds of compromising positions are made to test.

For this week’s equipment review, I decided to demo a Titleist Vokey 60 degree wedge from Golf and Ski Warehouse and show how to conquer this shot. Every golfer needs to learn how to execute a successful flop shot because whether it’s the round you’ll play tomorrow or the round you’ll play in a year, it’s guaranteed you’ll have to use it at some point.

You’re standing at your ball looking at the stream in front and the pin, which seems so far away. Before you begin to think it’s impossible to make the shot, use your imagination and think of ways to get your ball close to the pin. Look at the undulations of the green, the slopes and the breaks that could work to your advantage. Visualize where you would like to land your ball, where you would like it to start rolling toward the hole. Lastly, imagine yourself making the shot.

The most important part is scoping out your lie. You’re in the rough so the grass is almost covering the ball but it’s not a bad lie; let’s hope it’s not too good of a lie either. This determines how hard you will swing the club and how much spin will be put on the ball. Now, step up to your ball with your most lofted club – some use a 60 degree and some use a 56.

Hitting a flop shot requires the same thoughts as hitting a sand shot. Set up to your ball with an extremely open club face and your feet and body going way left. The club face and your body should average out to the line of your target.

The ball position should be slightly ahead of the center of your stance. You want to take a steep but smooth, easy swing that doesn’t release the club face at any point and that keeps it open throughout.

The ball should be a high shot that bites once it lands on the green and rolls a little down the line. The more you open the club face and move your feet to the left, the higher your ball will go.

I can’t overemphasize how important it is to practice this shot. You never know when you’ll be in the middle of a great round and be unlucky so that your ball and the hole are on either side of a bunker, mound, hazard or any kind of obstacle.

By practicing this shot a lot, you will turn those misfortunes into opportunities and save your round.