How to Hit the Flop Shot

Near the green but have very little green to work with? No problem. In this video, I'll show you how to hit a flop shot like Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and all the pros.

  • Set the ball forward in your stance to shallow out the swing arc
  • Open the club face by turning it in your hands and not turning the body
  • Keep your weight left the entire time
  • Be aggressive 

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Matthew
Hi Craig, Just submitted a video review for this shot. The reason I was learning to play this is because I’m looking for a shot to play when I’m short sided, and need to get the ball up in air and down without very little rollout. Say short sided over a bunker and flag is tight against bunker. What is the right play? Just hit a pitch past the flag to 15 ft. Or try to play a flop? Or is there another option?
February 21, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Matthew. If you can get comfortable with the shot for sure you can use. It's just a low percentage play when you don't have confidence in it. If you are on the fence use the pitch shot to safely reach the green. Take the bogey if you don't make the putt. Don't compound the error by flopping it in the bunker.
February 22, 2020
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Dave
My problem area is just inside 100 yards from the green. Any advice or videos for this?
July 26, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Dave. Take a look at the Penetrating Wedge Shot Video.
July 27, 2019
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Julie
Should I use a weak grip for bunker shots too?
June 26, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Julie. You can, but that is a unnecessary adjustment for them.
June 26, 2019
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Julie
O.k. Thank you
June 26, 2019
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Manuel
Is this flop, chipping and pitching shots still left arm dominant?
May 31, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Manuel. Yes. The trail hand will be used a little more in the shot above. But, lead arm should be the dominant figure in short game shots.
May 31, 2019
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Brian
Please comment on ball position and weight distribution. Thank you.
April 30, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. The ball will be on the inside of the lead instep and the weight should be on the lead side the entire time. Start around 70-30 lead to trail side.
May 1, 2018
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Chan
Chuck, In this video, at 3:30, you said that if you have a lot of bounce on your club this will be difficult to do if you have the lie that is in the video. What do you consider to be a lot of bounce? I have 9 degrees of bounce on my 60 degree wedge. Would that be considered as too much?
April 20, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chan. That would be a lot for this type shot. Myself and Chuck have 4 degrees or less on our 60 Degree wedge. You don't have to go to that extreme, but less bounce will make it easier.
April 20, 2018
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Callie
Question about alignment and aim. Is the open club face pointed at the target or along the target line?
November 16, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Callie. As you open your body you will allow the face to rotate aiming towards the target, or just a hair right of it (for right handed swinger).
November 16, 2017
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Ron A. Sr.
Under what conditions should you use the Flop shot?
September 24, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ronald. All depends. The flop is more of a specialty shot when there are no other options. When you have a forced carry (sprinkler head, rough, poor grass area) and have to stop it pretty quickly or short of the hole.
September 25, 2017
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Thomas
Great video, tried this yesterday off tight lies and high grass and had no problem getting ball in the air. Just had to remember that hitting out of high grass causes ball to go almost vertical and need to add more backswing or less loft. It seems to be almost same as sand shot only not hitting into sand behind ball first.
September 21, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tom. Glad you liked the video and liked the results.
September 21, 2017
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James
How does this technique change when the flop shot is short like up 4 ft to land on a Green's edge?
June 25, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. Trying to hit it with only 4 feet of green to work with or 4 feet off of the green?
June 25, 2017
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James
Both! Little green remains between the flag and fringe. Green about 4 ft above. About 4 feet off the green.
June 26, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. The technique remains the same. You have to practice different lengths and rate of swing. It might look like the video was shot from far away, but its from closer than you think. Also, take a look at How to Chip - Spinning Chip Shots. At the very end, you will see a shot similar to yours needing a little height and spin for a tight window to hit it in.
June 26, 2017
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Jerry
Open face with weight on inside left heel. If you do it while leaning back, you will chuck or hit thin since the bottom of your arc changes. Be aggressive and swing through. Object is to brush the ground and lift to help the club. The ball will slide up the face and have lots of height. practice, practice, practice. No an easy shot.
May 10, 2017
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John
Hi Craig When you open up the club face it points to the right of target and that's where my balls go. Am I missing a trick ? Cheers John
March 22, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. You could be cutting across it, or trying to swing down the line of the direction the face is pointed. If you are performing the move correctly. Make sure the aim is correct with the stance. And, if everything is balanced out with swing and aim. A slight adjustment aiming left might be your trick. But, you shouldn't need much.
March 22, 2017
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Greg
Hi Craig, Am I correct in saying there are a couple of variables in the Flop shot to manage distance control. 1) Length of swing (&Maintain the rhythm) and 2) How open the club face is. I tend to prefer the same length of swing and mange distance by opening the club face ... any thoughts?
October 9, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Greg. Yes, length and rate of swing to help manage distance. You don't want the backswing too short to stay away from being yippy with it. Also, you have to maintain a good pace to get enough speed for spin (affecting height and carry). The flop is one you have to practice to understand how your length of swing and pace provides the yardage and results you want.
October 10, 2016
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GC
At what point do the hands kind of stop and let the club face catch up / release and take over?
June 8, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Grant. As you start to enter the trail thigh positioning.
June 9, 2016
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GC
How much divot should there be for this shot? And should the divot start before the ball ie should there be any compression?
June 8, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Grant. There will be a little compression and the divot will still be after the ball. Pretty shallow as well. Not a big gouging strike.
June 9, 2016
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DENIS
When you need height in a pitch (without going to a lob shot) and use say a 58 or 60 degree club what adjustments do you make ? Is it the same routine with a lower flying pitch shot and you simply rely on the increased loft of the club to deliver that extra height. I can't see a video on this shot so there may be a gap between the pitch and the lob shot. Thanks.
February 7, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Denis. Yes, is is the same as a lower flying shot routine where you would rely on increased loft. You need to play around and practice different degrees of open face and speed to determine how much difference you can create.
February 8, 2016
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Jose
The flop shot video is very short there is no talk about weather there's a open stance how open weather to swing down the target line or weather to hit down the body line this video was not helpful at all there's not enough detail
November 25, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jose. You can slightly open the stance if you would prefer. But, it is unnecessary to have a wide open stance. Clay is using more of a neutral stance alignment. You don't need to swing left of the target line. It will follow more down the line.
November 25, 2015
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Lance
How do you control distance with the flop shot? Should you always use your most lofted club Can you use longer clubs and open face Thank you
August 27, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lance. You can use a slightly less lofted club. Ideally though you will want the highest lofted club. Practice. You have to learn the different degrees of your own aggressiveness that adds spin and yardage.
August 27, 2015
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gene
Do you use the bounce or the leading edge of the club? Also where does the club handle point? In the video it looks straight up and down with little shaft lean. Is that to getting more height and spin?
June 22, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gene. The club will be vertical. You don't want excessive shaft lean. Overly leaning the shaft will tend to cause more of a dig. It will help with the height. You don't want use a club with too much bounce. The club needs to be sliding through the turf versus bouncing off of it.
June 23, 2015
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Michael
when you open the club face should you also open up your stance when doing a flop shoot?
June 16, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Michael. You can have the stance a touch open if you would prefer. But, no need to have a wide open stance to hit a stock flop.
June 16, 2015
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Loran
Should I attempt any shot that involves a hard pan or any type of tight lie?
May 29, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Loan. You can, but you better trust your move. Typically, the golfer flinches or gets scared when presented with a tight lie. Don't add any extra moves. Trust and swing.
May 30, 2015
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David
When I move the ball forward my club head is coming up and I wind up blading it . I am sure my weight is on my lead foot since I've tried this shot with only the toe of my back foot touching the grass. What might the problem be.
May 14, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. It sounds like you aren't committing to the shot and pulling up/out with the lead shoulder too soon. You have to stay down with it and in the shot. Let the release, speed, and club get the ball up not pulling out with the lead shoulder or picking up the head.
May 14, 2015
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dane
If you needed to hit a high pitch or a flop shot but you're playing off mud or soft wet grass what is the protocol? Or is a bump and run your only option? I've rune into this situation and it's seems my club doesn't bounce it just slides right under and I get a 5 yard super spinner for a 10 yard shot lol
March 26, 2015
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Dane, a bump and run won't work in that situation if you have a stand trap in front of you. So, in the situation where you have a loose lie, you're going to have to treat it like a sand shot and really commit to it, swinging with a fuller swing. However, a bump and run is always going to be the play if you have green to work with and no obstructions between you and the hole. However, if you need to get up and down quickly, fully commit to the flop and you should be fine. R.J.
March 27, 2015
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Robert
Great description of the flop shot, however I didn't hear anything regarding the take away or backswing, is it the same as a full swing just shorter and/or do you concisely break your wrist earlier?
July 27, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. The swing doesn't deviate too much from the RST model. You change the setup. Therefore, you don't have to have 10 different golf swings for 10 different shots. Depending on the situation. Rough, slope, etc. The wrist might tend to set earlier. But, for stock the swing stays pretty standard.
July 28, 2014
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gene
During the backswing do you keep the club face closed like Chuck demonstrated in the short pitch shot? I assume one does not want much rotation of the club face . Since we are trying to slide the blade under the ball, do you recommend a weak left hand grip that Chuck used in the short pitch shot? Also while attempting a high shot with a open blade won't the shot go left if one does not set up open to the target ?
September 20, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gene. There will be natural rotation of the face. You don't want to try and hold it shut going back, but there won't be a whole lot. You may weaken the left hand if you would like, but unnecessary. The ball shouldn't go left on you unless you allow the face to rotate over. Will take a little practice to get it fine tuned.
September 20, 2015
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James
Many short game videos in the short game section such as chip, pitch & flops I have marked as favorites, however when I go to my favorites section many of them are not there? Also there is a Marc Leishman video in my favorites that is listed yet not there, I would like it out of my favorites as I never placed it there.
May 27, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Jim. If you contact our support team they are more than willing to help you with your issue. Just click the Contact Us link and the bottom of the page. They will help you get to the bottom of the issue. Thanks.
May 28, 2014
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dean
How do I get to Favorites that I save? I don't see any tab that says Favorites.
May 24, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Click Member Tools --> My Program Home Page --> Practice Plan (On the Left) --> Favorites (on the Left). Hope this helps.
May 24, 2014

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