Short Game – How To Hit Flop Shots

By | on June 21, 2019 | 41 Comments |


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Author Description

Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

41 Responses to “Short Game – How To Hit Flop Shots”

  1. Hi Paul. I have used this tip and I dial in the “open angle”. By squaring the open face to the target line. That will give you the proper open angle. Don

    • Donald,

      You actually should have the face 15 degrees right of target. This way you will hit it on target. Long explanation. Maybe I will do a tip on it someday.

  2. Hey paul
    I have noticed that on a occasion I get very skinny divots the go to the right ( leftie)
    Is this from over the top ?
    I pretty much never use my arms and can’t figure how I could be coming over the top.

  3. June 30, 2015


    Hi Paul:
    This is a GREAT tip !! Tried it out on my last round and jarred the second one I tried !!! ( Just lucky ) With respect to the opening the stance – – ( Club is at the 2 o’clock position ) Do you open the stance until the lead edge of the club points on a direct line to the flag. and then swing down the stance/feet line. ( ie swing square to your stance) The technique works great, but I just want to be able to get the direction right after its hit. I hope I explained it properly. Thanks a bunch Paul


    • Wesley,

      Very good. I love hearing it. It’s a lot of fun when you can hit close pitches. If so you have a huge advantage over anyone you play because most people are not good at these shots.

      Point the open face 15 degrees right of target. Then you will hit it online.

  4. Hey Paul,

    GREAT tip, have always struggled with the flop shot and when to use it.


  5. July 1, 2015


    Paul is this similar to techniques for bunkers.

    • Roy,

      Very similar. You can do this or you can do your normal swing. Go to the DASHBOARD under SHORT GAME > BUNKER SHOTS to watch my bunker tips.

  6. Paul,

    Could you comment on what your wrists are doing as you turn through impact on short pitches? Some days I can hit this and some days the short pitches just blade over the green.


    • Jay,

      My wrists are really lose. Because I am trying to abbreviate the follow through I am immediately collapsing my arms right after I hit the ball. This is with the short and medium pitch. Full pitch is my normal swing. If you are blading it you are hitting. I am not hitting anything. My arms are powerless. If I am not trying to hit, I will be less likely to look up to see what I hit.

      So keep your arms relaxed and let them extend. Also, train yourself to watch the ball until it is hit then look for it.


      Watch for the Blur:

      You can also listen for the club to hit the ball. Once you hear it, you can look to see where it went.

      • Thanks. I will try.

        I think sometimes, I may be turning my hips too flat, which takes my hands over the top. From there, I have make some crazy move to get to the ball.

        I’m assuming that keeping the spine angle is critical so the hips and arms stay on plane.

        I think I have have taken your thought of “turn the belt buckle” left of the target a bit too literal and am coming out of the shot.


        • Jay,

          Just get it on very easy shots first with no arms. Then gradually speed up. I think you may be trying to get it all at once. Just get it then master all of the shots.

  7. Paul, if a normal medium pitch shot rolls 8-10 yards (depending if you’re on the fairway or on the rough), what would be the reduction of roll opening (1 hour) the club face?

    For example: a medium speed short pitch shot would make 20 yards of flight plus 6 to 8? yards of roll. How would it compare to a slow medium pitch shot with an opened club face (2 o’clock) that would fly also 20 yards (40-20) but should roll significantly less (maybe two or three yards?)

    • Jose,

      I would probably be half but it is dependent on the lie and the contact you are making. If it goes higher it will not roll as far.

  8. A top notch session again ,Paul ,but you make this very difficult shot look too easy for the average golfer,while it is a shot I try to avoid by all means when I can ,I always try to keep the ball low to the ground whenever possible .
    I play it like I would a normal splash shot out of the sand.
    In both cases ,I make sure (You don’t mention it ) the backswing is very vertical ,no taking the club inside :it’s like cutting slices of ham from a big piece of ham (“Jambon” in FRENCH language ) .
    The real problem is gauging the distance :except from practising a lot ,you don’t really master where the ball is going to stop!
    Not every one is a PHIL MICKELSON (And he does miss some occasionnally too !)

    • Raymond,

      Just hit shots from square with the face open. Then open up. In other words, take it in stages. You are trying to be great right away. If you hit bunker shots with an open face with any degree of success you can do this shot.

      I am not picking the club up hitting this shot. I am doing my normal pitching technique.

      Why would this be hard to gauge distance. This was the whole point of the tip. 40 – 20 = 20 Just got to get good at normal pitch shots to know you distances then subtract yardage based on how open the face is. It doesn’t get easier than this.

  9. Thanks for responding to my request….a difficult shot made so much more user-friendly. Well done.
    Have you given a tip on how to hit a ball that rolled into a deep divot on the fairway? I can’t find it on your dashboard. Thanks

  10. March 5, 2017


    I am just starting to practice your pitch shot techniques this week.
    Question: as you turn your feet away from the line, is it the club face always stay open towards the target of can it ever align with the target? also how does the swing plane adjust as you open your feet? for example, doyou swing towards the target line or do you swing along your open feet?

  11. Hi Paul,

    If you want to hit 20 yards instead of 40, why not just use the slow pitch shot instead of the medium? Is the point that a flop shot sits more than a regular pitch shot? So a 20 yard show pitch shot will run (say 10 more yards) and a 20 year flop shot will sit or hardly run at all?



    • Lee,

      Exactly, I use the 20 yard flop all of the time when I need to stop it faster. Normal pitch will roll from 5-15 yards depending on lie, wind, slope of green etc. you need to calculate this out before hitting the shot.

  12. November 2, 2018


    Paul can this also be used with the short pitch technique where butt points at target

    • November 2, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      Yes, this is exactly what you do. Then you get the real short high pitch. Need to trust it though.

  13. December 31, 2018


    Paul – Great work.
    Been working on technique and improving but unsure about yardage differences expectations with different Pitch setups.
    If I use 40yd pitch setup(Hinge, Point-Ground, Slow Turn) I expect 50% decrease, therefore 20 yds flop with Proper Open face 2 O’clock& open stance to lose the 20 yds from 40yd pitch,
    Does this also mean:
    If I use 30yd pitch setup (Hinge,Point-Target,Fast Turn). I expect 33% decrease, therefore 20yd flop with Proper Open face 1:30 O’clock & open stance to lose 10 yds from 30yd pitch?

  14. December 31, 2018


    2 things I could not find about Opening Stance.
    Do I compensate the open stance body turn, similar on clock dial as opening the clubface?

    Also doesn’t the opening of the stance actually move the ball back in my stance relative to my swing along line of the body?

    Sorry for being so dense, but trying to get it all dialed in on the Flops as well.
    You really have helped me a great deal but I still have a lot of work to do and trying to avoid back tracking.

  15. January 7, 2019


    More succinctly:
    1. When using Pitch technique for Flop Shots, do we expect the reduction in flight to be PROPORTIONAL?
    Open club-face to 2 o’clock for FLOP with 40yd pitch setup expecting 20yd flight (50% reduction).
    Open club-face to 2 o’clock for FLOP with 70yd pitch setup expects 35yd flight (50% reduction) – expect flight 50% reduction?
    Is it PROPORTIONAL like 1 o’clock open ~ 25% reduction & 1:30 open ~33% reduction of flight compared to expected squared Pitch setups? Have I missed something?

    2. How much do I open my stance when dialing flop 1 oclock, 1:30 and 2 oclock? Do I compensate the open stance/body turn & line of swing, similar on clock dial as opening the clubface the opposite direction?

    3. When I open my stance, the ball seems further back in my stance when I swing along line of the body with the open face? Should I compensate somehow?

  16. Hey paul
    Does your upper arms stay connected to your body in the back swing thru all shots

  17. June 21, 2019


    Are you using 60 degree or 56 degree wedges for flop shots,?

  18. June 22, 2019


    Paul, great tip on altering the shape of the shot for short high pitches! The one question I have is how the open face effects spin rate. I know with a 60 degree wedge with a short pitch swing, I get enough spin to stop or check and stop the ball. Does opening the face add loft to the club in the same sense that a higher lofted club generally spins more?

    • Fretless,

      Opening the face can add more spin but so can the angle of attack and swing speed. It also depends on the ball and lie. The more open the more loft the more spin. I say leave 5 yards roll from a well cut fairway, 10 from a not so well cut fairway, 15 from rough. This may of course vary with the items I mentioned above.

  19. Paul,

    Great tip. I’ve always been good at flopping and using an open face to do it but I still felt it involved a lot of guesswork. Your method of calculating distance reduction from various open clock face amounts gives me a quantification of the adjustment that will occur.

    Thanks much. Can’t wait to try this.


    • Mike,

      Very good. You certainly don’t want to be guessing out there. You need to know what you’re going to do before you do it.

  20. June 23, 2019


    Flop seems a great addition to your efficient Pitching Technique. the attention to detail also improves Pitching.
    Do you use flop applications to the 10-20-30 yard Pitching Technique when needing less roll or more bite at distances shorter than 20 yards?
    If so, do you have any guidelines for expected distance and run or is there an alternative you use for shorter distances than 20 yards needing a good bite and less roll?
    Thanks again for your hard work and insight.

    • Stan,

      Glad you liked it. I will have to do a tip on roll out.

      I say leave 5 yards roll from a well cut fairway, 10 from a not so well cut fairway, 15 from rough. This can vary with swing speed, angle of attack, the ball, the landing point etc.

  21. Eureka!

    I’m a new member of the PWG Ignition Golf and The Body Swing family. In one week your instruction has turned my game around. Your videos have pointed out my swing flaws and taught me how to correct them. I’m a believer.

    My home muni course has several deep greenside grass bunkers which have befuddled me since I took up the game six years ago. This flop shot lesson has changed all that. I feel enlightened. I think the weight of my scorecard will lighten too.

    Thanks, Paul.


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