Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Stock Flop Shot

The flop shot may be one of most enjoyable shots in the game. It is very rewarding to see a ball fly high that lands next to a tight pin. So much so, that I've witnessed players use it for all their green side shots. 

So, what are you to do for this shot? 

Techniques vary. The typical method is to open the club face, open the stance and swing left while holding the face open (right hand player). 

This method works but it leaves the player wondering about how much to open the face, where to aim it once it's open, how open the stance should be, how far left should the club be swinging and how can it's flight be predicted to account for any given shot. 

The avid player can learn these variables through experience but there is an alternative method that is effective on grass or sand and provides some specifics. 

1. Open the face from 10-30 degrees all depending on how much loft you need. By my trial, 30 degrees seems to be the limit for the procedure that follows. (Vokey SM 5 M-grind)

Rotating the bade 10° is roughly a half inch at the toe.  

2. Aim the face an equal degree right of the target and address the club the same degree left. 

When the club is placed you'll notice the shaft shifts proportiately to the degree the face is aimed right. 

The club should be centered at address; meaning the shaft is entirely in line with the center of your body. 

The swing can be the same as your normal swing if you swing it back toe up, return it square while brushing the grass and continue to toe up forward. This motion should be uninterrupted. 

In principle, because the club was rotated open, the toe will be past vertical back (club horizontal to the ground), the face should be open to the target line at impact and the toe short of vertical forward (club horizontal to the ground).

The direction of the forward swing is to be made towards the line parallel to your alignment. Remember, brush the grass and continue swinging so the whole club points towards this line. 

I have not yet learned the precise face alignments or path directions at impact with sophisticated radar. 

The results though are interesting. 

On six shots with a 56 degree SW, two swings each with 10°, 20°, 30° set ups, all but one started straight. They split the difference of this 1:1 ratio in the set-up
and presumed impact condition. 

The launch angles in a larger sample of each range from 40 to 47 degrees. The 10 shot average data from a monitor is as follows: 

10°, 20° and 30° flop shots respectively:

If I use this procedure and execute the swing in my intended direction then the launch direction becomes fairly predictable. 

It's been a game changer and provides great versatility as it works for both my 56 and 60 degree wedges (10°-30°). 

Earlier I qualified that the precise face alignments and path directions at impact had not been measured with sophisticated radar. I believe this is necessary to determine why the ball flies in such a predictable way.  

In the meantime, I'm going to continue to utilize this shot and it's results. It's a fun shot and I'm tempted to use it for all my green side shots and maybe you'll discover this as well. 

So please consider and experiment with it in your own game. Try it and Enjoy. 

All for a better game,


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