The "flop" shot is a short shot that flies higher than normal and lands softly. It can be a very effective shot when the flag is tucked in behind a bunker or is just on the green, leaving little room for the ball to roll.
This shot is possibly the most difficult to master and should only be attempted by advanced players willing to practice to develop the necessary feel and skill. The shot is played with a sand wedge or lob wedge to provide the maximum height possible.
As with all golf shots, the adjustments necessary for the flop shot start at the address position. Since we are looking to hit the ball higher than normal, we must move the ball forward in the stance; this means playing the ball even with the left heel. A line across the toes must be open, as if the body is aimed slightly to the left of the target for a right-hander.
The shaft must be tilted towards the middle of the body. This is the only shot where the club head is positioned forward of the hands. The club face must be turned a few degrees to the right of the target. This simply adds a few more degrees of loft to the club.
The swing is longer than normal to counteract the fact that the energy of the swing is launching the ball upwards, not forward. Practice this shot by swinging the club equal distance on the back swing and forward swing. Start by swinging the hands shoulder height both ways. At the finish position, the right foot should be flat on the ground and the club face must be turned to the right for a right-hander.
This serves to keep the face open through impact resulting in high, soft shots. Practice this shot for two hours per day for the next three years, and I guarantee success, even for Butch.
-- Payne Stewart was at the top of the golf world for nearly 20 years, winning several tournaments including three majors. He played in five Ryder Cups including September's event in Boston in which he embraced the role of the inspirational team leader.
Payne was instantly recognizable wearing knickers and matching hats. He possessed a beautiful swing founded on superb rhythm and coordination. Payne Stewart was a good interview, always willing to offer his opinion and stand by his convictions.
Over the years, I have spoken to several people that had met or knew him personally. Each one of these people spoke with affection and respect, not only for his golf game but also for his role as a father, husband and citizen. He left us with positive memories and will be sorely missed.
Terry Gingell is a PGA Class-A Professional with more than 20 years in the golf business. He is the owner and operator of The Golf Learning Center, an indoor golf school specializing in the use of high speed video equipment to allow in-depth and accurate analysis of the student's golf swing. The business is located at 509 Moses St. behind Capitol Ford. Send golf questions and comments to Terry Gingell, C/O Nevada Appeal Sports Department, P.O. Box 2288, Carson City, NV., 89701.