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Friday, November 28, 2014

Playing the Anti-Flop

Okay, Lou Guzzi doesn't call this the anti-flop... but the technique certainly doesn't sound like any flop shot I've seen before. However, this video from Guzzi is an interesting take on the standard flop shot. You just might find some use for it!

Guzzi has taken almost all of the wrist hinge out of this shot and substituted body rotation to get the bounce of the club under the ball. Here are the basics I see in the video:
  • This shot uses your 60-degree wedge. This is pretty standard for a flop but if you aren't going to cock your wrists very much, that extra loft is critical.
  • You also want to open the face of your wedge. Again, pretty standard for a flop.
  • You really widen your stance. Looks more like he plans to hit a fairway wood than a wedge!
  • The ball is positioned just inside the lead heel. Guzzi doesn't mention this, but it's clear from the video. Looks really close to where you'd play a fairway wood or even a driver.
  • Hands swing back higher than normal but without really cocking your wrists. This is more like the one-piece takeaway you want to use in a full swing. Because you're turning your shoulders more, your hands (and the club) stay more "in front of you" -- or, if you prefer, you are more connected -- and the higher arm swing gives you a more upright stroke. Guzzi is using this upright plane to create some of the steepness you normally create with your wrists in a flop shot.
  • The wider stance and more connected move causes a greater weight shift back and through. This gives the club head -- and, consequently, the bounce on the club -- more time to get under the ball.
Now, when you watch Guzzi hit this shot on the video it may not look as if it takes off as high as a typical flop shot. (At least it doesn't to me.) But I can see how this method could both create more spin and make it easier to get good results, since eliminating the "wrist flip" at impact should make it easier to hit the ball more consistently.

To put it another way, solid contact = more spin = more height on the shot.

At any rate, it looks like an easy way to hit a higher, softer pitch shot without a tricky-to-time wrist flip. Seems worth a little time on the practice range to me.

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