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Thursday, February 25, 2016

DRILL: Hitting Flop Shots with Your 7-Iron

There was a slightly longer version of this Golf Channel Academy lesson on Morning Drive either Tuesday or Wednesday, and it was such a neat drill that I wanted to post it. In order to help you get better at using the bounce on your wedges, GCA Lead Coach Justin Bruton has a drill where you hit flop shots with a 7-iron.

I know, it sounds preposterous. But watch the video and then I'll give you a few things to watch for when you set up and swing that should help you get the hang of this more easily.

First, in your setup:
  • Your stance is slightly open. Take a good look at the video -- SLIGHTLY open. The idea is to swing just a bit out-to-in; you're not setting up for a big sand shot.
  • The ball is positioned forward in your stance. It appears to be opposite your lead heel. I tested that setup and was able to consistently strike the ground from that position, so it should work fine for most of you.
  • Note that when you split your grip, your trailing hand touches the shaft. Again, don't get crazy -- just one finger on the shaft is fine.
  • Grip the club so the clubface is slightly open. That helps you use the bounce better.
Now, when you actually make the swing, the butt end of the club should point at or just ahead of your belly button when the clubhead hits the ground. That will guarantee that you're using the bounce but not flipping your hands at impact. Not enough hand action makes the leading edge dig into the ground; too much hand action gets the leading edge too high off the ground and makes you more likely to hit the ball thin.

And remember his caution: You probably WILL hit the ball thin the first few times you try this drill. You have to learn the rhythm of the swing. But once you get it, your pitching should improve dramatically.

Best of all, since it uses a regular club and not a training aid, you can use this drill to make a few practice strokes before you actually hit a pitch during your round if you feel a bit uncomfortable. It's hard to beat a drill that can help you right at your moment of need!

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