Activities Sports & Athletics What Is a Flop Shot? Plus the Basics of Hitting This Specialty Type of Wedge Shot Share PINTEREST Email Print Jim Furyk follows the steep trajectory of his flop shot played during a Ryder Cup match. Jamie Squire/Getty Images Sports & Athletics Golf Basics History Gear Golf Courses Famous Golfers Golf Tournaments Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Brent Kelley Brent Kelley is an award-winning sports journalist and golf expert with over 30 years in print and online journalism. our editorial process Brent Kelley Updated June 07, 2019 A flop shot, also known as a lob shot, is a short pitch shot played with a very high-lofted wedge in order to create maximum height on the ball's trajectory. The intention is to send the golf ball on a high-arcing trajectory, steeply up and steeply down, so that when the ball lands on the green it stops quickly, with very little roll. Key Takeaways A flop shot, which is also called a lob shot or simply a flop or lob, is typically played using a lob wedge. The flop shot is a specialty shot employed by golfers who need a steeply ascending ball flight to clear an intervening obstacle, or who need the ball to stop very quickly after hitting the green. The flop shot is a specialty shot in golf, typically played in order to get the ball over a hazard (such as a bunker) between the golfer and the flagstick; or from just off the green when the golfer is short-sided and needs the ball to stop very quickly once it lands on the putting green. Any time the golf ball is in a position where the golfer needs to get the ball into the air quickly on a steep trajectory (such as to get over a tree between the golfer and the green), then land the ball soft on the green, the flop shot is an option to be played. A flop shot is typically played with a high-lofted wedge called a lob wedge. A lob wedge has around 60- to 64-degrees of loft and was originally created specifically to play lobs, also known as flops. A flop shot can be played with other wedges if the golfer lays the clubface wide open in order to add loft, but the lob wedge is the ideal club. Not all golfers carry lob wedges — high handicappers, generally speaking, do not, because they aren't as likely to attempt a specialty shot. But most low-handicappers plus golfers who simply love the short game do now carry lob wedges. Technique for Playing the Flop Shot/Lob Shot If you want to carry a lob wedge, you'll need to know how to use it. These are the basics of playing a flop shot: Open the face of your lob wedge to increase the loft even more. Set up with the golf ball a bit more forward in your stance than normal. Aim your upper body at the target but open your stance (so your feet are aligned left of the target for a right-hander). Set up on the balls of your feet with a little more weight on your front foot. Bend your knees a little more than normal. Make a full swing, keeping the lower body quiet and letting your arms and hands to most of the work. Swing through to a full finish. It's that full swing, accelerating into impact, that can make flop shots challenging for many recreational golfers. Since it's a very short shot — 50 yards, 30 yards, even from just off the green — it can be easy to decelerate or fail to fully commit to the swing. And if you catch it thin, the ball might fly the target by a long way. You can find many video tutorials for playing a flop shot on YouTube, including these: How to hit the flop shot in golf Phil Mickelson: Hitting the lob shot off a tight lie Dave Pelz: Lob shot basics Graeme McDowell's flop shot lesson Phil Mickelson, in particular, is famous for his flop-shot prowess. As with any golf shot, whether specialty or basic, the key to mastering the flop shot is practice.