The Highlands at Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ.
Part 2 on Improving Your Short Game
The Lob Shot is the higher, softer shot into the green. This shot has more air time and less ground time and is the preferred shot when you have to get the ball into the air and over trouble, such as a bunker or uneven ground. This is also the preferred shot when the pin is close to the edge of the green and does not allow for the chip and run. Most golfers find this shot not as consistent as the chip and run and a shot that takes more skill and practice. When you have to play the Lob Shot, use these fundamentals to improve your game.
Grip: Use your regular, full swing grip. Choke down for control and feel. Keep a light grip pressure. This light grip pressure is important for allowing the wrists to work properly.
Stance: Open your stance, spread your feet to shoulder width and position more weight on your front foot. Positioning more weight on the front foot will help you to hit down under the ball and help to loft the ball softly into the air.
Ball Position: The ball should be placed forward in your stance. Most of these shots will be positioned off of the front heel. The more forward from center the ball is placed, the higher and softer the ball will fly.
Club Selection: This shot needs to be played with your most lofted club. The preferred club would be the sand or lob wedge. With this lofted club, you may still need to open the clubface and add additional loft. If you have to open the clubface, which will aim it more to the right of the target, you will have to open your stance more to compensate for the clubface and get you back on the target line.
Stroke: This is more of a “feel” shot. The club is taken back with the combination of the hands or wrists breaking, and the arms moving back. The length of the backswing and the speed at which you swing the club will determine how far the shot will go. Determining the height required and closeness of the pin will determine how much swing is required. If you are not concerned about the height of the shot, use the length of your backswing to determine distance. If you need a high ball flight to clear some trouble or set the ball down very quickly, use a more full swing at a much slower swing speed. Bring the club down with your arms and your wrists will break or release through to the finish position. Make sure you continue with a full follow through. This a much more “wristy” shot than your normal golf swing. Maintain good eye contact on the spot that you want to clip right under the ball.
Practice Drill: The key to this shot is practice and more practice. This shot requires a higher skill level and confidence. Practice this shot working with the pin close to the edge of the green. Loft the ball into the air by clipping the grass and follow through to the full finish. Change the pace of your swing and backswing length to control your flight distance. Put an obstacle, such as your bag, in front of you and force yourself to fly the ball over the obstacle and onto the green. Work on a relaxed grip pressure and allow the wrists to work smoothly during the swing.
Summary: Lob Shot, play the ball forward of center in your stance, lighten the grip pressure for the “wristy” stroke, clip the grass under the ball and follow through. With some practice and confidence you can pull off this shot and lower your score.
For more help with your golf game, contact Mark Oswald at firstname.lastname@example.org.