Master the Toss Shot and Get It Up and Down from Anywhere

John Stahlschmidt
PGA Director of Instruction
JW Marriott Camelback Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ

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Have you ever heard the term toss shot? At the TOURAcademy locations, the toss shot is one of seven short game topics we teach. Once you have mastered the toss shot, getting up and down from just about anywhere will be a breeze!!! 

So what is a toss shot? This is a short game shot in which the ball can be anywhere from 10 to 50 yards away from the green. It is also a shot that can be utilized given any lie…good or bad. One of the most challenging distances for most golfers is that 10-50 yard zone. Once this shot is mastered, you will lower your score!!!

Executing the setup and motion of a toss shot:  The first step is to aim the club face at the intended landing spot. Once that has been established, you will have to lean the shaft towards the target or away from the target depending on how much loft is necessary to successfully execute the shot. Again, if your situation calls for a higher softer shot, lean the shaft away from the target.  This will add loft to the face. The opposite applies for a lower shot that calls for more roll out. 

Once the club face and club shaft have been aligned, you need to stand to the golf club. As a rule, you always want the shaft to point to your sternum. If you are hitting a low toss with the shaft forward, the golf ball will be played slightly back of center and vice versa for a high toss shot.  

The clubs that are recommended for this shot are lob wedge down to pitching wedge. The motion is relatively simple for a toss shot. This shot calls for an arm swing with wrist hinge. It is very important that the weight starts favoring your lead foot – 60-40. As you swing back and hinge your wrists, it is imperative that you keep your weight on your lead foot. Also, the length of shot needed should dictate the amount of arm swing. As a rule, the length of backswing should be symmetrical with the length of your follow through.  

Finally, as you swing the club through impact, it is important that your body rotates. Hanging back or failing to rotate through the impact area will lead to inconsistent contact.

John Stahlschmidt, PGA is the Senior Head Instructor for TOURAcademy TPC Sawgrass. To inquire about instruction or to comment on this, email John at