This impressive 30 yard hop and stop golf shot – where the ball skips once before pulling up dead by the pin – is not just for tour pros. Start by understanding that the spin is generated by quality of strike, not angle of attack.
Club: Your most lofted wedge
Rhythm: Crisp, and ‘hitty’
Key concept: Hit forward, not down
Address the ball to promote a shallow angle of attack and clean contact.
Play the ball just slightly behind your shirt buttons. This programs an impact position with the club swinging forward and only slightly down. This shallow angle of attack promotes consistency of strike and helps the grooves interact with the ball.
Open the face a touch. This adds loft, which helps generate a little extra backspin. The extra loft, which takes some distance off the shot, also allows you to swing with aggression – a key component of promoting spin on this short shot.
Favour your left or forward side to promote just a slight downward strike. This is more to help a clean contact than to generate backspin by hitting down.
Keep your shoulders square, but open your stance a touch. By withdrawing your left side, you can get through the ball more easily, something that can be hard on short shots where no real swing momentum builds up.
Many amateurs think they have to strike down sharply on the ball to generate serious amounts of backspin. But an overly steep angle of attack will only breed a fiery strike, the ball shooting off the blade with inconsistent backspin.
At the end of the backswing, the limited angle between left arm and clubshaft shows I’ve kept the wrists out of it. Wrist action tends to narrow the arc and make the swing steeper, something we’re looking to avoid here; let your upper body control the pace and motion.
The effect of that neutral set-up and shallow backswing are seen here, at impact. The wedge is swinging shallow and forwards as it meets the ball, an action that gives its grooves the time to really grip the ball. To repeat, SPIN IS GENERATED BY THIS STRIKE, NOT ANGLE OF ATTACK. The sole of the wedge should brush the grass as you swing through, but do not take any divot; if you do, your action is too steep.
Make your action brisk and purposeful; you’re looking to almost punch the club through the ball. A shorter, crisper swing is always going to create more spin than a languid, slow action.
We are generating backspin through quality of strike; but any breakdown in the left arm or wrist through the ball would compromise that. Maintain the loft on the clubface right through to the end to help keep that left arm firm.