Mastering Your Lob Wedge

I begin by positioning the ball forward in my stance, which ensures I get the full value of the loft of the clubface essential to producing softly hit, soft-landing shots. I spread my feet just slightly apart at the heels, with about 60 percent of my weight on my left side to help promote the steep plane of swing also necessary for height. My feet are set a little open, both to limit the amount of body turn I make on the backswing and help me more easily clear my left side as I start down to the ball, which is vital to keeping the clubface open through impact. Natural Golf

Use your sand wedge and position your hands even with or a little behind the ball. The idea is to slide the clubhead under the ball. Control your swing almost exclusively with your left hand. Be brave with this shot, for if you hit it correctly, it won’t go too far. 295 Golf Lessons

Most of the pros have this shot, but none pull it off more consistently and spectacularly than Phil Mickelson. His secret? He trusts his club, his feel and his swing. The average golfer typically makes too short a swing because he doesn’t trust his club, his feel or his swing. Think long and lazy. Mickelson makes a big swing, not a hard one. Yes, you need energy to get the ball airborne, but let the energy come from a long, easy swing, not a short, hard one. When in doubt, take a rehearsal swing that’s even longer than the one you think you’ll need. That will make it seem less scary when you swing for keeps. On Golf

The technique for this is similar to a sand shot. Aim at a point a couple of inches behind the ball and make the same swing as you would in the sand. If you need the ball to come out high and soft, open the face and slide it under the ball. Unlike the sand shot, a greenside flop shot from rough will carry next to no backspin. The best you can do is to hit a very soft shot to minimize the run. The Elements of Scoring

This shot can only be made when the ball is sitting up in the grass. It’s not the type of shot you try off hard pan or from a tight lie, as the sole of the club may bounce into the ball and a skulled or topped shot may result. The Wedge Book

Stick to the basics: Don’t try to hit the shot pro-style and cut across the ball from out to in. You can fly the ball high and drop it softly—as if it were hanging from a parachute—without doing anything fancy. Position the ball inside your left heel with your stance slightly open and the clubface aimed at the flag. Here’s the key: To keep your head behind the ball for maximum loft, feel like you’re peeking under the ball as you approach impact. Accelerate the club to a high finish. Better by Saturday: Short Game

Grip the club more firmly with your left hand and maintain that secure hold in the hitting area to discourage your right hand from turning over and closing the clubface at impact. Swing the club straight back from the ball and then up once the weight of the club forces your wrists to hinge. Finally, uncock your wrists and throw the clubhead gently toward the ball before sliding its open blade under it. Here’s a last tip: Encourage the sliding action of the club under the ball by keeping your head back, behind the ball, until after impact. 101 Super Shots

Set the club behind the ball, and then pull the handle and shaft back approximately an inch behind the ball. You should see the face of the club more toward the sky. This adds loft. Allow the body to move with the club through impact, finishing with the weight posted on the forward leg. The 40 Toughest Shots in Golf

On the backswing, I pick the club up steeply and cup my left wrist into a slightly concave “V”—that opens the clubface even farther, which guarantees maximum loft through impact. I make a long swing, again to help generate speed. I accelerate quickly through impact, trying to slide the club under the ball. I remember to follow through; I don’t want to chop at the ball. How I Play Golf