How’d He Hit That: Mickelson’s Backwards Flop Shot

Josh Kelley

Josh Kelley

SwingU Instructor

Welcome to this week’s episode of How’d He Hit That? where every week we take a look at an unbelievable golf shot and help you to learn how you can use that shot in your game.

This week, SwingU instructor Josh Kelley goes over a shot that you won’t face very often during your typical rounds of golf, but could come in handy in exceptional circumstances or during a fun round with your buddies: the Phil Mickelson backwards flop shot. 

Mickelson made this shot famous in his “Secrets to the Short Game” instructional series, but having that shot in his repertoire, he had to pull it out in competition, and he has multiple times (2014 Scottish Open, 2015 Barclays and the AT&T National Pebble Pro-Am). So the question is how’d he hit that shot?

First of all, you need a perfect confluence of events to take place. You need a good lie in an awkward spot that would make a traditional shot very difficult. You also need the confidence and skill to pull it off. 

You’ll want to use as much loft as possible while getting your body to go with the slope you’re trying to hit off of. From there, you need to be fully committed to the shot you’re hitting, so you’re going to let your clubhead pass your hands pass by the ball because we don’t want to blade it 50 yards away from the hole.


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