Rickie Fowler shows how to hit a crisp flop shot — in under two minutes

Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler last month at the Cognizant Classic.

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Rickie Fowler, before he can perform magic, wants you to use your imagination.

His setup here, while immaculate, is a bit limited. There’s no bunker between him and his flag, which is 40 or so yards away. So please, just picture one. 

Got it? OK. Here comes the trick. 

Up, up, up goes the golf ball. Down, down, down it comes, a few feet from the hole, far from the trouble. The Fowler flop. 


Fowler was talking on a video released Wednesday by TaylorMade, one of his sponsors, and he was in friendly confines. The video was titled: “How to hit a flop shot,” and it’s one of his specialties, at least if you’re looking at relatable statistics. Since the 2019-20 season, his rankings in Strokes Gained: Around the Green are: 21st (0.269) in 2022-23; 31st (.274) in 2021-22; 12th (.343) in 2020-21; 39th (.222) in 2019-20.   

So how do you hit the flop shot?

Fowler had seven steps. Below is the video of them. Below that, we’ll review them.

1. Open the clubface. A must, Fowler said.

2. Put your weight on the left side, if you’re a right-handed player. 

3. Take a weak grip.  

4. Put your ball on your left side. 

5. “Feel the face kind of roll open [on the backswing], or whatever you want to think of forearms,” Fowler said.  

6. “Get that face open and then I hold it so that the face — like I said, the big thing is staying open, exposing bounce,” Fowler said. 

7. “And I like to try and feel like that clubhead passes [on the follow through],” Fowler said 

On the video, Fowler admitted it was a lot, and it is. It’ll take practice. You should review with a coach, too. 

There’s a payout, though. 

Magic. Also on the video, Fowler hit four flops. 

“So that’ll work,” he said. “Like I said, imaginary bunker, right here. That wouldn’t exactly be the play, but to be able to have that in the bag is something that comes in handy when you get in a situation where you need it.”

Editor’s note: Last year, Fowler and TaylorMade also reviewed greenside chipping on a video, and we also shared that. Below is that video again, and below that is the article written.  

Rickie Fowler was chipping for a few minutes, to flags about 30 yards away, when Chris Trott spotted two things. They were related. 

Fowler’s shots were good. 

But it didn’t look like he had hit at all. 

The turf was clean. No divot. 

Perfect picks. 

“I mean, it’s tough to even tell you’ve even been here,” Trott said. “I know you just stood on that one, but it’s tough to tell.”

The exchange was taking place during a video shoot for TaylorMade, which sponsors Fowler and where Trott is a staffer, and the content was labeled “Rickie Fowler’s Greenside Chipping Techniques,” so Trott presumably wasn’t surprised. The stats tell a similar story. Even during Fowler’s lean years, he’s been solid around the green. This season, he was 22nd on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Around the Green. Last year, he was 31st; two years ago, he was 12th; three years ago, he was 39th. 

But Trott was curious. You might be, too. 

“How do we, as amateurs, train and get our strike to be this consistent?” he asked on the video. “… How do we work on that? You said body release, body rotation. Anything else that’s a key thought.”

There was. 

“Weight staying consistent,” Fowler said on the video. “Kind of wherever you set it and get centered on the ball, no movement as far as transfer of weight.”

On the video, Trott then wondered about the distribution, and the lie. 

“How much percentage-wise are we talking, like 90-10 or …” 

“I would say I’m like 70-30,” Fowler said. 

“Does that change with the shot?”

“It will,” Fowler said. “Especially if you get on a downslope. Obviously there’s going to be a lot more forward. Upslope, maybe closer to 50-50 because you’re not wanting to lean into the slope. But a flat lie, I’m saying 70-30 is where I’m at.”

It’s here where we’ll note that you should watch the entire video, which is 8 minutes long, and you can do so here. We’ll end things here with another exchange between Trott and Fowler, where the host wondered what happens when you start to struggle. 

“If you’re ever lost on your pitching or chipping, how do you find it again?” Trott asked on the video. “Is everything about the consistency of the low point here? That’s what I see, and obviously I changed the lie, that changed it a bit, but how do we find it if we lost it in that area?” 

“I mean, if there’s not an instructor or someone to look at it and help you with it, a lot of times literally you have to go out and put reps in and just put the time in,” Fowler said. “And I think being able to go between different clubs and go in different situations. It may start with just some basic pitch shots, just to kind of get some singular reps in, but then go and move around and you kind of challenge yourself. Because sitting in one area in the flat or same lie, you can get good at that pretty quickly. 

“But kind of going from that and being able to adapt with ball above your feet, below or downslope, makes it kind of fun.” 

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.