Short Game

Phil Mickelson’s secret for high shots (with tons of spin!)

phil mickelson hits a flop shot during a practice round for the 2021 u.s. open at torrey pines

Phil Mickelson is well-known for his short-game wizardry around the greens. Here's how he hits one of his go-to shots.

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Phil Mickelson is one of the most decorated golfers of his generation, and he owes much of that success to his excellent short game. No matter where Mickelson finds himself around the greens, he always has a knack for escaping. Not since Seve Ballesteros has golf seen an artist like Mickelson with a wedge.

Mickelson owes much of his short-game success to years of experimenting around the greens. This allowed him to not only hit stock shots with solid fundamentals, but also unconventional chips and pitches with all sorts of wacky wedge techniques.

One of the shots that has saved Mickelson tons of strokes over the years is the pitch that lofts high and lands soft. And in the video below, he breaks down the steps for executing the shot to perfection.

How to hit a high, soft pitch

When you find yourself short-sided, it can be difficult to get the ball close. Oftentimes, it requires you to hit the ball high and with tons of spin.

The first secret of executing this shot lies in the setup. You want most of your weight over your front foot, and you want the ball position to be forward as well. Next, open up the face of the club so that you’re adding loft to the face.

“Then, I just let the club slide underneath the ball,” Mickelson says. “I use a little more speed because the club is so flat and I need the ball to get up.”

If you do everything correctly, and you hit the ball solidly, the ball should pop up quick and land with lots of spin on the green.

“It’s not an easy shot to hit,” he says. “But with a little practice you can get it.”

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