Seve Ballesteros explains how to hit a spinny flop shot, in 55 seconds

seve ballesteros

Welcome to Play Smart, a game-improvement column that drops every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from Director of Game Improvement content Luke Kerr-Dineen to help you play smarter, better golf.

Golf is so endlessly complicated, in so many different and surprising ways. I read and write about golf constantly, but there are days when I feel like I don’t know the first thing about it. It’s no wonder that newcomers feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the game.

That’s why it’s important for golfers to remind themselves of the game’s most important fundamental: That the clubface at impact is king. If your club path and clubface are relatively square, nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you figure how to actually do it.

SIM2 Max Irons

Engineered to help you hit better shots more often with the all-new Cap Back™ design. SIM2 Max has an intelligently optimized sweet spot designed to provide golfers with better performance where they need it the most.

That’s not just true on full swings; it’s just as important on short shots around the green.

Which brings us to this brilliant old video of Seve Ballesteros, golf’s greatest short game artist, explaining how to control the clubface so you can hit high, spinny flop shots.

In just under a minute, Seve explains the seven keys of hitting a high, spinny flop shot

1. Open clubface

You’ll need lots of loft for this one, so start by opening that clubface.

2. Ball forward in stance

It should be in line with your left heel, Seve says.

3. Weight on right side

Seve says that keeping extra weight on your trail leg helps add loft to the club.

4. Hands behind ball

“This creates even more loft,” Seve explains.

5. Hinge quickly

Taking the club back more upright will help you swipe across the ball for extra spin,

6. Keep your right hand under

This keeps the clubface open, Seve explains, and also helps the clubhead move from out-to-in.

7. Hit it hard

“Don’t be afraid of hitting the ball too far,” Seve says as his final tip. “The ball will never go too far.”

But the best part of the video came at the very end when Seve, after explaining his technique, flops the ball into the hole on his first try.

Who said golf had to be complicated? Watch the full video below:


Luke Kerr-Dineen Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.