Hitting a lob shot comes down to a few simple steps

Black Butte Ranch pro shares secret to hitting a lofted pitch shot that will save you strokes

As amateurs, we can waste so many shots around the green. We tend to chunk our chips, or hit a little pitch thin. And so few of us can put enough backspin on a ball to keep it from rolling well past an intended target.

Amateurs also tend to fear hitting a lofted pitch shot — better known as the lob shot — even when a high-arching shot that lands softly is exactly the one that is required.

But really with a little practice, a lob shot is hardly something to be afraid of, says Tom Baker, Black Butte Ranch’s head golf professional. And if implemented it right, “hopefully this will improve your scoring,” he adds.

Employing a nice, easy pitch shot comes down to four basic steps:

  • Select the most lofted club in your bag.
  • Take a normal stance, but set up so that the ball is place just forward of the center point of that stance.
  • Use your normal grip. But choke down on the club around the greens. Why? “It gives you just a little bit better touch and feel,” Baker says.
  • Then finally comes the swing. Your backswing should be an abbreviated half or three-quarters swing, depending on the distance to the hole, obviously. But the follow-through is the key. Your finish should have your chest pointed toward the target and the club face “pointing straight up to the sky.”

“Our goal is to get that ball in the air and land it soft on the ground,” Baker says.

Follow those simple steps and it should put you in the right position to a hit a high-lofted shot that will give you a chance to make a return putt and save par.

For more information on how to take a lesson from Tom or any of our Black Butte Ranch instructors, visit blackbutteranch.com/golf/lessons-and-instructions. The link also includes a calendar of Black Butte Ranch’s golf schools, clinics and camps.