The Lob and Sand Shot

Today I’m going to pass on a few tips on these two shots that my Dad, Nick Chillemi, one of the finest PGA teaching professionals I’ve ever known, passed on to me many years ago. I guess I’m a little prejudiced since it concerns my Dad but believe me he had some of the simplest tips to create shots I’ve ever seen.

The lob and sand shot are very similar in technique:

  1. The ball is positioned towards the left foot.
  2. Weight at address is leaning on the right foot.
  3. The face of the club is open at address.
  4. The swing plane should be outside and cutting across the ball.
  5. The club slides under the ball.
  6. The face of the club stays open and does not rotate over as in a normal shot.

Okay now that we know how similar they are but what was the secret Nick taught me to make it work.
Even though all of the 6 tips above are needed to complete a successful shot the most important is # 6. To execute correctly the club must stay in an open position through impact.

The secret is simple:

It’s all in the grip. Move your left hand slightly to the left or in a weak position. Now take your right hand and rotate it to way to the left with the knuckle of the index finger on top of the club. For this to work the right hand especially must be way over to the left. This will feel weird but it is what is going to make the shots work.

Another tip -  If your ball is nestled down in long grass around the green hit the shot exactly the same as if it were a sand shot. Don’t try and hit the ball – hit behind it and slide the club under.


Now I’ll tell you why this works so easily:


What we are trying to do with these shots is keep the clubface open and not let the toe rotate over as in a normal shot. What we have done with this super weak grip is put the hands in a position so the club cannot rotate over because both hands have already rotated over on the grip. I guarantee you the club will slide right under the ball with an open face if you use this technique.

The only difference is with a lob the club contacts right behind the ball and the sand (explosion) shot the club contacts the sand an inch or two behind the ball. Try this a few times and I think you will be amazed at the amount of loft that stays throughout the impact zone to give you the high soft shot.

Here is the super weak grip for lob & sand shots. Notice how far to the left both hands are

Super wide open face

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