Traditionally, players have been taught to open both their stance and the face of the club and then swing across the ball to hit a lob shot.
This is a highly technical, difficult approach that came into being before the invention of the lob wedge.
Now, though, we have up to 64 degrees of loft to play with so you can take a different, less dangerous approach.
I advocate a neutral stance at set-up – aim your feet square to your target line, split your weight 50/50 and set the ball in the middle of your stance (as you would for most normal chips).
This is a much less complicated approach – it’s easier to develop and will give you a far greater degree of confidence.
Lob shot swing tips
As I’ve already said, modern-day lob wedges have more than enough loft to get the ball up and down quickly.
However, you must ensure the loft you set at address is returned the same way at impact. Make an appropriately sized swing with the right swing speed relative to the distance you wish the ball to travel.
Keep your sternum in a central position through the shot and make sure you ‘bruise’ the ground underneath the ball at impact.
The neutral address position will mean you have a much better chance of striking the ground in the correct place to loft the ball in the air.
As with so many delicate, greenside shots, this is about feel. Sadly, there are no real shortcuts here and the only way to master it is through plenty of practice.
The good news is that using plastic balls in the back garden is one of the best ways to groove the right action.
Being lighter, they are slightly easier to loft, but they deliver similar spin levels to a golf ball. I strongly recommend this approach, as it’s a great way to develop your feel.
Once you’ve got to grips with the basics of the technique, I want you to become target orientated. In practice, place an object in front of you to hit over.
This forces you to picture the flight and, when you hit, return the correct loft on the club. The object in the way will take your focus away from the technique to the process of playing the shot.
Safety shot alternative
The reality is that this shot requires practice. If you don’t put in the time, then you can’t expect it to go well on the course.
With a lob shot, you’re making a long swing for a short shot, and the potential for it to go wrong is great.
So, if you haven’t got time to practise it, and plenty of people don’t, then opt for a more conservative approach. A chip to the side of the bunker, leaving a longer approach putt, is never a disastrous result.