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A Texas Wedge May Save You A Couple of Shots Every Round

So many recreational women golfers who find themselves near the putting green, instinctively grab one of their wedges for every short chip or pitch shot.  I do this.  I’m a chipper — no doubt.  I love chipping.

But in most situations, I’ve realized that I should be using my putter instead.

“The only time around the green to not take your putter is when you’d have to go through rough or if you have to carry your ball over some obstacle to get to the green,” says Hank Haney, long recognized as one of the country’s greatest instructors who worked with Tiger Woods for many years.

Yes, even though the longer grass, whether that’s the fringe or even a bit of fairway, may cause it to wobble off line a bit, using a putter is still a safer shot.  That’s much less of a problem than a confidence-destroying shot-wasted chunk or bladed wedge.  Simply put, using a putter means your worst case scenario, i.e., a shot that is a bit short or long and perhaps a bit offline, is far better than a bad wedge shot.

“I can putt from 10 yards off the green” (says my friend Kathy who putts from anywhere and everywhere around the green).  You can do it, too.  You just have to stand a bit taller, turn your body slightly as you swing the putter back up to knee height, then turn back to impact and follow through.  It’s just employing your chipping swing using your putter.   Short game guru Dave Pelz calls it a “ chiputt”.  It’s long been know as the “Texas wedge”.  Ben Hogan popularised the term ‘Texas wedge” because of the notoriously tight conditions of the dry Texas fairways in the summer required using a putter near the greens.

Don’t believe me?  Grab 10 balls and try putting them from 5 yards off the green.  Then grab your wedge and compare results from 10 shots you hit from the same spot.  “It will be obvious,” says my coach and nationally-ranked instructor, Mario Bevilaqua.

Here’s another way of stating this: always use the least amount of loft possible when hitting a chip or pitch shot.  The ball should fly no higher than if you were throwing or rolling the ball underhanded to the flag.

The best things about a Texas Wedge is you already own one, your putter.

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