This months Teaching Zone has been written by Tim Rich, he explains how to use the ‘Texas Wedge’ and its potential benefits.
In recent weeks the fairways have become firm and fast, meaning the ball runs to hole along the ground much easier than in wet conditions. When you’re less than 50yds away and on the apron or fairway, it’s often a safe and consistent option to putt the ball to the hole, instead of the risk of a lofted club bouncing on the firm ground leading to a thin strike. Here’s a breakdown of how to play the shot:
Find a clear path to the hole – As long as there’s no interference from sprinkler heads or severe undulations you have the green light to play this shot! Here at Royal Lytham the bunker architecture draws the ball to the sand, so choose a line that gives bunkers a wide berth to reduce the risk.
Judge the speed – It will take a bit of practice to get accustomed to putting from the fairway onto the green. I suggest breaking the put down into two parts; getting to the edge of the green and getting from the edge to the hole. You’ll often see Tour Professionals making practice swings at the edge of the green getting a feel for the second part. I recommend you do the same, then when you play the shot you can focus on putting the ball to edge of the green with the speed required to fulfil the part of the putt you’ve just practiced.
Putting with power – The Texas Wedge can be played from as far away as 50 yards, but you’ll need to create more power. Rather than making longer swings with too much wrist hinge, keep your pendulum action and increase the tempo. Feel the power come from a brisker shoulder and torso action.
Have fun with the shot and let me know how it goes.