5 Shots 1 Club

(Sand Wedge, That Is)

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The most successful golfers are the most creative ones. (Consider how inventive Phil Mickelson is when his tee shots get him in trouble.) But creativity on the course comes in many different forms. Sometimes, it means rethinking how to shape your shots; other times, it’s how to escape a jam.

In this article, I’m going to demonstrate how to be creative with just one club. I’ve taken my 56° wedge and given myself five situations that demand completely different shots. Read on and change the way you play the game!

1. The Bladed Wedge
My ball has come to rest between the fringe and the rough, and it’s difficult to make solid contact. The only way to escape is to hit the ball with the sand wedge’s leading edge. I call this, “blading it.”

Here’s how to do it: Address the ball as if you would a putt, with the ball forward in your stance and your hands even with or slightly behind the ball. Then, grip down on your wedge so that your bottom hand is at the end of the grip, almost touching steel. Hover your club so its leading edge is level with the equator of the ball. Finally, all you have to do is make a putting stroke, and hit the ball at or slightly above the equator so that the ball rolls just like a putt.

2. The Low Runner
When you’ve got plenty of green to work with, it’s best to get the ball on the dance floor and rolling as quickly as possible. It’s always easier to control the ball on the ground than in the air.

First, make sure you play the ball back in your stance. Then, place your hands and weight toward the target and pull your left foot back slightly from the target line. Maintain the angle in your right wrist through impact so that your hands remain ahead of the clubhead. This essentially delofts the club so you can hit down into the ball no matter what the lie. With very little wrist action and the hands well ahead of the clubhead at impact, you can produce a low ballflight with little spin on it.

To produce more run, swing the club slightly more around your body and allow the clubface to turn over through impact, so you “hook it.”


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