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Question on Chipping:

How and when should you put with sand wedge?
--Flora C. from Emmaus, PA

Hi Flora. Thanks for writing I'm looking forward to helping you with your game.

That is a great question. Many golfers don't know what a simple and useful shot bellying a sand wedge can be. It's the perfect shot when your ball lies on the green, but is up against the fringe. It is also a great choice for when your ball is on the fringe, but up against the cut of rough. Some players also use it when their ball lies in the short rough just off the surface of the green.

The idea is that by hitting the ball at the equator (belly) you cause the ball to skip up just a tiny bit and then roll with top spin through the fringe. By using the leading edge of the wedge and raising it up to the equator of the ball, it's easy to cut through the grass that would otherwise grab the face of the club if you had it square and were striking downward into the ground.

To hit this shot I set up basically the same way I do with my putting stroke. I choke down just a bit on the sand wedge for added control and then lay the face wide open so that the leading edge sits up off the ground about the height of the middle of the ball. I then position the ball forward in my stance to help me catch it a bit on the upswing and impart some top spin. Once I am set up I simply use my putting (pendulum) motion with dead hands and try to hit the belly of the ball with a flat angle of attack.

Give it a try and let me know if you have any other questions.


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