Break 80: Use the bellied wedge with Sarah Bennett

Tips

A great technique to get the ball rolling from awkward green side lies

Developing feel and saving shots

I am a firm believer of effective practice while developing creativity at an early stage. So here are a few ideas which you can try when practising on a spring evening for the awkward shot which nestles in the rough just off the green.

The use of a sand wedge adopting your usual putting stroke is known as the ‘bellied wedge’. The sand wedge is the favoured club for this shot where the objective is to strike the equator of the ball with a level contact with no elevation. The ball should roll off at even pace, giving you control.

How to play it

This shot closely mirrors a putt so the same grip can be adopted while holding further down the handle. The length of the club has therefore been reduced so move in closer to the ball, standing taller at address.

The ball is positioned in the middle of your stance to assist with a ‘level’ contact, with minimal weight favouring the target leg.

Hover the leading edge behind the centre of the ball, being careful not to nudge it. Take the club straight back with a shorter followthrough, avoiding the dreaded double hit.

Why practise the wedge shot?

This is a versatile shot and also a great putting drill to help achieve a stroke without the putter head rising at impact or making too sharp a descent. It will require some practice but why not improve your putting and impress your friends with your creativity at the same time.

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