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How to flip a sand wedge from the second cut

Earlier this month, Ernie Els gave us some great pointers about putting from the first cut of the green. Today, he’s going to explain how to effectively hit the ball from the second cut of the green.

“If that last shot from the first cut needs a touch of improvisation, this shot needs a ton of the stuff. The scenario is pretty identical, only this time the ball has come to rest between the fringe grass and the first cut of rough. With the grass standing so much taller behind the ball, it makes life very tricky indeed.

This in my opinion is no job for the putter. I know some professionals toe-poke this one with the putter, but that strikes me as being awfully risky. Besides, it’s impossible with the way many putters are designed these days.

Here’s a better method by far. Grab a sand wedge and adopt your normal putting grip and stance, hovering the clubhead as near to the level of the ball as the fringe grass will allow. Feel as though your hands and arms are simply hanging down, almost limp.

Then, keeping your wrists super soft and pliable, flip the club back and forth almost letting the weight of the clubhead do the work for you. You don’t really need to apply any force of your own and the arms barely move. As I say, you just need to hinge your wrists softly back and through, hitting the ball bang-square on its equator, definitely no higher up than that.

It’s a technique that will feel quite strange at first but give it a try in practice and I think you’ll be surprised at the quality and consistency of the results you can achieve. It’s only good for shots up to about 20 feet but it is a very imaginative and effective way out of a tough little spot close to the flag. These pictures don’t show it, but this one actually lipped out… first attempt. There is no reason why you can’t do the same.”

Thank you, Ernie!

And once you get the ball out of the second cut and closer to the hole, you can pull out your trusty Bloodline putter and sink the putt!

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