A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 24, 2006
Texas Wedge (golf putter)

"Texas wedge” is an old, humorous term for a golf putter. The golf courses in Texas were bare and didn’t have much grass, so a putter was often used. The courses have changed from the 1950s and the term is mostly historical today.

Listening to America
by Stuart Berg Flexner
New York: Simon and Schuster
Pg. 276:
Texas wedge does not refer to a wedge at all but is a late 1950s humorous American term for a putter when it can be used for a short approach shot over very flat, rather bare ground, as might be found in Texas.

About.com: Golf Terms
“Texas Wedge”
From Brent Kelley,
Definition: The putter, when it is used to putt from off the green. The term was popularized by Ben Hogan. Texas golf courses had a reputation, back in the days of Hogan and earlier, for very hard fairways. A player might have to land a ball short of a green to allow it bounce up onto the green. And when a player’s ball stopped short of the green, the putter might be a better choice for the shot because of the hardness of the fairway and collar and the shortness of the grass. So a putter would be used rather than a wedge.
Texas’ golf courses have come a long way since then, but the term stuck. A Texas wedge is the putter when used from off the green, or the shot that results.

14 March 1954, Florence (SC) Morning News, pg. 3B:
Dave Neiman loves the “Texas Wedge” shot and usually can pull off some interesting shots with his putter over many types of terrain, but he added a new twist this week.

23 February 1955, Galveston (TX) News, pg. 11 photo caption:
[Mike Souchak—ed.] is shown using a putter, called “Texas wedge” by the pros.

26 May 1957, Chicago Daily Tribune, pg. A4:
Disdainful of a wedge, Joe elected to play it out with the Texas wedge—the putter.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Thursday, August 24, 2006 • Permalink