Picture the scene - you are on a long par four and have hit a storming drive that has split the fairway in two. You set up for your second shot and strike it beautifully, it sails high and straight and lands in the centre of the green.
You walk to the green with thoughts of birdie putts only to find that the ball has run through and is resting against or near to the fringe, or collar, of the green. Once you have overcome the frustration of the situation you still need to play the shot well and get it close to the hole. Here's how.
Firstly we must understand that the collar of the green is where the grass takes a step up and becomes higher and thicker than the grass on the green where the ball is lying. This makes it very difficult to position the putter directly behind the ball without moving it. It also makes it awkward to perform a solid back swing and through swing to make correct contact with the ball. Instead of playing a normal putt, try a different technique and putt with the toe end instead.
In order to minimize the effect of the collar of the green, try to avoid it altogether. To do this follow these points.
1. Do not hold the putter as normal, instead turn the putter sideways so that it points towards the hole. This means that you will make contact on the ball with the pointed toe end of the golf club instead of the flat of the putter face.
2. Position the ball so that it is opposite the inside of your back foot (right foot for right handed golfers). Now position the body weight so that it favors the front foot on approximately a 60/40 ratio. This is very similar to a chip shot and means that the ball can be struck with a descending blow thus avoiding the longer grass on the collar of the green.
3. Expect the ball to jump up into the air a little on impact. As the toe end of the golf club is not designed to hit the ball, you may find that the ball pops up as you hit it. This is perfectly fine and is much more preferable than the putter head travelling through the grass and decelerating or twisting on impact with the ball. These effects are inconsistent whereas it is possible to predict what the ball will do even if it jumps into the air a little.
This is a very effective shot to have in your bag if needed, however, it does require some practice, so every now and again make sure that you find time to practice those situations that are uncommon such as this one, as well as the more normal shots.