When you are out on the golf course and you have hit a shot that has just missed the green and the ball has finished on the collar edge of the green, playing the shot from this position with the toe of your putter may sound very strange, but it is a very effective strategy and it can work really well, once you understand the theory behind it and with some practice!
Playing a shot from the collar edge, or where the green meets the rough, presents a number of issues that can be overcome by using the toe of the putter. However, you can only play an effective shot with the toe of your putter if you have a flat toed putter. Using a flat toed putter will allow you to strike the golf ball off a flat surface, making directional control relatively easy. The flat surface of the toe, when you swing it, can be kept at a ninety degree angle to the target line and if you swing the putter head directly along the target line you will hit a straight shot along the target line. If you used a round toed putter, the curve on the toe would make it extremely difficult to strike the ball accurately along the target line, as the curve will not allow a ninety degree angle to be created with the target line and the ball will be hit off line.
To actually playing the shot it is basically like a toe poke with the putter toe. When you set the toe of the putter to the golf ball, you will notice that as the toe sets on the ground, the heel sets up off the ground in the air. When the ball is on the collar edge it is sitting on low cut grass, next to much higher rough. Setting the putter with the toe on the ground and the heel in the air allows the putter to be set out of the longer rough. With the putter out of the grass, as the putter head swings it will not get caught up in the longer grass and therefore it will be much easier to control. The putter head will swing up above the longer grass on the back swing due to how the putter is set and then swing down at an angle that avoids the grass but strikes the golf ball effectively.
To play the shot, set up as you usually would to hit a standard putt. Your feet need to be set just under shoulder width apart with the ball in the centre of your stance. Position your eyes over the ball and hold the putter so that your arms are relaxed and fully extended to promote a pendulum swing from the shoulders. Rather than positioning your putter face so that it is aiming directly down the target, turn the putter head so that the toe is aiming at the target down the target line. The toe will be touching the ground and the heel will be in the air with the putter head in this position, so you will be able to swing the putter head up above the collar of rough and then down to strike the golf ball cleanly, without the rough interfering with the movement of the putter head.
A great drill to work on to practice this shot and gain experience with it, is to take another club and place it on the green. Use the shaft of this club to simulate the collar of rough and place the golf ball next to the shaft. Set up as described before and work on swinging the putter so that the putter head rises above the shaft on the back swing and then descends to strike the golf ball without interference from the shaft. Work on getting comfortable with this toe poke and you will find that you can play some effective shots, with great distance control once you have learned the shot.