In almost every round, you’ll face a shot from near the green that simply stumps you. Running through the options – low chip, lofted pitch -- you can’t decide how to play it.
Next time, consider the putter. For starters, this all but eliminates the chance you’ll hit the ball fat or thin – guaranteeing your next shot will be an actual putt. But using the putter from off the green is more than a defensive play. It can save you strokes in many situations, like these:
- Tight lie from fringe or fairway cut: Rather than trying to nip the ball off short turf with an iron, simply use your normal putting stroke and run the ball toward the hole.
- Light rough close to the green: If the ball is sitting well and the grass isn’t too thick, pop it with the putter. You won’t have to worry about landing the ball on a specific spot or how much it will spin.
- Greenside hollow: Many courses feature close-cropped collection areas below the surface of the green. From here, judging how far a chip or pitch will carry or roll can be tough, and uncertainty leads to poor swings. The putter is often a better bet.