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Can I Putt From Off The Golf GreenOne question that gets asked a lot is whether it is ok to putt from off the green, yet it is already one of the most used shots at many a golf course around the world.

For reasons of strategy through to the shear fear of shanking your chip shot, the putter or the Texas wedge as its affectionately known, is a vital part of the tool kit of many golfers. In fact it should be in the locker of every golfer.

Many golfers putt from almost everywhere within a 50 yard radius of the green and this is a little bit extreme, but there are definitely times during a round when this shot is not only the best play, but the only play.

The biggest challenge with putting from off the green is for you to get the speed of your putt, and due to the fact that you have different grasses to putt your ball through this can take time to develop the feel for the length of stroke required. Like with every aspect in golf, you must practise putting from off the green, and not just from the last 6 to 12 inches of the fringe but from 10 to 20 feet off the green.

Next time youre at the club, get down to the practise green and drop six balls around 10 feet off the green and hit putts to the nearest hole. Take your balls to a spot that gives you an uphill putt through the fringe grass. You want to be around 10 feet from the green so you can get a feel for the speed required to not only negotiate the change of grasses but also the degree of incline too.

As you get used to controlling the length of stroke to attain good speeds for these putts, go to the last 6 to 12 inches and practise too. You will find it a lot easier to control the speed of your putt with only a little fringe grass now than you did before. Be sure to practise not only short or uphill putts but also downhill and sidehill putts too. This is because if you get stuck in a difficult spot with a shot that is both down the slope and across it, then the Texas wedge may be the only option available if you want to get your ball anywhere near the hole.

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Although there are times when the apron and fringe grasses around the green may be uneven or patchy, you can still putt effectively on to the green. The most important thing you must take into account is whether or not the apron or fringe is uphill on to the green or flat so you get your speed right.

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Having the ability to play a chip shot from anywhere around the green is a fabulous tool to have in your locker. There will be times when using your putter can be a massive advantage, none more so than when your chip shot would be downhill on to a fast running green.

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Whatever the direction the grain of grass is growing, you can use your putter. This is definitely something extra to consider when youre looking at the line you want to start your ball on, but you can still be more effective depending on the shot you face using your putter than trying to play a chip and run or a high pitch shot.

Yes, you can putt from off the golf green. In fact, it is a common practice known as “fringe putting” or “bump-and-run” when you are close to the green but not on it. Putting from off the green can be a useful strategy if the grass is short and the distance to the hole is manageable.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when putting from off the green:

  1. Assess the situation: Evaluate the distance to the hole, the condition of the grass, any obstacles, and the slope of the terrain. These factors will help you determine whether putting is the best option or if another type of shot, like a chip or pitch, would be more appropriate.
  2. Choose the right club: Depending on the distance and conditions, you may use a putter, a hybrid club, or even a wedge for a longer putt. Consider how far you need the ball to travel and select a club that will achieve the desired result.
  3. Adjust your setup: Set up as you would for a regular putt on the green. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, align your body parallel to the target line, and grip the club comfortably.
  4. Use a pendulum stroke: Focus on maintaining a smooth pendulum-like motion with your putter. The key is to keep the stroke steady and avoid any unnecessary wrist action. The ball should roll smoothly along the ground towards the hole.
  5. Adapt to the green speed: The speed of the grass on the fringe may differ from that of the putting green. Take a few practice strokes to get a feel for the speed and adjust your stroke accordingly.

Remember, putting from off the green requires practice and experience to develop a feel for distance control and reading the break. It's a skill that can come in handy in certain situations, particularly when you have a clear and smooth path to the hole.