Off-the-Green Putting Basics (Video) - by Pete Styles - by Pete Styles
Off-the-Green Putting Basics (Video) - by Pete Styles - by Pete Styles

There’s one decision you might have to make on the golf course when you're close to the edge of the green and you're thinking about maybe chipping the golf ball onto the green. Or maybe even putting the ball onto the green and to help me make that decision a little bit more clearly, I would often describe the fact that your worst putt from this position will be better than your best chip shots and it will certainly be a lot better than your worst chip shot.

So your worst putt would be a lot better than your worst chip shot because when you're taking a putt from off the edge of the green, as long as the grass in front of you is fairly even and fairly smooth and not too bubbly, not too many divots or grain of grass growing into your sprinkler heads in the way, nice and smooth, nice and flat, there’s no reason to chip the ball over the top of that.

You may as well just take out your putter, roll the ball across that surface and let it carry on rolling onto the green to get near to the hole because the one thing you can pretty much guarantee when you're off the green using your putter is you guarantee you'll get a good strike. It's very rarely that you would ever top the ball or fat the ball with your putter. That just doesn't happen. Yet when that happens with the wedge, it happens quite commonly and it's quite a bad form when it happens so from the side of the green you thin the ball with you wedge and it shoots up the other side of the green or you try and lift the ball with your wedge and you hit it fat and it doesn't reach the green. You can completely eliminate that shot with your putter. You'll never really thin or fat your putter. If you do, you've got big problems with your putting stroke. Generally the putting stroke guarantees a good contact.

So as long as you've weighed up the situation correctly, there’s not too much in the way, there’s no obstacles, clearly no bunkers or no long grass, if you're just on the fringe wanting to get the ball just rolling nicely and gently up into the hole, you don’t have to chip that golf ball at all. Using your putter from off the green is a really valuable shot-saving tool. Have a little practice of it next time you're at the putting green. Just drop a few balls on the fringe of the putting green and just practice hitting the ball through the fringe. Work out how fast it rolls and how smoothly it rolls. Take that technique on the golf course and that will definitely save you a few shots.

2012-08-07

There’s one decision you might have to make on the golf course when you're close to the edge of the green and you're thinking about maybe chipping the golf ball onto the green. Or maybe even putting the ball onto the green and to help me make that decision a little bit more clearly, I would often describe the fact that your worst putt from this position will be better than your best chip shots and it will certainly be a lot better than your worst chip shot.

So your worst putt would be a lot better than your worst chip shot because when you're taking a putt from off the edge of the green, as long as the grass in front of you is fairly even and fairly smooth and not too bubbly, not too many divots or grain of grass growing into your sprinkler heads in the way, nice and smooth, nice and flat, there’s no reason to chip the ball over the top of that.

You may as well just take out your putter, roll the ball across that surface and let it carry on rolling onto the green to get near to the hole because the one thing you can pretty much guarantee when you're off the green using your putter is you guarantee you'll get a good strike. It's very rarely that you would ever top the ball or fat the ball with your putter. That just doesn't happen. Yet when that happens with the wedge, it happens quite commonly and it's quite a bad form when it happens so from the side of the green you thin the ball with you wedge and it shoots up the other side of the green or you try and lift the ball with your wedge and you hit it fat and it doesn't reach the green. You can completely eliminate that shot with your putter. You'll never really thin or fat your putter. If you do, you've got big problems with your putting stroke. Generally the putting stroke guarantees a good contact.

So as long as you've weighed up the situation correctly, there’s not too much in the way, there’s no obstacles, clearly no bunkers or no long grass, if you're just on the fringe wanting to get the ball just rolling nicely and gently up into the hole, you don’t have to chip that golf ball at all. Using your putter from off the green is a really valuable shot-saving tool. Have a little practice of it next time you're at the putting green. Just drop a few balls on the fringe of the putting green and just practice hitting the ball through the fringe. Work out how fast it rolls and how smoothly it rolls. Take that technique on the golf course and that will definitely save you a few shots.