Putting from off the green
Always your first choice.
I want you to learn to play well enough so you can break 100 on an 18 hole golf course.
You can do it. One of the tools you should have in your golfing arsenal is the ability to putt to the flag from off the green when you hit an errant shot.
Putting from off the green should always be your first choice when you have missed with your approach shot. Chipping is your second choice and pitching is your very, very last choice.
Your first choice: Putt from off the green
Your second choice: Chip when you can’t putt
Your last choice: Pitching with a lofted club
You should putt from off the green when you can. When you have predictable ground conditions, putt your ball to the flag. Practice putting from off the green. Learn when you can and can’t putt. Knowing when ground conditions are acceptable or not acceptable for putting from off the green comes from practice. You’ll have to go to the practice green to hone this skill, but it’s well worth it. Ask the pros.
When you begin practicing putting from off the green, you’ll find it easier to get the ball closer to the hole than you might think. You’ll also flub far fewer shots when you use your putter from off the green.
The secret is to learn when you can and when you can’t putt from off the green.
Go to your practice green and practice putting from off the green. Learn when you can and cannot putt from off the green.
When you have determined ground conditions are unpredictable, your second choice from off the green will be to chip with a 7 iron. We’ll talk about that in our next lesson. Chipping with a 7 iron will fly the ball a short distance in the air OVER the unpredictable ground conditions. A chip is a low-trajectory shot. It’s only about knee high.
Chipping is more difficult than putting and should never be your first choice. Chipping will be the next lesson. This lesson is about putting from off the green. Using your putter when you miss the green is the easiest way to get the ball close to the hole.
When you practice, hit your putt from off the green and then see if you can make the next putt. See if you can get the ball ‘up and down’, that is, getting the ball into the hole from off the green in only two shots. You must learn to get the ball ‘up and down’ with some frequency if you want to break 100 regularly.
Make a game of your practice.
- Take one ball to the practice green.
- Putt from off the green.
- After you make your first putt from off the green, hit the same ball again and see if you can make the putt.
- Continue hitting that one ball with your putter until you get it into the hole. Remember, golf is a game.
- Putt from various places around the practice green.
- Learn what ground conditions are conducive for putting and what ground conditions prevent putting from off the green.
- With practice you’ll learn when you can putt from off the green. You’ll also learn when you’re FORCED by unpredictable ground conditions to chip. Learn to assess ground conditions around the green.
- When you practice, practice with one ball all the way to the bottom of the cup.
- See how few strokes you can use. Learn to get up and down with your putter.
- Golf is a game. Have Funl
Here are a few tips.
- When putting from off the green play the ball a little bit more forward in your stance. This will help the ball up, and rolling on top of the grass. Playing the ball forward gives your putter just that little bit of loft it needs to get the ball up and rolling on your target line.
- When putting from off the green, have a stable table. Put 99% of your weight on your heels with no weight shift.
- Use very little wrist break. The wrists are used to develop power. You generally don’t need much power when putting, do you? It’s difficult to keep the ball on line if you’re using a lot of wrist action.
Note: The more you learn to putt from off the green the better you’ll be at chipping. Putting from off the green and chipping are brother and sister. They both deliver energy to the ball laterally. Pitching, your last short-game choice, is a distant 4th cousin. The technique and form used in pitching is not related to putting from off the green and chipping.
Remember: Putting from off the green is your first choice. People who use their putter from off the green live longer, have more money in the bank, drive nicer cars, have more fun and generally are better looking!
Play Often, Have Fun, Respect the Game,
ps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: How Not to be Embarrassed on the First Tee. My Momma would be proud of me. My book, Golf for Beginners won two awards, the silver from FAPA and the Elit bronze.
pps. Click Here to order my book: Golf for Beginners: Left Hand Version.
ppps. I also have a blog about stories and letters for my grandchildren. Click Here.
Copyright 2020 Barney Beard Golf. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.
My historical novel about the Cherokee deportation, A White Killing Frost, is on the shelf ready for you to check out in the Lady Lake Library and the Sumter County Library in Wildwood. It’s also available in almost every public library system in both Georgia and Florida. How good is that? The digital book is $2.99.Click Here.
I’ve been collecting useful golf instructional books for my students. I keep them in my truck. If you are interested in any of the following titles come by the range and purchase any for $2.00. All books are used and in good to excellent condition. Some appear to have never been read. Here’s the list: Golf Begins at 50 by: Gary Player, Augusta National & The Masters: A Photographers Scrapbook, David Ledbetter’s Positive Practice, Dave Peltz Short Game Bible, Golf is Not a Game of Perfect by: Bob Rotella, Little Red Book by: Harvey Penick, From the Fairway by: Michael Hobbs, Trouble Shooting by: Michael Hobbs, For All Who Love the Game by: Harvey Penick, And if You Play Golf You’re My Friend by: Harvey Penick, Are you Kidding Me? Rocco Mediate.