Putting from off the Green

Important: Only try this from closely-mown fairways or fringes.

I’ve played quite a bit of golf in Ireland and Scotland where the fairways are mown almost the same length as the greens, making putting from off the green very easy and short chip shots not-so-easy since the ball is sitting on hard ground. More superintendents in the US are mowing the fairways very tight also.

That’s where the putter comes in handy on tightly-mown fairways. I use it over and over to get pretty decent shots from off the green. This is especially good for seniors like me whose hands are not quite as steady as they used to be.

Just think about it…If you hit 10 wedges or chips on a 60-foot shot from a very tight lie and then hit 10 putts from the same spot and averaged the distance they finish from the hole, the putter will win every time.

Knowing this will keep your anxiety level down, since you know good contact percentage is much higher putting than chipping.

From very closely-mown areas around the green, your worst putt will be better than your worst chip…count on it. With a putter you can’t hit it fat or thin. With a wedge, those shots can happen quite a bit.

Some tips for putting from off the green:

  • Stand a bit taller.
  • Play the ball more towards the center of your stance.
  • Don’t jab at the ball. Swing back longer and flow through the shot, making sure you follow through to your target.
  • If it is a particularly long shot, use your lower body and let your knees move towards your target as if you were chipping it.
  • Use your practice green to get the feel of how large a swing it takes.

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