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Putting from off of the green
By: Jim DeLarme
Most golfers do not chip the golf ball very well. Some golfers confuse the difference between
chipping and pitching. The difference is basically distance from the green.
Chipping is used when the ball lies within 10 feet of the green.
Pitching can be used when outside of this distance.
This is my generic definition of the two different shots however chipping can be used when
farther from the green if no obstacles are in the way such as a bunker. If you become proficient
with both chipping and pitching you will rarely use your putter from off of the green.
However I have found that most golfers do not have a sound technique for either of the two
shots. Therefore I recommend the use of the putter when close to the green. It is very hard to
chunk the ball short or to scull the ball across the green when using a putter.
When using the putter from off of the green I recommend the use of a wider stance. This
creates more stability.
I also recommend that the ball be placed slightly back in the stance to promote better contact
with the ball.
The tempo should be the same as when you are putting on the green however the backswing
should be longer because the ball will be traveling over longer grass slowing down its forward
Keep in mind that when hitting from the fringe the ball will bounce a bit and may affect the
direction of the ball. (This why I recommend chipping the ball when off of the green whenever
Do not use the putter when more than 3 or 4 feet from the edge of the green unless you are in
a position where the grass is very short and continues that way into the fairway.
I hope this helps and gives some insights into when to use the putter from off of the green.
In order to learn the basics of chipping and pitching using a simple and understandable format
buy the book Golf the Journey “A Book of Living & Learning” by Jim DeLarme.