Tips for Putting From Off The Green to Eliminate Disasters

By Sandy LaBauve

When we get up around the greens. We really have one goal, you don’t want any disasters. A disaster is say, a shot that you hit “fat,” and you catch the ground before the ball and it goes nowhere. Or a “skull” shot where maybe you catch the middle portion of the ball and it blades and runs over the green into the bunker on the other side. Those are dangerous shots because they add strokes to your score. You need a low-running shot around the green.

New Golfer: How to Hit Greenside Shots

But as a new golfer putting is probably going to be your best option. Disregard what your playing partners that have more experience are doing. They may use sand wedges and pitching wedges and eight irons and chip the ball. It is fine for them and it will be fine for you later on. But at this stage, putting is probably going to be the safest shot possible. Let’s look at this situation.

Here I’ve got sprinkler heads and I know they can be a little bit intimidating, but chances are my ball is going to run much better over the sprinkler head by just rolling it along the ground and getting it on the green somewhere where I’ve got a chance to at least two putt, if not one putt. Let’s watch how easy it comes over that sprinkler head. Now I can get that ball a lot closer with my putter most of the time than I could chipping that golf ball and running the risks of hitting fat or skull shots.

The Safest Greenside Shot for New Golfers

Let’s look at some of these other shots. All of these shots around the green you’re going to do better if you putt these balls. Especially this one, it’s a “downhill lie.” This is one of the toughest shots in golf and one of the easiest to miss. We’re always going to do better putting this golf ball. Simply get yourself set up, slant your shoulders a little with the slope, take your putting grip and get a good target line and then just stroke the putt. I’m not that close to the hole but I’ve got a great chance that I can make a two putt and some of those I’m going to one putt. You’re going to come out better. So, the rule of thumb here is, anytime you can play the safest shot possible. For you as a new golfer, that’s generally going to be a putt.

Category: Short Game
Sub Categories: Fat & Thin Shots, Low Shots

About the Instructor

Sandy LaBauve
Sandy LaBauve
Kierland Golf Club
15636 N. Clubgate Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Tel: 480-922-9283

Sandy LaBauve is one of the world's best beginner, junior and women's instructors. She is listed as one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers and is Founder and Creative Consultant for the LPGA Junior Girls Golf Club.