In the final round of the 2014 US Open Martin Kaymer was putting a lot from off the greens. And not just a fraction off the greens either. He had a lot of fringe before the green in a lot of cases.
The commentators were asking a few questions about this strategy which I thought was strange.
Why did I think it strange?
Because your worst putt from off the green will ALWAYS beat your worst chip/pitch.
So how can you play this shot successfully?
Easy, you just need to hit the ball harder than if the ball was on the green. How much harder comes down to a couple of things. The first is how much fringe is between your ball and the green. And the second is how long the fringe is.
If the fringe is really short and there’s not much difference between the fringe and green, then you will just need to hit it a fraction harder. If the fringe is quite a bit longer than the green surface then it’s going to be tougher to judge. But you’ll be surprised at how easy it is with a little bit of practice. And you’ll be surprised at how far out you can use a putter.
You need to practice this shot, however, to get used to how much harder you need to hit the ball, compared to a normal putt. Because if you have a 50 foot putt with 10 feet of fringe, there’s no difference
in playing that shot over a normal 50 foot putt on the green – APART from the fact that you’ll need to hit it harder.
How much harder?
That comes down to practice and feel. So go out and practice putting from off the green, and I’m sure you’ll be shocked at how good you can get at doing this.
Your worst putts will certainly be a lot better than your worst chips.