From The Fringe

By John Green

Chip or Putt?

While some golfers prefer to putt from the fringe, my preference is to chip. When I’m asked why I don’t putt, my response is always: YOU MIGHT KNOW THE SPEED OF THE GREEN, BUT YOU DON”T KNOW THE SPEED OF THE FRINGE!

So how do we chip from the fringe?

The key is to set up like a putt, as my old friend Perfy Pelz is demonstrating in picture #1: stand tall, and let the arms hang down.

This is critical to successful chipping. If Perfy set up like a normal full swing with this seven iron, he would pull every chip because the club would tend to move around the body rather than straight back and through. When he stands tall like a putt as shown on picture #2, the chipping stroke will be somewhat straight back and through resulting in a straight roll on the green.

Here’s where the set-up may feel strange to some people. When Perfy sets up with a seven iron in a chipping stance, the heel of the sole will be up in the air. This will not have an affect on the direction or a solid impact as long is the ball is played towards the toe of the club. Now it’s a matter of figuring out how far the ball will roll with each club as I wrote about it in last month’s article. As a refresher: use the same stroke/swing but change the club according to how much roll you need.

Do you still prefer to putt off the fringe? Is it because most of the pros you see on TV putt off of it? Remember, the fringe they are putting off of is as short as some of the greens you will putt on this golf season.

Still not convinced? That’s okay. My tip for you is to not ground your putter when putting on the fringe. The ball may set up higher on the fringe than the green and so there is a very good chance you will make contact on the lower half of the golf ball if you let your putter stay on the ground. This will cause the ball to jump up off the face of the putter and will have a big influence on your distance control.

For more help with chipping or putting from the fringe, see your favorite PGA or LPGA Golf Professional.

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