The ‘mistake’ golfers make putting off the green, according to Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson explains a putting tip.

Phil Mickelson says he warms up with putts on the driving range.

Darren Riehl/GOLF

Most golf pros will tell you, chip when you need to hole it, putt when you want to get it down in two.

Throughout his Hall-of-Fame career, Phil Mickelson has never been shy to pull out his sand wedge to try and hole any shot. However, that doesn’t mean he’s also not afraid to practice putting from off the green. Even on the the range.

“I’ll putt from off the green on the range because there’s a lot of shots that I’ll hit from off the green with the putter because it’s into the grain and it’s hard to stop when it’s dry,” Mickelson told GOLF’s Dylan Dethier on the latest episode of Warming Up (check out the full episode below). “I’ll put to one of those markers and try to get a feel for the speed for off the green.”

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Why would a six-time major winner practice putting on the driving range when he has access to world-class putting surfaces wherever he goes? He says it is to avoid a common mistake golfers make when using the Texas wedge.

“I think one of the mistakes that I have made in the past and other players will make when they’re putting from off the green is they’ll look at the green and they’ll get this sense of the speed of the putting green but not the fringe,” Mickelson said. “So when I’m putting from off the green, I don’t look at the green.”

This helps Mickelson develop a touch for the speed of the fairways and approaches should he have a chip shot that may not be advantageous to his famous wedge play.

Mickelson said he specifically uses this drill in drier conditions because if it’s wet out, he wants to hit chip shots to judge how much the ball will skip.

So the next time you’re playing a course when you expect to use a putter a lot from off the green, be like Phil and roll a few balls on the practice tee to get some touch from off the green.

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