When you get around the green, it’s important to be creative if you want to succeed. Sometimes you might have to employ some unconventional methods in order to save strokes in your short game. That’s the theme of this week’s edition of Home Practice as GOLF Top 100 Teacher Lou Guzzi gives us a few tips on how to save strokes around the greens.
When you are on the fringe, it can be tempting to putt the ball, but sometimes the fringe can affect your ball before it gets to the green. If you think that’s the case, consider taking a hybrid and putting with that instead.
“That little bit of loft is just going to help me to get it over the fringe and have to react very predictable, like a putt,” Guzzi says.
When you set up, you’ll have to stand a little taller because your hybrid is taller than your putter, but you’ll want to grip it the exact same way and use your putting stroke.
“The greatest players in the world do it,” Guzzi says. “You might as well do it as well.”
Downhill putts can be daunting, and oftentimes players get too aggressive and blow them past the hole. But when you get overly aggressive, you’re just asking for a three-putt. This drill is designed to help you hone in your speed and eliminate those mental errors.
Set up some tees at a circumference around three feet past the hole and then set up for a downhill putt, right around 20 feet away. Your goal is not to make the putt, but rather practicing patience and dialing in your speed control.
“I want to make sure that I’m not going past three feet,” Guzzi says. “Because then you’re really asking for a three-putt.”
If you can concentrate on your speed and keeping the ball within that three-foot range, you’re going to eliminate three-putts and lower your scores.
One of the most difficult spots to be around the green is with your ball on the fringe up against the collar. It can be hard to get solid contact with a putter and equally difficult to get the clubface on it for a chip shot. If you find yourself in this spot, consider putting with your lob wedge.
Take your lob wedge and use a putting stroke to use the leading edge to hit the middle of the ball and let it roll onto the green. The way the lob wedge is designed with the back end up, you can avoid some of the grass behind the ball on the way back. Like with the hybrid putt, get into your putting stance and use the same stroke you would with a putter when you hit this shot.
“It’s a safe play, but you have to get to the putting green,” Guzzi says. “Practice this shot. It’s going to help you lower your scores.”