By Rob Duca

The decision to putt or chip is not usually a difficult one for the tour professional. Tour pros are so adept around the green that in most cases, they will chip the ball, and in most cases, they will hit it stone dead. But that’s hardly the case for the average golfer, which is why putting instead of chipping can mean a big difference in your eventual score.

And yet, many average golfers will automatically select a wedge and chip the ball every time they are off the green, even when it’s only a few yards. If you’re one of those people, here are a few reasons why you should grab your putter instead.

 

  1. A poor putt looks a whole lot better than a poor chip.

When you chip, any number of disastrous things can occur. You could hit it thin, sending it flying over the green. You could hit it fat, leaving it at your feet. You could shank it. Oh sure, you could chip it close to the hole or perhaps even knock it in. But with a putt, only two things are likely to happen; you could hit it too hard and knock it a few feet past the hole or hit it too soft and leave it a few feet short. Either way, you’ll be on the green with a reasonable putt. The bottom line: disasters won’t occur when you have the flatstick in your hands.

 

  1. Have a good reason not to putt.

Maybe there is rough between you and the hole. Perhaps there are tricky slopes. But even then, putting is not a bad option. A little rough is not the end of the world; simply hit the ball harder or use a putting stroke with a hybrid. Generally speaking, the sooner you can get the ball on the ground and rolling to the hole the better off you will be.

 

  1. You can develop feel.

Stop me if you’ve heard this from a playing partner: I can’t putt from off the green because I don’t have a sense of how hard to hit it. Here’s a thought: practice! Hit putts from off the practice green. Hit puts from the tee box when you’re waiting around. You will learn how hard to strike the ball from off the green, and you’ll be amazed how often you will think after employing it on the golf course that your putt went closer to the hole than you probably would have chipped it.

 

  1. It’s not as hard as you think.

Many golfers look at the rough or fringe in front of them and figure there is no way they can putt it. But you can. Take your normal stance with a putter and just strike it harder. Simple? Yes. But sometimes the simplest solution is the best solution. If you’re in the first cut of rough, place the ball a bit further back in your stance to encourage a downward blow, which will allow you to strike it harder. You might also tilt the back of your putter slightly up, which will pop the ball into the air and promote a forward roll to the hole.

In the final analysis, unless your chipping game reminds people of Phil Mickelson in his prime, go with the putter whenever it’s feasible. You’ll make a lot more pars, and far fewer double bogeys.

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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024

The Golf Courses are open, and carts are available.

18-hole carts are available up to the 3:00pm starting time.

9-hole golf carts are available up to the 5:00pm starting time.

Drinking water is available at filling stations by the clubhouse. 

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