You want to keep the ball low for the best results. Arnold Palmer mentioned that a low ball means a lower risk - your worst putt may probably be much better than your worst chip.
Although you can strike the ball with any club in your bag, Golf Tip Reviews writes that amateurs "should putt whenever they can. It will save you strokes on the golf course."
Dave Pelz suggests a unique idea - the "Chiputt" for very long putts.
"The longer the putt, the more likely you are to leave it short, because your stroke (and everyone else's) naturally evolves to favor accuracy over power. You can overcome this tendency by adding a chipping motion to your putting stroke-think of it as 'chipping with your putter.'"
Dave goes on to say, "On super-long putts, stand upright for a better perspective on distance, and then putt with the same body motion you use to chip with a 5-iron. On 75- to 110-foot putts, every golfer I've tested, including Tour professionals, lags closer to the hole with the 'chiputt' method."
A few more creative ideas for using a putter during a game?
Golflink suggests that you can use your putter for getting a ball out of the rough and back into the fairway, from behind a tree or even out of a greenside bunker (if there is no lip and it is reasonably flat!)
When should you opt for a golf club other than your putter and still keep the ball low?
When you have to go over bouncy, rough ground.
When there is an obstruction like a sprinkler head on your putting line.
You may not want to putt when the green is very elevated above your ball position.
The iron, wedge or wood you choose depends on how far the cup is from your position. The further the distance, the lower number club you use. For example, if the pin is close, you might use a pitching wedge - if the pin is very far, you would perhaps choose a 5- or 6-iron (as Dave Pelz explains above).
You should definitely practice these techniques on an outdoor putting green before you play your round of golf. You'll please yourself and amaze your golf buddies!
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