If you watched the Tour Championship this past week, did you happen to notice Matt Kuchar, during the second round, using a hybrid golf club to make a putt?
Ryan Moore, during the sudden death showdown with Rory McIlroy, pulled out an iron on the very fringe of the green to make a shot which ultimately lost him the tournament...and several million dollars. (A higher lofted lob wedge might have offered Moore the height he needed to land safely and, IMO, the putter would have been his best choice...)
Pros will often utilize golf clubs other than the standard putter when making shots just off of the green. For a beginner golfer (or any amateur that has not learned how to use clubs other than the putter just off of the green), I suggest sticking with the flat stick as it offers four degrees of loft and is the safest option (as Ryan Moore probably remanded himself over and over again after his loss).
“Putting is like wisdom – partly a natural gift and partly the accumulation of experience, "
...The King, Arnold Palmer.
That being said, Golf for Beginners takes a look at a few different clubs which should be learned by amateurs to increase the number of shots in your bag.
The Rules of Golf state that a player can use any club for any golf shot, so why not use...
1. Hybrid Golf Clubs: PGA Instructor Blake Cathey says, "If you miss the green and your ball ends up in a closely mowed area don't forget about the hybrid putt. Approach the shot just as you would a putt. Use your putting grip, stance, pre-shot routine and stroke. You will find that with a little practice you will start getting up and down."
2. Three-Wood: Dave Marsh from iGolfTV.com shows us in the YouTube video below that the fifteen degrees of loft in a three-wood allows the player to use the top-spin to pop the ball over an obstruction (like gnarly grass) and get safely on the green.
3. The Chiputt: In a previous Golf for Beginners article entitled, "To Chip or To Putt? A Golf Dilemma Answered," Master Instructor Dave Pelz's suggested method for very long putts is called the "Chiputt"; basically, chipping with your putter. Click the link above to learn more about his method of saving strokes.
Practice these techniques several times before a round (you don't want to attempt these shots without knowing how to perform them) so, the next time you are near the green, you will be able to better plan your method of attack, get the ball close to the hole or in!
Which golf clubs do you favor around the green? Follow @Golf4Beginners on Twitter and the comments section of this golf blog to share your thoughts.