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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Luke Donald Putts - er, Chips - er, Both?

Generally we think about using different clubs for different length shots around the green. But I found this video of Luke Donald gripping one club -- a short iron -- two different ways to accomplish the same thing! Here, take a look:

Please note that Luke says the putting grip only works when you're fairly close to the green! He's not telling you to start playing all your chips this way.

Here's when you might want to consider this option:
  • Note that Luke has a good lie. That's important because a putting stroke is a sweeping motion. You'll just get the clubhead caught if the grass is too high.
  • You'd like to putt but you're afraid you'll hit the ball too hard. Obviously you're fairly close to the green but the stretch of grass you're putting through, although it's not too high, is long enough to make you nervous. The putting stroke with a short iron will help you get the ball up on top of the grass so it doesn't get slowed down so much. You won't have to hit the ball as hard.
  • You're considering putting with a hybrid but the shaft is a bit too long to be comfortable with your stance. This could happen if the ball is a little above your feet, for example.
The key here is to use the skills you already have in new ways so you become more versatile without complicating your game. Even the pros use little "cheats" like this when they can... and Luke is a good example of just how effective they can be.

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