I am going to come across as a little controversial in this article, because I want to expel one of the most misleading myths in golf.
A bad putt is better than a bad chip
I have long taught my students to make their own mind up regarding this almost biblical piece of advice.
It is not a guaranteed or almost guaranteed certainty that if you opt to putt rather than chip the result will be better, or more effective.
A lot will depend on your skill as a chipper, a huge amount will depend on the quality of the surface between you and the hole and the rest will be down to being able to judge the shot you are about to try.
With clients that are reluctant to chip from within 2 metres of the green edge, I ask that they refrain from using the putter anywhere except when they find themselves on the green.
If you want to have a full arsenal of shots, then you have no choice but to be made to play them and try your hand at something that may seem challenging.
As a young golfer, starting out I was told, well misunderstood an elderly member when they told me I couldn´t use a putter off the green, what he actually meant was to learn not to use the putter.
This was almost 20 years ago, and to this day I still never use my putter unless I am on the putting surface.
For me personally a bad chip is far better than the results I see when putting from the fringe on the practice ground.
I can´t see how I could possibly putt through the thicker fringe grass and have any form of control over the ball. I am even less convinced when the fringe is not in great condition, all I can envisage is the ball bobbling off line or coming up short.
It is for this reason that I think this particular piece of advice is misguiding, and ultimately robbing golfers of shots.
I am not saying for a minute that you should adopt my approach and not reach for the putter, instead I am asking you to forget the adage and choose the best shot for the situation you are faced with.
If you are a few feet from the green in the first cut of rough, putting to me is not an option, but due to a lack of confidence in your ability you immediately reach for the putter only to blast it a good 6 or 8 feet past the hole.
Have a little bit of faith in your ability, reach for the sand wedge or pitching wedge and just bump the ball forward over the collar of rough to release out towards the hole.
After a little practice you will be surprised how many times you leave the ball closer to the hole with your wedges compared to your putter.