How to Hit From the Fringe

Have you ever hit a horrible shot from the fringe?

Maybe you stubbed your wedge and watched your ball dribble just a few inches forward.

Or, maybe you used your putter but you hit it way too hard and watched your ball roll way past the hole.

Either way you’re going to wind up with an extra shot on your scorecard and an overwhelming sense of frustration.

The next time you find your ball on the fringe avoid these common mistakes by keeping a few simple tips in mind

Use your putter

A bad putt is almost ALWAYS better than a bad chip. That’s why I always recommend using your putter whenever you are playing from the fringe.

Evaluate the terrain

As you walk up to the green make sure you are evaluating the slope of the terrain. Is the hill above your ball, below your ball, or even with your ball? This can have a huge impact on how your ball will roll out so it’s important to make a mental note.

Evaluate the grain

Bend down and take a look at the grass. If it’s growing toward your ball you can expect a slower roll and if it’s growing away from your ball you can expect a faster roll.

Evaluate the turf

Is the grass wet or dry? Wet or damp turf can slow your ball down while dry turf can cause your ball to roll out much faster.

Accelerate through impact

Once you’ve evaluated the terrain, the grain, and the turf, and established your target line it’s time to address the ball and make your stroke. Just remember to accelerate your putter head through the ball at impact. Slowing your putter down through the ball at impact will lead to stubbed putts and inconsistent performance.

Keeping these tips in mind will give you a big advantage next time you find your ball on the fridge. Just don’t forget to give them a try on the practice green too!


  1. Pete

    December 24, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Keeping these tips in mind will give you a big advantage next time you find your ball on the fridge.

    I prefer to keep mine cool, IN the fridge! Merry Christmas to all!

  2. Bruce Appeldorn

    January 6, 2017 at 10:42 am

    If you want to get it close putt it, if you want to make it chip it. so learn how to chip

    • Michael

      February 1, 2018 at 10:24 am

      Bruce … I don’t think the point of the lesson was to relace chipping with putting. Many times I have drained a ball from the fringe by using my putter. Obviously, if using a putter is not the right choice, bring out the wedge! But, there are times when you have the choice. I’ll always use the putter over a wedge when appropriate.

  3. Hal Timmer

    January 7, 2017 at 10:02 am

    In my old age I have also discovered I can be from about one to three feet
    back from the fringe and depending on how LONG that grass is I can usually
    STILL get closer to the pin with my putter rather then trying to chip or pitch
    with an iron. Hitting down somewhat on the ball seems to cause it to jump
    up on top of the long grass and it rolls quite well.

    • Elwood (Woody) White

      March 9, 2017 at 7:38 am

      Hal, I agree, I use the same method, works best for me. I think Bruce watches the pros on TV to much, chipping requires a lot of practice and skill, that makes the game more like work, then fun.

    • Don L.

      February 7, 2018 at 7:35 am

      The name

  4. Richard Polakowski

    March 10, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Excellent tips to add to anyone’s tool kit around and on greens. It really comes down to playing the highest % shot and that is using a putter. you might even surprise yourself and sink a few.

  5. Tom

    June 28, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    You can also experiment with a hybrid or fairway metal. Take the same putting stroke but you will get a bit of a “pop” to get it rolling.

  6. Allah Ali

    June 28, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Try putting with a seven iron if on the fringe….this will give you a little lift and still a putt stoke….I’ve tried all there methods. putter, AW and 7 iron…like all but depends on how I feel and what the green is like….Use it if it works, if not throw it away….

  7. Mike Howes

    August 4, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    If the shot is too far from the hole, I use a 7 iron to chip and run. This gets the ball on the ground quickly, doesn’t put a lot of spin on the ball (the problem mid-handicappers have) leaving the ball short. You need to practice enough to realize how far to fly the ball (not far at all). I find this gives me a greater chance of making the shot vs. putting thru longer fringe or just off the fringe.

  8. Gurn Blanston

    August 6, 2017 at 10:50 am

    One commenter mentioned hitting his ball from the “fridge”. I tried that in my kitchen – and my wife got mad at me! It’s better to chip from the FRINGE – at the golf course – IMO. – Gurn Blanston

    • Keith @ GolfersRX

      January 16, 2021 at 2:50 pm


  9. Desmond

    November 11, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    I’ve used a 5-iron with a putting stroke for years. I’m so much better with that than with my putter. I even use it for very long putts. I can feel the shot much better off the iron face than off the putter face and get much better distance control.

  10. Michael Faulkner

    November 11, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    My experience confirms this recommendation. However if the frings is long, or distance is 1-2 feet, I find putting with with a 3 or 4 iron will get it just up enough to not bog down. I just use a putting stroke without adjustment.

  11. Mike Billings

    November 11, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Soooo, ONE of the BAD SHOTS listed was hitting the putter too hard, and watching it go way past the hole. First suggestion here? Use your putter. Um, never mind.

    Suggestion? Learn to hit your hybrid close. Choke down to the steel/graphite. Lift the heel of the club slightly off the ground,and make a putting stroke.

    Loft of the club ‘pops’ the ball up a couple inches, imparts a little backspin, and then lets the ball roll out. Far more effective for the average duffer than the ‘cute’ shot with a 56 or 60 degree wedge.

    This will save strokes all day long, and usually get you closer than a wedge.

  12. William Murdick

    November 11, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    I am usually very good with the so-called Texas wedge. I can often putt from 15 feet off the green and leave the ball next to the hole. I agree with the advice given in this article, but will add something for those attempting long putts from way off the green.

    My method is to do many practice swings until I feel like I would hit the ball up to the edge of the green with that last practice swing. Then I do a couple more practice swings just a bit harder to get the ball from the edge of the green to the pin location. Then I trust and repeat the last practice swing–no last moment changes!–when I putt the ball.

    It works for me.

  13. Raymond CHASTEL

    November 11, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    This motto by JACK NICKLAUS is ridiculous and should not be adhered to! it is just a “Idée reçue ”
    I am a very good putter but my chipping is as good and even better .From the fringe or far away I nearly always chip and often hole out :I use every club in the bag to chip .I also utilize my wedges to put with great success.
    ll it takes is to to train often and with the good technique

  14. Mallen

    January 31, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    Raymond, If you are so good, why don’t you hit the ball onto the green instead of the fringe?

  15. Mike carts

    January 31, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    I’m a 8 or so handicapper and find it’s easier to use a 7-8 iron or putter around the fringe or even s few yards back off the fringe I definitely get close to the hole or even make some. Chipping is a skill and see a lot of people stub it. But on the other hand it may depend on the course you are playing on, the grass may be much taller. Forcing you to probably chip. Practice both and what works for you use it.


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