Ever have a situation that called for a shot you never tried?

On the 18th hole at Blissful Meadows the other day, I landed on the skirt and right against the rough. I had a 20 foot putt for birdie, but with the ball against the rough, I knew I didn't have a clean putting stroke. I knew the best option was a toe poke, but I have never tried that before. Other options would have been risky. I toke a regular putt, and the ball seemed glued to the skirt, just barely getting on the green. It took two more putts to hole out for a bogie.

I thought I have tried just about everything before, like 3 wood and hybrid chips, but the way the grass was the toe poke was really the only option. I wish I had just tried it that day. I have since started practicing it, and the results are better than I would have thought. Lesson learned: try out every shot, no matter how unlikely you think you will need to use it.

Tha's the fun of golf, determining options for a difficult shot and learning how to get the most out of it. What is a "toe poke"? Is that  where you turn the club 90 degrees, use a normal stroke off of the end of the putter?

I'm reluctant to try a shot in a competitive round that I've never tried before although sometimes I have to try stances I haven't tried before.  The more different shots you practice the more you'll be able to improvise when the situation calls for it.  

One handy shot I practice is back to the target, short to mid iron, flat roundhouse swing hitting a low draw.  This is useful under a tree or with a bush or fence a couple of feet behind the ball. 

For a ball up against a collar, I prefer to use a putter and a steep stroke with the ball back in my stance.  Pinching it against the green puts a little topspin on it and I find I don't have to guess much at the speed, just hit it normal.  

I would be very reluctant to use a toe poke since there are so many variables involved.  I probably wouldn't want to practice it and learn it either unless I had a putter with a big flat end on the toe.

Jerry

100 yard chip shot with a 7 wood.  Rolled it right on the green.

One should practice as many odd ball shots as possible.  What I notice at the practice greens is people practice the routine level surface pitch and chip shots.  I do things like pitching or chipping from a mound with a severe downhill lie.

Suggestion is to practice pitching and chipping with anything other than the wedges.  You CAN pitch with a fairway wood.

Since I don't carry a 3 wood, for the 190-210 yard par 3s I do a stinger shot.

The " toe poke" is a fairly safe play if you have a putter that has a flat toe edge. You could also learn to hit the middle/ slightly above middle of the ball with a wedge to get it rolling like a put. I have done this several times as well as seen it done during tournaments. It gives the ball a good roll and can be used in those green-collar situations almost every time.

To practice it just take your 54, 56, 58 out to the putting green and try to hit the center of the ball to get it rolling. It takes a bit of practice. You can use the same swing as your putting stroke so no real changes to your swing just a bit in the set up.