As long as there's smooth ground leading up to the fringe, putting from off the green makes great sense. Martin Kaymer did it a lot in winning the U.S. Open at Pinehurst last June. A good rule is to treat these putts like they're 10 to 15 percent longer than they really are to compensate for starting off the green. Follow these steps to put a good stroke on it.
David Leadbetter is a Golf Digest Teaching Professional