This is a part of the game that most people do not like to practice and it is probably the most important part. In order for one to become efficient at this, it requires practice and also an imagination. What I mean by that is the same club should not be used for EVERY shot around the putting surface.
The first thing to check is the lie of the golf ball. For example, if the hole location is in the center of the green, 40 feet from the front edge of the green, and your ball is 10 feet off the edge, the procedure is to check the lie. The reason for this is because if it is sitting up nicely, the ball will react differently than if it is sitting in a small indentation. The percentage shot is to choose a club that gets the ball on the ground as soon possible so the shot becomes a “bump & run”. You try to land the ball about 6 to 8 feet on the green and let it roll out to the hole. This might best be done with a 7 or 8 iron. By choosing a PW or SW you have to fly the ball too far onto the green and hope that it stops near the hole. By choosing a more lofted club, the difficulty of the shot increases. The lie is important because a different club might be necessary because the ball will react differently from a bad lie coming out hot where a good lie the ball will have a bit more spin and will be easier to make clean contact and not roll quite as far.
Setup for this shot as a right handed golfer is with a slightly open stance (left foot back a bit), weight 60% on your left foot, and then move the hands forward slightly so the angle of the shaft is with the grip end ahead of the clubface.
By practicing these shots from around the green with different clubs, one will get a feel for what shot to play when, while on the golf course. Give it a try. The game will improve and practicing will become more fun.
Director of Golf
Wisconsin Teacher of the Year