Amateur golfers underestimate the importance of lag putting. After their golf round, they think back to all the 3 putts they had and place the blame on the 3 or 4 foot putts they missed to save par. In reality though it is bad lag putting that is to blame and not missing a 3-footer.
Lag putts can be described as those long 30+ foot putts that one has to face on a regular basis during a round. The goal of a lag putt isn’t necessarily to make it, but the goal is to have a tap in putt for your next putt.
Hitting a putt with the correct speed can be difficult since there are many different factors to keep in mind. Today we will cover some lag putting tips to help you improve speed control on the greens.
The Reality of the 3 Putt
During a normal round of golf, the majority of amateurs will have at least one 3 putt per round. But more often than not they will have 3 or more 3 putts per round. Does this sound familiar to your game?
On the PGA Tour Boo Weekley had the most 3 putts per round on average for the duration of the 2017 season, on average he had .89 3 putts per round.
Professional players that spend a lot of time practicing their putting still have a 3 putt nearly every round.
It is important to realize that you are destined to have a 3 putt at some stage during your round. Instead of getting upset about it rather spend some time practicing your lag putting before your next round.
How to Determine a Putts Speed
In order to determine the speed of a putt there are numerous different factors that have to get taken into consideration.
First of all, it is important to establish if the putt is either uphill or downhill.
In most instances it should be easy to determine, but on flatter lag putts it is important to read your putt from both sides of the hole to ensure that you don’t make any judgement errors before even hitting the putt.
On smooth Bent grass greens grain doesn’t really come into play, but on Bermuda greens one has to pay attention to the grain of the grass. The general rule of thumb is that when the grass is shiny if you are looking at it from your ball towards the hole then it is down grain, and vice versa for putts that are into the grain.
When you are facing a putt that is into the grain the grass will appear darker. Yet again in order to determine the direction in which the grain is growing you have to take a look at your putt from different angles.
Start Putts on the Correct Line
Once you have determined the speed of your putt then you can look to get the correct line. With lag putting it is important to have good speed, it isn’t essential to have the absolute correct line.
A putt that is on line has no chance to go in if it isn’t accompanied by the correct speed. Being able to judge the speed of a putt is one thing but being able to execute that perfect speed requires practice. In order to improve your lag putting you have to spend some time on the practice green.
Lag Putting Speed Drills
2 putt speed drill
The 2-putt speed drill is a great putting drill that will help you eliminate those dreaded 3 putts. Chose 2 holes on the putting green that are about 30 – 40 feet away from each other, take two balls and putt between the two holes, putt out every putt and continue going until you have 10 consecutive 2 putts.
This drill will help with more than just your speed, it will also challenge your mental game. When you have made about 8 two putts you will start to feel some pressure in order to continue the streak to 10. At first if 10 in a row is too difficult, start with 5 in a row and then gradually move up from there to 10.
Ladder speed drill
Choose 2 holes on the practice green that are about 40 feet away from each other, take 2 clubs and place them about 2 or 3 feet behind each hole respectively. Stick a tee into the ground between the holes about 6 feet away from either hole. From the tee putt 3 balls to both holes respectively.
The goal is to hit 6 putts that end up past the holes but not past the club behind the hole. Once you achieve the goal from the first position move the tee 3 feet toward the hole that was furthest away. The goal is to keep on going until you are 6 feet away from the opposite hole.
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