If you struggle with “lag” putts – those from outside 30 feet where the goal is to get the ball within a few feet of the hole – a change in approach might just do the trick. Rather than thinking of the lag as one long putt, break it into two segments, from ball to hole.
Let’s say you’ve got a 45-foot putt. Proceed as follows:
- Find the approximate midpoint of the putt.
- Read the green from this spot to the hole, as though you’re putting from here.
- Now read the first half of the putt, from your ball to the midway spot. Keep in mind that the putt will break less than the slope indicates in this range because it will be traveling faster (you must hit it well past the halfway point, after all).
- Visualize putting to the midway spot, with enough speed to carry the ball from that spot to the hole on the intended line.
Always remember that on lag putts – except those which break severely – getting the right speed is more important that the right line.