Short putts cause many golfers nightmares, but get 40 feet or more from the cup and you’re talking real terror. If there’s one thing amateurs fear more than coming up well short of the hole, it’s sending a putt sizzling way past it.
The No. 1 key to successful lag putting, then, isn’t nailing the precise line, it’s controlling your speed. A 50-foot putt rolled the correct distance but three feet off line still finishes three feet from the hole. And that’s not bad at all.
When faced with a long putt, golfers often alter their strokes to add more “hit” with the right hand. Big mistake. When the left wrist breaks down, so does consistency. You hit some putts too hard, others too soft, and only occasionally get the speed correct.
It’s important to make the same stroke on lengthy putts as you do on the short ones. The arms and shoulders should control your motion, with the wrists and hands “quiet.” The long stroke should be just that – longer, not harder or faster. Focus on maintaining a firm left wrist from start to finish and you’ll enjoy more consistent results.
Here’s a simple drill to hone your lag putting:
- On the practice green, place three balls 40 feet from the cup, three at 50 feet and three at 60 feet.
- Lay your driver directly across the hole, with the cup in the center of the shaft.
- Starting with the 40-foot putts, the goal is to get each ball within an imaginary circle formed around the driver.
- To add a little pressure, start over whenever you fail to knock a putt within the circle.
Considering the average driver is 45” long, that means each putt must finish within two feet of the cup – an exacting standard from beyond 40 feet.
If you can consistently achieve it, you’re well on your way to being an exceptional lag putter.