How do I improve my lag putting

Golf is a game that requires a combination of power, precision, and finesse. While driving the ball off the tee and hitting accurate approach shots are undoubtedly important, one aspect of the game that often goes overlooked is lag putting. Lag putting refers to those long, delicate putts where the goal is not necessarily to hole the ball, but rather to get it as close to the hole as possible, minimizing the chances of a three-putt.

Improving lag putting is crucial for lowering scores and avoiding unnecessary bogeys or worse. Here are some tips to help you hone your lag putting skills:

  • Practice Distance Control:
  • Work on developing a good feel for distance by practicing different length putts on the practice green. Select various spots around the green and try to hit putts that finish within a certain radius of the hole. Focus on the length of your backswing and the speed of your stroke to control the distance each putt travels.
  • Pay Attention to Green Speed:
  • Every golf course has different green speeds. Take some time to observe the speed of the greens before your round. The faster the greens, the more delicate your lag putts need to be. Adjust your stroke accordingly to adapt to the conditions.
  • Visualize the Path and Speed:
  • Before stepping up to the putt, take a moment to visualize the path the ball needs to take to get close to the hole. Imagine the ball rolling smoothly along that path, gauging the necessary speed to reach your target. This mental exercise will help you establish a clearer plan and translate it into a confident, focused putting stroke.
  • Read the Green:
  • The ability to read greens is paramount for good lag putting. Take your time to analyze the contours and slopes in the green, as well as the speed of the putt. Consider the uphill and downhill portions of the putt and any potential breaks. A solid understanding of the green will help you judge the correct line and speed for your lag putt.
  • Master the Lag Putt Technique:
  • When executing a lag putt, focus on smoothness and rhythm rather than hitting the ball aggressively. Take a wider stance and grip the putter softly. Make a controlled backswing and accelerate through the ball with a consistent pace. Strive for a solid contact with the ball using the center of the putter face.
  • Improve Consistency with Short Putts:
  • Lag putting and short putting are closely related. Practicing your short putts will enhance your ability to control distance and make consistent, solid contact. Build a solid foundation by improving your fundamentals on shorter putts, and then apply those same principles to your lag putts.

Remember, lag putting is about minimizing errors and trying to two-putt from a long distance. By practicing distance control, paying attention to green speed, visualizing the path and speed, reading the green, mastering the technique, and improving consistency with short putts, you will gradually improve your lag putting skills and lower your scores on the golf course. Incorporate these tips into your practice routine and enjoy the benefits that come with becoming a proficient lag putter.

Q&A on how to improve your lag putting in golf:

Q1: What is lag putting, and why is it important? A1: Lag putting refers to making long-distance putts with the primary goal of getting the ball close to the hole, ideally within a short tap-in range. It's crucial for reducing the number of three-putts and saving strokes on the green.

Q2: What are some common issues golfers face with lag putting? A2: Common lag putting issues include misjudging distance, inconsistent speed control, and struggling to leave the ball close to the hole on long putts.

Q3: How can golfers improve their distance control on lag putts? A3: To improve distance control, golfers should practice putting from various distances, develop a consistent and repeatable putting stroke, and focus on the rhythm and tempo of their stroke.

Q4: What are some key factors to consider when reading the speed of the greens for lag putts? A4: Factors affecting green speed include slope, grain, moisture, and grass type. Golfers should assess these factors, factor in the uphill or downhill slope, and make a confident judgment on the speed needed for the putt.

Q5: How can golfers practice lag putting effectively? A5: Effective lag putting practice involves setting up a practice area with varying putt lengths, practicing uphill and downhill putts, and focusing on consistently rolling the ball to a target distance.

Q6: Are there specific drills for improving lag putting? A6: Yes, there are lag putting drills like the “Clock Drill” where you place tees around the hole at different distances and try to lag putts to stop within each tee marker. Another drill is “3-6-9,” where you practice lag putting from 3, 6, and 9 feet away from the hole.

Q7: How can golfers stay confident and relaxed while lag putting under pressure? A7: Confidence and relaxation come from practice and experience. Trust your judgment on green speed, maintain a consistent pre-putt routine, and visualize a successful lag putt before making your stroke.

Q8: What role does touch and feel play in lag putting? A8: Touch and feel are critical in lag putting. Developing a sense of how hard or soft to hit the ball based on the putt's length and the green's speed is essential for accurate distance control.

Q9: Is there a specific mindset or mental approach that can help with lag putting? A9: Maintaining a positive and focused mindset is crucial. Approach lag putts with the goal of getting the ball close to the hole rather than making the putt. Visualize a smooth and controlled stroke.

Q10: Can practicing lag putting lead to better overall putting performance? A10: Yes, improving lag putting can have a positive impact on overall putting performance. It can reduce three-putts, boost confidence, and lower your scores.

Q11: How can golfers track their progress in lag putting improvement? A11: Track your progress by keeping a record of the number of putts taken per round, specifically noting the number of one-putts, two-putts, and three-putts. Over time, you should see a reduction in three-putts as your lag putting improves.

Improving lag putting is a valuable skill for golfers of all levels. By focusing on distance control, practicing with purpose, and maintaining a confident mindset, you can become more proficient at lag putting and lower your scores on the greens.

Wrong lag putting, where you consistently leave putts short or long of the hole, can be frustrating and costly on the golf course. Here are some common causes and cures for wrong lag putting:


  1. Misjudging Green Speed: One of the primary causes of wrong lag putting is misjudging the speed of the greens. This can happen if you don't take the time to assess the green conditions or if you're not attuned to the speed during the round.
  2. Inconsistent Putting Stroke: An inconsistent putting stroke, where you vary the length and speed of your backswing and follow-through, can lead to varying distances on your putts.
  3. Overthinking: Overthinking can cause tension and hesitation in your putting stroke, leading to poor distance control. Doubting your read or your ability to execute can result in lag putts being too cautious or too aggressive.
  4. Lack of Practice: Neglecting lag putting practice can lead to poor distance control. If you primarily practice short putts, you may struggle with longer lag putts on the course.
  5. Ignoring Uphill and Downhill Slopes: Failing to adjust for uphill and downhill slopes on the greens can cause lag putts to come up short or go too far past the hole.


  1. Read the Greens Carefully: Pay close attention to the slope, grain, moisture, and grass type on the greens. Develop a keen sense of the green's speed by observing other putts and practicing your green-reading skills.
  2. Consistent Putting Stroke: Work on a consistent putting stroke with a smooth and controlled tempo. Practice with a metronome or counting beats in your head to achieve a steady rhythm.
  3. Positive Mindset: Maintain a positive and confident mindset. Believe in your ability to judge the speed and execute your lag putts. Avoid overthinking and trust your instincts.
  4. Practice Lag Putting: Dedicate practice time to lag putting from various distances. Focus on consistently rolling the ball to your intended target and controlling the distance.
  5. Uphill and Downhill Adjustments: When you encounter uphill or downhill putts, adjust your aim point and stroke length accordingly. Uphill putts require a bit more force, while downhill putts need a gentler touch.
  6. Practice Under Pressure: Create pressure situations in practice by simulating game-like conditions or playing games with friends where you need to get your lag putts close to the hole.
  7. Visualization: Before each lag putt, visualize the ball rolling to your target distance and see the ball stopping near the hole. Visualization can help you commit to your putts with confidence.
  8. Record and Analyze: Keep a putting log or use a golf app to record your lag putts during practice rounds. Analyze your performance and look for trends in your distance control.
  9. Seek Feedback: If you continue to struggle with lag putting, consider seeking feedback from a golf instructor or putting coach. They can provide personalized guidance and drills to address your specific issues.

Improving your lag putting requires practice, attention to green conditions, and a confident mindset. By addressing the causes of wrong lag putting and applying the suggested cures, you can become more consistent in controlling your putt distances and ultimately lower your scores.