What Is Lag Putting and How Do You Improve It?

Lag Putting

How To Help Improve Your Golf Handicap

Three strokes. That’s how many strokes you can chop off your golf handicap with better lag putting. Three-putts kill your scores. Track your putting the next few times you play, and you’ll see what we mean.  Those extra putts add up.

But if you’re like many weekend golfers, you seldom practice lag putting.  In fact, you probably don’t practice much at all. And when you do, you practice incorrectly.

Incorrect practicing not only fails to improve your game, it also wastes time. And if you’re like most weekend golfers, you have little time to waste. Practicing correctly, on the other hand, not only improves your game, it also helps you go low.

Improve Your Lag Putting

So how do you improve your lag putting? Try the three-step putting drill developed by Peltz, whom many consider among the best short game gurus out there.

Here’s the drill:

  • Step 1: Walk 17 steps from a hole on the practice green (about 50 feet).
  • Step 2: Putt three to five ball and hold your finish. Watch each putt.
  • Step 3: Get the balls and putt them again.

Sound simple, right? It is.

But here’s the secret to benefitting from the drill. As you execute each putt, focus on the feel for rolling putts the proper distance and not on the mechanics of your stroke.

Also, make three practice strokes before each putt. Make one stroke too short, which would leave the ball short of the hole. Make a second stroke too long, which would run the ball past the hole. Make a third the perfect length, one that will roll the ball perfectly into the hole.

Then step in and putt the ball. And watch the ball roll all the way to the hole. This practice routine works because it helps you develop a repeatable stroke—one you can count on when the pressure is on.

Challenge Yourself

But to squeeze more out of your practice time, you also have to keep challenging yourself. For example, once you can putt all five balls within three feet of the hole 7 out of 10 times, step back about a couple of feet and repeat the exercise. Once you can putt all five balls within three feet of the hole 7 out of 10 times from this second distance, step back another couple of feet and putt again.  

Keep challenging yourself in practice this way and you’ll find yourself dramatically cutting down on your three-putting when you play. In fact, you’ll find yourself swinging your putter just like a Tour pro—smoothly and rhythmically.

The more repeatable your stroke, the better you’ll become at lag putting and the more strokes you’ll cut from your score and your golf handicap.  

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