Unless you’re a professional golfer, you’ll likely encounter many lag putts throughout your round. In fact, it’s likely that most of your first putts when you hit the green will be lag putts.
PGA Tour pros leave themselves an average of 25 feet to the hole when they’re 150 yards out. For a scratch player, that number increases to 36 feet. That proximity to the hole only gets longer as handicaps increase from there. With these numbers in mind, lag putting should be an emphasis in each and every one of your practice sessions.
Lag putting can be a tricky art to master. On most long putts, you’re simply trying to put yourself in position for a stress-free two putt. However, that mindset can cause you to dial back your aggression and try to coax the ball near the hole as opposed to trying to make it. To counter this, try focusing first and foremost on your speed.
Distance control on lag putts is essential if you want to become a good putter from distance. Even if your aim is off a bit, good speed will guarantee that you always have a reasonable second putt. Getting your speed dialed in on lag putts should be a priority on every course you play.
World Long Drive champion Kyler Berkshire shared an excellent drill for working on lag putting speed in a recent Instagram post. The drill is simple, and all you’ll need is a few balls and tees.
Put three tees in the ground on the green at 20, 40 and 60 feet from the hole. Next you’ll want to roll putts from each of these tees with the goal of rolling the ball past (or in) the hole, but no further than a putter-length beyond the cup. Try rolling a putt from each distance and getting it to settle within the green zone beyond the hole. If you mess up and don’t get one to the hole or roll one too far past, start over.
If you can consistently complete this drill successfully, your touch from distance will improve in no time and you’ll card fewer three-putts.