How to hit every lag putt with the correct speed
Short backstroke, long through stroke: That’s what I mostly see from rec players on lags. What results is mostly a “shove” stroke that has almost zero chance of covering the right distance.
I recommend doing the opposite, making a longer backstroke and a shorter through stroke. Call the ratio 60:40. Two good things happen when you do: First, the putterhead will rise off the ground a little (1, below), and second, that little rise will help the putterhead, thanks to gravity, naturally accelerate into the ball without you having to shove, push or jam it forward.
Going 60:40 (2 and 3) gives you the pendulum putting action you need to roll smooth and consistent lags. It would actually be a pure pendulum, like you see on a grandfather clock, if the energy absorbed by the ball at impact didn’t impede your club’s forward direction — another reason a shorter follow-through makes sense.
To get a feel for this stroke, “step” on a ball placed under your front foot and putt it (4), accelerating the club into your shoe. Instantly, you’ll feel the needed momentum to bring any putt length into range.
Todd Sones is a GOLF Top 100 Teacher and runs the Todd Sones Impact Golf School is located at White Deer Run GC in Vernon Hills, Ill.