A “lag putt” is a long putt which, because of its length, the golfer does not expect to make but hopes to get close to the cup. If it goes in the hole, great! But if it doesn’t, you want to make sure you are left with a short, manageable second putt that you won’t miss.
A good lag putt positions the golfer to have a short, simple
and easily made follow-up putt, thereby avoiding the dreaded three-putt.
Another way to think of lag putting – it refers to demonstrating
excellent distance control on the putting greens when a long or tricky putt
requires caution, so that you leave your golf ball in a safe position. A golfer
who is a good lag putter is a golfer who rarely three-putts.
Note that the terms “lag putt” and “lag
putting” are often shortened to just “lag” and
Better Lag Putting to Improve your Golf Scores.
Improving your lag putting is a great way to shoot lower
scores. Why? Because if you can improve your lag putting, you’ll be turning
three putts into two.
The first thing a player should do on a practice putting
green before a round is to hit a dozen or more lag putts to get a feel for the speed
of the green. Making them is great, but concentrate more on the distance and
speed of the putt to get the ball to stop near the hole.
An old and excellent guide for lag putts is to try to hit
them into a 45 gallon barrel instead of the hole – that is, imagine the hole is
the size of a 45 gallon barrel. Aiming at the bigger target will give you a far
better chance of leaving a two or three-foot second putt.
In putting we are mostly focused on direction rather than
distance. We set up to the ball with our feet, hips and shoulders aligned
parallel to our target line. This is the recommended position when you are
putting for accuracy. However, the way your eyes are aligned, makes it
difficult to judge the distance accurately.
In lag putting distance is more important than direction.
While it is unlikely that you will miss the hole by more than three feet left
or right, you are more likely to leave your putt short.
When you are bent over the ball, turning your head sideways
to judge the distance to the hole is not the best way to gain perspective. To
judge distance accurately you need to stand taller with your eyes more towards
level so you can look straight down the path of your putt with binocular
vision. To accomplish this you need to adopt a modified setup position and
possibly your grip.
You will also want to free the arms and shoulders to swing
back further and come through harder to give the ball a good strong rap without
pulling it off line.
A good tip for reading long putts is to go halfway between
your ball and the hole, and look both ways. You can judge distance better when
you look at something with both eyes. This is because our brain uses the angle
at which our eyes are converged – how much they are pointing towards each other
– to calculate the distance between objects. So, you should be able to judge
the distance and see the slope, if there is any, clearly from that position.
Tips on Technique
Stand tall, but choke down a little on the grip.
Assume a narrow stance with slightly more weight
on your left side.
Position the ball between your feet and stand
closer to it.
Open your stance and turn your body more to face
Putt the ball in the normal way.
Lag or Long Putting requires constant practice. However,
with a modified setup position that gives you better perspective, you will be
less likely to three-putt in the future.
Practice, Practice & Practice
Lag putting is something that can be practiced by focusing
on distance control (also called speed control) in your putting. Having a sense
of distance is important to rolling your ball close enough for an easy tap-in.
On the golf course there are fixed markers to help you with
full iron shots, however, on the green you are on your own.
Distance control putting drills help a golfer develop a feel
for speed. As stated above, hitting lag putts on the practice green before
starting a round of golf is recommended to see how fast or slow the on-course
greens are rolling.
And practicing by hitting putts to different distance
markers, rather than at a hole, is as easy as taking different lengths of
string or chalk line to a practice green…
That’s it for today.
I hope you found this article informative and that it will
help you improve your scores.
In the USA the term “Flatstick” is a golf slang
term for the putter, because putter clubfaces appear as though they are flat, relative
to all the other golf clubs. In other words, putters look like they have no
All the other golf clubs have very noticeable amounts of loft, sometimes a high loft and sometimes a low loft. Other than the putter, the driver is the least-lofted golf club and, for most golfers, will have between 9 and 13 degrees of loft. On the other end of the scale, the lob wedge is the most-lofted club, typically from 60 to 64 degrees.
However, it turns out that the term “flatstick” is really a misnomer. Putters aren’t flat. They do have loft — just not much of it — and the amount of loft on golf putters does really matter and will have an impact on your golf game. For example, if you putt and the ball tends to bounce or skip, that’s a sign that the loft of your putter might not be well-suited to your putting style.
Loft In the ‘Flatstick”
You’ll rarely see a putter coming on the market with as little as zero degrees of loft – which really is a “flatstick”! Equally, it’s rare to find a putter with as much as 8 degrees of loft. The standard loft of putters sold in pro shops is 3 degrees to 4 degrees.
On the pro tours, the world’s best golfers use putters with
as little as one degree of loft to as high as six or seven degrees of loft. But
the goal of the pros is to have an “effective loft” — the loft of
their putter as it sits at the moment of impact — of three to four degrees. An
effective loft of 3-4 degrees is considered the ideal loft.
Why Loft In Putters Matters
The gist of it is this:
If your putter has too much loft, the ball will come up off
the putter face at impact – it will get airborne for a fraction of a second –
which can play havoc with your distance control. None of us want the ball to
hop up at impact.
If your putter has too little loft – if it really is too
much of a “flatstick” – then, at impact, your putter face might actually be pressing
the ball into the turf a bit, which can cause various effects including a putt
that skids or skips.
The object with putting strokes and loft is to send the ball
on as smooth a roll as possible, from the earliest possible moments after
impact. “Pure roll” is what every golfer wants out of his or her
Ideal Putter Loft Is Impacted By Your Stroke, Stance and Even the Greens
What loft do you need in your putter?
Well, that’s affected by several factors, most prominently
the type of stroke you have and your stance, but also by the conditions of the
greens you typically putt on.
There’s the actual, measured loft of a putter and there is also, as mentioned earlier, the “effective loft.” A golfer who uses a forward press when putting is de-lofting the putter – that is, the putter arrives at impact with less effective loft than its stated, measured loft.
So a golfer with a forward press might need a putter with a
higher stated, measured loft.
Likewise, a golfer whose stroke with the putter reaches impact on a slightly upward arc, might need a putter with a lower stated, measured loft.
So, it follows, that a golfer whose stroke is level at
impact probably has roughly the same effective loft as the putter’s stated
If you play the ball off your front foot when putting, less
loft may be better – because you may be impacting the ball on a slight upswing.
If you use a long putter, less loft might be in order – because
long putters tend to strike the ball on the way up.
Perfect greens — smooth, great rolling — require less loft
in putters. Higher loft may help on bumpy greens and otherwise poor greens.
Launch Angle and Putter Fitting
Launch angle is something most golfers associate with drivers or other woods and hybrids. But it matters in putting, too.
The consensus is that a launch angle of three to four
degrees is the ideal for putting – which explains why standard putter loft in
off-the-shelf putters is 3-4 degrees.
Something you read in this article might prompt you towards a beneficial change in your putter loft. But the fool proof way to know whether your putter loft is well matched to your putting style, is to visit a golf club fitter for an expert putting fitting.
Most of us associate golf club fitting with the other golf clubs in our bag, but putter fitting can also be highly beneficial, and that’s why more and more golfers who want to improve their putting are getting fitted by an expert.
Hope you found this article helpful or informative.
As we all know, one of the most frustrating things on a golf course is 3 putting. You have had a good drive from the tee box, hit a lovely iron onto the green and were looking good for a birdie but definitely a par……..but, sadly, moments later you walk away with a bogey. Three putts from 15 feet – not nice!
The dreaded “3 putt” is never far away and can pounce on any unsuspecting golfer, so any help or tips on how to stop 3 putting at golf are very welcome by most golfers
I’m sure you have had the experience of shooting three shots to cover 500 yards and then another three to get into the hole from 25 feet. It’s like a kick in the gut and a real wake-up call, especially when you think about the fact that 3 of the 6 shots you played on that hole were played with your putter.
Suddenly you realise there is something not quite right with your putting technique and that issue must be addressed without delay. Otherwise, 3 putting will continue to destroy many perfectly good rounds of golf that should have been enjoyable rather than frustrating. Once you follow up a 3 putt with another one you immediately start to lose confidence and momentum. How true the old saying “you drive for show and putt for dough” is and it resonates as you trudge off the green embarrassed and humiliated! The truth is, no one enjoys squandering strokes so this article has been written to help eliminate those 3 putts from your score. So read on to discover seven drills to stop 3 putting.
Why Are You 3 Putting?
We will get into the drills, tips and instructions to improve your putting in a moment but we also want to look at the key problem areas that are making you 3 putt. The four main keys to avoid 3 putting are:
Good pace control
Consistent distance control
Skills to successfully read putting lines on greens
Ability to hole short putts.
There is no doubt that we tend to 3 putt most when the putts are over 30 feet and it makes sense to conclude – good distance control is the most important of these four keys to improving your putting.
Think about it, your first putt on a green will either decrease or increase the chances of you three putting.
This is obvious and naturally you will feel an element of pressure as you make the putt. How successful you are will largely depend on how well you can lag the putt to the hole with a good degree of distance control. This assumes that, like most golfers, you have read the line well enough so that the ball won’t be more than 3 foot wide of the line of the putt. In addition your putter acceleration and deceleration were as you intended in terms of getting a good pace on the ball. On the whole we can make these assumptions, particularly on fairly flat greens but there are exceptions, like where the slope of the green plays a major part in causing you to 3 putt on fairly short putts.
Let me ask you one question. Are you familiar with the situation regarding downhill putts where you can be a bit too aggressive and the ball flies past the hole? The natural response to this is, don’t be as aggressive with your return putt. This is a wrong attitude to take. You are now faced with an uphill putt and the reverse of what led you to roll the ball past in the first place, so the lesson is don’t be timid on your second putt. The reason the ball rolled past the hole was the slope and this is still the main factor why you missed, this has not changed, except you are now putting up the slope. It may seem obvious but human nature often tries to trip us up if we’re not too careful, by subconsciously warning us not to be as aggressive with the second putt. Another exception is when a golfer is careless as they take aim with their long putts or they incorrectly read the green altogether. However, overall, distance control is usually the main culprit to three putting rather than accuracy.
Your total number of putts per round will generally reduce
over time far more from improving your distance control than any other factor.
Quite simply a lack of distance control means you will run the ball straight
pass the hole or leave it well short by more than 3 feet.
Drills To Stop 3 Putting
Generally, tour professionals average about one 3 putt per two rounds of golf, whereas the average amateur golfer will 3 putt three or four times per round. It can be quite incredible to watch the professional’s hole one putt after another with monotonous regularly. Without doubt this further enhances their positive mindset to continue to hole even more putts and in the process build a greater level of confidence in their game.
The following drills have been designed to equally increase
your confidence on the golf course. When used correctly they will remove the
nervousness and anxiety you can often feel over putts. You will no longer find
yourself hesitating over the ball but instead be confident of two putting at
the very least.
Drill #1. Imagine a 3 foot circle around the hole.
Practice putting long putts by visually increasing the size of the target by imagining a 3 foot circle around the hole. This helps minimize the stress of trying to hole the putt because your emphasis is now on the easier task of putting the ball within the circle. This reduction in anxiety and new found confidence of simply rolling the ball into a larger target has the direct result of significantly increasing your chances of sinking your second putt.
This same technique can be used on the practice green from a
distance of 30 feet from the hole. Once you have putted three balls into the
imaginary 3 foot circle, it’s recommended you pace off another 10 feet and
start the drill again……continuing to work your way up to 60 feet from the hole
on the practice green.
Drill #2. Place a club behind the hole.
This is another great drill for improving your distance
control. This is more rigorous than the first one because you are penalised for
leaving your putt short. Start by grabbing 5 tees and place the first one 15
feet from the hole, then place the remaining tees at intervals of a further 5
feet from the hole so as they are all in a line. On completion the fifth tee
should be 35 feet from the hole. Next place a golf club 3 feet behind the hole,
lying perpendicular to the line of tees.
Now take 3 golf balls and and putt from a point alongside
the tee nearest to the hole. The aim is to either hole the putt or have it
finish in front of the golf club as it runs past the hole. If any of your putts
stop short of the hole or hit the golf club behind the hole, you need to start
again with all 3 balls from the tee you were putting from. Once you have
successfully completed the drill from 15 feet you should putt 3 balls from the
tee placed 20 feet from the hole. Remember you can only move onto the next tee,
another 5 feet from the hole, when you have putted all 3 balls either in the
hole or within the 3 feet behind the hole.
Drill #3. Use the practice green fringe.
On a practice putting green take 3 golf balls and place a
tee 15 feet from the fringe. Now putt each ball so as each one stops on the
edge of the fringe. Follow this up with repeating the process but this time
keep your eyes shut whilst you make all 3 putts and don’t look up to see where
the ball has gone. This drill will help you control your distance. Now repeat
putting the 3 balls with your eyes open. You will get an enhanced feel for
distance using this drill. You should then continue this drill and move further
way from the fringe in intervals of 5 foot.
Drill #4. Practice long putts for pace and distance control.
Do you find it strange that, before we go out to play a round, most people out on the putting green are practicing 6 foot putts and shorter. Surely it makes more sense to concentrate on the 30 and 40 foot putts so as you have the pace and distance wired into your brain from the start. Therefore, it’s recommended your concentrate on the longer putts before you go out to play. Getting the feel for the speed of putts is vitally important to reducing the number of times you 3 putt. Further to this you can practice 50 foot putts with a friend where the closest wins the hole……this teaches you to relish long putts and not be afraid of them.
Drill #5. Develop a solid contact.
Use this drill to concentrate on your technique and develop a repeatable stroke. Start by taking 3 golf balls and stand 30 feet from the hole. For the first putt, try to hole it as you would normally and then for the next two don’t look up to see where the hole is. This will increase your feel. You will develop an awareness of how far your ball goes based on the length of your putting stroke.
The longer the putt the more important it is to make solid
contact in terms of getting the distance control right. A poorly struck long
putt will come up short and increases the pressure on yourself to hole the next
putt which more than likely will be more than 3 feet from the hole.
Drill #6. Improve your putting technique to stop 3 putting
You need to appreciate the personal nature of putting and
what feels natural to one person may not be for another. In fact putting well
will not even depend on your athletic build or fitness. Your own putting
success will be down to developing a consistent action.
Ask yourself is your poor technique causing you to putt badly. Do you change your setup from one putt to the next? Do you have a comfortable putting stance and also, do you tick all the boxes in terms of correct putting alignment where you make sure your shoulders and feet are parallel to your target line.
It is important to carefully determine whether you have all of the fundamentals correct. On the practice green it’s recommended you work on developing a consistent repeatable stroke. Learn to stroke the ball and not push it. Furthermore, develop a pre-shot routine that you can repeat even under the toughest of pressure.
One final tip on technique. Regardless of your grip (reverse overlap, cross handed or claw) you should concentrate on creating a pendulum motion where you keep your hands quiet in the swing. A good pointer is to check your hands at the end of your putt. Your left wrist (non-dominant) should stay straight, whilst your right wrist (dominant) should be bent. Be sure to correct your wrists if this is not the case.
Drill #7. Stop three putting by improving your short game.
Lastly, it’s true to say that, even when we are only 70 yards from the hole the majority of us will still leave the ball more than 20 feet from the hole and thereby putting ourselves into 3 putt territory.
It therefore stands to reason that, by improving your chipping and pitching, you will reduce the length of your putts and the number of times you 3 putt. Typically a high handicapper holes 75% of their 3 foot putts so, the closer you pitch, the more often you can be certain of getting within 3 feet of the hole with your first putt and then holing the second one.
I hope you found this article both informative and helpful. Most likely you won’t eliminate 3 putts completely but by reducing the number of times it happens, your scores will improve dramatically.
Practicing and developing any good golf stroke can be a
challenge and make you feel like you have to master numerous different tasks.
From getting the bend in your knees, to the angle of your clubface and the
position of your wrists…….there are dozens of tasks and movements that can
either make or break your golf stroke.
Putting is no different.
As you will see from the other pages and posts on my website, I try my best to reduce these complex movements into simple, understandable tips that can make a real difference to your putting game. It’s surprising how a few basic drills can help you train your body to do the right things naturally.
With that in mind, I’m going to share these 2 easy putting tips which are among my favourites. These tips are very simple exercises that can have a major impact on your putting. The first tip will help you finally fix a bad habit that afflicts many amateur golfers and most of them already know they have this problem. The second tip will help with your putting “angle of attack” and, again, simple and easy to practice.
So, let’s get started…
Tip #1: Keep Your Head Still – using a golf tee.
After you have missed yet another putt, it’s not very helpful when someone says “don’t move your head.”
Now, you should not move your head during a putting stroke and what they said was surely correct. The problem is, it’s a negative comment that complicates the issue by placing your focus on the error without following up and suggesting a specific solution. That’s why I want you to stop reminding yourself to “not move your head” and instead think positively of “keeping your head still”. Or, more specifically, keep your gaze on your golf ball’s position at setup.
Here is a simple drill to help you fight that instinct to move your head. All you need is a ball, a putter, and a single golf tee.
The Putting Tee Drill:
Take your setup position.
Hold a clean golf tee in your teeth with the end pointing down at your golf ball.
When you take your putt, keep the tee pointed at the original position of the ball until the ball is gone….
It’s as simple as that. Just by focusing on pointing that tee at one spot, you give yourself a new task that keeps your mind and your eyes from wandering toward the target. As a result, your head stays down, your position stays steady and you maintain control over your stroke.
Practice this drill regularly and soon you won’t have to remind yourself of the same old comment you’ve heard hundreds of times…….”don’t move your head”
Tip #2: Master the Perfect Angle Of Attack – using a Pen.
I am about to give you details of a little known tip that
you probably never heard of before now. If you are having problems with your
putting, this little-known tip might be just what you are looking for.
Whether you’re putting style is an “Arc” motion or a “pendulum” motion, you want an equal length and rhythm on both sides of the stroke as you pull back and follow through. You’ve probably heard a lot of advice regarding the length, rhythm, and shape of your putting stroke but, most probably, you have not heard about the “angle of attack”.
“Angle of attack” may be a familiar phrase to you in other aspects of this great game, but not when it comes to putting. Normally, when we talk about “angle of attack” we are talking about improving your driving. When you want to send your golf ball further down a nice, long fairway, you want to hit the ball on an upward motion…….then that upward arc is your “angle of attack”.
However, it may surprise you, that “angle of attack” is just
as important in putting. I like a slight upward arc through impact on a putt
but I don’t want to get into that detail just now because putting is a much
smaller motion, details like “angle of attack” can become complicated and difficult
to get a feel for.
Instead, I’m going to give you a drill that will help you master the ideal “angle of attack” for putting without forcing you to overthink it. All you need is a ball, a putter and a Pen.
The Pen Drill:
Place the Pen on the ground about 6-8 inches behind the golf ball, with the length of the Pen running parallel to your shoe line.
Practice making putts without hitting the Pen with your putter.
The instructions are simple, though it may take you a few
tries to get it right.
You may find that you keep hitting the Pen on the backstroke. This is an indication that you’re keeping the putter too low. That error will cause the ball to hop up and skid. Alternatively, you may have no trouble clearing the Pen on the backstroke, but then you hit it as you swing through. This is a clue that you’re creating a descending blow at impact and that’s not what you want.
Keep working this drill until you are creating an even
stroke that consistently clears the Pen in both directions. Once you accomplish
this, you will have changed the angle of your putter at impact. A better “angle
of attack” can significantly improve your putting and this drill can help you
do it without analysing your every motion.
With so many rules and technicalities to consider on every stroke, sometimes it seems like improving your putting game is nearly impossible. The key is to take it one step at a time and work with simple drills that help you get these adjustments into your body. That helps you to focus properly on the ball and get that ball into the hole.
The 2 easy putting tips and drills I’ve detailed above will help you keep your head down, master that “angle of attack” and get you on the road to being consistantly better at putting.
That’s it for today, hope you found this article helpful.
When you are aiming your putterat the desired target, it’s not unlike aiming and shooting a rifle while looking at the barrel from the side. It would be so much easier if we could putt like you would play croquet, lined up behind the golf ball and looking forward towards the target! Problem is, the rules of golf don’t allow that approach but there are some ways to align ourselves on the greens that do not break any golf rules. The following 7 tips to improve putting alignment will definitely help reduce the number of putts you make in any given round of golf and will be most beneficial to beginners and amateur golfers.
From my own experience over the years, I know just how difficult it is to align the putter and, you know what, it’s not just average golfers or beginners…..golfers at all levels have, at some stage, struggled to aim the putter exactly where they wanted.
So what chance does the average golfer have? Well, with the 7 tips to improve putting alignment I write about below, a much better chance than he or she does right now.
Touring professionals have spent years honing and ingraining repeatable strokes and it may not be best for them to change the way they are and have been putting. They’ve earned their stripes, so as long as they return the putter head to a position at impact that starts the ball on their intended line, where they initially aimed, anything else can be of little consequence as regards alignment.
On the other hand, amateurs and beginners should work hard to limit the amount of movement and manipulation in their putting strokes. This will give them the best possible chance to start the ball on their intended line.
So, let’s get started. Here are my 7 tips to improve putting alignment.
#1. Put A Line On Your Ball
This is an easy one to understand. Drawing a line on your ball and aiming it from behind, can help your putting alignment. As we mentioned before, it’s easier to aim from behind the rifle barrel than from beside it.
If, like me, you pay particular attention to putting when you watch golf on television, you’ll notice that a majority of top PGA Tour players use a line on their golf ball for this precise reason.
#2. Use A Putter With A Line
The more lines you have perpendicular to the bottom of the putter face, the easier it will be to line up the putter correctly. Some people have a preference for one line, while others prefer multiple lines.
Whatever you’re preference, there is absolutely no doubt that the majority of golfers will aim their putter better if it has a line on it.
#3. Use Other Clubs To Form Rail Tracks
Similar to practicing your long game, placing a few clubs on the ground will help you to
see what “square”, “open”, and “closed” looks like in relation to your alignment towards the desired target. Correct alignment is very important but perfect alignment is not mandatory.
Look at it this way, if you think you are lined up one way (say, opened), but you are actually lined up another way (say, closed), I can guarantee you are definitely heading for trouble.
#4. Examine Your Right-hand Grip
For whatever reason, I commonly see people’s right hand too much “on top” of the grip.
Remember, whenever your right hand is in opposition with your left hand, poor alignment will generally follow.
#5. Make Sure Your Shoulders Are Square
Use a club under your armpits, see picture in demonstration below, to see
where your shoulders are in relation to your feet and target line. Open or closed shoulders are issues
that are usually affected by your grip on the putter.
Be aware, that golfers with left-hand low grips tend to have closed shoulders while addressing a putt, while golfers who use the traditional, right-hand low putter grip, tend to have opened shoulders.
#6. Keep Checking Your Right Forearm
If your right forearm rides too high then you’ll have a problem of being too “open” to
your target during your setup. Make sure your right forearm is in line with the club shaft and your left forearm when setting up and addressing the ball. This will increase the odds of you aiming where you want to aim more consistently.
#7. Set Up While Looking At The Hole
When all else fails, just look at the hole, set your putter down, trust yourself and fire. You’ll be aligned better than you think…..
That’s it for now, keep checking in as this website is being updated regularly.