Putting Speed Control Drills

Think about it, in your opinion, what’s the most important thing in successful putting – speed or break?

Well, being great a both would be fantastic of course, but the majority of all great putters say that speed is the most important of the two.

If your putting speed is right, then there’s always a chance the ball will drop into the hole and, with good speed control, you should benefit from having a very manageable second putt – if the first one doesn’t drop. On the other hand, if your speed if off, you’ll be leaving it short — and balls left short never go in the hole (this is the truth!) — or you risk running the ball way past the hole.

Another way to emphasise the point – more bad things can happen if you can’t control your speed on the greens. Fewer bad things can happen when you improve your speed control.

Below are some examples of putting speed control drills that will help you improve your feel for speed on the putting green.

String It Out – Lag Putting Drill

The basics drills are as follows:

  • Cut multiple pieces of string, each piece about three feet long.
  • Lay the string out on a putting green, evenly spaced, each string about three feet apart, across your chosen putting line.
  • Start about 10 feet behind the first string…..now putt a ball and try to roll it just over the first string. Now putt a second ball and try to roll it just over the second string and so on. When you reach the last string, start working your way back to the first string.

Once you become good at stopping balls in-between the string, start varying the distances – put to the first string, then the fifth, then the third, then the last, and so on, varying your distances.

This drill not only takes your mind off the line, it also takes your mind off a target and allows you to focus on speed and feel.

5-Ball Mix-It Drill

This speed and distance putting drill is similar to the string drill above, except that in this one we are putting at a hole.

  • Drop balls at 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 feet from a cup.
  • Now start from 10 feet and putt to the hole, making sure that if you don’t sink the putt, you leave the ball no more than three feet from the hole.
  • Now go back to 50 feet and do the same. Then continue from each distance, but don’t go in order – mix up the distances, from 10 to 50 to 30 to 40 to 20 to 40 to 10 to 30 and so on, in random order.

The goal is to leave yourself no more than three feet from the cup with all your misses. Great distance control equals great lag putting, which means no 3-putts.

Close Your Eyes to Improve Putting Feel

This unusual drill is also recommended by various instructors and the basics are as follows:

  • Place three balls, each at distances of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 feet from your target, then putt toward a hole, a tee marker in the ground, the fringe of the green, a coin or anything you wish to use.
  • At each three ball location, putt the first ball as you normally would…..but for the second and third balls at each location, set up with your eyes open but then close your eyes just before making the stroke.

This drill will help improve your feel on the greens.

2-Putt Speed Control Drill

When golfers talk about lag putting, we mean that while we hope to make every putt we also want to make sure that if we miss we are left with a short, easy putt. Good lag putting means never 3-putting. This drill forces you to control your speed in order to guarantee a 2-putt.

  • Set up 30 feet from the hole.
  • Putt five balls at a time. Then walk to the cup and knock the balls in.
  • Make 50 consecutive 2-putts. If you 3-putt, start over again.

This drill not only teaches lag putting, it also gets you into pressure situations. Imagine making 48 2-putts in a row…….putts 49 and 50 are really going to test your nerves.

Don’t be too hard on yourself, if you have too much trouble making 50 2-putts in a row from 30 feet, then start from a shorter distance. Try from 20 feet first and then move out to 30 when you are comfortable 2-putting from 20 feet.

Fringe Drill

A good drill, just using the fringe of the green.

  • Get five balls and drop them 10 feet from the edge of the green.
  • Putt toward the fringe – don’t worry about putting at a hole, just focus on speed and feel. Try to get each ball to roll about one foot onto the fringe without leaving any short and without running any beyond the fringe into the rough.
  • Back up to 20 feet and repeat, then repeat again at 30 and 40 feet….

That’s it for now, putting speed control drills will definitely improve your putting and your scores, so get to it and see for yourself.

There are lots of other pages and posts that will be of interest, especially 10 Putting Tips and Golf Putting Skills Improvement, all containing great tips that will help with your game.

Cheers for now,


Better Lag Putting to Improve your Golf Scores

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 “lagging,” respectively.

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 the hole.
  • 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.

Check out Golf Putting Skills Improvement and How To Improve Your Putting Aim for more great information.

Cheers for now.