You may have heard the term ‘lag putt’ used in the world of golf but as a beginner you be unsure as to what it means.
Basically, the term is used to describe a long putt. However, a lag putt is a putt which is at such a distance from the hole, the player does not expect to make the putt and if they do, it’s a bonus. Instead, the aim of a lag putt is to get the ball to stop as close to the hole as possible and leave a short, simple putt for a par.
To leave the ball close to the hole sounds simple enough but in practice it can be very difficult.
When attempting a lag putt, you will be at least 20 feet away from the hole. Any undulations and bumps on the green which are on the putting path will have an effect on the putt. This could easily take the ball off line and leave it far away from the hole.
Always try and get a read on the green by getting down behind the ball and looking for undulations. Try and imagine a line going out from your ball towards the hole and where that line will go as it travels towards the hole.
Choose a line you need to hit the ball to give it the best chance of avoiding major changes in direction as it travels towards the hole. Consider any uphill and downhill sections as this will change the pace you need to hit the ball.
The best way to practice a lag putt is by placing a ball 20 feet away from the hole on a practice green. Attempt 10 putts from the position and make a note of how many end up a few feet away from the hole, allowing you to comfortably make the second putt.
Also make a note of putts which have fallen outside a few feet of the hole. Were these putts short, long, to the left or right of the hole? Make some adjustments based on your results and try and get 8 of the 10 balls within a few feet of the hole.
Once you have achieved an 80% success rate, move back to 30 feet from the hole and do the same thing. Always use your putting routine before each putt and use the guidelines above to work out the best path to the hole and the speed required on the putt.
Once you have achieved 80% at 30 feet you can move 40 feet away from the hole and then 50 feet away from the hole.
It may not be the most exciting way to spend your practice time but if you can consistently get down in two from 40 feet, you will be very happy.