Im­prove Your Lag Putting

Golf Today Northwest - - Contents - By KATHY GILDERSLEEVE-JENSEN, PGA

Ev­ery­one can im­prove their longer putts to more ac­cu­rately reach their tar­get. This is called ‘Lag Putting’. Any putt you make that is out­side your com­fort zone, to make it into the hole in one shot is con­sid­ered a long putt. If you ex­e­cute a long putt, the ob­jec­tive is not nec­es­sar­ily to make it, be­cause most of the time the odds are small. Some­times the golf ball will go in the hole, which is usu­ally a big sur­prise. But, more than likely, the ob­jec­tive of long putts is to snug­gle the golf ball as close to the tar­get on the first try as pos­si­ble so the next putt falls in­side your putting com­fort zone. The main ob­jec­tive is to avoid the dreaded three putts. Im­prov­ing your lag putting skills is a ter­rific way to lower your golf score. Un­der­stand­ing the speed of the greens as well as your dis­tance cal­cu­la­tions ac­cord­ing to your putting and gen­eral aim­ing ap­proach can re­sult in shav­ing off strokes from your score, which is why you should work on your lag putting. Here are a few things to think about when be­gin­ning a lag putting

prac­tice.

DIS­TANCE CON­TROL:

Aim­ing is not nec­es­sar­ily a pri­or­ity at this point when think­ing about dis­tance. Don’t get me wrong, aim­ing is im­por­tant. But all too of­ten I see peo­ple make aim­ing the key pri­or­ity, while for­get­ting about how far to putt the golf ball. In lag putting, dis­tance should take prece­dent in the thought process, and then aim­ing should be their sec­ond pri­or­ity. It doesn’t mat­ter if you are left, right, long, or short of your tar­get, sim­ply get­ting the golf ball as close as you can to your tar­get is the goal. Af­ter reach­ing your des­ti­na­tion with the lag putt, the sec­ond putt should be much eas­ier. And here, aim­ing is the most im­por­tant pri­or­ity for your sec­ond putt or shorter putts.

DIS­TANCE CON­TROL DRILL: TOSS­ING

When ap­proach­ing the prac­tice putting green, take three golf balls in your dom­i­nate hand and toss each golf ball, un­der­handed and one at a time, to a tar­get from off the prac­tice putting green. When toss­ing the first golf ball, ob­serve the out­come. Did the golf ball go too far or not far enough? This in­for­ma­tion is vi­tal for judg­ing the green’s speed. For your sec­ond at­tempt, ad­just your ap­proach by us­ing the in­for­ma­tion gained

from the first one and ask your­self how big of a back­swing and fol­low-through did you make with your arm. Most likely, your arm swung a shorter dis­tance back and a longer dis­tance for­ward. As you do this a third time, work to im­prove your toss to get the golf ball as close to the tar­get as you can.

DIS­TANCE CON­TROL DRILL: PUTT THREE GOLF BALLS

This drill will give you a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of your own dis­tance cal­cu­la­tions. On the prac­tice putting green take three golf balls and make three dif­fer­ent size putts. Do NOT aim at a tar­get. Make the first putt short in length, the sec­ond putt medium in length, and the third putt long in length. These lengths are your cus­tom­ized putting lengths. Note here that ev­ery­one has dif­fer­ent in­ter­pre­ta­tions of their own dis­tances. This in­for­ma­tion will help you judge your dis­tances and match the type of golf stroke needed to travel a small, medium, and long dis­tance. Hope­fully these drills will help you to avoid er­rors on the long putts. Most am­a­teurs seem to leave their long putts too short. Re­mem­ber; speed is the most im­por­tant el­e­ment in lag putting, fol­lowed then by aim. Take a lit­tle more time to un­der­stand long putts and it will make your next putt a whole lot eas­ier to make. This process should help in low­er­ing your golf score and in­creas­ing your con­fi­dence for bet­ter Golf Re­sults Now.

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