Become a Better Lag Putter

There are a few areas that high handicap or beginner golfers should focus on to most quickly improve their game. Hitting the ball in the fairway off the tee might be the first and most important. Improving your pitching and chipping around the green is another one.

Today, we will be discussing an equally important area of focus for high-handicap golfers which is eliminating three putts. Of course while the goal is to eliminate three putts, no one ever does, but the point is to drastically reduce the number that you have. While hitting a ball out of play off the tee can derail your hole before it starts, nothing is more deflating than hitting a green in regulation only to three putt for a bogey. Worse yet is to three putt after struggling from tee to green and ending up with a blow-up hole. The ability to putt well can make up for earlier mistakes on a hole but there is nothing to cover up for bad putting.

The most important skill to develop when working towards eliminating three putts is effective lag putting. Lag putting is not trying to make the putt but instead getting it close enough to insure that you can make the second putt. So we’re talking about getting within a few feet of the hole. The chances of a high handicap golfer making a putt outside of 10 feet are low, while their chances of making one outside of 15 feet drop down to almost nothing. You obviously will make a long putt now and then but outside of 10-15 feet you are much better off to concentrate on getting the ball within a couple feet of the hole instead of trying to make it.

Quite possibly the biggest difference between the putting of a professional golfer and that of an amateur is the amount of feel that a professional golfer uses in putting. Many high handicap golfers have a very mechanical putting swing. While it’s very important to have proper mechanics while putting, there is a great deal of feel required in putting especially for distance control.

Check out the video below from Charlie King. He provides three great drills to develop your feel for lag putting.

There is another, just an important, skill required to be a successful lag putter. You need to be able to make short putts! A successful lag putt to within two to three feet of the hole is wasted if you don’t make the putt. The best way to make more short putts is too practice making more short putts! Check out this next video from short game guru Dave Pelz with tips for if you continue to miss short putts.

Change your practice routine if yours currently consists of putting a few 10 to 15 footers before your round. Dedicate regular practice time for working on your lag putting and you can drastically reduce the number of times you three putt.

Leave a Reply