You have 30 minutes till your tee time. You end up spending 28 of them on the driving range, then head to the practice green, and clumsily make a few putts. “I’m good,” you think, and make your way to the tee. Much to your surprise you shank it only 3 feet from the green, adding an extra 4 strokes to your score.
While this scenario sounds a bit dramatic, it happens far too often. Most of us spend excessive amounts of time perfecting our drives and not nearly enough time putting. Lag putting drills are especially key, seeing as they will teach you to propel the ball nice and close to the hole so that you can sink it in your next putt without any unnecessary rigmarole.
Don’t get so cocky that you humiliate yourself by missing putts. Putting is ultimately what will help you outscore your competitors, so it’s key that you spend ample time practicing. Below we have a list of awesome lag putting drills to help you stay on top of the green.
Read the Green
When it comes to lag puts, it’s important that you can see the green. If it’s slanted right, aim left. If the ground or the wind makes the ball seem like it’s going to pick up speed, be soft on it. This kind of sense comes best with simple time and practice.
The better you are at reading the green, the more confident you should be in your putting game. It also helps you avoid those 3 putt nightmares.
Optimize Your Putting Grips: Which Grip is Right for Me?
Putting is no different from any other aspect of the game: there’s no one size fits all solution. Do you feel tense? Switch it up and see if another grip feels more relaxed. Does your stance feel awkward? Find a grip that feels more natural. Experiment with a few different grips and stick with the one that is right for you.
If you’re struggling to know which grip best fits you and how you can dramatically up your golf skill, our golf analytics tool is used by many of the best golfers in the world. We would love to show you around if you want to send us a note.
The reverse overlap is probably the most common putting grip among PGA Golfers. This grip is performed by placing the right hand at the bottom of the putter, the left hand on top, the middle ring and pinky fingers wrapping around the back of the shaft, and the index finger over the right hand. This grip helps to keep your hands study, and mitigates clubface rotation error during your put.
Left Hand Low
The left hand low technique has been advocated by many clutch putters including champion Jack Nicklaus. It is done by placing the right hand above the left. This grip will help many right hand flickers to relax for a smoother putt as the left hand works to keep the club steady through the backswing and follow through.
Standard Golf Grip
No need to get fancy. You can always go for the standard golf grip. The standard golf grip consists of 3 common grips: the interlocking grip, the overlapping grip, and the 10 finger grip. We recently wrote an article all about the 10 finger golf grip here.
The Best Lag Putting Drills
Pro Tip: While these drills are intended for distance lag putts, warm up with some short 3 footers. If you can’t putt short, you won’t be able to putt long.
#1: Ladder Putts Within 3-Foot Radius
-If you aim for the hole, the chances you overshoot are high. Aim to be within 3 feet of the hole.
-Measure putts from 30, 45, and 60 feet (a club length is about 3 feet)
-Mark 5-10 areas to make 3 feet wide sections
-Choose a few different attack angles
-Place an even number of balls at each angle
-At each distance, try and hit all the balls into the circle
-Track your progress, repeat
This drill is meant to engrain two putt lags into your muscle memory and help you stay consistent on long distance putts.
-Measure putts form 30, 45, and 60 feet
-Start at 30 feet. Start your lag putt. Follow up with a second putt to finish the hole. That’s a rep
-3 reps at each distance makes for 9 reps total
-Move on to the next distance
-After each distance you’ll have done 9 reps
#3: 4 Tees Around a Hole
-Place 4 tees at an even distance from the hole
-Group 10 balls in pairs of two from 5, 15, 30, 45, and 60 feet
-Vary the angles
-Hit the first ball into the box
-Hit the next ball into the box, but hit it further than the last
-No ball should leave the box
-If you putt doesn’t pass the previous ball, or exits the box, start over
-Repeat until you’ve finished
This drill forces you to hit varying distances in rapid succession. It can help you identify the changes needed in your stroke to account for putt distance.
-Place a tee on the green
-Place 3 other tee’s 5, 10, and 15 paces away from the starting point
-Take 3 balls to hit
-Hit the first one to the farthest tee, noting distance
-The second to the middle tee
-And the third to the closest tee
-Hit the balls back to the starting point beginning with the closest tee
-Repeat until you can roll all 6 the correct distance
#5: Place a Tee Every 3 Feet
This drill is simple but highly effective. It teaches you to optimize for distance control beyond 20 feet, and focus on lining up closer to the hole. After completing this drill you should 1) have improved your lag putting, 2) Know that you’re a good putter (if you can’t hit a 3 foot putt you’ve got work to do) 3) Feel confident that you can make a two shot putt
-Putt a tee in the ground every 3 feet from the hole all the way to the fringe
-Putt from the first tee to the hole
-Continue to put from each tee, moving towards the fringe
-Make as many as you can
-Repeat and improve
No matter who you are, good putting takes good practice. Whether you struggle with putter face alignment, bad contact, ball position, or reading greens, these drills can help you improve your lag putts and leave you confident that you finish in 2 strokes or less.