By Doug Hammer, Golf Contributor - Archive - Email
5 Steps to a better short game - #2 Lag Putting
Steps to a better short game - #2 lag putting
Boulders, AZ (Sports Network) -- Once you have taken steps to improve your short putting, lag putting can become much easier. Tiger Woods was interviewed several years ago about his putting practice. He mentioned that most of his putting practice occurs from 6 feet or less. When asked why, he responded "if I can make every 6 footer for the rest of my career, I like my chances of getting any long putt inside of 6 feet".

This is a great attitude to have. Just get the ball inside 6 feet. Most of us put too much pressure on ourselves to get the ball to "tap in" range so that we don?t 3 putt. In fact, when I work on lag putting, I don?t even use a hole to gauge my speed. I am always putting to an area.

The first thing to understand however, is what exactly is good distance control. All too often I see players trying to control how hard the hit the ball on the green. It is not a matter of hitting the ball harder or softer, but simply of matter of making a longer or shorter stroke depending on distance and speed of greens.

A truly good putting stroke is a pendulum motion, meaning the ball is struck at the low point of the pendulum and equal amount of speed and distance on either side of impact. So in other words, no matter how long or short your putt is, you are always swinging the pendulum at the same rate. For a longer putt, simply make a longer backswing and follow through. For a shorter putt, shorten the pendulum. But do not try to hit it softer or harder, you will not be consistent with this.

Once you have practiced the stroke, try this simple drill to improve your distance control:

Grab a golf towel off your bag or borrow one from a friend.

Lag Putting
Practicing your putting
  • Place the towel flat on the green
  • Find the uphill side and the downhill side and step off 15 feet in both directions (5 paces should do it)
  • Place at tee 15 feet uphill and downhill from the towel
  • Using 3 golf balls from each tee, try to stop 3 consecutive putts on the towel.
  • The drill is completed when you stop 3 consecutive putts from both uphill and downhill on the towel
  • To add difficulty, place the tees farther from the towel and switch to a smaller hand towel for a target.

    Good luck with your distance control and get those long putts inside of 6 feet!

    Doug Hammer * Director of Instruction * Troon North Golf Club
    p 480-585-5300 ext. 251 * f 480-585-5161
    10320 E Dynamite Blvd. * Scottsdale, AZ 85262 Managed by Troon Golf
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