Lag Putting: How You Can Avoid 3 Putts

Dan Gold
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What is lag putting? Why is it important?

Lag putting is a practice you can use to putt your ball really close to one of the holes on the green. What you do is stand on your putter behind your bag, align your feet with the target and gradually try to build up checking distance.

The idea is that standing farther back can help you find the sweet spot on your putter more easily and also find the best path to the target with the fewest number of strokes possible.

If you don’t play golf, you may wonder why this is such a big deal. However, the main purpose of putting during a round of golf is to give your ball a smooth roll so that it can drop into the hole.

Putting includes the actual act of putting, which uses the putter, as well as the aim. The putter is the standard golf club given to players and colloquially used as a synonym for it.

With a common putter, the two primary abilities of putting is accuracy and length. The other factors are the putter’s feel, the putter’s weight and the balance. On the other hand, the aim accounts for speed and trajectory

The lag putting practice can help you gauge the length of the putt you are about to take.

How to do it?

Lag putting is one of the most proven techniques that golfers can use to speed up their play. To lag putting means to play a lag shot to putt from off the green.

For this purpose, you will need to curve the ball to the finish. It is then apt to be able to decrease the length of the shot by quite a few club lengths.

The technique for putting is exactly the same as you would putt from the fairway. If you know the basics of putting, you are already on your way to perfecting this technique.

First of all, you need to position the ball exactly where you want it. The set up with the ball positioned a little behind the hole, as you would in a putt from a normal green feels uncomfortable at first. Now take your time and aim at the hole. When you take your stance, point your toes at the target and align your hands and wrists. Then swing your club with gentle contact with the ball.

Using a smooth swing, keep your palms between the ball and the hole. Your stroke should be along the line of the ball at the time of impact and your follow through should send the ball over the hole.

Drills to Improve Your Lag Putting

If you're reading this article, it must already be a fact tha you're reading this article, it must already be a fact that you sometimes have trouble getting your lag putts in the hole. The left side of the hole is indeed a place you want to make sure to keep as clear as possible.

There are two main causes of difficulties that can lead to lag putting: first, one of the many hectic things of life is that sometimes it's easy to get distracted.

This leads you to constantly thinking about something else other than your putt.

The second cause is more obvious: if you don't master lag putting, you'll end up missing quite a lot of lag putts.

Here are some exercises that can get you a step closer to master lag putting.

Pendulum Drill

The reason we don’t rush to the putting green to practice lag putting every time we go golfing is that the skill can be developed at home.

Here’s the most important element to developing lag putting: you need a mirror.

Now you may be thinking, what good could a mirror possibly be on the putting green or in your home? Well, it’s not so much about looking at your face or your grimacing, but, oddly interms, it’s about your backswing.

The lag putting stroke can be broken down into 3 stages: backswing, downswing and follow through.

Perhaps you’ve heard that “the eyes and the hips lead the hands” in a golf swing. In the case of lag putting, that perfectly applies.

Before you even begin the backswing, look at the back of your shoulders in the mirror.

They’re going to visibly pump up as you pull your arms back. “That’s the lag,” I want to hear you say.

Closed Eyes Drill

To begin learning how to avoid 3 putting, I want you to take a few minutes and close your eyes. I will wait…
OK, open them back up and reread the above sentence. Sorry, that’s too much to ask. I understand!

OK, forget I ever said it.

It’s hard to take instruction. I get it…really, I do. But read the above sentence again.

What’s it saying? Your brain needs to be able to read what is ahead. For one, it’s the only way you’re going to be able to putt the golf ball that distance, but it enables you to take an inside approach to the ball.

The ability to do that is critical. Without it, you can’t play most courses.

The key is to take your head out of the sand and recognize what’s in front of you. Set up over the ball and visualize your entire down swing.

You do a fade. I know you do the fade. But what I require you to do is to visualize it. You’ve got this, I just know you do!


While there are some definite advantages to putting backhand, the most important thing to remember is that when it comes to putting in general, the old adage “practice makes perfect” really rings true.

One of the best ways to improve your putting (and your overall golf game) is to practice a lot. Take the time to study the green, decide on the gradations of speed, and practice your putting from different distances and places on the green to help you get a feel for the speed of the green from a different perspective.