The Secret To Lag Putting
Anne Cain, LPGA, GSEB
Nobody likes to 3-putt, yet it plagues golfers of all skill levels especially on putts over 30 feet. Getting the ball to nestle up close to the hole on a long putt is more difficult than you realize. In fact, on the PGA TOUR, players start taking more than 2 strokes to hole the putt from 33 feet!
The most important skill in putting is speed control. Yet most people have no idea how to practice this! Speed control is achieved by having a consistent stroke tempo so the acceleration of the putter does not change from one putt to the next.
We have learned over the last several years that Tour players have a very consistent stroke tempo and that is why they are excellent putters. The backstroke and the forward stroke take the SAME amount of time for every putt of every length: .60 seconds. If you think of the stroke as a pendulum swing, then the total time for the swing would be 1.2 seconds. This tempo would equate to 100 beats per minute on a metronome. You can find a free Metronome App on Apple’s App Store.
Here is a drill to help you learn a more reliable stroke tempo:
- Get a metronome and set the tempo to 95-100 beats per minute
- Start with a 20-foot putt and place tees on the ground to measure the length of the backstroke (roughly 12 inches behind the ball) and the length of the forward stroke (12 inches in front of the ball)
- Calibrate your putting stroke to the beats on the metronome by counting 1-2-3 with each beat:
- Start the backstroke on beat 1
- End the backstroke on beat 2
- Finish the follow through on beat 3
- Progress to 30 feet with the backstroke and follow through length being roughly 14 inches
- Progress to 40 feet with the backstroke and follow through length being roughly 16 inches
Once you calibrate your stroke tempo you will automatically start to match the length of the stoke necessary for the length of the putt. Shorter putts will have a smaller pendulum swing, and longer putts with have a longer swing. However, the tempo stays the same for all!
Anne Cain is a Master Instructor at the PGA TOUR Academy at World Golf Village. She has over 20 years of teaching experience with all skill levels. Anne is an LPGA Teacher of the Year and has received Top Teacher accolades from GOLF Magazine and GOLF Digest. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.