Want to learn to putt like a pro? It sounds intimidating but like anything, it just takes practice. Depending on your skill level, long putts can be tricky, you can always try for one putt but often it’s best taken in two or three putts. Consider working on your lag putting, because it can be a terrific way to get a longer putt in and help your golf game. Here are some tips, used by the pros, for lag putting, with the goal of getting your ball as close as possible.
  • If it seems too long, it probably is. Although it would be nice to get this shot in one putt, you might be setting yourself up for failure and frustration. If the putt seems too long, plan to take two putts. By planning and analyzing the shot correctly, you could save your score from a long putt gone wrong.
  • The goal for a lag putt that seems too long is to get it within a 6-foot diameter of the hole. Instead of aiming for the tiny hole, imagine that a radius of 6 feet around the hole is what you’re aiming for. If you can make it within this radius, you’re setting yourself up for an easier final putt.
  • Take the shot like more of a chip. If you take the shot as a stroke, you most likely won’t get the ball close enough. If you chip putt, you’re likely to get it closer, as chipping it gives it the extra push the golf ball needs.
  • Work on your stance. If you stand taller for this shot and get closer to the ball you’re more likely to hit your goal area. If it’s a longer putt, you want to avoid the typical crouched position you use for normal putting.
  • You can never practice enough. If you spend 15 minutes on the putting green, you can spend time working on your lag putts and see which stance and approach are right for you. Practice common putting distances and then try your longer ones. Try hitting three balls from different distances in a row and see how different it feels. See how your stance changes and practice getting the balls within 6 feet of the hole.
  • Find the toughest putt you can find and practice some more. Practice in diverse ways to find what works best for you. It not only helps you find the technique you need for shorter and longer putts, but it will help you with your confidence when it comes to putting different lengths during your game.
Any putt is doable with a little practice. If you’re only comfortable with shorter putts, try taking some longer ones for the practice. Once you build up the confidence on longer putts your game will improve, and if you continue to practice and set reasonable goals for playing longer putts, you’ll no longer dread them while playing a game of golf with friends. Practice makes perfect, it really does!
August 10, 2018 — Natalie Montoya

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