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Question on Putting:

What is the best way to work on lag putting?
--Brett W. from Smithton, IL

Thanks for the question Brett!

Other than the obvious answer of putting in time and practice, the key to getting better at lag putting lies in practicing the "right" way. What I mean by the right way is that your practice should be spent improving your touch, your ability to read the green correctly and your focus.

While technique is important and you always want to work on a good path, square face and hitting the ball in the center, lag putting provides you a little cheating room. I believe you should try to make every putt you look at, but remember with lag putting our goal is to leave a tap in IF we don't make it. So you can get away without being perfect and a slightly off center hit or path error may not be that noticeable.

I'm a big believer in spending ample time perfecting your technique but I recommend working on it with short putts. For better lag putts the first step you should take if you haven't already is establish a solid pre-shot routine. Make sure to properly assess the situation by looking at all the high points and low points around the hole and the green as you approach the putting surface. Also make sure to not only look at the putt from behind the ball, but also walk around the putt and look at it from the rear side. As you walk be sure to look for imperfections in the green and feel the slope changes under your feet.

Once you have a solid pre-shot routine and are an expert at reading the green it's time to then spend a good amount of your practice time on the putting green. I would refer you to our instruction section on this site to practice drills listed under putting such as the Step Drill, Flag Stick Drill and Close Your Eyes For Feel. There are several good drills you can work with to challenge yourself and improve your feel. Our putting DVD Putting Perfection spends a good deal of time covering the read and controlling your speed. PGA Tour Player Jay Delsing shares some of the tips he's learned on tour to improve his game on the green so you might want to check that out as well.

Let me know if you have any other questions and best of luck improving your putting!

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