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Lag putting drills and practice (and LAB Golf tips)


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Hi all,

Weirdly this seemed to be a bit of an under-served area from my searches on the forum (cue someone linking five threads about this in replies...) so I thought I would write up a few of the putting drills I've started using to try to eliminate three putts and up my lagging game. I've just started using a LAB Golf Mezz 1 and my lag putting is taking a while to get dialled for me. I'll drop in a few LAB specific comments below too. On to my learnings/drills.

Tempo

This was a real eye opener for me. Once I started practicing with the Tour Tempo app (metronome would work here too), I saw an almost immediate improvement in my stroke consistency and lag distance control. Maybe some folks have naturally good putter tempo, but this worked for me way better than anything else.

Equipment/Indoor vs Outdoor

Not much needed here other than balls, tees, and potentially an alignment stick or 6ft diameter circle (you can also just place a club 3ft behind your target). I have found that outdoor practice is the only real approach that works for me for lag putting, as you really need to be going 20ft+ and also shifting more than 10ft of distance at a time to practice different feels.

Target

It's up to you but some folks feel like it's bad form to putt to a hole if you're not holing it (Rotella et al). Personally I prefer putting to a hole as it then gives me the option to putt out all of my second putts. Alternatively you can do any of these drills to a tee or to the fringe.

Distance

It's worth measuring out how many paces is roughly 10ft for you - then you can pace out any distance you want on the practice green. Walk this off once at the start of practice and stick some tees in the ground and you're all set.

 

Session approach:

A typical practice session for me is now warm up (putt to nowhere for a few putts to get a "feel" for the green and how you're rolling it), block drills, random drills, "go home pressure drill".

I'll detail the others below, but the go home pressure drill is literally that - pick a drill and some "success criteria" for the day. It could be lag 3x balls inside 3ft in a row, it could be complete 3 holes of lag putting with no more than two putts - but it's important that if you don't complete it you restart and keep playing until you finish.

Block drills

All of these are somewhat similar, but can be intermingled to keep things from getting stale. The key here is more that either there is a linear distance progression, or one ball is being hit from a given distance.

Ladder - Place tees at 10, 15, 20, 30, 40 feet. Lag one ball from each station to within 3ft of the target. Variation - if you're finding a certain distance hard, play 3x balls from that station.

Leapfrog progression - Start from 20+ft away and putt your first ball to 10ft from the target. Hit your second ball slightly past the first, third ball slightly past that one, until you have no more space between 10ft marker and the target. If you leave one short, restart the drill.

Distance control - Putt 3x balls from 15, 20, 30, 40 feet (complete each distance before moving back). Variation - Start furthest away and move closer - try to hole the 15ft putt or leave a tap in.

High side/Low side drill - Video - Pick a put that breaks and putt three putts from a distance - miss intentionally high, low, then aim for the hole on your final attempt. Try this from different distances and note how your touch improves as the game progresses.

Hopscotch - Set three balls at two different distances at least 10ft apart - for example 15ft and 40ft. Putt one ball from one distance, then switch to the other distance, continue until you've hit all six balls. Repeat with different distance combinations - 10/30, 15/30, 20/40. Variation - Restart the drill if any putt is further than 3ft from the hole.

Random drills

Hopscotch Extreme - Place one ball each at 10ft, 15ft, 20ft, 30ft, 40ft. Create a "progression" where you are constantly leaping near/far to the hole, or bracketing your distances. Examples of this would be - 15/30/10/20/40 or 40/10/30/15/20. Variation - Restart the drill if you miss any putt by more than 3ft.

Two Putt Chuck - Take three balls and putt to three different distances/hole locations - all first putts must be >20ft and more than 10ft distance between each putt and you must hole out every second putt. Variation - Restart the drill if you three putt.

Around the World - The same as Two Putt Chuck but try to pick wildly varying distances and breaks around the practice green. This is usually how I will end my sessions. I'll often find I've become very ingrained to the speed/break of where my distance stations were located, and will be leaving my first few attempts short or long. Variation - Set a target number of two putts you must complete in a row. Depending on time/how you're putting this could be 3x two putts or it could be 5+. 

Hard Mode - You can create a version of all of the above drills where you restart if any ball is short of the hole. I will often place my alignment stick 2ft rather than 3ft behind the hole and restart if a ball hits it/goes over it.

Scoring - Personally I don't find fake scoring very motivating and prefer the "restart the drill" penalty, but if you like scoring you can give yourself points for each putting outcome - 1 point for short inside 3ft, 2 points for long inside 3ft, 3 points for holed, -2 points for shorter/longer than 3ft. This can help you quantify improvement
 

LAB Golf putter specific tips

  • Ball location - Play around, but further forward (opposite left toe) seems to be key
  • Thumbs off drill - Try putting thumbs off to get the right feeling of pendulum/reduce the likelihood of steering putts. Some putt like this all the time, not just in practice
  • Tempo - This has been particularly important for me compared to other putters I have used. If my tempo is off, I'll leave a lot of putts short/hammer them long.

Other helpful videos

Hopefully this will save folks some time as I had to do a lot of searching to find good lag drills that went beyond skin deep. And here's a putter picture to offset all the text!

IMG_1611.jpg.90917198c8a6a03c9fbd3057bee4d55e.jpg

Ping G430 Max 10K (10.5º) Review Post - Ping G425 Max 3W (14.5º) - Ping G425 Max 5W (18.5º)  - Ping G425 Max 4 Hybrid - Ping i230 5-UW - RTX6 54º and 58º - LAB Golf DF3

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I'll throw out a drill that really helped me to develop feel with the putter.

 

Short, in, long.  I set out four tees in a box 3 feet by 3 feet, or 2 feet by 2 feet on shorter putts.  I will put to a target at the front of the box.  I use either a ball marker or a fake hole--a round, rubber jar opener tossed on the green.  Putt from various distances to the hole.  Key:  Don't watch the ball. Call out before the ball stops whether it will stop short, long, or in the box.  Can also be done with eyes closed.   

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@Rearviewmirror - lotta really good stuff in your post, thx!!

I kinda sorta do some of those drills but could always benefit from being more diligent / structured about setting up drills .. especially some of those varying length lag drills.

Also gonna work on that Hi-Lo for downhill breakers .. good one!

And FYI for anyone looking for even more great putting drills and practice plans - check out...

20231231_204804.jpg.1f3a7fa0d389cb605e3833cad237ac62.jpg

(.. available on Amazon)

Back story: attended an AimPoint clinic a few years ago and the instructor mentioned this book - then called the author right then and there! Turns out they've been friends for years and he even put me on the phone with Juan - who didn't have to give me the time of day but genuinely wanted to know how I liked the clinic, what I got out of it and (of course) how I planned to practice .. and gave me a few quick tips 👍

WITB of an "aspiring"  😉 play-ah ...
Driver...Callaway Paradym (Aldila Ascent PL Blue 40/A)
3H .. Cobra King Tec (MMT 70/R)
7W...Tour Edge Exotics EXS (Tensei CK Blue 50/R)

4H...Callaway Epic Super Hybrid (Recoil ZT9 F3)
5H...Callaway Big Bertha ('19) (Recoil 460 ESX F3)
6i-GW...Sub 70 699 V2 (Recoil 660 F3) 
54°, 60°...Cleveland CBX2, CBX (Rotex graphite)
Putter...Ev
nRoll ER5 or MLA Tour XDream (P2 Reflex grips)
...all in a Datrek bag on an MGI Zip Navigator electric cart. Ball often, not always, MaxFli Tour.

Forum Member tester for the Paradym X driver (2023)
Forum Member tester for the ExPutt Putting Simulator (2020)

followthrough.jpg

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