How to properly judge and hit a long lag putt.
I am Ulrika Smith, LPGA Professional at Plantation Bay Golf & Country Club in Ormond Beach, Florida.
Today we’re going to talk about some long lag putts and some important aspects of how we can save a few strokes around the course and how to get closer to the hole. A few things that I look at when it comes to long lag putts, it’s not necessary to pick a perfect line every time.
With long lag putts, it’s more important to have really good speed. This part that we’re facing right here is about 40 feet. And we have a pretty severe slope from the left to the right. Now, I would approach a spot like this. I would actually walk the entire length of the green to get a sense to feel it in my feet, as well as to sense am I walking up pillar downhill?
Am I feeling some weight on my right side, on my left side to determine if I had some slope? And then after I have assessed that it’s more about a catch and shoot feel. So for me hitting long lag putts is almost like shooting a basketball, with more of a focus on the target and ultimately the speed. So, I’m going to go ahead and show you how I would approach this long lag putt.
Just standing down in this corner I’m sensing already that I’m going to have to play a significant amount of break for this long lag putt. Now, the faster the greens speed is you want to make sure that you allow for a little extra break in this long lag putt because as soon as the ball travels on the low side, it tends to move away from the flagstick and that will result in very long return putts.
So, play more break. I’m going to walk the putt so already I’m noticing I’m walking up the hill If I stood here in one spot, I might sense that I have a little more pressure on my right side, which would mean that this long lag putt would tend to move towards the right. I’m approaching a pretty severe area here where there’s a lot of up-the-hill action going and as we get to the hole, it flattens out a little bit.
So, this gives me a good scope for how my ball is going to travel across the surface, and now it’s a matter of how I’m going to hit this long lag putt and try to get the ball hopefully in the hole. But at the very least, as close as I could If you want to take practice strokes, that’s fine. For those of you that just want to look at the target and go, that is also perfectly fine.
So, for this long lag putt, I’m going to play about five feet of break. Here’s what I’m anticipating, and we’ll give it a roll and maybe get lucky on the first one. We got about a two-footer, and it traveled up the slope and took the curve I would be very happy with that one.
Trying rolling a few more of these long lag putts. Again, looking at where do I anticipate the break to happen? How much speed do I need to apply.
So, we got a couple of pretty good return putts there. So, the more you can think about the pace of a long lag putt, and play more break I promise you it’ll save you a few strokes down the line.
Ulrika Ljungman-Smith is a Member of The LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) Division.
Ulrika is located at Plantation Bay Golf & Country Club in Ormond Beach, FL.