I do not intentionally lag putt often. I believe that trying to sink every putt is important to my game because it keeps me aggressive. It is this continue effort to push my limits that helps me to shoot low golf scores. There are risks of course, but with no risk is very little reward. Having said this, I recently read an article that eluded that lag putting is an important skill that all players should master. After some thought, I would have to agree with the article.
Just so there is no confusion, a lag putt is defined in the article called: Explaining the Lag Putt in Golf a longer putt a player has low confidence of sinking so getting it close is very important. After reading the article, I would expand the definition to eliminate the distance and add degree of difficulty. Some downhill sliders are more challenging that a 20 foot flat straight putt. So, distance is a red-herring to me.
If you are wondering, here is how often most players lag putt in 18 holes:
I actually thought that the numbers were quite high and a the greatest percentage would have been in answer B. But it seems that players are less aggressive than I thought. Personally, I am in answer A. I understand the importance of lag putting, but only use it if the degree of difficulty of the putt exceeds my comfort zone and this is rare.
We established that lag putting is a skill that to be learned by all golfers. Hitting ball close does rely on line to a degree, however I believe the most important factor in lag putting is speed. Knowing how to the proper distance, even if the line is off a bit, will leave the player with a short putt, thus avoiding the dreaded 3-putt.
My above observation does contradict my previous article where a very good video demonstrated that line is more critical when putting. However, one of the respondents then suggested that line is critical on shorter putts and speed on longer putts. For this I must agree, but also add (again) distance is not as important as the degree of difficulty of the shot. Any way we slice it, lag putting is still an important skill to learn.
I think back to playing in a military national golf competition at Shilo, Manitoba, where I putted off the greens 7 times over the 54 holes. I was not as cognizant on when to be aggressive and when to play safe as I am now (education and knowledge is the silver bullet to success). I sure could have used a few lag putts at that time by controlling my speed better.
I plan to work on my lag putting over the summer by honing my ability to control my speed. I think this will save me a stroke or two during a round and hence help lower my golf scores. Now if the snow would go away so I could get out on the grass, that would be awesome! 🙂
Do you lag putt often? What is more important to you: line or speed?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!