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Being able to lag putts close is an essential part of shooting good scores. But, in amateur players, I see some common mistakes that can cost them shots and cause three-putts. Here are two things I think you should focus on in lag putting.

On a long putt that you want to lag, generally, two things come to mind straight away.

Use your instincts

People, I think, try to measure the putt too much in their mind. If you stood 30 feet away from me, and I asked you to throw the ball into my hand, you would do it and you wouldn’t really miss. You have that instinct. Throwing a ball to me like that isn’t something that you practice. The first thing is to embrace that you’ve got a good feel and to go with that.

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People try to measure it in their head and think about how far they need to take the club back and whatever else, but you don’t want that in my opinion. You want feel and that’s a completely different thing. Trust how far you want to hit it and trust your eyes when you look at the hole. That should take care of itself.

Stay in your posture

Secondly, people are always very interested in the result of the putt and where the ball is going to go. That means that they’ll take the club back and it will be fine, but as the club is coming towards the ball, they’re already thinking too much about the result. If you do that, you’re going to come out of the putt and possibly mishit the ball. That’s where you tend to struggle with pace.

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It’s something that I’m very aware of when I’m putting, is that you stay in your posture. Even when you look at the pros, the ones who are a little bit shaky in their putting, they will sometimes stand up and out of a putt. When you look at a great putter like Brandt Snedeker or Brad Faxon, these players stay in their posture. That’s a good sign for a good putter.

Soren Kjeldsen putting tips
Soren Kjeldsen employs a Bernhard Langer inspired putting grip. (Credit: Eve Conroy/bunkered)

My Putting Grip

I was a huge Bernhard Langer fan when I was growing up. In about 1989, I decided to give this grip a go. Bernhard was still using this grip, so I thought I would try it too. In that time, it’s just sort of evolved. To begin with, it was right up against my arm, with my right hand sitting and holding it firm.

But, over time, that’s changed. I’ve actually got quite a big gap here and I’ve got the hands kind of semi-on the grip. My grip is just one of those things that has happened through feel, it’s not been a conscious choice. When I started to create a gap in my grip, I felt like the club could move a little bit. It’s evolved over time, but it started as I was copying Bernhard.

Soren Kjeldsen, who recently made his 700th appearance on the DP World Tour, was speaking to bunkered for issue 213, where he gives a short game masterclass. You can subscribe to the magazine here.

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