Putting Drill: Reverse Ladder Lag Putting to Practice Speed Control

Putting makes up a large percentage of every golfer’s score, even the professionals. If you can’t putt, you simply won’t score well.

One area of putting that many beginners forget to focus on is long distance putting. There is a specific golf term used for long distance putts and it’s called Lag Putting.

Lag putting simply refers to a golfers attempt to “lag” the ball up as close to the hole as possible. The odds of making long putts are very low, so the goal is really to get the first putt as close as possible to the hole to leave a short putt for the second putt.

The goal for most beginner golfers should be to 2-putt every green. Once your ball is on the green, give yourself just 2 putts to make it in the hole. If you’re 3 putting or worse consistently, you’re wasting strokes!

Reverse Ladder Lag Putt Drill

Your first question might be what is a “reverse ladder” and rightly so. Golfers often refer to a ladder drill as one where you start close to the hole and you progressively get further away from the hole, working your way up the ladder.

If we visualize this on the ground, imagine marking off putts every 1 foot away from the hole with tees from 1 foot all the way back to 10 feet away from the hole. Each tee would serve as a rung on the ladder.

With a reverse ladder putting drill, you’ll be working in reverse starting farther away and gradually getting closer to the hole with each putt.

This putting drill will build your speed control on the putting greens by having you putt from a long distance, known as a lag putt, and working your way in towards where you are putting from.

Setting up the Lag Putt Reverse Ladder Drill

  1. Measure out a point 40 feet away from you and mark it with a tee.
  2. Now putt a golf ball to that tee trying to get within 2 feet of it. Next putt another ball but the goal is to stop it short of the previous golf ball by a foot or two.
  3. Repeat this effort of trying to putt each successive ball a few feet shorter than the previous ball until you get within 2 feet of where you are putting from.

This coming down the ladder from 40 feet away to 2 feet away from you is a great putting drill to hone in distance control. You’ll see the benefits show up on the golf course when you face different lag putts and you’ll feel confidence from a wide range of putts between 3 feet and 40 feet away from the hole.

It takes lots of control to get each putt to travel a shorter distance than the previous. You’ll need to rely on feel. Each putt should feel a certain way based on how much power you hit it with. Over time you’ll begin to feel differences between long putts and shorter putts.

Give this putting drill a try and then check out our practice programs with step by step routines like the break 90, break 80, and break 70.

Other Recommended Putting Drills:

Here are additional golf drills to help your short game skills improve and lower your golf scores consistently:

  1. Tiger Wood’s Double Gate Putting Drill
  2. Jordan Spieth’s Stare at the Cup Practice Drill
  3. Golf Putting Drills Routine for Speed Control
  4. 5 Best Putting Drills to Practice Like the Pro’s

Golf Practice Plans to Follow (Step by Step)