Lag Your Way to a Major Win

Thursday June 24th, 2010
Practice long lag putts—they hold the key to winning—or losing—your major.
Leonard Kamsler

YOUR ASSIGNMENT LAST MONTH, at four months prior to your major, was to address the three weakest parts of your game as reported to you by your closest golf buddies. If there's anything I've learned in my 30+ years of teaching, it's that most amateurs struggle with long lag putts. If this is you, step off 50 feet (roughly 17 large steps) from a hole on the practice putting green and peg a tee at that point, then do the same in the opposite direction from the hole. Putt three balls to the hole from each of the tees, and see how many you can roll to a stop within four feet of the cup. Do this drill over and over for 30 minutes once each week. Your goal at the end of 30 days is to roll all of these putts to within three feet of the cup.

\nYour other assignment last month was to scout your major course and find where it presents the greatest challenges to your game. Let's say you learned that the course plans to create four-inch-high rough lining every fairway. To prep for this battle, visit your local pro and demo several hybrid clubs with lofts between 18 and 26 degrees. You need to test these clubs out of similar rough at your practice facility, commit to buying the one that works best for your swing, then diligently practice this shot, along with escapes from the other dangerous positions (waste bunkers, tall fescue, etc.) that the superintendent warned you about.

\nTHIS MONTH'S ASSIGNMENT: Develop a strategy for playing all par 5s and the two most difficult par 4s on your major course. These are usually the pivotal holes in most rounds—they involve the most strokes, and offer the greatest chance for messing up. Think about where you want your approach shots to miss (in case they don't make it onto the green). There are usually places on a course's toughest holes that you must avoid at all costs. You can easily play away from those areas if you plan ahead properly.

\nIt's T-minus 3 to your major—time to do serious work. Head to for more tips on how to be successful in YOUR major.

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