Lag in the golf swing, we all want it and we all need it to help to help maximize your clubhead speed. But why is it so hard for golfers to achieve this illustrious position in the swing?
Well, the short answer is that most amateur golfers struggle with starting the swing off on the “right foot”. What do I mean when I say this? Typically speaking, most golfers start the swing by loading up the wrists and the arms first and not the lower body and rotation.
In doing so, golfers tend to have a very narrow takeaway with a ton of wrist set. This gives a very collapsed appearance to the hands arms in relationship to the trail shoulder at the top of the backswing. The result of this move will now cause you to widen the arc to early by throwing the club out and away from you to start the downswing. There goes all the lag and now gets you into a flippy and weak impact position.
If you look at Tour Pros across the board, you will notice a very common overall swing shape known as “wide-narrow-wide”. Both Danny Lee, 2015 Greenbriar Champion and Bernd Wiesberger, 2015 French Open Champion have mastered proper width and wrist set early on the swing that allows them to get things going in the right direction to be able build lag in the downswing. For a better understanding on the functions and terminology of the wrists in the golf swing, check out “Using the wrists effectively and efficiently” video. To learn how to get more width into your takeaway, check out the “role of the right arm in the takeaway” as well as the “keep the right arm straight to turn” video.
Now that you have a good and wide takeaway and backswing position, it is extremely important to not fully load of the wrists to their max range of motion and to keep them very relaxed throughout the entire backswing. By doing so, you can now allow your weight shift to start your downswing to create a much sharper angle for lag in the downswing.
If you focus driving the downward move with the lower body and allow the arms to be pulled down into the hitting area, you will notice you are starting to build heaps of lag. So much lag, you won’t even know what to do with it all.
Just remember that lag can be a double-edged sword. It is great to have for clubhead speed but it can also be pesky to get rid of if you do not know how to release it properly. Check out “5 minutes to a perfect golf club release” video to build a tour quality release and impact position.
A quick recap…
Focus on staying as wide as you can in the takeaway and backswing.
Allow for enough wrist set to support the club to parallel to the ground at a completed takeaway.
Keep the wrists supple and not at full range of motion into the top of the backswing.
Do nothing with the hands and arms to start the downswing
- Focus on shifting your weight and allow the arms to be pulled down into the hitting area