Rickie Fowler - How to preserve Lag

Lag is the most efficient way to increase clubhead speed. In this video, RST Instructor Chris Tyler shows you how to slowly develop lag into your swing and how to preserve it properly in the downswing.

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John
Is wrist unhinging at the point of "release" active, meaning using the wrists to throw the club head at the ball, or passive meaning the corollary effect of the body rotating?
May 27, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello John. The release is passive and not active. You are allowing for the club head to release as the body decelerates/stalls.
May 28, 2019
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Chad
Hello, I've been working on this and its helping alot however how do you keep your head back while transferring your weight to the left side? Should your head move a little toward the target? It looks like Rickies does move a little
February 9, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Chad. Exactly. It will be impossible to shift weight without a slight head movement. The key is that the lower half leads the upper half so you don't dive forward ahead of the ball.
February 9, 2019
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GC
Craig has helpfully reviewed my videos. For some reason my hands are becoming active and the lag angle at the top become too strong. Therefore it can only lose lag coming down. How do I correct my lag angle at the top so it's not too narrow at the top? What's the grip pressure and grip understanding to prevent my club from dropping at the top (this creating too small an angle)
September 3, 2017
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
There has to be a balance between sloppy loose and just not tense.
September 5, 2017
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GC
Using both hands - I am getting better at using my left arm and hand can start to control the swing better. In the downswing, as my trail side is so passive now, the club head becomes so heavy, that I lose the lag because I use my left hand. If I use my right hand to start tightening the grip, my passive trail side becomes too active straight away. So how do I maintain the lag better? Perhaps just get more used to using my right hand to tighten very slightly so I maintain the lag, but at release with the left hand, my right hand then loosens a lot more?
June 25, 2017
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi GC, sounds like you have done a good job of getting the left side to dominate the downswing and you are a perfect candidate to start working on a the throw the ball drill. Use the search feature on the website and start incorporating this into your drills. This will help you work on maintaining lag down into the hitting area with the trail hand and work on timing up the release. Good luck.
June 26, 2017
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Lewis
Hi Craig. I feel like Alan below. Seems no matter what drill I do, or what videos I watch I lose lag early. I even FEEL like I have way more lag than I ever did, but the video doesn't lie. I lose it early and my club is already well past parallel on the way down when my hands are in front of my right thigh. In my latest video review, Stephen Maes has instructed me that my right arm plays the most important part in maintaining the lag on the way down and then the left arm gets rid of the lag in the release. He says I should feel like I'm pulling my right hand and elbow straight down from the top so my right elbow basically goes right into or against my right hip pocket. This makes sense but seems contradictory to a lot of the teaching on the site where the right arm is real passive with no pulling or pushing. I am open to anything that works as long as it doesn't create issues elsewhere, but I just want to make sure I am practicing the right move from the top. Stephen says my right elbow is in good position and well connected at the top so I think I am finally in a good position at the top to start down. Now I just need to know how to do it. Any comments on this instruction vs the "passive" right arm teaching with no pushing or pulling? THANKS!!!
February 25, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Lewis. The trail arm should remain relatively passive in the downswing. However, some players have so over used the trail arm push coming down they need to train a different motion with it. Some can't just "turn it off". The need some retraining or relearning of proper motion. (Key to Creating Lag, Step by Step Right Arm Drills, Sledgehammer, Etc. ) This isn't meant to be contradictory because in the end you want the trail side being more passive, than too active. However, an overly bad ingrained motion sometimes needs a little help to move forward correctly.
February 25, 2016
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Lewis
Thanks Craig. Old habits really are hard to break. Ill keep grinding and try to keep the trail side passive. I feel better when pulling with left side anyway. But still losing the lag.
February 25, 2016
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James
Why haven't you posted any new videos since Ricky Fowler's video. It has been a while!
February 19, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. Chris is working on a new stock pile of videos to release to the site currently. Stay tuned.
February 20, 2016
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paul
Craig- also, the youtube videos are being uploaded here and you can see the "recommended" videos on it
February 25, 2016
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David
In the picture above, or even in Rickie's swing, how does he get that separation in his legs?
February 15, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. The separation starts with the proper lead leg external rotation. Take a look at the Perfecting Lower Body Stability Video and the Perfecting Impact Bonus Video.
February 15, 2016
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charles
Great site. What do you think of Blast Motion Swing Analyser? I like the idea of the feedback both for the swing and the putter.
February 13, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Charles. Thanks for the compliments of the site. I am unaware of much with that product. However, it seems like a good idea and some positive reviews online.
February 13, 2016
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James
Why do you seem to post less & less to the premium members & post so much on youtube to attempt to obtain new clients. I get it but there are many videos that are being posted on youtube that members may not be aware of.
February 12, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Jim, We have a bunch of brand new premium content that will be coming directly onto the website over the next few months. We are trying to make our on site library more manageable for you users. You will see some really good stuff coming here on the sooner side.
February 12, 2016
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Jim
Same as someone else said on the search function. You mention the sledgehammer video in one of your responses below, but when that phrase is put in the search function, nothing comes up.
February 9, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. That's odd. I tried it on two different pages just now. Apologize for the error. Two ways to find: 1) Try typing Right Shoulder Golf Swing Drill 2) Goto the Advanced Downswing Section and look for Right Shoulder Golf Swing Drill/Sledgehammer.
February 10, 2016
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Jim
Thanks-that worked
February 10, 2016
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joseph
Saw Rickie on TV at the Phoenix Open ... when he starts down it "looks" like the lower left side "falls away" from the target line (allowing for camera angles) ... I tried to duplicate this in my garage with the impact bag ... think I figured out the "look" happens when the weight gets properly transferred to the left heel. The more I played with the "fall away" feel the more it helped me shift the weight left. Before I declare victory any thoughts? Thanks.
February 7, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joseph. Are you referring to it looks like the lead side/hip moves away from the intended target line?
February 7, 2016
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joseph
yes
February 7, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joseph. Sounds okay to me. It will be moving away from the intended target line and away from the target on the through swing.
February 7, 2016
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joseph
Thanks
February 7, 2016
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bryan
I've been working on getting my right elbow back in front of my trail thigh while the club is parallel to the ground. If I simply pull from the left side my arms lag behind my trail thigh and by the time they reach the thigh I've already released the club. The only way I can get the arms back in front is to pull the right arm in front of my torso at the same time as I shift over to the left with my lower body. The lower body starts but I have to consciously pull the right elbow in front. Seems like a lot of moving parts sometimes. It seems Ricky is getting in that position by simply pulling with the left. Am I misunderstanding something here?
February 2, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Bryan. Ricky is reaching the position by pulling with the lead arm. However, some players struggle with getting the pull properly. Even though it is the preferred method. Students that really lack lag can train the positions the trail arm needs to work through to help fight the battle. Take a look at the Key to Creating Lag Video, Sledgehammer Video and the Step by Step Right Arm Drills.
February 2, 2016
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joseph
Like Brian, I to have a left arm-trail arm dilemma. I've been shying away from pulling with the lead arm because I get the impression that down cocking requires the arms to remain passive. Which then forces me to focus on trail arm positions. I actually prefer pulling with the lead arm ... that got drilled into me in the early '60s. When should the lead arm start pulling? Can I down cock and pull at the same time? Thanks.
February 10, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Joseph. You can downcock and pull at the same time. The goal would be could you stay passive enough in the wrist to allow pull and momentum change (weight shift) to increase the angle. You don't want to yank the lead arm from the top. Think about blending it with gravity. Lets say when you shift you will use (not actual, just for example purpose) 90% gravity and 10%pull. As you continue down the gravity percentage will decrease and the lead arm pull will increase.
February 10, 2016
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joseph
"You can downcock and pull at the same time" ... thank you, thank you, thank you!
February 10, 2016
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David
I just watched Hogans swing in slow motion about 9,000 times. How does he, and all other tour pros, retain that angle at the top of the swing-and if not increase their lag on the way down. What are they doing, OR NOT DOING, that all of us recreational "hacks" do to lose it? I watch Phil Mickleson, Tiger, Rickie... What are they doing? I know I am losing a ton of speed and distance with my early release. From face on in all of the heir swings, it appears the the shaft is coming down diagonally. How are their wrists so passive? What should we feel after we reach the top and transporting the club down to where or hands reach hip height to our right thigh. I've written in about this numerous times. I watched the videos backwards and forwards. I know what they are going to say! What am I missing.
January 31, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
David, make a face on and down the line video of your golf swing and send it to me directly at lessons at rotarswing dot com. In the video I want you to setup with just your lead hand on the club. Trail hand behind you back. Shift your weight and rotate and swing the club to the top. As the arm is nearing the highest point of the backswing, shift your weight to your lead side and then let the arm feel like is falling and rotating. Do not push against the shaft with the thumb. I want to watch how you do this drill closely and then comment back to you. Thanks.
February 2, 2016
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David
Ok. Will do.
February 2, 2016
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Jian
Hi, on the top of back swing, what's is the left foot doing? Should the left foot heel be lifted up? Or rolled in forwards? Or planted to the ground? I am right handed. Thanks, Jian
January 30, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jian. Take a look at the Left Knee Laser Beam drill for more understanding of the left leg position. Some players due to flexibility will have the foot raise a little, but ideally the foot will be on the ground with pressure tending to be towards the instep.
January 30, 2016
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jim
the balls look like it is back of the center in the stance. we are told that the ball should be line with the toe of left feet for driver.
January 29, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. Some of that is camera angle. The ball with the irons will be off of the lead ear or logo of the shirt. For driver off of the lead instep.
January 29, 2016
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rick
Chris, could you comment on this video vs. the Wide-Narrow -Wide Video that Clay explains. In this video it appears Fowler starts shifting left when his club is up at 90* or more. In Clay's video, if I understood him correctly, he advocates beginning the shift when the club is parallel to the ground before any elevation. Is the only difference the large amount of rotation Fowler is generating? Please explain. Thanks.
January 27, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Clay is demonstrating a much shorter golf swing. More of a 9 to 3 like swing. Once you have a drill like that mastered, you would want to add more rotation and elevation to the club and starting working more into a full backswing. The Rickie video is showcasing the moves based on a full swing. Hope that helps clarify.
January 28, 2016
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rick
It does. Thank you.
January 28, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
My pleasure.
January 28, 2016
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gig
Chris, please be careful about lag. If you notice Ricky's video you posted, you will see that the angle decreased from the top into the hitting area. You will see this will Nicholas, Norman and Tiger. The angel did not increase from the top ( ie the club didn't get narrower to the arms, it increased. There is lag, but they are releasing as soon as possible to square the club. But it is being done by the body. Go look at all these guys, the angle is being released not held from the top.. That is why Hogan and Nicholas wanted to hit as hard as possible with the right hand... they actually wanted three of them..
January 26, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
The angle was drastically increased from the hands being at the chest height position in the backswing into the downswing. There is not much downcock in Rickie's swing or some of the other players you mention, however, the angle that was created, was preserved and NONE of the players created a sharp angle very early on. This video was about creating lag slowly and then preserving it.
January 27, 2016
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gig
Very good, I agree. I misunderstood. I had the impression that you were suggesting that the angle should be held and the angle reduced like Surgio. Which I think , he creates too much lag, and the bottom of his swing becomes too steep and too narrow. Michelson, too does this with his woods.
January 27, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Sergio definitely creates a ton of lag that does force the club to come in VERY steep. That is not something we could teach around here Lots of timing involved to get rid of that sort of angle.
January 27, 2016
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gig
Yes, that was my point. lag is an essential, but not a huge down cock, whcih is not desirable. To teach someone to get lag, it will feel they need the down cock, but ...it is all relative.
January 27, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
I agree for sure.
January 28, 2016
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Anthony
Thanks Christopher, I 'll try what you told Alan. I agree with Alan, I think it's the hardest move in the golf swing. The concept is easy to understand but very difficult to perform. I maybe wrong but in my opinion it's the most important move in the golf swing and the hardest to execute.
January 26, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
For sure! I agree with you on the difficulty factor because amateur golfers tend to use the upper body way too much as the primary force of movement. Just start slow and then ramp up the speed and you will get it. Also, check out video #4 of the "perfecting your impact" series. Lots of students got some good results with that drill.
January 27, 2016
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Anthony
I am able to create lag but I have a difficult time preserving lag and end up release it too early an many times I end up flipping the club and hitting the ground before the ball, especially with the short irons. What is the best way to preserve and keep lag in the downswing and not release it too early and end up flipping the club.. Thanks
January 26, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Anthony, check out my response back to Alan below and see if that helps you preserve lag on the way down. If it doesn't, report back and we will further assist you on this.
January 26, 2016
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Christian
This comment pertains to all your videos. Please post the videos you want us to see rather than try to find them with a somewhat weak search engine. Thank You, Christian Schilt
January 26, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
The videos are in the recommended videos tab to the right of the player. Click the tab and you will see all the videos I suggested populate.
January 26, 2016
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Christian
They are not at the top off the right side and I have to scroll to find them. If I use the search engine it does not fill in for me, but I must put the exact title to find it. Most engines will suggest after a few letters or words. Thanks for your reply, Christian Schilt
January 27, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Are you looking for the videos that I suggested in this video? If so, there should be no scrolling needed if you are looking at the video player. There is one click of the mouse where it says "recommended videos" just above the listing of videos to the right of the video player. We are working on adding a new search function and hopefully it will be done soon.
January 27, 2016
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Christian
Okay, thanks for your prompt reply - it was helpful.
January 27, 2016
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joseph
Christian Schilt is a rather famous name around the Marine Corps. Are you related?
January 26, 2016
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Christian
General C. Frank Schilt is my father.
January 27, 2016
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Alan
You make it sound so easy but it is one of the hardest things in golf, I have been trying all these things for months and am starting to believe that you are either born with it or your not. I have watched every video and read every article on the web about lag and it seems for most it is futile to say the least
January 26, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Alan, I would strongly suggest that you spend a lot of time with just your lead arm on the club and training your downswing sequence. You will start to see how much easier you can make lag on yourself when you remove the troublemaker from the club. Also, make sure that you lead thumb is not pushing on the shaft on the way down when training this. It can be done...it just takes time and patience and we will do all that we can to help you along the way.
January 26, 2016
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Martin
Hi, great video. I have one question. While you say the hands are passive do'nt they have to do something during transition to maintain lag? Specifically I am thinking of the "Exagerated Lag - Hands ahead at impact" video which deals with the wrist going from straight>bowed. When does this happen exactly and to what extent is this a conscious action vs just the result of physics resulting from the centripedal force of driving from the ground up?
January 26, 2016
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Martin
Hi PS. Apologies I should have read the comment below before posting. I think I have the answer to my own question now. The "Exagerated Lag" drill helps understand what the wrist should feel like and the "Downcock" drill explains how to make this happen?
January 26, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Martin, no need to apologize. We are all here to help for sure. You are correct though with your response to your question. Let us know if you have any further questions at all.
January 26, 2016
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Todd
Hi Chris, Without a doubt one of the best explanation for lag! No movement with your wrist when you change directions? Only the lower body causes the lag? Once i started videoing this i could not believe how active my hands caused me to lose lag fast! Thanks Todd
January 25, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Todd, the lower body shift should help increase the angle for lag as long as you are not pushing or forcing the club from the top down. Lag will increase if the wrists are supple and you make your shift. See the downcock and pump drill to further help you. Good luck and let me know if you need any further info.
January 25, 2016

We're going to be focusing in on the 2016 Abu Dhabi champion Rickie Fowler who just moved himself with this victory into the number four position in the world golf rankings. That's the first time we've seen Rickie move inside the top five, so congratulations to him for that feat.  

                We're going to be focusing in on lag and the importance of it in the golf swing. If you've been looking for a solution or a way to start to create more lag in your golf swing so that you can accelerate the golf club the most efficient way possible, you're going to want to pay close attention to today's review. Let's go ahead and get started.

                All right guys, so as I said in the opener, we're going to be focusing in on lag this week. Lag is obviously a very very simple way to give yourself a good boost in club head speed. It's a very efficient way to give yourself that boost. We're going to be talking about two really key components to this whole process. Number one we're going to be talking about how to create lag slowly in your golf swing. Number two, the most common area for amateur golfers that they struggle with is the preservation of lag, so we're going to talk about down swing sequencing and how to preserve lag so that you can start to ramp your club head speed up quite a bit.

                I encourage you, if you don't have a lot of the stuff in place that we talk about in part one of this video, that you pump the brakes and say okay I'm going to take full commitment to getting these things down, and you'll see that lag becomes very very easy to attain by doing things properly early on in the golf swing.

                All right guys, so let's not waste any time. Let's get right into section one of this video and talk about the slow development process of lag and a couple of check points that you're going to be looking for with your own golf swing. Let's go ahead and get into a take away position. Talk about the importance of establishing width and rotation. So, into a good golf takeaway position. You're going to see most tour players look very similar to what Rickie does here. You're going to see a club shaft that's parallel to the ground. You're going to see that we've rotated our body about 45 degrees, and you're going to see that we've shifted about 80 to 85% of our weight into that trail leg.

                Now, what have we done with the arms at this particular junction of the golf swing? Well, we haven't really done a whole lot. Yeah, they may be elevated just a little bit, and they may be rotated just a fraction, but really the body is doing a lot of the heavy lifting. This is where a lot of amateur golfers tend to struggle with it because what the tend to do is to move this club off the golf ball, we can move it pretty quickly with just our wrists and our trail arm. If you start from this particular junction of the swing and you've flexed your right arm, and you cocked your wrists and rotated them a little bit, you could see that you could move that golf club a good six to eight to 10 feet without even having to turn your body or even shirt your weight.

                Now, what's the problem with that? Number one, that's actually signaling to your brain that your hands and arms are now becoming your primary power source. Number two, if you start to load a muscle group up, ie the wrists here. If you start to load your wrists up, and they're getting to that full contraction point, then they're going to want to turn and fire and go in the other direction. That's when we start to see amateur golfers tend to throw the club too early, start to burn up all that lag, and then they run out of speed down at the bottom of the arc. A good check point for you in the take away is to make sure that your arms have done very little. You want to make sure that you've established width by shifting your weight and rotating your body.

                Now the second check point to help slow develop lag into your swing is going to be this particular position I'm going to show you now. This is when the hands get to about the center of the chest or sternum height here. You can see that the hands are right around the center of the chest. Now notice the position of the club shaft. You can see that it's gone to a more vertical position now. Where it was parallel to the ground when the hands were at about pocket height, now the hands have worked up just a slight amount here. We continue to rotate our body, and we've slowly started to see that angle increase.

                We don't want to have this angle fully maxed out at this particular junction of the swing because we still have more rotation available to us. We still have more width available to us because we're going to continue to move our hands and arms further into the golf swing. Your next check point here is as you slowly start to rotate and your hands get up at about the center of your chest is you want to make sure your club shaft is about a vertical position just like you see here on the screen. Then we're going to continue to rotate our body. That angle's going to increase. You can see the hands are still lifting here. Makes a good, wide, full turn. Now we're going to talk about the preservation process of lag. You can see that we've made a good giant full turn with the upper body. We've shifted our weight. We've created some good separation between the shoulder line and the hip line. Now we're going to talk about how to get this golf club moving on the way down without doing much with your hands and arms just like you did on the way up.

                Okay guys, so now that we've talked a little bit about the slow development of lag into the take away and back swing, and I've given you a couple of check points to look for, what we really want to focus on in the preservation process is just doing very little with the wrists, the forearms, the arms and the shoulders on the way down. We want to allow your lower body to do all the heavy lifting. If you were to focus on shifting and unloading your lower half like you're going to see Rickie do here. You're going to see a good move from his lead side, starting to pull from his left leg here. He's getting seated into that left leg with lots of his weight shifting over into that side.

                Now if you notice here, the hands have come down from the top of the back swing here, so the shoulders and the hands and arms are being pulled down into this position and notice that the angle that the club shaft is on now that the hands are in the center of the chest. As you can see hands are right in the center of the chest, and as we were looking at it, when we were starting to work from a take away into the back swing, the club shaft was in a vertical position. This is where the angle has been able to be increased, and then we're preserving it on the way down by using the lower half. This is where a lot of amateur golfers, like I said, tend to struggle is that we want to use the right side of the body to push against the club, and in turn that causes us to burn up this angle. We won't have it to use for leverage at the bottom of the swing arc.

                As we continue to allow the lower body to do a lot of the heavy lifting, a little bit of gravity's help pulling the arms down here as well. Now we are in that release point of the swing to where we can start to fire this angle. Hands are approaching in front of the trail thigh. You can see the club shaft is back to a parallel position, and now we can really start to unload this angle and start to extend through the hitting area, widen the swing arc back up and be at max speed down here at the bottom of the swing arc.

                As far as the preservation process is concerned, you want to make sure that your arms are being very, very passive. Allow your lower body to really get unloaded. Once you feel that weight get over into your left side, just like Rickie's doing right here, then it's a matter of you starting to post this up and then start to clear your hips. That's going to move your arms even further down, and then you're going to start to release the golf club, and you'll have tons of speed.

                All right, so game plan for you guys that have been struggling with these areas of the golf swings. I got a couple of videos. Actually I got three videos that I want you to check out this week. Number one is the wide, narrow, wide swing shape. Wide, narrow, wide swing shape's going to talk to you about getting width early on in the swing. It's going to talk to you about the importance of narrowing the swing arc from the top of the swing down, and how to get a good wide extension like you're seeing on your screen now.     

                Then the keep the right arm straight to turn video. If you've been having a hard time, and you notice that your right arm folds up really early in your take away or your back swing. You notice that you're not making a good full turn. This video's going to save your life with that particular aspect of the swing. It's going to save your golfing life. I promise you.

                Then the final video is a video that was one of our member's favorites, how to swing from the ground up. It's a great video that gave you a good drill on how to use your lower body, and so that you can sequence your down swing properly and you can start to preserve lag just like you saw Rickie do here. All right guys, so slowly develop lag. Preserve it. Release it, and you're going to have tons of club head speed this year. Let's get out there and play some great golf. 

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