How Your Lag Affects Your Club Path

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In this video, I’ll show you how too much lag is a surprisingly serious problem that may be causing your blocks and snap hooks. You’ll find out: 1) How excessive lag alters your club path, and 2) How much launch angle you need for optimal distance. Also, I’ll show you a left arm drill that’ll help you release your club at just the right time.

Video Practice Points
  • You must ALLOW the club to release
  • A steep angle of attack can lead to an in-to-out path
  • Allowing the left arm to control the swing will allow the club head to release

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Coming Too Far From the Inside

Hi guys, Chuck Quinton. Founder of Rotary Swing Golf here. Today, you can call me the anti-lag doctor. That's right, you heard me correctly. The anti-lag doctor.

                While Clay spends most of his days teaching amateur golfers how to get more lag, I end up spending most of my time teaching professional golfers how to get rid of it. A lot of people think that you can't have too much lag, and so they go through this effort of learning to produce lag, and you can actually get to the point where you very easily overdo it, and then all of a sudden you start running into a whole another set of problems.

                So, first off, how do you know if you have too much lag? Or what would be a sign of that?

                Of course you can look at it on video, and you can see obviously, your hands are going to be too far ahead of the ball at impact. But, if you don't have a camera on you, it's not difficult to tell, especially when you're out playing golf. So, one of the things you can do is just look at your divots. If your divots are very, very deep, that's a really bad sign that you've got too much lag coming in to impact, and that's going to create a lot of problems.

                Of course here, when we're giving lessons, we use a TrackMan Launch Monitor to be able to measure the angle of attack, and the path, and the face angle, all of those things that are happening at impact. That's how we start to make changes.

                So, I want to give you a lesson today, on explaining what it is we're looking for, and how we're going to alter those numbers to produce the desirable numbers, and use a case example of a student, who's a professional golfer, as an example.

                In this example, this student had a negative negative 3 degree angle of attack with his driver and 3 wood. Now, unless you have 125 mile an hour clubhead speed, hitting down at negative 3, the ball's not going to go really far. Certainly not the optimum distance. Ideally, in an ideal world, you want to come in to that ball, maybe a couple degrees positive, there's a lot of variation there, depending on what we want to accomplish with the shot. But at least level, and in an ideal, a little bit of a positive angle of attack. Let's just define what that means, real quick.

                I'm using my trusty hula hoop here, and I'm going to show you what exactly is happening with that golf club at impact. So, you can use this red guy here, as the idea of where the ball is, and we'll just set a ball there. If that club shaft is perfectly vertical at impact, the club is working back up on this. You can imagine the club kind of traveling on an arc, or a circle here.

                The club would be approaching the ball on a shallow, or ideally positive angle of attack. When you have too much shaft lean, which is a byproduct of having too much lag, too long in the downswing, and not getting rid of it in time, then the shaft is going to be leaning forward, and that's going to tend to create a very steep angle of attack, and so the club is still working down the hula hoop, and hitting down on the ball, and that's delofting the club. This, as the club's working back up, if I caught the ball on this area of the hula hoop, it would mean that I was going to have a positive angle of attack, and that's going to give me a much better launch condition for the driver. Of course, with all clubs, you don't want to hit down on it that sharply.

                One of the things I ask in the clinics all the time, is how steeply do you think you should hit down on an iron. Of course, they vary from iron to iron, but on average you're only going to be about 4 degrees down. The longer the club, and the shallower the angle of attack, and the shorter the club, but then your pitching wedge, you're getting into a little bit steeper angle of attack. But, as an average ballpark number, you're going to be between 3 and 5 degrees, and so you can just use 4 as a good reference point.

                That's pretty shallow, when you think about it. If you think about what traveling 4 degrees down would be, it's not going to be very steep. A lot of times, people think they want to have the shaft lean forward, as far as they can get it. That's pretty typical. When you see somebody who's used to flipping, and all of a sudden, they watched a lot of lag doctor videos, and now they're like this at impact. But now they're hitting down so far, that the problem comes, that the club is still working into out. So, they're path into the ball, is to the right of the target line, and that's what I want to talk about in this video.

                So, what does that mean exactly? Well let's get some stuff lined up here.

                So, let's assume that this white shaft is straight down the target line, and the ball, sitting here. If I caught this ball, if this was my swing plane, you can kind of use this as an idea, of my swing plane. If the bottom of my swing arc, is right where that ball is, that would allow, as long as the club face is pointing towards the target, allow the ball to fly perfectly straight, start on line and stay on line.

                Now, when you have too much lag, and you start doing some other things, it will keeping the club from releasing, your swing plane gets horizontally shifted to the right. So now, you can see that my hula hoop is pointing right of my target line. It's crossing over the shaft, and so now, in order to get the ball to come back to my target, the club face must be closed in relationship to the path that the club is traveling on. That's going to create a draw.

                So, the ball is going to start, not on the path line, it's going to start about 75, 80% on where the club face is pointing. But the path, when our path is severely in to out, it's going to make it very difficult for me to get the ball to start on line and stay on line. The more severely you swing in to out, the more difficult this task becomes. In an ideal world, we want that path at impact, to be pointing straight down the target line, and for the path to be pointing straight down the target line, you need a straight golf shot. That's the simplest way to do it.

                Better players, is they learn to do other things with their bodies, and they learn to create more lag, what a lot of times happens, is they don't get rid of it in time. So, what happens now, is that, that club, as I mentioned is still traveling down its arc. So I'll turn this way for a second. It's still traveling down the plane, and to the right by the time it strikes the ball. So, that would look like this.

                My club's coming from the inside. It's working out to the right. If my club face is still square to my path, and to my plane-line here, the ball's just going to be a dead block. I'm going to push it out to the right, it's going to have no curvature on it. If the club face is closed in relationship to my path, I'm going to create a tendency here to draw, or I can hit a nice big smother snap-hook. Neither one of those shots are really what we're looking for here.

                So the trick is, to get that path to square back up, so that the bottom of this path-line matches up with my target line. Ball can go straight then, and stay straight without having to have any curvature. So, how do we do that. We have to allow the club to release. If you just hold on lag, and you get into these really nice, pretty looking lag angles, and you keep holding on to it, and you don't let the club release, the club's always going to be working out to the right. Then, as a better player, what they also tend to do, is they learn to get power from this right side, and this right arm, and they keep driving it down, and that gets their hands too far ahead of the ball at impact. Again, club still working out to the right. The ball's going to have to start right, or going to be a hook.

                So, what we want to do ideally, is allow that golf club to release. How do we do it?

                So, clean up my mess here. We're going to use an impact bag to start. The impact bag's going to make it really easy for you to start to see where your hands are at impact. If you get into the impact bag drill, and you're like this, and you feel that you're pushing hard with that right hand. You can see that my hands are way ahead of the club head, that's going to create that club wanting to continue down and out, instead of releasing back towards the target line.

                So, what you want to do ... Now again, if you have no lag, or you're casting and flipping, this video is not for you, right? This is for better players who tend to have the opposite problem. They have too much lag. Very, very common in better players. So, what you need to do, is learn to release the club at the impact bag, so that everything is basically fully released. The shaft is almost vertical at this point.

                Here's the trick to doing that. The trick is to allow the club to release, by allowing the club to release with the left hand. The right hand can continue to force the club to travel on that down and out path, because it's in a pushing motion. It's in a dominant motion. When you go left hand only, all of a sudden, physics start to takeover and the club starts to release and form a straight line condition with this left arm, versus this right arm, which has got all these angles in it, continues to want to drive down and out.

                So, the trick is to practice with the left hand, because the left hand is not in a strong enough position to want to hold the club off like this. You can do that. I see it rarely, that somebody pulls really hard with the left hand, but because most of us are right handed, we tend to be very dominant with our right side, our right arm. So, we kind of continue to force the club to work down and out, and that's what keeps the club from releasing, and getting that path squared up, and shallowing out your angle of attack.

                So, the trick again, using your left hand, and learning to allow the club to release. Notice, I keep saying "allow the club to release." There's no forcing it here. I'm not taking my left thumb, and pushing against the shaft. I'm allowing the club to release by not continuing to driver my body through it, or push from the right side, or really rip my left arm down. I just want it to release, let it catch up. Use the impact bag to help you check that. Then, if you get on a TrackMan, you'll be able to see that your path angles will shallow out dramatically.

                With the student I mentioned earlier, who went from his hands being like this at impact, and having a negative 3 angle of attack with his driver, we went to a positive 1.8. 1.7, 1.8 with his driver in one session, using a TrackMan and using these same drills. I had him do a lot of left arm only drills, and allowing the club to release. I didn't want him to yank the club down hard from the top. Allow your lower body to sequence the downswing and get out of the way, use your hips, your core, your glutes, to get out of the way, to pull your arms down into this point, and then just let the club release. You're going to feel more body oriented, rather than just focusing on ripping your arms down. The harder you rip your arms down, the more the tendency is for the club to want to work down and out for a better player, and not release. Because the hands are moving too fast, and too far ahead of the club head.

                So, left arm only drills, allow the club to release, catch back up, watch your divot shallow out, your angle of attack shallow out, your path start to release back towards the target line, and you'll stop having to start the ball right at the target line, and hook it back in every time.

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