The golf swing is a lead side dominant movement that is a challenge for most golfers. Learning the golf swing requires a step-by-step detailed approach because most golfers are right handed yet the golf club is actually controlled by the left the side of the body. In fact most, most of the common golf swing flaws can actually be traced back to incorrect movement from the right side of the body.
Early extension in the golf downswing is most commonly caused by pushing too hard off the right leg, which moves the pelvis into the ball and causes you to stand up out of your golf posture. If you move from the left side of the body by pushing the left hip out of the way with the left leg and pulling with the left oblique, it actually causes you to increase your spine angle, or at a minimum, maintain it.
In this golf instruction video, I give you a simple drill that will make not only learning how to sequence the downswing easy, but even fun! This golf swing drill can be used anywhere, any time, you can even practice while you're on your next conference call in the office!
If you're like the typical golfer, one of these three frames looks like you in the downswing. You probably relate to this where you're losing this lag angle, you're losing lag, you're casting the club, all the same thing. As you come down at impact, you have no leverage to hit with. It's not a very effective way to hit a golf ball, it's what most amateurs do and it's why most amateurs struggle with golf.
The cool thing is, it's incredibly easy to fix. I'm gonna show you just with three examples here how easy it is when you use a couple simple drills that I'm gonna give you, how to create a tremendous amount of lag even having way too much lag, which will probably sound like a dream come true to you. But it's very very easy to do when you follow the rotary swing tour mechanics.
I'm gonna start with our golfer on the top left here. Let's go back to the top of his swing. As he starts to come down, his weight shift and everything's pretty lazy and he starts using his right arm and his right wrist and his left thumb to push against the shaft. As he does that, he starts scooping into the ball, he has no lag left here at all. Now, let's walk through a couple little drills that we're gonna use to get rid of this issue. Now, I take his right hand off the club and watch what happens. Notice this nice little down cog here.
Now if you compare these two from where he started, we'll move him over here for a second. Walking back to where he's casting the club about halfway down, when his hands are right about the height of his belt or so, and notice the two different angles. He's got way more lag here and all I did was have him stop pushing against his shaft with his left thumb, took his right arm out of it, told him to soften up his left wrist. Now as he comes down, look at how much more lag he has compared to here, where he's doing what every golfer on the planet does, they use their dominant arm to start throwing the club out at the ball.
It doesn't work like that. Your golf swing, any golf swing, a proper golf swing is lead arm dominant. Now as we put our right arm back on the club and focus on still feeling 100% left arm, notice how even this golfer in his 70s can still have a tremendous amount of lag coming down on impact and actually have some leverage left here to hit with. No matter how old you are, you can have a tremendous amount of lag following these simple drills I'm gonna give you.
Take another player over here. Former collegiate NCAA division one golfer. Took some lessons, over time lost his way. Now look how much he's scooping the club head at impact, starting to really drive hard with that right side. Right arm, right wrist, left thumb pushing against the shaft. We give him one simple little drill, he takes the right arm off, he shifts his weight, bam look at the difference. We go from no lag here when his hands are at the height of his pocket, to more lag than he knows what to do with. This is way too much lag. I took his left thumb off the shaft completely here because he wanted to continue to push against the shaft with his thumb. As I do that, that gives you an extreme amount of lag, too much lag. But still, if you've never had any lag, getting into this position is something that's not even fathomable to you and it's very easy to do.
Another golfer here, spinning his shoulders, really driving hard with his right arm, right shoulder, trying to inefficiently get power out of his swing. He gets into that big old scoopy motion coming into impact, he tries to help it up with the right arm, see the big old chicken wing, it's all right arm push here that's causing that. We'll move his swing over here. Showing all that loss of lag, I take his right arm off, relax the left thumb, soften up the wrist. Now look. Massive difference, notice how his shoulders are now closed, his right shoulder is still back here behind his head instead of opening up because he's pushing from the right side. If you haven't watched the rotary swing tour push vs. pull video, it's gonna help you understand all of this terminology dramatically.
Now look at the difference in just before impact. As he's getting into the hitting area, he's lost all of his leverage here. He has to scoop, now all he has to do is soften up and release. He's in a perfect impact position there. If you want to get nutty with it, this is me demonstrating to a student how extreme you can get when you really soften up your wrists, focus on your weight shift as you start back at down cock coming down, now notice how much leverage I have coming down into half way into the downswing, I've got a lot of load on that shaft. My wrists are soft, I'm simply not pushing against the shaft. I'm using my hips and my core to start bringing the club down while my wrists are soft. Now this is lag for days and then I can release with a tremendous amount of leverage into impact.
If you'd like to have this kind of leverage and understand how to do this, click over now to watch the second part of the video where I'm gonna give you a really cool, very simple drill that's gonna make creating lag like this really really easy to do.
Okay, in the first part of the video, you saw how all of my students are picking up ridiculous amounts of lag in just one swing. What's the secret to this? Honestly it's incredibly simple, it's all about just doing those small things correctly. I'm gonna teach you how to do that with a frisbee. What I want you to do pick up a frisbee, and I want you to use your dominant hand. If you're right handed, use your right hand. I want you just to throw it back and forth to a partner or just throw it and go out there and chase it if you don't have anybody to play with you. I want you to pay attention to how you naturally sequence this movement. What most of us are all going to do, even if you're not some expert frisbee thrower, is you're gonna start with your weight on your back foot. You're gonna externally rotate your leg to point it down the target. You're going to then transfer your weight and rotate your hips to the target, and then release the frisbee with your wrist being soft.
Pretty much everybody's gonna do that really well. Nobody's going to throw it off their back foot or spin their hips or shoulders as fast as they can or keep their wrist really locked in and their arms really tight to their body. It doesn't make any sense. No more does it make any sense in the golf swing. You have to realize that this basic motion of weight transfer, pivoting and releasing late with soft wrists is the essence of the golf swing.
Here's the catch. It's the other hand, your less coordinated hand in most cases, that does this motion. Once you get comfortable, transfer your weight, pivoting, throwing the frisbee with your right hand. Now take your less coordinated left hand and do the same thing. If you're playing golf as a right handed golfer, it's the lead arm that does the majority of the work in the swing with your body. Now, same thing, I'm gonna shift my weight to my right foot. Externally rotate my left leg, transfer my weight and as I do that, I'm pivoting my hip. My wrist stays nice and soft and it's my hip turn that brings my shoulders around. I don't turn my shoulders, and I don't move my arm without moving my body. I move my hips first, then release the frisbee.
Guess what, that's exactly how you swing a golf club. That's how I get my students to create a lot of lag. Take their right hand off the club, have them focus on using their body and weight shift while keeping their wrists soft, voila. That's all it takes to be able to create all of the crazy lag you're seeing in these videos. Now, the trick is to take this frisbee and relate it because now we're throwing it out away from us, or down the target line, but the trick is in golf, our release point is actually down here. We want to release all of our energy here, not keep turning through.
What we've got to do now is take the same frisbee, we're gonna make this more like our golf swing now. Now I'm gonna turn back, I'm gonna transfer my weight to my right. I'm gonna transfer my weight back to my left. As I start posting up on that left leg, release the frisbee down where the ball would be. Again, back, transfer my weight, pivot my hips, release the frisbee down. Notice that my shoulders are pointing at you, my belt buckle's about 45 degrees open or so, and I've released everything here. Notice that I didn't keep turning. That's when you're moving from the wrong muscles. If you're moving from up top in the rectangle, using your shoulders and your chest to try and hit the golf ball, you're gonna have this nice chicken wing, your arms are gonna be really short at impact. You want your arms to be wide in the release, so you create a wide radius for your swing, which is gonna give you more speed with less effort.
Practicing with a frisbee and throwing it down at the ground will help you tremendously understanding how to shift your weight. If you struggle at first doing it with the left arm, it's a little challenging if you're not used to that. Pretend that you're a left handed golfer for a second. Rotate back, shift your weight over, shift your weight back, post up as you pivot on that hip and throw the frisbee down with your right hand. As you do that, you'll start to get the feeling of moving your weight again and how soft your wrist wants to be as you post up.
Now go back to the left side, same thing. Now you're starting to get the feeling of moving your weight, letting your lower body wake up because it's probably been frozen in sand for a while. Keeping your wrist really soft, don't push against the frisbee with your thumb, that's kind of how we'd want to do in a golf swing. We wouldn't push against the shaft, you want to relax that thumb, keep your wrist really soft and supple. As you focus on transferring your weight first, the club will bend your wrist back. That's how you create lag during the downswing. That down cocking motion is created from your weight transfer. You must shift your weight, keep your wrists nice and soft, pretend like you're throwing a frisbee and you'll start to get the big picture of how a golf swing really works.
-Dr. Jeffrey Broker, Assoc. Prof. in Biomechanics at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Former Senior Biomechanist for U.S. Olympics Committee
-Hub Orr - Happy PREMIUM MEMBER of RotarySwing.com
-Sam Jarman, PGA Golf Instructor in the UK