How to Finally Get Your Hands Ahead at Impact
Online Golf Instruction By: Chuck Quinton, Master Instructor • FULL BIO •
Today we're going to talk about a simple drill that will show you how to exaggerate the positions of lag. This can help you break through if you've been struggling with lag for a long time.
Again, this drill is an exaggeration. You're going to start with normal positions of lag and really take them to extremes.
This is only for people who have been struggling to get more and more lag. You're going to get 10 times more lag than you need, then once you've made that breakthrough and achieve the correct feeling, you can tone it down to a normal amount.
The first step is to lose the club. Put the club down, get into your posture, and just swing your left arm back and through. Stop when your left hand is 6-8" in front of your left leg.
Make sure your left wrist stays nice and flat on the "backswing" part of the drill. You don't want any bowing or cupping of the wrist.
Allow the left wrist to bow forward more and more as you start down. By the time you stop your hand in front of your left thigh, it should feel like the back of your hand is pointing straight down at the ground. If you close your left hand you should be able to see your fingertips.
This final position represents a ton of forward shaft lean, or a ton of lag very late in the swing. Repeat this swing, back and through, four or five more times.
You can preset your weight on the left side, or go ahead and get a little bit of weight shift in there if you want to. Either way, make sure your weight is on your left foot by the time the left hand gets to the end of its swing, just as it would be at impact in a real swing.
Do the drill a few more times, then close your left hand as if you were gripping a club and once again, swing back, and down.
If you do it at full speed you'll see that it's almost like a wave, back and down. Your wrist is flat, then your hand lags behind as you go forward.
Put the Right Hand Back In
Once you're doing that much properly, you're ready to add the right hand in there.
Hold the left hand in its final position, 5-6" in front of your left leg. This is a position of extreme lag.
If you put a club in your hand at this point it would show an exaggerated amount of forward shaft lean at impact. That's exactly what you want in this drill - to take it all to extremes.
Hold your left hand in its lag position, then just throw your right hand down into it. It should feel like you're giving yourself a "Low 5" into your left hand.
The back of your left hand will look like it's still facing the ground. If you take your left hand away, you'll see that the right hand is bent back, with the palm facing down. Again, that would represent a ton of forward shaft lean.
Now Try it With the Club
After you've done the drill 30-40 times and you've got a feel for the positions, you can go ahead and pick the club back up.
It will look something like the photo series below. Stay nice and wide on the backswing, with your wrist flat. Allow the hands and club to lag behind as you go forward, building up a lot of forward shaft lean. It's a very smooth movement.
Very little lag on the way back, the club lags behind on the way down, and your hands end up creating a ton of forward shaft lean.
Try This Variation to Reinforce the Positions
For some extra practice you can do the same motions again, but this time exaggerate not only the positions but how long you hold them.
Swing down, then stop your hands in front of your right thigh. Check to make sure the club is parallel to the ground.
This is what you're working to create in the downswing. The club should still be parallel to the ground when your hands pass in front of your right thigh.
If you want to exaggerate this - again, this is only if you've been struggling with lag for a while - then go ahead and swing back nice and wide, then as you come back down try to get your hands all the way over in front of your left thigh while the club is still parallel to the ground.
This would be way too much lag in a real swing. If your club were parallel to the ground with your hands in front of your left thigh in a full swing you'd start to block shots off to the right. You would hit the ball very poorly because you wouldn't have a chance to release that lag.
But if you've been struggling to get any lag at all, it can be helpful to go through these exaggerated motions so you can eventually create the correct position in your golf swing.
9 to 3 Drill
Do a few more Extreme Lag Drills to make sure you're really comfortable with that, then move on to a normal 9 to 3 Drill.
Go back nice and wide, then shift direction and start building lag on the way down. Get some good forward shaft lean at impact, then let the club release.
You are not trying to hold that position of lag at impact. Just let it loose. Keep the angle as you swing down, then just let the club release into the ball, past your hands.
If you've been struggling with lag, work on these exaggerated drills and before you know it you'll have a lot more lag.
Checkpoints for Practice
- Getting into exaggerated positions of lag can help golfers who struggle to get any lag at all
- Get into position without the club and just swing your left arm back and through
- Keep your wrist flat going back, then allow the hand to lag behind, stopping 6-8" in front of the left thigh
- Your left wrist should be bent all the way forward, so the back of the hand points down
- Preset your weight on the left, or get some weight shift, getting your weight to the left by "impact"
- To add the right hand back in, slap it into the left in a "Low 5" so both hands have the same angle
- Pick up the club and repeat the drill, then move on to a regular 9 to 3 Drill