How to Create Lag Like a Pro in Your Golf Swing
Many golfers have heard the term 'swing lag' without ever really understanding what it meant. If you don't understand the term, chances are you're not incorporating swing lag into your own golf swing, and that means you're probably missing out on extra distance, accuracy, and overall consistency. Below you'll find a discussion on what swing lag is and why you should have it in your swing. With a little bit of practice, everyone can introduce some really valuable lag into their swings, and start to realize some of the considerable benefits.
What is lag in the golf swing?
In a nutshell, lag is the intentional trailing of the golf club as you go through your downswing, and its name comes from the fact that it lags behind or trails the hands, which are leading the club through that downswing. In order to introduce the element of lag into your swing, you need to maintain the angle between the lead arm and the club shaft as you execute your downswing, with all the movement coming from the lower part of your body turn during the swing.
To do this, you start by placing your left hand on the grip of your shaft, just as you would for any normal shot. Then, you should place your right hand just below that grip on the shaft and bring the club to the top of your backswing. At this point, there should be something like a 90° angle between your leading arm and the club shaft.
Now use your lower body to begin the downswing, encouraging the sensation of pulling the golf club through the swing. Your right hand should be the mechanism that allows you to keep the shaft pointing toward the sky for as long as possible during the swing. The resistance you feel on the left side of your body is telling you that your lower body is doing most of the work and allowing the golf club to lag behind.
By the time your left hand has reached your back leg in the downswing, the shaft should still be approximately 90° away from your leading arm. If you still have this 90° angle relationship, you have probably executed the backswing and downswing correctly.
Why is lag important?
There are a couple of reasons why lag is an important component in your golf swing, beginning with the fact that it generates much more clubhead speed than you would have without lag. Clubhead speed is what generates distance in your golf swing because it means your clubface is impacting the ball at a greater speed and imparting more swing energy to the ball, which translates into longer distances.
Because lag also allows a clubhead to reach the bottom of the swing at exactly the right moment, it also results in more consistent ball striking, and the more consistent you are on the golf course the lower your scores will be. So if distance, accuracy, and consistency are important to you, you'd be well advised to practice incorporating lag into your golf swing.
How to create lag like a pro
In order to get really good at generating lag in your golf swing, there are some tips and techniques that will help you achieve what you want much faster and more completely. The first tip is to allow your left side to dominate the golf swing, You have to feel as though your right arm and right shoulder are really hanging onto the golf club as support, and doing none of the guiding or leading. When you allow your left side to control all the movement, it will become much easier to generate lots of lag in your golf swing.
Have the conscious swing thought that your right side is just along for the ride, and it's only supporting the club, rather than doing any of the work. Make sure that you have a light grip because this can definitely be a deal-breaker in your golf swing. When you have a light grip on the club you'll be able to maintain your lag angle longer, and then release it at just the right time. You should only be gripping the club tightly enough to control it, and not to impede it in any way through the backswing or downswing.
It's also important to get a full 90° turn of your shoulders when you're trying to generate more distance in your shots. Even if you're not a very flexible person, you should be able to get a full 90° turn of your shoulders to help add distance to your shots. Lastly, you should attempt to create as wide a swing arc as possible by ensuring that your left and right arms are straight during the backswing and takeaway. Even if you're a smaller person, this will work if you can maintain a straight left arm during the swing.
How else can you improve your golf game?
You've probably heard this from countless sources, but it's true all the same - the best way to improve your golf game is to practice regularly. That practice has to incorporate correct elements of the golf swing though because if your practice time at the range or on your home practice mat has you repeating errors in your swing, you're not going to improve anytime soon.
Once you know the right things to do, your best bet is to purchase a Rawhide Golf Ball Co. practice golf mat, so you can create course conditions in your back yard, and then repeat your swing as often as possible to build in some solid muscle memory in your swing. Going to the driving range can be expensive, especially when you're just starting out with golf and you need lots of practice to get your swing down. By purchasing your own mat, you'll be able to practice anytime you want - at no charge.
Lag can be a difficult concept for many amateur golfers to grasp because it involves visualizing the golf club trailing behind the hands and being pulled through the downswing to generate clubhead speed. If you can master the technique however, it will almost definitely allow you to drive the ball further, to increase your accuracy, and to become a more consistent player. And that means you'll probably start enjoying the game a lot more than you ever have in the past.