From the amateur to the pro, every golfer can always make little changes and learn new techniques to improve their game, and one of the most important tools to add to your arsenal is being able to consistently create lag with your driver.
This is considered a tough technique to pull off, but it can pay dividends if you can master it. Here, we’ll be taking a look at what exactly lag is, as well as exploring some ways in which you can create it more efficiently and reliably.
Many golfers will simply never be able to create lag. The majority of players simply give up or persist with the wrong technique, destined to miss out on a key skill that could drastically improve their game.
Others are able to generate lag but can’t quite make enough of it to see a significant difference.
All of the big-hitting pro players are able to create lag almost effortlessly, converting smooth-looking swings into powerful hits.
The key is not to try and force lag, but to try and maintain it from the start of the downswing all the way through to the moment of impact.
Understanding Exactly What Lag Is
First of all, let’s look at what lag actually is so we can better understand how to achieve it. Essentially, lag in the swing is when the club head trails behind the hands during the swinging motion.
It can start right at the beginning of the downswing and can last all the way through to the point of impact with the ball. Videos and images online can demonstrate lag if you need a more visual example: these images will show the golfer’s hands leading while the head of his club will trail or ‘lag’ behind.
Why does lag matter? Well, it’s a sign of a good swing. If there’s no lag in your swing, it’s even not powerful enough or not sufficiently efficient. In short, lag is essential if you want to be performing at your best possible level.
You won’t see a single pro on the PGA Tour who isn’t able to generate lag in their swings. It’s a clear sign of a good quality swinging motion and helps to generate the power you need to hit accurate shots.
How Much Lag Should You Have With Your Driver?
The amount of lag you really need is quite hard to calculate. Even on the PGA Tour, one professional player might generate significantly more lag than another, but that doesn’t necessarily give them an advantage.
We all know Sergio generates a ton of lag, and really generates a ton of power with it, but no amateur should be striving to reach that level. Simply getting some lag and swinging on or slightly under plane is more than good enough for the typical amateur drive.
It all depends on the player’s individual swing style, specifically how and when the player loads the club. Phil Mickelson is a player known for creating huge amounts of lag, but Steve Stricker is another great pro who doesn’t make a whole lot of lag.
The key isn’t the amount you create, but how you maintain it through your swing to the moment of impact.
Fortunately, it is very possible to learn how to make lag and add more into your game. Various techniques and tips are available for you to test out, and the general idea of generating lag is to improve the style and movement of your swing.
So, by simply trying to create lag, you’ll be able to give yourself a better swinging motion. It’s a win-win situation, and that’s why we encourage all players to give these techniques a try.
Start by Avoiding Lag Killing Moves
First up, let’s look at some things to avoid when trying to add some lag to your swings. First up, note that lag is something which is ‘sustained’ rather than ‘held’.
Trying to hold lag by keeping your wrists at a certain angle too long will only result in slower, less efficient shots. Another thing to avoid is extreme lag drills.
They might seem impressive, but out on the course, you can’t really put those sorts of techniques into use in a real game of golf, so keep your expectations reasonable and try to work the lag into your natural swing, rather than focusing solely on creating as much as possible.
A Loose Downswing Will Naturally Generate Lag
The trick of creating lag is in the downswing. It needs to be one, smooth, free-flowing movement. If the downward motion is interrupted or delayed in any way, lag will not be sustained.
Similarly, if the transition from the backswing to the downswing isn’t smooth and fluid, lag will not be created. The swing needs to go all the way through the ball, so you can’t just stop moving a hand or shoulder at the moment of impact.
The trailing wrist needs to stay bent at just the right angle during the whole swing. A straight trailing wrist will, once again, prevent you from sustaining or generating lag.
A good drill to try if you want to start improving your swing and adding lag to your game is to take the club and hold in between the thumb, index and middle fingers of your trail hand.
Swing the club a few times to get a feel for it, and try to keep the motion as smooth as possible. Then you can start thinking about lag.
Keep the wrist bent and allow the angle to fluctuate slightly as the weight of the club shifts and moves through the swing. You shouldn’t notice any tension in your forearm or any snapping, sudden movements in your hand or wrist. It should all be one flowing motion.
Another way to experiment with lag is to use an alignment rod to extend the shaft length of your club. From there, use the club to hit easy pitch shots, keeping the rod on your lead side at address.
You might notice the rod coming into contact with your body, and in order to prevent this, you’ll need to move your leading shoulder and push your hands through the ball, rather than simply trying to hit it.
Use all of these ideas and techniques together to improve your swing, instead of relying on just one of them. Try them all and soon enough you’ll start seeing a big improvement in your strokes.