Director of Instruction
Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club
To lag or not to lag, that is the question!
Every day on my lesson tee I ask golfers what they are trying to do in their golf swing and a very common answer is they are trying to create more lag. So before I get any deeper I ask them to please demonstrate how they are trying to go about this. 100% of those golfers makes their backswing and then makes a violent down cocking of their wrists by driving the handle of the club directly at the ball. (Pic 1)
Ladies and gentlemen, this is NOT lag. Lag is not something that is created in a stagnant position by over cocking your wrists in the downswing so that your clubhead gets closer to your rear shoulder on the way down. In fact, lag is what is created by a correct sequence of body and arms so that when the body finishes the back swing and starts to move into the downswing, the arms have still not quite finished their backswing movement. This resultant delay of the arms is lag. In still pictures it may look like the wrist movement these poor souls are demonstrating but in reality is not even close.
And in my opinion, the attempt by an average golfer to create this lag artificially is the worst possible mistake they can make in the golf swing. By making this move all they are doing is creating a position where the club is too far behind the hands for too long and will never result in any kind of real consistency, and in fact will force them to make more errors to compensate.
So what should you do instead? If consistency of strike, speed and distance are what you are after then your goal should be to get your clubhead back out towards the target line as soon as you possibly can!
Notice I did not say, get your hands out towards the target line, but the clubhead. The way to do this is to rotate your lead forearm down and in towards your body while straightening your rear arm. (Pic 2) This will help put the clubhead back where it can come into the ball on a shallow inside path which is where every golfer should want to be.
There are, of course, other components to this. The lateral movement of the body shifting pressure from rear heel to front toe as well as the chest staying coiled long enough to let the arms move down in front. But the misunderstanding of how the club should be delivered to the ball is a grave mistake that can cause immense amounts of frustration for golfers because they simply cannot accomplish what it is they are trying to do.
If consistent ball striking is what you want, throw away the notion of lag and get your clubhead back where it belongs!
Jeff Fisher is Director of Instruction at the Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club. Jeff can be reached at 480.414.9330 or email@example.com.