One of the most uncommon terms in golf swings is “lag”. What is lag in a golf swing? Improving this aspect would surely nurture your performance in golf and ensure that you’re in your best form.
As a golfer, you have to know your strengths. In order to improve these strengths, you must also have knowledge of the fundamentals that would improve your game.
You can’t just settle for just right when you can do so much better. One wrong move can break your game, so it’s best to know all of the right ones to combat this.
An essential to your golf performance is your golf swing.
This is because your swing is what would deliver the accuracy and distance of your shot, which would be a dire need in a golf course.
If you aspire to one day be one of those pro golfers in tournaments, it is best that you work on your swing and start it off correctly.
So, in line with this, let’s get down to business.
Why is lag important? Would it improve your performance as a golfer? How much lag in a golf swing is needed?
Don’t worry, we’ll break these down for you and answer all of your questions.
What is lag in a golf swing?
In golf, it is highly important to remember that it is not best to keep your arms straight throughout your game because it would be bad for your swing performance.
So, what should you do? Sergio Garcia is one of the most popular names in the golf industry.
You’re probably wondering what’s the secret behind his amazing performances, thinking that it would be impossible for you to accomplish this.
The secret behind his exceptional swing is actually the way that he can lag his clubhead behind the action of his arms and body in his downswing.
This helps him produce a pure hit that in turn, improves his swing.
Didn’t get any of that? Don’t worry, we’ll make it simple for you. The operative keyword that you need to remember is “lag”. The question you must have right now is, what is golf swing lag?
To put it shortly, a golf swing lag is a right angle between your club, wrists, and arms.
This happens by ensuring that you have the correct positioning of arms, wrists, and clubhead upon the club coming around into impact.
It’s not uncommon for golfers to desire to get their power from movements such as spinning, turning, and torquing, but that’s just plain wrong.
The fundamental that you should constantly work on and master is the correct order of your arms and club so you could achieve the perfect hit.
It sounds so complicated, but it’s actually really simple.
Ben Hogan even referred to this as simply leading with his elbows, but that’s actually the feeling you get after the downswing.
What he didn’t know was that he was actually doing the “lag”.
Lag The Right Way
What is lag in a golf swing and how did Ben Hogan do it? What he did was he positioned his elbows at just the right angle.
In order to ensure that the link between this and the clubhead was accurate enough to release the right impact with the stored energy from the clubhead.
A simpler way to ensure that you’re performing the lag? How much lag is needed, anyway?
The most important thing to remember is that you should not keep your arms straight.
No matter what you do, this is a forbidden rule. This would definitely hurt your golf swing lag.
At the start of your swing, the structure of your arms should be right because this is what would make the constant lag in your swing.
By ensuring that as early as the start, you are already doing right, you must have the correct shape.
This is done by keeping your right arm (or left, depending on what’s dominant) bent at the right angle so you could prepare your leg.
This isn’t something you can just create during the downswing. If you’re still not sure what is a lag in a golf swing, you could envision this.
Your hands are about to pass over the top of the ball as the clubhead still has some distance to go before making contact.
This is what a lag is. It is when the clubhead moves slower behind your body and arms.
Since golf swing lags are commonly misidentified, let’s talk about how you actually need to perform it and what it feels like.
Sergio Garcia describes the feeling of a lag like pulling a chain, but this isn’t what’s happening.
You shouldn’t try to create a lag by holding off the release of your clubhead using your hands.
This is because you might just create bad misses because of tension and shaky flipping of the hands.
Instead, Sergio starts the downswing using the lower body.
This is how he forms lags, all thanks to his free flow swing that shifts from backswing to downswing with his legs and hips so his arms, hands, and club can follow.
His left arm actually stays linked to his torso as he performs the downswing, which is an essential move.
By just keeping the correct sequence and wrist passiveness, you can get lots of power for your swing.
If you’re too scared of keeping your arms bent, you should overcome this because this will actually set you up for bettering your golf performance.
It would help your correct sequencing without the large repercussions.
Finally, it’s also a good reminder that some problems are actually best fixed by going back to the start again and just getting things right the second time.
What is Lag in a Golf Swing: Understanding the Components
So, since we’ve already gotten a bit into what is lag in a golf swing, let’s discuss its components, such as the downswing.
A downswing is defined as the part of the swing wherein the clubhead moves down approaching the ball – as compared to the movement created by the backswing.
Following a smooth transition, the downswing is made from the relaxing of the body as the arms and club swing down to release impact.
To better understand its relation to what is golf swing lag, let’s give it a step-by-step run-through:
Breathe & Relax
One of the fundamentals of a downswing is made from relaxing the body along your spine. Do not forget to keep your spine in a fixed position as you take your swing.
Avoid unnecessary movements. Your goal should be to swing your arms and the club around your body, not to follow the movement of the club with your body.
Lower Body Empowerment
The initiative of uncoiling movement in your downswing comes from your lower body. Your hips should move leftward as your knees move together.
If this is done correctly, the clubhead stays behind the golf ball, ensuring proper weight shift.
Don’t Even Try
Avoid fancy movements that may hurt your game more than help it.
Do not flip your wrists to initiate the downswing, as this would result in early release and ultimately power loss and slower swings.
How much lag is needed to benefit
If you’re still not sure what is a lag in a golf swing, you could envision this.
Your hands are about to pass over the top of the ball as the clubhead still has some distance to go before making contact. This is what a lag is.
It is when the clubhead moves slower behind your body and arms. Does this now answer your question of what is golf swing lag? Now, let’s move on.
How much lag is needed and what are the benefits of golf swing lag?
Let’s learn this as we study how to do the lag in the application.
Arm movement with the body
Keep your dominant arm connected to your body.
This is because by doing this, you create lag as your lower body begins the downswing while your arms and hands stay chill.
As your lower body relaxes toward the target, the swinging of your arms would be done right.
After this, your club catches up and then courses through the body and improves upon impact. The closer this occurs means that potential is at a higher rate to compress the ball.
All about the angles
It all boils down to the angle between the shaft and the left forearm in your downswing.
The longer your wrist can sustain this angle, the more impressive and powerful your lag will be.
As you release, if your wrists are in this angle, your final motion would improve clubhead speeds, therefore making for extra distance.
Think of doing the lag like how you do a painting.
As your hands move with the paintbrush, the bristles are catching up. This is what you should feel as you correctly lag the clubhead.
Always start at your lower body, with your dominant foot firm against the ground and your hips moving toward the target.
Proper golf swing
Remember that lagging is fundamental to the golf swing. Do not pull the handle down. Arms should be slightly bent.
Let your lower body take the lead in performing the downswing and it will do the work for the clubhead to put it in a trailing position.
Keep your dominant arm linked to your chest. You should feel like your arms are being dragged into impact with your body rotation.
Improving through Practice
Instead of just setting the angle of your wrists in the backswing, continue to maintain it until the last second before impact. Improve your endurance.
Find the right movement styles for you that would make your wrist angle comfortable to sustain during your downswing. It would also help you discover the right lag feel.
If you’ve observed, there are swing sequences that are both common and/or different among golf players.
However, one constant is that the shaft bends around a player’s body as he is half into his downswing.
This is because as the angle of wrists finds its release, the whip creates clubhead speed. One common problem among beginners is that casting is hard.
Casting is when the wrists’ angle is released too soon, usually at the beginning of a backswing.
When this happens, you hit at the wrong moment and release power planned for the lag.
Leave your club behind
Perform a narrow stance and place the ball just inside your left heel. Swing to the top like normal and then step your left foot towards the target.
With this weight shift, your hands and the club shaft will be left behind for the achievement of closer impact release.
Separate your hands
Make some split-handed swings in the meantime that you are finding difficulties with keeping the angle between your left forearm and club shaft consistent.
To do this, just put your left hand on the club like normal, but remember to move your right hand halfway down the shaft.
As you perform your downswing, make sure your right elbow stays close to your side.
Not all things that seem good for us are still healthy in abundant amounts. This goes the same way for overusing our newfound knowledge about what is lag in a golf swing.
As golfers shift into downswings, the clubhead begins to lag behind their hands and then proceeds to snap “inline” with the extended arm just as the ball starts to separate from the blade.
Well, this is what should happen, but what happens more is that players tend to overlag. So, what is overlag and what does it have to do with what is lag in a golf swing?
Too much lag causes the shaft to lean forward and then deloft the club. On the other hand, a lack of lag causes additional loft to the clubhead.
If a golfer has too much lag, this is what might happen:
- Low point of the swing moves too much forward
- Angle of attack pushes downward
- Dynamic loft of the club diminishes
- Launch angle of the ball becomes too minuscule
- Vertical impact point may be lessened, thus negatively impacting the ball’s spin rate
Golf Lag Drills
Since we’ve already established what is golf swing lag, let’s move on to some important tips you need to know.
To get the right lag in the golf swing, you must try out these following drills:
Swing Club Upside Down Drill
- Flip over your golf club and hold it close to the head. The grip should be down on the ground.
- Practice normal swings. You will hear a whooshing sound during the downswing.
- Focus on finding the exact location your swing woosh happens.
- The closer your swing woosh on the impact zone, the better lag and release your swing contains.
- Hold your golf club normally, right about the golf club’s grip end.
- Raise both of your pinkie and ring fingers from gripping the club.
- By this time, you must have only six (6) fingers on your club.
- Take little, slow swings.
- The club will then lag forcefully behind your hands.
- You must feel a back and forth sensation on the club as compared to normal.
What is lag in a golf swing?
A lag is a delay in the clubhead as it moves to give the greatest impact with the perfect alignment of your arms, hands, and wrists.
By exercising all you learned about what is golf swing lag, you will get a smooth and rhythmic hit that would propel your golf ball into an amazing distance.
It creates more clubhead speed and a snapping motion with impact, making it stronger.
It helps the downward motion toward the golf ball that helps with range and flexibility, as the golf ball was designed to fulfill this purpose.
You already got a good swing that will surely hit some shots!
Last Updated on March 2, 2023 by Paul Roger Steinberg