Creating lag in the golf swing is the ultimate goal for most amateur golfers. I’ve seen students who have literally spent their entire golfing careers trying to stop casting the golf club, only to have it fixed in one lesson that I’m going share with you today.
I even had one member of my golf forum who called himself “Clubcaster”. He went so far as starting his own website that chronicled his struggles to create more lag in his golf swing. Losing lag had become such an obsession that it became a part of his identity!
If you can relate to our good old friend “Clubcaster”, fear not! Hope is not lost! In fact, I GUARANTEE you that if do the drill I lay out here and read this article, you will rid yourself of this terrible golf swing fault once and for all!
Step 1: Understand the Faults that Cause You to Lose Lag
There are a few things that cause you to lose lag in your swing. I’m going to talk about the most common ones: spinning the shoulders, oversetting the wrists and too much tension.
1. Spinning the Shoulders in the Downswing
This is perhaps the most common swing fault I see. Spinning the shoulders is simply starting the downswing by aggressively unwinding the shoulders from the top of the backswing. This rotary motion creates a great deal of centripetal force, the result of which is centrifugal force that acts on the club. This centrifugal force causes the club head to release away from you and is powerful enough to over power the wrists and create club head throw away, or a casting motion.
2. Oversetting the Wrists
The second common cause is setting the wrists fully too soon in the backswing. When this is done, the muscles in the forearms that are responsible for creating the lag are fully contracted and have nowhere else to go during the downswing. A muscle under tension wants to do one thing – release the tension! So, as the golfer starts down, the club is cast.
3. Too Much Tension
This shows up in golfers of all levels, from the PGA Tour pros I’ve worked with to the 30 handicapper. Too much tension in the forearms locks up the wrists and prevents something that is very important in all great golf swings – a downcocking motion. A downcock is simply the act of setting your wrists MORE during the downswing when it’s needed most.
This is NOT a comprehensive list of faults, but it does cover the majority I see on a daily basis. More importantly, these flaws are common ones that I see that most golfers don’t realize are the culprits responsible for their casting, so that’s why I chose to focus on them here.
Step 2: How to MASSIVELY Increase the Lag in Your Golf Swing
So, we know what not to do, what exactly do we want to do? I’m going to show you a simple drill to do that will attack all three flaws I mentioned above that destroy lag – three birds with one swing drill!
To start, you’ll need an impact bag. They can be purchased at most golf shops or you can purchase one on my website in the signature below. They’re incredibly helpful when working on new swing mechanics because it takes out the fear of making solid contact with the golf ball and allows you to focus on the drill.
From there, take a short iron and setup to the impact bag holding the club LIGHTLY with your right hand only. As you swing to the top, you want to purposely minimize setting the wrists. Remember issue number 3 above. To minimize tension and maximize lag you’re barely holding on to the club right now, your grip is very light and your wrists very supple. As you swing to the top, you will feel as if you never set your wrists – that’s the exaggeration we’re looking for.
Now, for the payoff. With your wrists still very soft, swing your arm back down to the impact bag while keeping your shoulders feeling shut. There is no need to rotate them at all as we are trying to isolate just the movement and action of the right arm and the golf club.
Take a look at the image sequence below of me performing these movements to help you visualize the drill.
You can see that just past halfway down, I have a TON of lag in my swing because my wrists had some place to go during the downswing. In other words, because they weren’t fully set going back, I had the ability to “downcock” them during the downswing and because they were soft, this happens completely naturally!
Now as we near impact with all that new found lag, release the fury into the bag! It’s fun!
On my website, I go more in depth on this drill and talk about how to do it with the left hand. I also go into the full sequence to teach you how to carry this over successfully from the impact bag to actually hitting balls at full speed with both hands. But for now, we’ll just focus on the right hand and what it looks like with both hands on the golf club.
Step 3: Become a Lag Monster!
Progressing to doing the drill with both hands produces truly remarkable results. By maintaining the feeling of what you just learned with your right hand only, and working through the rest of the sequence from my website, I’ve produced lag that any golfer would kill to have in only a few minutes.
In the above sequence, you can see that at the top of the swing I’m exaggerating not setting my right wrist nor fully folding my right arm. This is similar to the move JB Holmes makes on the PGA Tour and he’s one of the longest hitters on the tour. During the change of direction, I’ve allowed my right wrist to fully set and increased the flexion in my right arm to create some serious RotarySwing Tour lag! It is critical that you get this lag increase during the change of direction like I’ve done here. This is when it matters most!
Now, let’s look at the full sequence of increasing lag and then unleashing it into impact.
If you had any doubt in the effectiveness of this drill, that should be laid to rest in now! That impact bag is taking a beating and so will your golf ball as you master this drill!
About the Author
Chuck Quinton is the founder of RotarySwing, the first objective approach to golf instruction system based on science! The RotarySwing Tour golf swing fundamentals are used by most every PGA Tour pro to a large degree and you can learn the same fundamentals.