Get more lag in the golf swing & more distance
Are you consistently one of the shortest hitters in your group every round of golf you play? Do you struggle to reach long par-4’s in two and need to use a lot of hybrids and 3-woods for your approach shots? If either of these sound like you the it's likely you find it difficult to create lag in the golf swing and are desperate for that extra bit of power to help make the game easier.
Well you’re not alone, most golfers I see struggle for distance and as a result find golf a lot more difficult than it needs to be.
Believe me, there is a big difference to hitting an 8-iron into a par-4 than a hybrid or 3-wood and it makes it much easier shoot a lower score.
The good news is it’s not as difficult as you might think to hit longer golf shots and shorting clubs into holes.
- All methods and explanations are for a right handed golfer, for lefties please do the opposite.
I learnt all of these powerful lag methods and drills from the team at Rotary Swing who are number one golf instruction training online.
6 Reasons why most golfers lack distance & power
A common misconception amongst golfers is that you have to be young, big, strong, athletic and super flexible to generate longer, thundering golf shots!
Whilst I’ll admit some of those things can help you hit longer drives, in my experience most golfers regardless of their age or physical ability can add significant distance to all their shots.
Most golfers lose distance because of these 6 things:
- Incomplete shoulder turn
- Small swing arc
- Incorrect weight shift
- Strong grip pressure
- Dominant right side
’ll explain each of these in more detail below.
The hammering a nail concept
Before I go through the 6 reasons why you might lack distance and power, I want to share with you the concept of hammering a nail into wood with a hammer. This is important to understand as it directly relates to getting more lag in golf and hitting the golf ball further.
If you’ve ever used a hammer to hit a nail I doubt you hit the nail with your right wrist flat as you moved the hammer up and down to hit the nail.
You would have let the right wrist flex back to create momentum and flung the hammer back and forth to create power to drive the nail into the wood.
Creating lag in the golf swing is the same concept only we are using a golf club (hammer) to hit a golf ball (nail) and send it towards the hole.
1. Casting the golf club
When you cast the golf club in the downswing you rob yourself of power and the ability to hit consistent, on plane golf shots. Casting is when your right hand pushes excessively against the shaft in the downswing which reduces the lag angle created between your right arm and the golf club.
When this angle reduces the golf club has no power source and enters the impact zone in a straight line with the arms and club.
Having too strong a grip pressure and too much push from the right side is the main cause of a casting action in the golf downswing.
2. Insufficient shoulder turn
If you are not getting your shoulder turn in golf to around 90 degrees or more you are missing out on some serious power. Not only do you miss out on the extra speed and power a bigger shoulder turn creates, but you lose lag angle as well which helps with increasing golf swing speed.
Anything less than a 90 degree shoulder turn makes it difficult bring the golf club down on plane and often results in over the top and steep downswings in golf.
If you think you cannot complete a 90 degree shoulder turn, don’t worry I’ve got a simple drill further down that demonstrates how any golfer can achieve this.
3. Your swing arc is too small
Your swing arc is the width you create in your golf swing. The wider the arc you can create the greater potential for increasing golf swing speed in your swing. Obviously, your body type will determine the width of the swing arc you are able to create.
A lot of golfers go wrong by bending their left arm early in the backswing and not turning their shoulders enough.
This limits your ability to make a wide swing arc, generate more lag in the golf swing and hit longer golf shots.
4. Incorrect weight shift
Another common fault that reduces your ability to create lag in the golf swing is incorrectly shifting your weight. When you commence your golf swing most of your weight should move to your rear or right leg. On the downswing you should shift most of it back to the left.
Where most golfers go wrong and you could be doing the same, is when the weight is shifted to the right the weight is kept on the right leg in the downswing.
This not only reduces lag but makes it extremely difficult to get your golf swing on plane and create any sort of power.
5. Too much grip pressure
Having the correct amount of grip pressure is vital and has enormous effects on your ability to creating lag in the golf swing. In the issue of casting that I talked about above, the right hand pushes against the shaft reducing the lag angle.
If your grip pressure is too strong you will not be able to hold a good lag angle and will cast the golf club in the downswing.
Aim for a grip pressure of around 3 to 4 (10 being tight grip) which will enable the clubhead to lag back behind the hands and produce a powerful golf swing.
6. Dominant right side
Being a right hander it’s very easy to let the right arm and right shoulder take over in the golf swing in an effort to generate more power. Unfortunately this only leads to you coming over the top, steep and too much secondary axis tilt in the downswing.
This results in reduced lag from pushing against the shaft and also contributes to the shoulders prematurely opening in the downswing reducing golf swing speed.
As you’ll soon discover, the golf swing is lead side or (left side) dominant and learning to use it more in the golf swing will increase your lag.
It also occurs when your chest opens too quickly in the downswing which throws the golf club away from you causing a casting action.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW THAT DEMONSTRATES HOW I CREATE MORE LAG IN THE GOLF SWING:
4 Ways to creating massive lag
Now that you know what NOT to do to increase lag and power in the golf swing, it’s time to look at ways to increase your lag and golf swing speed. Regardless of your currently physical condition, golf handicap or skill level you can perform these methods and start hitting longer golf shots.
Following these 4 methods I will reveal two golf swing lag drills you can use immediately to help you get extra distance in your golf game.
These work for all golfers and can be practiced at the driving range or from the comfort of your own home.
1. Left side dominates golf swing
As I mentioned earlier, the golf swing is lead side dominant and all efficient, powerful golf swings lead from the left side particularly in the downswing. If you can understand and implement this principle in your golf swing, lower scores and more lag will be achieved.
When you commence and make your backswing try to feel as though your right arm and right shoulder are just supporting the golf club.
You should be able to get your hands to your right thigh with the club parallel to the ground which is the ideal position.
Let the left side control most of the movement and you’ll be amazed at just how easy it is to create more lag in the golf swing.
2. Grip it light
This is a real key and can make or break your golf swing. Having light grip pressure enables you to hold the lag angle longer and release it at the right time. You want to be aiming for a grip pressure of around 3 to 4 (10 being a tight grip).
This is just enough pressure to control the golf club without too much that would affect the amount of lag being created.
One of the drills below will show you how having a light grip helps increase and maintain lag for a more powerful golf swing.
3. Get a full 90 degree turn
Getting a full 90 degree shoulder turn in golf is vital if you want to produce longer, more distance with your golf shots. Contrary to most beliefs, all golfers can make a full shoulder turn with the right knowledge of how the body works.
Most golfers are very right side dominant as already explained and this added tension in the right side prohibits the shoulders from turning fully.
Grab a golf club with your left arm only and practice making golf swings and you’ll soon seen how easy it is to make a full 90 degree turn.
Slowly add the right arm but continue to control the club with the left and you’ll easily be able to make a full turn.
4. Create a wide swing arc
It only makes sense that the wider the swing arc the more power you can generate into your golf swing. This is different for every golfer because we are all made up of different shapes and sizes.
The key is at the beginning of the takeaway and backswing to ensure your keep left and right arm straight for as long as possible without hinging the wrists too early.
The right arm and wrist will hinge eventually but it’s important that you let this happen naturally instead of trying to force an wrist break too early.
2 Golf swing lag drills that work
To get the most out of the methods that I’ve gone through above, practicing golf swing lag drills will get you the quickest improvement.
These are designed to get your body feeling the new movement so it builds muscle memory.
Practice these at home or at the driving range for at least 50 reps at a time.
Slowly work your way up to hitting short distance shots and eventually to 100% fully committed golf swings.
The 1 arm golf swing drill
This is my favourite drill and one that I perform before every golf shot I play. Grab a golf club with your left hand and practice making slow golf swings getting a full shoulder turn back and move through to impact and your follow through.
This drill makes it easy to create more lag in the golf swing, a full shoulder turn and leverage every bit of power you have possible.
It also helps you to keep the shoulders closed for slightly longer in the downswing which gets your golf swing on plane and maximises the lag you’ve created.
This can be practiced away from the golf course or just before you hit every shot during a round like I do.
The 9 to 3 golf swing drill
Another great golf swing lag drill that promotes the feeling of creating more lag in the golf swing is the 9 to 3 golf swing drill. This can be done with one arm or two arms controlling the golf club.
Start by grabbing a club with a very light grip around a 2 or 3 (10 being a tight grip) on a gripping scale.
Move the club slowly back to waist height and let the hands naturally hinge which will force the clubhead to lag behind the hands.
As you move the clubhead through to impact the hands should comfortably reach the rear thigh with the club parallel to the ground.
Follow through to waist height and let your hands cross over on top of each other naturally.
Your turn to take action
You’ve now got some fantastic methods and drills for creating lag in the golf swing, increasing your swing speed and getting an immediate boost in distance.
As with all changes in golf they need to be practiced until they become muscle memory.
Ensure you perform at least 50 reps each day you practice and you’ll soon have enough lag to be out-driving your playing partners in no time.
I learnt these drills and methods from the team at Rotary Swing who teach this and many more great swing methods.
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