Curing excessive “lag” at impact
by Tom Stickney II | December 29, 2013
Technology is a wonderful thing. It is making both teachers and students better, as it allow us to understand more and more about the golf swing with the inventions of systems like 3-D Motion Analysis, Force Plates and Doppler radar launch monitors like Trackman and FlightScope. This technology has also proven to us that things we once thought were good can also be harmful if taken too far. Such is the case with clubhead lag.
When golfer transitions into the downswing, the clubhead “lags” behind the hands into delivery and snaps “inline” with the forward arm the split second before the ball separates from the blade (in a perfect world.) If you have too much lag, the shaft leans forward, delofting the club, while too little lag adds loft to the clubhead.
Long have golfers heard that they must have a flat leading wrist at impact to make their club shaft to lean forward. Golfers must have control of their impact alignments in an effort to produce the trajectories they desire, and a forward leaning club shaft can equate to more distance. However, golfers must NOT take “lag” to an extreme level or they will cause themselves several problems.
Let’s see what too much lag looks like while hitting a driver.
Whenever a golfer has too much “lag” or “handle-drag” into impact, it causes several things to happen:
The swing’s low point is moved too far forward.
The angle of attack becomes more downward.
The club’s dynamic loft is reduced.
The subsequent launch angle of the ball tends to be too low.
The vertical impact point can be altered, thus effecting the ball’s spin rate.
A golfer’s spin loft will be too low and his or her ball speed can be slower as well.
It’s amazing that something we once thought of as a good thing can also become bad if taken to the extreme. So, if you think you have too much “lag” in your downswing with the driver, what are the symptoms and how do you fix it? The following questions will help you identify if you in fact have too much lag.
Do you tend to hit your driver on a flatter, lower trajectory?
Are your impact points on the center-line of the club, not high on the face?
Do you tend to hit push blocks?
Does your overall distance production rely on a subsequent amount of roll?
So how do you fix this issue if you have it? In my opinion, the very best way to solve excessive lag issue is to use a training aid called the “Speed Whoosh” by Momentus Golf.
The goal of the Speed Whoosh drill shown below is to have the feeling that the impact of the rubber ball is just before impact. This will help you to feel how to release the club a touch earlier so you won’t run into the problems listed above.
Now I am certainly not telling you to have an early release, but if you consistently fight too much lag into your downswing, then this is one of the best ways to get the feeling of not “dragging the handle too much.”
Practice making swings with The Whoosh, hit a few shots, practice with The Whoosh again, hit a few shots higher and repeat the process. If you monitor the factors listed above, I bet you will reduce your excessive lag and hit the ball higher and farther than before. Give it a try and see!