Having or creating lag in the golf swing is something many golf pros will talk about when referring to a good swing move or creating more power. Many amateur golfers don’t know what having lag in the golf swing actually means. Simply put, lag occurs when the angle between the forearms and the golf club shaft is maximized and maintained for as long as possible in the downswing.
Setting the golf club properly in your backswing will give you the ability to have lag in your downswing. Without doing certain things correctly in your backswing, it will be difficult to generate power in the downswing. An important key to a good golf swing is to remember that a good backswing will generally lead to a good downswing. Golfers with good backswings do not tend to have problems in their downswings. Problems in the backswing lead to more problems in the downswing.
In order to create lag in the golf swing, you must have a good wrist set or wrist hinge in your backswing. Ideally, the wrists will set fairly quickly as you begin to take the golf club back. You don’t want your backswing or takeaway to become jerky, you should still try and maintain good tempo, however it’s important to have a good wrist set to load up or create the power angle between the club shaft and your forearms. Once this angle is formed, it then needs to be maintained for good lag to occur in the downswing.
A note about setting the wrists in the backswing. You still want to maintain good extension with your arms as you take the club back. When I teach the wrist hinge or wrist set, many golfers will make the mistake of bending their right elbow too early. The right elbow will naturally start to bend at the halfway back point in the golf swing and should be folded at the top of the swing. However, bending the right arm too early will decrease extension and less power. So make sure to bend your wrists while keeping your arms straight as you take the golf club back in your backswing.
Lag in the downswing allows the hands to come into the golf ball ahead of the clubface. This is important for solid contact. This allows you to hit down slightly on the golf ball which lets the loft of the club launch the ball up into the air. This is especially helpful when hitting your irons. Hitting down on the golf ball happens when the hands can lead slightly coming into your impact position. With your woods and your driver, the hands should approach the ball in the same line as the club face because the swing will be more of a sweeping motion with these clubs.
Great golfers usually have a tremendously amount of lag in their swings. Lag produces power and distance and is generally a good thing too have. The pros will often have to work on not having so much lag because they may have too much. Too much of a good thing can be a problem. Most amateur golfers do not need to worry about having too much lag. Try to focus on creating a proper golf wrist set and maintaining the angle between your club shaft and your forearms as long as possible on the downswing and you’ll no doubt start hitting the golf ball farther and more solidly.
For more great golf swing tips and strategies, check out our Best Golf Swing Tips and play your best golf today!