Golf Swing Lag Drills
When trying to maximize your distance and also make better contact with the golf ball, it’s important to generate some degree of lag. Lag occurs when the clubhead is trailing behind the body near impact. More wrist hinge at the point where your left arm (for a right-handed golfer) is pointing just behind the ball in the downswing will translate to more lag and thus more power. Lag generally leads to more clubhead speed since it preserves the energy that is stored in the backswing.
How can you get more lag in your golf swing? It’s not something you will be able to change overnight, but here are some drills you can work on that should help you develop the proper feels associated with lag.
Short-Back Full-Down Drill
Who this drill will help: Golfers who want more lag in their swing.
What this drill is: The idea is to make a short backswing and then a full, quick downswing and follow-through — this will promote a “lag” in the club and allow one to develop the desired feel. Start by making the backswing until your hands are at about waist height. Then turn your body aggressively through the downswing and let the club trail behind you, finishing high and full. Think “explosive” to really generate a ton of lag.
What this drill tries to accomplish: This drill will help you to develop the feeling of turning your body out of the way and delaying the release of the golf club — the recipe for lag. Once you have ingrained the feeling, you can start to make fuller backswings and try to retain that “lag” feeling. Just make sure that you’re hitting the ball solidly; no amount of lag in your swing will matter if you can’t make solid contact.
This drill is illustrated by PGA instructor Andy Proudman below:
The “Ear-to-Ear” Drill
Who this drill will help: Golfers who feel like their swing is too “armsy” and want to increase their lag angle for more power.
What this drill is: Keeping your hands just outside your body on the right (for a right-handed golfer), take the club back just ever so slightly and hinge your wrists so that the club shaft is nearly touching your ear. Then swing through and release the club until your hands are just outside your body on the left and the club shaft is close to your other ear. This constitutes one repetition of the drill. Keep a firm grip on the golf club but avoid gripping too tight.
What this drill tries to accomplish: This drill will:
- teach you to “loosen” up your wrists without loosening your grip on the golf club
- help you develop the lag angle needed to increase the power and efficiency of your swing
- help you engage your lower body more and be less “armsy” in your swing
This is a long-term drill that ideally should be done for at least a few weeks. It usually takes about a month of practice to start seeing substantial results. Not only can you incorporate this drill into your regular practice routine, but you can also do this virtually anywhere (in the house, etc.) at any time. You could do this drill 10-50 times per session or as much as you can. If you’re in a room with a low ceiling, grip farther down on the club and proceed with the drill as normal.
Check out this detailed video of the drill with golf instructor Paul Wilson below:
The Baseball Bat Drill
Who this drill will help: Golfers who want more lag in their downswing and are familiar with how to swing a baseball bat.
What this drill is: With club in hand and standing straight up, make a baseball swing motion horizontally and stop when your hands are in front of the right side of your chest (for a right-handed golfer). At this point, and assuming you have a general idea of how to swing a baseball bat, your right arm should be extended and the club should be angled about 90° from it. Now tilt from your hips into a proper golf address position, and make the same “baseball bat” swing motion on the new tilted swing plane.
What this drill tries to accomplish: What a lot of people don’t realize is the swing of a baseball bat and a golf swing are essentially the same aside from the swing planes involved. If you know how to swing a baseball bat with decent form (which many people find rather easy), it’s really just a matter of making that same motion on a tilted plane with a golf club. The 90° angle produced in the baseball swing represents the very lag that you want to carry over to the golf swing. In summary, it can be very helpful to imagine that you’re swinging a baseball bat on a tilted plane when making your golf swing.
Below, golf instructor Clay Ballard demonstrates this drill and also gives some related tips:
Try some of these drills, be persistent and hopefully you’ll be able to see some positive results! The product review section of Golfstead has information on quality equipment that will help you to get the most out of these drills.