How To Create Lag In Your Golf Swing

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Do you ever wonder if your golf buddies are speaking a different language?

Golf is hard enough, why do we feel the need to use complex terms to describe the simple idea of hitting a little white ball?

We want to help.

It may sound like a strange term, but creating lag in your golf swing can help you become a better player. Lag will improve your consistency and give you more distance.

In this article, we’ll look at:

  • What Is Lag In Your Golf Swing
  • Why Having Lag In Your Swing Is Important
  • 5 Drills To Improve Lag


Let’s go!

How To Create Lag In Your Golf Swing

What Is Lag In Your Golf Swing?

Lag is the trailing of your golf club during your downswing.

In other words, it could be described as the extent to which the club lag behind your hands.

There are several ways you will hear golfers reference lag in your golf swing.

Hold the angle“, “downcock“, and “late release” are the most common examples.

You create lag in your golf swing by maintaining the angle between the lead arm and the club shaft when you start your downswing.

As you turn your lower body this will create a “pull” feeling towards the golf ball.

The key is to release the club at the correct time.

Releasing too early is the mistake made by most amateur golfers.

The best example is Ben Hogan, but it might be easier to find video of a modern day player.

Sergio Garcia has a tremendous amount of lag and it is not a coincidence he is considered one of the best ball strikers in the world. Check out the slow-motion swing by Sergio below and you will immediately see it.

Lag in your golf swing is often the difference in a scratch golfer’s swing and a player that struggles to break 100.

Why Lag In Your Golf Swing Is Important

How To Create Lag In Your Golf Swing

Would you like to hit the golf ball farther?

How about straighter and more consistent?

Lag in your golf swing is the solution for both.

First, lag creates more swing speed because you are delivering the club head to the ball at the correct time in your swing arc.

You want to deliver as much speed as possible at impact.

Amateur golfers often make the mistake of getting “quick at the top” and by the time they reach the ball their club is actually decelerating.

Lag in your golf swing will fix this mistake.

When done correctly, lag will allow you to “pull” your lead arm down and through the ball. This motion leads to solid contact and more consistent ball striking.

Creating lag in your golf swing will help you hit more fairways and greens. Golf is much easier when you are putting for birdies.

5 Drills To Help You Create Lag In Your Golf Swing

How To Create Lag In Your Golf Swing

The best way to see the lag in your golf swing is on video.

Prior to starting these drills, get a buddy to film your swing.

This will serve as a baseline and will help you measure your progress.

Following each practice session, take another video of your swing.

Can you see a difference? Were you able to create lag in your golf swing?

Drill #1 – Add Weight To Your Clubhead

Creating lag in your golf swing can be an awkward concept at first. Most of these drills are designed to help you “feel it“.

Take out a middle iron (7-iron is perfect) and add a weight near the clubhead. If you don’t have a weight, you can tie a towel around it. You simply want it to be heavier than normal.

Without hitting any balls, simply take swings with your weighted club.

Why does this help you create lag in your golf swing? The heavier club is going to help you learn how to leave the club behind your hands during your downswing.

The extra weight prevents you from casting the club early and losing your lag. Once you have taken 10 practice swings remove the weight and hit 10 shots.

Repeat this exercise several times. You will learn the motion through repetition.

Now that you have the feel of lag (from swinging with the weighted club), it will be easier to do once you remove the weight.

How To Create Lag In Your Golf Swing

Drill #2 – Try An Impact Bag

Impact bags are a relatively new golf swing trainer option. As the name tells you, they are bags that you hit with your club to improve your impact position.

Impact bags are the best swing trainer for creating lag in your golf swing. They are relatively small and are designed to be hit with a golf club.

The other great thing about an impact bag is that you can use it anywhere. You don’t need to be on the driving range. You can use your impact bag in your living room.

The impact bag will teach you to have your hands forward at impact. A key component of creating lag in your golf swing.

An impact bag is simple to use. Grip your club normally and make sure the impact bag is in the middle of your stance.

Now take swings and strike the bag. When you hit the bag, you should notice that your hands are ahead of the clubhead.

Start with smaller or half swings and work you way up to full swings. Anytime you have 10 minutes pull out your impact bag and work on creating lag in your golf swing.

How To Create Lag In Your Golf Swing

Drill #3 – Cross-Handed

Many golfers have started to putt cross-handed. In other words, a right-handed player holds the putter with their left hand below the right.

What isn’t very common is hitting full shots (irons and drivers) with a cross-handed grip, but did you know this can help you create lag in your swing?

Using your wrists correctly is critical to lag.

It is important to fully hinge your wrist at the top of your swing and hold this hinge for as long as possible.

Holding your wrist hinge and releasing it at the correct time will produce tremendous speed and power.

Taking full golf swings with a cross-handed grip will teach your wrists to do the right thing.

You don’t have to hit balls. It will feel awkward, but you are training your wrists to “hold the hinge” as long as possible.

How To Create Lag In Your Golf Swing

Drill #4 – Slow Motion In A Mirror

Sometimes you need to see it to believe it. Lag in your golf swing can be hard to feel at first.

We recommend making some slow-motion swings with a mirror. Try to mimic Sergio’s swing position in slow motion.

Pay special attention to your hand positions in relation to the clubhead and how your wrists move during the swing.

The goal is to learn muscle memory, so take your time. Go as slow as you need to in order to create lag in your golf swing.

Many teaching professionals have a mirror on the driving range for this exact drill. If you can find one use it while you practice.

Take several slow-motion swings and use the mirror to confirm you are creating the desired lag in your golf swing.

Once you see it, can you make the same swing when hitting a shot? If it helps, try different swing speeds.

Progress from slow motion to half speed, before trying a full swing shot. See yourself making the correct swing.

How To Create Lag In Your Golf Swing

Drill #5 – Narrow Your Stance

We listed this drill number 5 on our list, but it happens to be our favorite. It is simple to perform but improves your swing in several different ways.

When we say “narrow your stance” we aren’t joking. We want you to hit shots with your feet touching.

Will it feel strange at first? Yes.

Will you high some wild shots? Of course. Will it improve your swing? Definitely.

Hitting shots with your feet together will improve your balance, rhythm, and timing!

Sounds pretty good, right? Did we mention that it will also help you create lag in your golf swing?

With your stance this narrow it will be difficult to use your lower body for power. This will force you to create lag in order to generate power.

We would never recommend you try this on the course, but it is a great drill to improve your swing.

On the driving range, hit 10 balls with your feet together to get the feel.

Now take your normal stance and hit 10 balls.

Repeat several times.

How To Create Lag In Your Golf Swing

Be Patient – Change Takes Time

Like any major change, adding lag in your golf swing will not happen overnight. It will take practice and repetition.

Put in the work. Do your drills and check your swing on video to track your progress. Before you know it, it will become muscle memory.

You may never develop the swing of Hogan or Sergio, but you will start to see the lag in your golf swing. You will start to hit more high-quality golf shots and your scores will improve.

To avoid getting frustrated, pay attention to small improvements. Take a moment to congratulate yourself when you notice the lag in your golf swing getting better.

Good luck and play well!

Photo of author
Ray has been playing golf for 35+ years, including being part of his High School and College golf teams. While he still enjoys playing in amateur tournaments, Ray now focuses on growing the game of golf through teaching and coaching. He has two sons that both play golf competitively and loves spending time watching them compete. Ray continues to play in local amateur golf events and currently has a +2 handicap.

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