Get 20 Yards 1: Hold Your Lag
Get 20 Yards 1: How To Hold Your Lag
I’ve never met a golfer who wouldn’t love to tack another 20 yards onto their drives. In this course I’ll show you how to do it.
Let’s keep this in mind: The single most important thing you can do to improve your distance is increase your club head speed. For every 1 mile per hour you increase your club head speed, you pick up nearly 2.5 yards in distance. Whatever else you may be working on with your swing, if you are trying to improve your distance, you should evaluate the results based on how much it increases your club head speed.
To get you 20 more yards we are going to increase your club head speed by at least 8 miles per hour.
Now, one of the ways we Get club head speed is through lag. Lag is simply “How far behind the club head is from your hands, as you get to the impact zone.”
Here’s what I mean. If I start here at address the club head is even with my hands. Zero lag.
As I take my club back my wrists hinge and my arm forms a 90 degree “L” shape with the shaft. As I start my downswing my hands get to the impact zone first, and the club head is still behind my hands. “Lagging” behind. That’s where the term Lag comes from.
Think of Lag as a multiplier. Whatever core speed you generate with your body on your downswing … is multiplied by the lag you release at impact. Even with no body speed you can still generate pretty good club head speed by unhinging your wrists.
The key, of course, is not to release your lag until you get to the impact zone. That’s where the idea of “Holding” lag comes from. And that’s the myth I want to destroy.
You can’t Hold lag. Here’s why.
As soon as you start swinging your arms down to the ball your club head picks up weight. On a 100 mile per hour swing the club head weighs the equivalent of 15 pounds. There are very few golfers who have the strength to “hold” that much weight at the end of outstretched arms and a club. We’re just not strong enough to “hold” lag.
But this is where technique beats strength. Because while you can’t “hold” lag, you Can “Carry” lag to impact. This is one of the secrets to “effortless” power, and why a 120-pound woman with the right technique can outdrive a 200-pound man. Let me show you.
At the top of your backswing you are in your maximum lag position. Your left arm forms a 90 degree angle with the club shaft. If you simply rotate your body towards the target, without letting your arms drop down toward the ball, your body rotation will “carry” your lag position to the impact zone. You don’t need strength to Carry lag to the impact zone. You need core rotation.
If this sounds overly complicated, it really isn’t. Honestly, all it really means is turn toward your target first, before you let your arms swing to the ball. And if you’ve ever tossed a ball underhand, it’s a very similar motion and sequence. Totally natural. The trick is to take this natural motion and make it an automatic part of your normal golf swing.
Come on over here and I’ll show you how to find out where you are releasing your lag.
To do the Whoosh drill simply take your driver, turn it upside down, and take your normal grip above the club head. Make a swing. Wherever you hear the whooshing sound is where your club is traveling fastest and where you are releasing your lag.
If you hear the whoosh at the top or way in the back of your swing you are releasing your lag at the beginning of your downswing, called a cast.
If you hear your whoosh in the back or near the bottom this is called an early release.
The goal when you do this drill is to move your whoosh as far forward in your swing as possible. Way out in the front. The reason is that you still want to be accelerating to the target as you rotate through the impact zone.
I’m going to use one of these aiming rods because it makes a higher-pitched noise that’s easier to hear on the mic. If you hear the whoosh at the top you are casting and probably coming over the top. That’s one of the first signs of a “ball focus” where you orient to the ball rather than to the target.
If you hear the whoosh at the bottom of your swing you are releasing too early – before you reach the impact zone. What that usually means is you are stopping your rotation at the ball. Remember, as soon as you stop your rotation your hands release. An early release means you are not maximizing your club head speed at impact.
What you want to do is allow your core rotation to carry your lag position through the impact zone.
For this Whoosh drill, try to imagine what you would need to do to make the whoosh sound happen as far forward in your swing as possible – toward the target. When you start thinking more about the target and less about the ball, you turn naturally through the impact zone.
You see I’m making an nice “L” shape here, and allowing my body to carry the L shape past the impact zone where I release the lag. You’ll notice that this exercise puts your body in a position facing the target, rather than the ball.
That’s another myth I’ll destroy for you in the next video – the idea that you shoulders should be square at impact.
Until then, keep practicing your whoosh drill and move the sound as far forward in the swing as possible using the idea of “Carrying” lag rather than “Holding” lag. We’re one step closer to getting you that 20 yards. See you in the next video!