“Lag” in a golfer’s swing will be praised to the skies, and rightly so. Lag seems to be evident in only the best golfers’ swings. Rarely does anyone with a handicap of 10 or more exhibit lag. Indeed, lots of single-digit players have no lag in their swings. Lag is apparent. When a golfer’s lower body is uncoiling ahead of his arms, an impression of smoothness, fluidity is given. What’s not so apparent is the increased speed of the clubhead through the ball that lag creates. How can golfers build lag into their swings?
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Start by thinking of the body as cut into two parts at the waist. The muscles in the lower portion are going to be used consciously and aggressively to rotate the hips as quickly as possible. In Five Fundamentals, Ben Hogan said: “The hips initiate the downswing. They snap back to the left with tremendous speed. The faster they go the better. They cannot go too fast”. Study of Tour pros corroborates Ben’s comments.
The upper half of the body is used completely differently. It must be as loose as possible. If it’s loose, then the hips can snap ahead. If mid-torso abdominal and back muscles are at all tense, the hips will be “attached” to the upper body and the upper body will uncoil simultaneously with the hips. It will not lag behind the hips.
So, when you address the ball, get as loose as you can above the waist, all the way out to your fingertips. Yes, as loose as you can. Soften your grip pressure to almost nothing. Turn your arms into spaghetti. And, feel throughout the entire swing as if your hands and arms stay that loose.
Adam Scott, in a recent Golf Digest issue: “I relax my arms and let them hang from my shoulders. When they start to feel a bit heavy, that’s when I’m ready to swing.”