Creating Lag and Adding Distance in Golf

I am currently focusing on increasing lag in my swing to add extra distance to my golf shots. This particular skill is something that I really need to improve upon because as I get older, a controlled swing with more lag will keep me hitting the ball longer and straighter. However, as I delved into this topic, I found that the term ‘lag’ is deceiving and could easily confuse the new player. I determined that fact because I was a bit confused and so I thought it needed to be cleared up.

After looking around I found this definition of ‘lag’ that I understand and best describes what it means to me:

Effectively, lag is shorthand for the angle between the club, wrists and arms. It’s formed by having the correct order of the arms, wrists and club head as the club come around into impact. Often we can become obsessed with trying to generate all of our power from the turning, spinning and torqueing of the body, but if you don’t have your arms and club in the correct order to hit it’s all completely pointless.

So basically, I am trying to create a 90° angle or box according to Ernie Els in order to create the power generating lag in my golf swing. Interestingly, The Big Easy has a smooth controlled swing that produces tremendous power on contact. Here take a look:

Now that I fully understand what lag means, I need a few drills that I can do to create more lag in my golf swing. On a side note, being a 3 handicap does not mean that my swing is permanently grooved; what it means is that I am consistent, but still have many areas of improvement; Lag is one of mine.

I wanted to find a few drills that I could do at home and in my DIY driving net. Simple, repeatable, and effective are three things I look for in any golf drill and I found this video from the Golf Channel:

The interesting aspect of looking to create lag is that it shifts my focus of my golf swing from increasing shoulder turn (which is an important part of any golf swing) to improving my swing mechanics. This change, along with the others I want to make during the off season, will keep me busy until opening day. The trick moving forward is to develop a training plan that will help accomplish my lofty goals.

Do you ever work on lag in your golf swing?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


6 thoughts on “Creating Lag and Adding Distance in Golf

  1. I really noticed how close the right elbow stays in (for a right handed golfer). This seems to be an important check-point that Ernie doesn’t refer to, but for him it’s really obvious. Brings back the idea of “the magic move”, the right elbow elevating to the box and then returning to the right side during the downswing. I’ve been reading a lot about habits lately. The mindless habits in a golf swing are dangerous. Becoming aware is important. I think that’s where data comes in – to have a measurable reflection of what you’re working on. I use ZeppGolf for that; but not exclusively. I also focus on ‘feelings’ – feeling that stretch in the back of my left hand at the top of the swing to keep the face square through impact. Do you use any kind of data-feedback system or simulator to monitor your progress?


    • Michael,

      You have many great points in your comment. The obvious one is the movement of the right elbow, keeping it tucked in during the down swing is very important to a consistent swing. Inhave learned that lesson several times over the years.

      To answer your question, no I do not use a simulator or swing monitor to help gather swing data. Most of mybswing has been developed by feel. Hope this helps.

      Cheers Jim


  2. Jim, Hall is correct when he says you cannot try to manually hold the angle and the key is to get the right sequence. Of the drills, I think the second is the best because it helps teach yourself to cover the ball. I am working on lag in every practice session, or termed differently (removing an early release). Thanks,


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  3. I can’t remember where I saw the video that made the light bulbs shine on how to create lag. But it’s not like Ernie’s “hold the box”. That may work for him as he’s a large powerful guy, but for me, the angles in my wrist increase, they don’t hold through the swing. The angle gets bigger as I start the downswing.
    Try some practice swings like this. First, you will be swinging easy. Just to get the feel. This isn’t how you find it in the end, but it will give you the feel. With your swing, I see your wrists start to cock as they come up to your waist line. Just don’t do that. Don’t cock them at all. Keep them straight but loose to the top, then just LET them cock as you start the down swing. You’ll automatically feel the club head lagging behind your hands right away.
    Now in a real full speed swing, I get that feeling by allowing the club to lay off a little at the top just as or just before the down swing starts WHILE I’m transitioning. By that I mean, the back of my lead hand turns to point more towards straight up. Not all the way there, just more that direction. The club head will drop a little, and face will square up and as I start to swing, those movements I made just prior, combined with my wrist not being locked, makes it feel like the club gets pulled in behind my hands where it needs to be. And like they mentioned, I don’t “release” the club so much as allow gravity to do the work as I turn towards impact.
    In the video from Michele you posted yesterday, you’ll see she doesn’t hold the box. The angle increases to cut the box almost into a triangle with her. She doesn’t seem to lay off at the top as a move so she must be coming into that position naturally where I and some others don’t. The laying off move though has made getting more lag easier for me and was part of the video that got me moving in the right direction. Sorry I can’t find it. I’ve liked so many it’s a nightmare to find just the one you want without a better search tool on youtube. But that slow swing thing should give you the right feel to search when swinging full out. It’s unmistakable.

    Liked by 1 person

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