How to Create Lag in Your Downswing

By Ed Ibarguen

What Do High Handicap Golfers Do Wrong in Their Backswing?

Perhaps one of the biggest things that golfers are confused about is that once I get this club cocked in my left wrist and to the top what do I do with it now. Here is what we see in a mid to high handicapper. He gets that club hopefully in a cocked position and the first thing he starts to do is unwind and get to throwing that clubhead out.

Here is what we see in the video of their swings. They are in a straight line position and keep in mind that the golf ball is still a good twelve inches further ahead. In other words this is releasing the club too early or casting the club out towards the target. The reason for that is that people are so concerned about maneuvering that clubhead onto the ball.

How to Hit Downswing With Lag Like a Pro

But let's turn that around to an accomplished player, whether you want to go back in the archives to Ben Hogan, you can look at the more modern-day with Davis Love or Tiger Woods.

Let's watch them at the top. They get up in here now watch my hands, here they go, they are coming down. What have my hands done so far? They have not done anything. They are very quiet. They are making that move back in front of the body and they still retain all that loading of the left wrist, that 90-degree angle as you are coming down.

If you watch a good player he gets up in here, puts that club on plane, coming back down, approaching just inside, coming back into again that flat wristed downward angle that we want through the ball. Notice how the shaft is leaning forward.

How to Close the Clubhead on Your Downswing

Here is the trick to that and this is why some people have a problem with it. When you look at it on this side, if you come up in here and you are very cupped in that wrist, notice that the toe is now going to be pointing down. As you try to make that move as you are coming down in here look at the position of the clubface, look at how open it is, and if you are trying to make that move down in here like Tiger Woods where you are getting your hands all the way in, I want you to remember that position right there and look at it from this side.

Why You Skulled the Ball on Your Downswing

Oh my gosh, in a millisecond that clubhead is going to come on to the ball. This is where that convulsive, quick release, that snap release trying to come through that is totally out of control. There is no downward action coming through the ball. It is a flip through, you will often catch it fat, it will catch it thin, you will skull the ball.

What caused that? Well the clubface got too open. If you keep coming through all the way to here look at the position of the clubface. So if you are going to have quite hands you have to move that clubhead into position where you can get it back into a squared up contact for impact.

What I am saying here is try to get that club more squared. Watch, if it is in this position here I can literally just turn through and look at how that club got square. But if my clubface was open like this and I do that same turn through I am going to have an open clubface.


Just a quick review, it is important to try to maintain that lag, that loaded clubhead in your cocked left wrist are you are coming down. But do not do it to the extend where you come down in here and now you can not square that clubhead up. Use that left wrist which controls the face to come on down, get into a very powerful downward action through the ball and you will hit yourself a very sold shot.

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