Drills to Develop a Lag in the Golf Downswing

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One of the key factors in developing a powerful golf swing is clubhead lag -- the clubhead trails behind your hands during your downswing. Lag stores up power, which is released just before impact, and this generates a tremendous amount of clubhead speed. To help you develop lag for greater power and distance, perform drills that focus on the role of your arms and hands, the angle of your wrists and the pressure of your grip during your downswing.

Weighted Swing Drill

Developing lag can increase your clubhead speed as much as 10 mph at the bottom of the swing, claims PGA professional Jim Suttie. The towel drill, recommended by Suttie, can help you create lag. Simply tie a small size towel to the hosel of the club -- where the head connects to the shaft -- and swing your club with the towel 25 times each day for a couple of months. The added weight helps to keep the club behind your hands, creating lag.

Point Your Thumbs

It's all in your thumbs, claims Golf Channel instructor Martin Hall. Keeping your thumbs up as long as possible during the downswing keeps your wrists cocked longer, which allows the clubhead to trail behind your hands. A simple drill is to take your normal stance and hold the club with just your left hand. Take your backswing and at the top of the swing notice how your left thumb points toward the sky. Reach up with your right hand and wrap a couple of fingers around the shaft, about 7 inches above your left hand, to lock in the left wrist angle. While keeping your left thumb pointing up and maintaining the angle in your wrist, take your downswing. When you can no longer keep your thumb pointing up, release your right hand and contact the ball. Take several practice swings and then take a swing with both hands on the club.


Some golfers struggle with the feel of their clubhead lagging behind their hands. Professional golf instructor Chuck Evans recommends the rope drill to help you with this feeling. Instead of your club, take a 4-foot piece of rope and hold one end like a golf club. Take your back swing and allow the rope to drape over your right shoulder. On your downswing, keep the rope on your shoulder, move your hands straight down toward a spot just in front of the ball and feel the rope slide off your shoulder. Notice how the end of the rope lags way behind your hands.

Float Load Drill

Passive hands and a light grip are key to creating lag, according to PGA instructor Ted Eleftheriou. The float load drill is used by Eleftheriou to help students soften their grip and develop lag in their swing. Use one of your middle irons, take your normal stance and grip the club with one quarter the amount of your normal grip pressure. Maintain this light grip and slowly take your club halfway back until your hands are even with your waist. While keeping a light grip, start to rotate your body toward your target, allow the clubhead to lag behind your hands and swing through impact with a short follow-through.