Saturday, June 20, 2009

Creating More Lag

A poster over at asked about how one would create the most lag possible, wanting a Sergio-esque type lag of the club.

Before I go into it, I will say that it's not ALL THAT it is cracked up to be. Brian Manzella has been ardent in showing the possible faults of having massive amounts of shaft lean at impact. Shaft lean causes the clubface to open and thus a golfer with a lot of shaft lean has to swing to the left in order to counter the opening of the face caused by the shaft lean. He's got the math, so have him explain it to you.

That being said, I get a little concerned when I read people saying to the effect that the problems with shaft lean mean that flipping isn't all that big of a deal. There can be problems that need to be fixed FIRST before flipping is solved, but flipping is a big issue. Furthermore, give me a person with too much shaft lean over a golfer with a flip. Because one could teach a shaft leaner to just swing left. A flipper will take longer to get rid of the flip.

And with all of that said, STOP worrying about swinging left until you actually get a lot of shaft lean. While I love Brian's work, I think so many of his posters misunderstand his points about D-Plane and Shaft Lean and start thinking that they have to swing left when they have such a flip through the ball that they need to concern themselves with that first.

The problem also is that if a golfer has a solid, Flat Left Wrist at impact, they should not mistake themselves with the idea that if they could get more shaft lean they would even be better. In fact, they might get worse.

So here is some of the keys I believe that can cause more lag in the golf swing.


I believe that if you want to maximize that trigger delay and lag, the 'Sergio-esque' golfers usually work off the elbow plane on the downswing. Look at the greats who had that tremendous amount of lag...Hogan, Snead, Sergio. All worked off the elbow plane on the downswing. Then look at guys like Nicklaus and Tom Watson, both worked of the Turned Shoulder Plane and didn't have that massive lagging look to their swing. They still had a ton of lag pressure, though and hit the ball very long in comparison to their peers. That being said, I believe the downswing plane should come naturally. In other words, if you work off the turned shoulder plane, don't try to force yourself to the elbow plane.


This is probably as important as any. Improve your pivot, you will increase your lag. Here's a great Manzella video on the pivot.

I will also be having a video on Footwork as well and how it relates to the pivot coming up soon.


In my flying wedges video I talked about this in a little bit of detail. I believe that lag is not really about maintaining angles or even speed for that matter. I believe it is about pressure. Homer Kelley talks about the pressure points a golfer has in the golf swing. Whichever one you use or if you use a combination of pressure points, the MAXIMUM pressure should be at impact.

The best way I can interpret it at this point is that it's very difficult to sustaine maximum pressure in the golf swing for very long. Saying that you can sustain max pressure for a split second is probably being generous. So once you hit max pressure, it's not going to be there for too long. And once it's gone, it doesn't come back. So once the max pressure is made shortly after the power will be released from the golf swing.

That's why I talked about not getting the max pressure on the startdown. You will release all your power and speed in the startdown if you do. You want that power and speed at impact, not the startdown.

So, if you get the max pressure AT IMPACT, the lag angles you have formed are still intact on the downswing because that power has yet to released. If you get max pressure on the startdown, then the power is going to be released before impact and you'll lose those lag angles you covet.

I believe the reason why Hogan was the ballstriker he was is that he could create more pressure than any Tour golfer ever and sustained that pressure longer than any Tour golfer that had ever lived.

But note that I said 'Tour' golfer. I'm sure the Long Distance Driving Champs could create more pressure and probably sustain it quite well. And I'm sure some will ask about Moe Norman, whom I consider the greatest ballstriker ever. Moe created plenty of pressure and did a great job of sustaining it. The major difference between Moe and Hogan versus the rest I believe comes to clubface control. Nobody controlled the clubface like those two (and I believe Moe controlled it better than Hogan, but it's splitting hairs) and while lag, pressure, and a flat left wrist are important, golfers need to remember the importance of clubface control.

If lag was ALL THAT, then this guy would be one of the all time greats.


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