I've been reading Monte Scheinblum's golf blog lately and read this article 'Lag Is Like Fire' that I thought would be something good to talk about. Now, I enjoy Monte's blog quite a bit and I'm not posting here to say that everything is 'wrong' or 'bad' or whatever. But I do disagree a bit with some of the things said or not quite completely agree with them. Here's the videos that Monte did on 'forced lag vs. real lag.'
I think Monte brings up a good subject in 'forced' lag, but I think some of it is misinterpreted.
First he states that lag is a good thing, but it's like fire and too much lag is like having too much fire and thus you're likely to be burnt.
Lag is indeed a good thing and I contend that lots of lag *can* be a great thing for many golfers as long as it's not 'forced' lag. That being said, part of learning lag and getting that Flat Left Wrist at impact often means going thru the learning curve and growing pains of 'forcing the lag.' But once you can finally 'get it', then you can start properly lagging the club shot after shot.
Monte talks about how casting is bad (correct), but then more or less knocks float loading. Float loading is more or less cocking the wrists on the downswing. Some golfers will cock the wrists on the backswing and then add more wrist cock on the downswing which is float loading as well.
Two prominent float loaders are Sergio and Hogan.
However, it's very important to note that they get this type of lag properly and almost naturally. In fact, he talks a bit about the great Jamie Sadlowski, another guy who has a tremendous amount of lag in his swing.
Monte talks about having that type of lag that Sergio has can cause hooks and he's certainly right. Many golfers with Sergio's type of lag have a steeper Angle of Attack with their clubhead. Steeper attack angles *help* impart hook spin because it helps move the 'dynamic path' out to the right. If the clubface is not as far out to the right as the 'dynamic path' is at impact, a hook spin will be imparted on the ball.
Also, IMO there's nothing wrong with holding the 'flying wedge' into and thru impact. But a golfer needs to have the right pressures when doing so.
Mainly, they need lag pressure when coming into impact. And I think that's where Monte sees a problem with 'forced lag', usually a golfer trying to emulate say, Hogan's positions on the downswing without ever bothering to use the pivot properly and use their lag pressure properly. In the end, their attempts to look like Hogan fail miserably and it just screws up their swing even more.
In fact, it's very hard for me to agree with the notion that 'holding it off' is bad as arguably the greatest ballstriker since Hogan, Lee Trevino, has stated over and again he didn't get rid of his hook until he learned to basically hold onto the clubface for dear life.
IMO, 'fake lag' is when a golfer has the clubhead lagging behind the hands, but does it with either no lag pressure or improper use of lag pressure.
Remember, we essentially have 3 ways of releasing the lag into the ball:
- Snap Release (golfer delays the release until the hands come down about where the middle of the legs). Think Hogan and Sergio.
- Full Sweep Release (golfer starts releasing the club at the startdown). Think Tom Watson or this video of Lindsey Gahm.
- Random Sweep Release (golfer releases the lag anywhere between 'full sweep' and 'snap.') Think Nicklaus, Tiger, etc.
Any 3 ways a golfer can do it consistently is perfectly fine. If Watson tried to snap release like Hogan, he would be selling insurance. If Hogan tried to full sweep release like Watson, he would've been nothing more than a club pro.
The main key is to fully understand Lag Pressure and thus eliminating the 'fake lag' and now being able to create 'real lag' consistently and effectively. For some golfers, their 'real lag' winds up being this big, huge lagging motion. For others, they start releasing the lag immediately in the downswing. But those who have real lag all have solid pivot actions.
Anyway, here's a list of IMO, the 10 greatest ballstrikers in golf history and how I would categorize their lag in terms of 'big', 'small' and 'medium.' As you can see, it varies.
George Knudson - big lag
Mac O’Grady - big lag
Moe Norman - medium lag
Ben Hogan - big lag
Lee Trevino - big lag
Sam Snead - medium lag
Nick Price - medium lag
Tom Watson - small lag
Johnny Miller - small lag
Mickey Wright - big lag
So, learn lag pressure and how to pivot effectively first and the lag will come. But if it happens to be a lot of lag, don't worry about it burning you. But also accept the fact that you may be able to lag the club correctly and consistently by releasing the lag immediately in the downswing.