What is Swing Lag and why is it so important?

By Jaco Stander, Teaching Professional at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

Many golfers have heard about ‘lag’ in the golf swing but not many golfers know what lag actually is or how to implement lag successfully during their own swing.

So what is lag and why is it so important?

Lag is basically the trailing of the golf club during the downswing.

Lag comes from maintaining the angle between the lead arm and the clubshaft while starting the downswing with the movement and turn in your lower body.

Lag creates more swing speed by allowing the clubhead to reach the bottom of the swing arc at the right moment and helps with consistent ball striking, which will result in more distance and consistency.

Place your left hand (right-handed golfers) on the grip as you would with a normal iron shot. Then place your right hand just below the grip on the shaft.

Take your posture and bring the club to the top of your backswing. What you want to see at this stage is roughly a 90-degree angle between your leading arm and the shaft.

It’s pivotal that your lower body leads as you start the downswing.  This encourages the ‘pull’ feeling in your leading arm down to the golf ball.

Use your right hand as a mechanism to keep the shaft pointing skywards for as long as possible. You’ll feel a lot of resistance in the leading side of your body, which is great because that means your lower body is now doing most of the work and allowing the club to lag.

Once your left hand has reached your back leg, the shaft should still be fixed at a 90-degree angle away from your leading arm.

The more explosive the turn in your lower body is, the easier the lag will happen.

So try this drill next time you’re on the range to experience better results in your game.