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Learn The Power Lag

Use this drill to feel resistance and release

David Leadbetter

Maintain The Angle: Coming down, hook a finger around the shaft to feel your wrist hinge.

February 2011

One of the keys to hitting solid, powerful shots is to keep the clubhead lagging behind your hands as you swing down to the ball. The longer you preserve this lag, the more speed you can generate and the farther the ball will go when you do finally release the club through impact.

How do you create lag and maintain it? Think of your left arm as one lever and the shaft as another. Going back, hinge your left wrist to create a sharp angle between the two levers. Then, as you swing down, maintain that angle for as long as you can. When you release it, the clubhead will speed up.

Many amateurs release the lag too soon by unhinging their wrists. A drill to prevent this is to swing back with your left arm only, and as you start down, hook a finger from your right hand around the shaft and resist the unhinging of your wrist. Groove this feel. In a normal swing, your wrists unhinge naturally at the bottom of the arc.

David Leadbetter is a Golf Digest Teaching Professional based at ChampionsGate near Orlando. He operates 26 golf academies worldwide.

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Byron Nelson's Leg Drive: Byron Nelson is in a nice, tall finish in the photo above (Golf Digest Resource Center), but he actually had a prominent dip in his swing. His left knee stayed bent through impact, and then he stood straight up. With the advent of steel shafts -- and their solidness at impact -- Nelson could use less hand action and drive his legs through the ball, with the clubface staying square down the target line.

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