124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

Approach Shots

Cameron McCormick: Add Swing Speed By Developing Lag

September 24, 2015

Maybe you have to hit a recovery shot under a branch. Or you want to flight an iron low into a headwind. In either case, you need speed to make the ball travel a far distance with little height. On all solid iron strikes, but even more so with this punch shot, the clubhead must trail the handle at impact so the clubface is delofted. The secret to this skill, called lag, is in the transition from backswing to downswing.

Here you should feel what I call "breakback," or the handle shifting forward as the downswing begins. That might sound complicated, but it's really easy if you practice in slow-motion. Here's how: (1) Swing the club back and pause at the top of the backswing; (2) hinge your wrists aggressively so the clubhead drops toward your back shoulder;


(3) swing down, focusing on striking the ball before the turf. Increase the speed until this transition feels like one fluid motion.


No. 17: Cameron McCormick


Teaches: Jordan Spieth