Part of improving at golf is simply understanding more of its complex details. These include swing planes, alignment, club head angle, subtleties in grip changes, etc., etc.
The point is, golf is a complicated sport. The more we can comprehend it off the course, the better we’ll be.
Bobby Clampett, noted former Champions Tour player and now a celebrated golf teacher, emphasizes many of these esoteric ideas in his lessons.
Take for example his short video on clubhead lag.
Clubhead lag is essentially a technique that keeps the clubhead behind the rest of the body action so that one’s swing can be as rhythmic, smooth and repeatable as possible. Players with good lag can build power with their lower body and arms before the clubhead makes impact with the ball.
Check out the lesson below:
— Bobby Clampett (@BClampett) January 3, 2016
For Clampett, developing clubhead comes from hand placement. A player’s hands should be at the same position at impact as they are at address.
Clampett suggests using alignment sticks to help set up this visualize. The goal is to eliminate shanks, but the benefits go far beyond straightening out troublesome shots. Once a golfer has a grasp on his lag, he can then focus on swing plane, angle and shape the ball left to right or right to left. There’s more control.
Hitting it far sounds fun! Great stuff from Les. He's the same guy from the "shot 66 with a double on 18" voicemail. pic.twitter.com/b2niQEv0w6
— Impact Zone Golf (@ImpactZoneGolf) January 1, 2016
On Impact Zone Golf’s website there are more resources to help with clubhead lag. Champions Tour player Bill Glasson, in an answer to a user-submitted question, calls clubhead lag “the most important part of the game.” Why?
For one, distance. Longer lag creates more leverage. For Glasson and other older players, this is crucial. They no longer have the same strength or flexibility in their arms, which means less swing speed. They must compensate for this lack of speed with superb positioning and leverage. In other words, let the club do the work.
Glasson goes on to differentiate between dumpers and laggers. He sees many amateurs as “dumpers,” or players who let the clubhead get in front of their hands on a swing. This creates a plethora of problems, most notably inconsistency in results and a lack of distance.
The easiest way to understand lag is to hear Glasson explain it. Generate speed through the handle rather than the clubhead. It’s a concept that is both confusing on the surface and obviously simple.
Continue to improve your lag and you’ll see improvements in all facets of your game.