Lag in Golf Swing: A Guide to an Elusive Skill

By Todd Kolb
January 6, 2021

Think You’ll Never Master Lag in Your Golf Swing? Think Again. Conquer Lag Tomorrow with these Easy Practice Drills.

Golfers of all levels are obsessed with getting more lag in golf swing. Mastering lag provides a boost to your clubhead speed, quality of contact, and distance. A lot of golfers see lag as a skill that separates the high performers from the stragglers.

In short, everybody wants better lag in their golf swing.

But if you’ve ever tried to apply this skill to your own golf game, you know developing lag can be difficult. Creating lag is a matter of split-second precision. Timing is crucial, and if you don’t get it right, trying to add golf lag can actually hurt your swing speed and distance.

Now, here’s the good news.

It is possible for casual golfers to master this skill. In fact, it’s simpler than you’d expect. At least, it is when you have the right information.

Because lag represents such a small portion of your golf swing sequence, you get better results when you learn how good lag feels rather than how it looks. I’ll share a couple practice tips to help you get the feel for perfectly timed lag in your golf swing.

But first, I want to clarify what lag is and why it should matter to you.

What is Lag in Golf Swing?

Honestly, one of the biggest challenges golfers face when they work on their golf swing lag is that they don’t really understand it. They don’t know what it’s for or how it effects their swing. All they know is that it’s supposed to help you get faster clubhead speed and longer distance.

A little clarity goes a long way towards helping you master lag in golf swing.


Because when you know what lag actually is, you know how lag should feel.

When I talk about lag with my students, I very rarely use the term “lag.” I prefer “stored energy.” That’s all lag really is.

Lag in Golf Swing: What You See and What You Feel

From a visual standpoint, lag is the angle between the sweet spot of the club face and the handle as you transition into your downswing.

You want a steep angle as you begin to swing down. That’s lag. By starting with a steep angle, you load the clubhead with energy to be released at the ideal moment.

Then, as you near the moment of impact, you release the clubhead to swing out and down towards the golf ball. This creates a whip-like motion for higher speed and a more powerful connection.

Oftentimes, casual golfers tend to do what we’d call “casting” on the downswing. That is, they swing the clubhead out wide at the top of their swing, veering outside of the ideal swing plane. This releases the energy early so they don’t get the same kind of power at impact that they’d get with a little well-timed lag.

So, that’s the definition of lag in a visual sense. But the main idea I want you to take away from this article is this:

Lag is simply stored energy.

It is energy waiting to be released just before impact. When you know this, you are better able to feel great lag in your golf swing.

Why is Everyone Obsessed with Lag?

Now, why is golf swing lag such a hot topic?

For one thing, lag allows you to control energy and momentum to get the best possible results in terms of speed and distance.

Perfect lag also helps you achieve better contact. If you struggle with shots that are thin, chunky, or low on the face, the problem could be that you’re releasing the clubhead too early. When you become better at creating lag, you become better at avoiding this issue.

Simply put, better lag means higher speed, improved distance, better contact, and more control over your golf shots.

Now, how do you master lag in golf swing? Let’s take a look.

How to Practice Lag in Golf Swing

You can watch a ton of videos displaying perfect golf swing lag in action. And you can examine diagrams of an ideal swing sequence, noting the exact angle between the club face and hands in the transition.

But it is nearly impossible to apply these visual insights during the quarter-of-a-second in which your downswing occurs.

This is why my greatest recommendation when it comes to practicing golf swing lag is that you focus on getting the feel for stored energy.

I am going to recommend two options for practicing lag in your golf swing. One involves a brand new training aid that our team at USGolfTV recently discovered. The other is a drill you can do anytime using your regular golf club.

Pick the exercise that works best for you or try both.

Using Lag Shot

If you haven’t heard of Lag Shot, here’s a quick review:

Lag Shot is a new golf training club designed to help you get the feel for stored energy. It features a blue, flexible shaft that creates a natural whippy motion in your golf swing. You can use this training club to practice your swing motion alone, or you can actually hit balls with it.

I especially love Lag Shot for older golfers who don’t have the same mobility they once had. A limited range of motion can really cut down on your clubhead speed and distance. Developing lag helps you make new improvements in those areas, and Lag Shot offers a strain-free way to practice this skill.

So, how does it work?

It’s really simple. You just swing the training club like a regular golf club. There’s nothing special to do, except pay attention. Notice how it feels.

Because of the whippy shaft, you can actually feel how the clubhead loads energy at the top of your swing. Lag Shot is designed to release naturally at the right time, so you can feel that, too.

Now, you don’t have to hit a golf ball when you practice with this training aid. The focus is on getting the feel for your golf swing sequence. You can get what you need out of this without the ball.

This makes it easy for you to take a little time each day in your own home to run a few drills with Lag Shot. The more you swing the club, the sooner you get the feel for stored energy.

That said, my favorite way to use this tool is with a golf ball. I like to take three practice swings, one right after the other, then hit the ball and see what happens.

Now, there is another way to find the feel for lag without any additional equipment. Here’s how:

Using Your Regular Club

This is my favorite drill for teaching my students how it feels to load the clubhead at the top of their swing. It’s called the Swing Step Drill, and I recommend trying it with a 6-iron or 7-iron.

Swing Step Drill

  1. Take your regular golf setup.
  2. Step your lead foot away from the target so it’s right beside your trail foot.
  3. Hold your arms out in front with your clubhead pointed towards the target and your club shaft about parallel to the ground. This is similar to the position you would be in about halfway between the moment of impact and the finish.
  4. Swing your arms into a backswing as you step your lead foot forward into its regular position.
  5. Complete your golf swing.

You can do this drill with or without a golf ball. As always, I suggest taking three swings without the ball to get a feel for the rhythm, then step up and use the same drill to hit the ball.

So, how does this drill help you improve lag in your golf swing?

It’s all in that difference of motion. By simply stepping your body towards the target as you move your arms away from the target, you load energy naturally. As a result, your body finds the right angle and timing without having to pause and think.

Bottom Line

You may have noticed that the word “naturally” occurs a lot in this article.

This is because your best shot at mastering lag in your golf swing is by teaching your body to just make it happen. It is very difficult to time the storing and release of energy deliberately. You get the best possible results from simply training your body to recognize what great golf lag feels like.

If you’re serious about conquering lag, start with the suggestions I’ve provided in this article. Consider trying Lag Shot for yourself, and definitely take some time to work with the Swing Step Drill.

Above all, be aware of how you define lag to yourself. Drop the idea of lag as a complex sequence of angles or an elusive skill that only the very best players can master.

Instead, remind yourself that lag is simply stored energy. Your objective in your golf swing is not to create killer lag. Rather, your goal is to store energy. Focus on that, and you’ll quickly find that this “impossible” skill is more accessible than you’ve been led to believe.

Was This Helpful?

Do you feel like you have more clarity on how to produce lag in golf swing? Are there any additional questions I can answer for you? Do you have a difference of opinion or your own tips to share?

Join us in the comments and let us know what’s on your mind!

For more in-depth golf tips, visit us at This golf instruction is completely free and packed with detailed advice to help you play better golf!


  1. Hi,

    I am Donald from All Rangefinder and I was just going through your website and it’s quite stunning and comprehensive. I have a question for you do you accept guest posts on your website? Because I am interested in such an opportunity. Please get back to me so we can discuss it.


  2. Donald, thanks for posting. You can reach out to our team via our website. Appreciate the interest.

  3. Where can I find a power stick on a budget? I’d take a used one if I can find it at a reasonable price. Everywhere I look they’re going for $100 or more.

  4. Great question Christopher – I would use one too but they are really expensive for me. Barry

  5. I love you step drill – I’ll certainly try it. Barry

  6. Thanks for reading and commenting Barry, let us know if it helps!

  7. I have done both the drill and the whippy 7 iron and can hit balls with it just as far as my 7 iron, but I still have a cast on video. I also know that the path is a down and back motion of the hands on the downswing which gives the illusion of more lag or stored energy. I also know that the club head should be above the right hip when the hands pass the right hip/thigh area giving the club head speed, but none of these seems to work for me?

  8. Caleb,

    Thanks for posting…take a look at this video. It may help

  9. I have the lag shot, but the step drill does more for me with stored energy than the expensive lag shot. An added bonus, I am finding the sweet spot more often, I had been all over the clubface (mostly heel) but this seems to help. Thanks, I have been looking at Vertical Line golf swing, I like the concepts very much again, Thanks keep up the instructions. Yours for better golf and Turf. Dick CGCS, GCSAA.

  10. Appreciate those kind words Richard! Be sure to also check us out on YouTube

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