How Lag Affects Power

By | on November 23, 2017 | 34 Comments | Array


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Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

34 Responses to “How Lag Affects Power”

  1. September 21, 2012


    Hi Paul,
    Really like this tip! Of course I have a question(imagine that), how close is the whipping action in our drill to the actual swing? I have been practicing the drill, hands down the grip so I can see the handle, and then completing my golf swing and the action seems almost identical. I am assuming that my arms straighten out past impact, but it happens so quickly that I am not sure. What do you think?
    Thanks Mike

    • September 21, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Mike, Glad you liked it. You are going to exaggerate this whipping action as much as possible in the drill knowing full well you will not do it this much in reality. You can see when I hold the angle I am not holding it this much when I swing. If you don’t do it the max you will see little improvement.

      Yes, your arms with both stretch out perfectly to the release point just after impact.

  2. September 21, 2012


    been working on keeping the lag angle,and getting that out of control feeling at top of backswing ,from full wrist hinge,finding the slower i initiate the first move with my hips the straighter the ball goes,if i try to turn hips faster for more distance the ball starts to fade more and more depending on how fast i am turning, what is the relationship between lagangle and speed of hip turn in getting ball to go staight.

    • September 21, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Barry, if the ball is fading when you drive the hips too hard this is telling you that you still need to work a little more on releasing the club. I can drive as hard as possible without losing it but I have rolling it many thousands of times. Watch these tips if you haven’t already:

      Manually Square the Clubface:

      Manually Square the Clubface (Follow Up):

      So keep rolling it and keep hooking it. Do this for 20-30 shots. Then forget this rolling and work on the lower body again. IF you leak it right go back to rolling it. After you do this for a while you will stop hitting it right unless you come out of the shot. Not because you drove the lower body too hard.

  3. September 21, 2012


    Outstanding tip.
    I noticed two things in your swing in slow motion of importance to me. One is that your knees are not even close to touching until well after impact. (I have been trying to make it happen too quickly in my downswing).
    The other thing that is much different with my swing is that your shoulders have not opened up until much later in the downswing. (In fact your shoulders look closed until 1/2 down to impact)
    My shoulders tend to start opening up when my left hip starts turning to begin the downswing. I know that turning off power to my arms is supposed to change that but with me it’s so ingrained. Any swing thoughts or drills that can speed the process?

    • September 21, 2012

      Paul Wilson


      The knees are going to be almost touching at the 3/4 through point. Remember, from the top to impact is only 1/4 of s second in time. You cannot or should not be touching them right away. If you start trying to touch at the top given the short amount of time the left leg will be locked at 3/4 through then the finally touch at the very end. So immediately slow this action down.

      The shoulders would be closed because I am not purposely uncoiling them in any way. I am firing the lower body. This gets it ahead of the shoulders.

      I did a tip on this here:

      Shoulders in downswing:

      You need to be doing this drill constantly. This will get the lower ahead of the upper:

      DRILL: Swing Off Ground:

      DRILL: Listen to Club Swinging:

  4. September 21, 2012


    Exceptional lesson, insight and demonstration. The whole power series has been excellent.

  5. September 21, 2012


    Paul, is this tip contrary to

    • September 21, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Mel, If you are working on this position you are feeling your hands. This means doing drills etc. When you are playing you are keeping the arms powerless. There is no way you are going to get this by simply turning your arms off. IF you do it will be years from now. I am speeding up the process. So you practice these pieces of your swing. Some days you are working on the release, more leg etc. Other days you are working on the weight shift, touching the legs etc.

      So work on it this way and you will put the pieces together.

  6. September 21, 2012



    I loved the slow motion of your swing…I would have liked to seen the whole swing in slow motion…

    Do you thing a training aid like the orange whip is helpful in learning to create lag as it is impossible to cast?

    You rock,

    • September 21, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Elizabeth, glad you like the tips. Thanks.

      I have tons of videos throughout the site that show me swinging. Just check out the red navigation bar at the top of the page to find the various topics. Topics such as downswing, backswing and impact should have quite a few.

      I will continue to do more swings in future tips. Stay tuned.

      The orange whip is okay. If it was the answer everybody would have one. I don’t think it’s going to help you cure casting. Give it a try though if you want. Also make sure you follow the other tips I did on lag. Just search full swing > downswing in the red navigation bar to see them.

  7. September 21, 2012


    Hi Paul

    WOW, the best lesson !

    After watching this lesson, I started hitting my tee shots about 50 yards further and as long as I kept my knees bent and my head still, they were going straight too. Such a great feeling, as if someone took the handcuffs off my wrists.

    Thank you Paul, you are great


    • September 21, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Ebby, glad you like the tip. Thank you very much.

      Powering the downswing with the lower body is huge. It’s just making that switch from the arms to the legs. For some, it takes a long time for others like you they get it right away which is a good thing. Now you just have to never forget how to do it.

  8. September 21, 2012


    Hi Paul. In a previous video, you explained the importance of increasing the arc of the swing. The hands are to be extended before cocking the wrists and there should be maximum distance between the hands and right shoulder at the top of the backswing, ( for right handers). Increasing the lag angle on the downswing, would seem to reduce the size of the arc because the hands drop closer to your shoulder on the way down. Does the size of the arc on the backswing facilitate the lag angle on the downswing? My electrical engineering background likes to have the Physics of the swing sequence explained, although considering my handicap, maybe FAITH would be better!!

    Thanks for your help. Ron

    • September 21, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Ron, the arc with will be maintained because of the outstretched left arm. By having the arms extended at address and this arm extends going back you are maintaining the width of the arc. Now as you come down you’re going to keep this lead arm outstretched into the downswing. Most people break this arm as they are about halfway down and through impact (chicken wing) which narrows the swing arc. This is what you’re trying to avoid.

      I am really not seeing the right hand get closer to the shoulder in the downswing. I get to the top and the distance is there. I start to ccome down keeping this distance. Then it gets a little wider because my left arm straightens by 3/4 down.

      It may appear like it’s getting closer because the club isn’t fully hinged in the wrists until it gets to the top.

      What you need to be working on is setting up with the arms fully extended to predetermined your maximum width of arc. As you hit the three-quarter back point make sure this arm is still fully extended. As you get to the top the arm can bend a little (which mine does). The body then starts down and this arm fully extends again at the three-quarter down point through and past impact. This would be an arc that is as wide as your arm can make it and is not collapsing through the shot.

      I don’t know if you saw the tips I did on chicken wing but there’s a whole series of them under full swing > impact.

  9. September 22, 2012


    I tried this today at the range and found that the release of the club was much more natural when the lag angle is increased and held longer in the downswing. When the lag angle is not held as long, I find I have to work to “create” the release – never good to have to manipulate any part of the swing. For me, working on the lag makes releasing the club easier and much more efficient. Increasing the lag angle provided this additional benefit for me.

    • October 3, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Pat, I found your question. Let me know if you get a reply.

      Great working on this lag angle with you today. I think you know how to work on it. Once you get it it will make a huge difference.

  10. September 22, 2012


    Hi Paul
    Thanks for letting me reduce my handicap from 11.6 to 9.5 in two months!
    This is due to the videos I bought from you.
    Question: At impact; is it left arm leading and right arm/hand trying to hit the ball?
    (from Norway)

    • September 24, 2012

      Paul Wilson


      That’s great to hear. Thanks for letting me know.

      You are not trying to hit the ball with any hand/arm. They should be powerless … remember?

  11. September 25, 2012


    I am a little confused. You stress in this drill to “hold” the lag angle – certainly not the loose, totally relaxed arms you stress in your swings. How can you hold the lag angle with perfectly relaxed arms and wrists? It sounds like the arms and hands are really rigidly gripping the club in this lag angle- not relaxed.
    thanks dick s

    • September 25, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Richard, You are using the arms when you are working on a certain swing position. When you are hitting normal golf shots the arms are turned off. There is no way you are going to get this position just by keeping the arms loose. So get the position by purposely working on it. Then like I said, turn them off. Remember, powerless arms means you are not hitting or helping the shot in any way. I can do this with my arms a tight as possible. I just don’t try to help the shot. Not that I would want to do this it’s just an example. So keep working on the position then turn them off in the future.

  12. October 18, 2012


    Great Lesson – that Henry Cotton book was the first golf book I ever had. I’ll have to relook at those many photos again!!

    • October 18, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Arthur, Check out page 241, Henry Cotton’s My Golfing Album. “Chick” Harbert one of the most powerful golfers in the world at the time. This is the picture that stuck in my mind.

  13. November 10, 2012


    These tips are really excellent – thanks. Particularly because they form part of a coherent overall approach, so you can see how the parts relate to the whole. Great stuff.

    I wanted to ask about cupping the wrist. How come McIlroy and Woods etc have a completely straight, flat forearm and wrist at the top? Are they doing something we shouldn’t?

  14. February 15, 2013


    Hey Paul – Seems to me that the first step to maintaining lag is to learn to swing with powerless arms! We first have to learn to swing with powerless arms, which is your main idea. Once we learn that, learning to maintain lag should be not too hard to learn. I mean, if we keep trying to hit the ball with our arms only, we’ll NEVER learn how to maintain lag. So the reason it takes a long time to learn to maintain lag is that it can’t be done until we learn how to swing with powerless arms! That’s how I see it. Thanks for all your help.

  15. November 24, 2017


    Paul ,I dont’t believe you can do much about the lag angle .It takes care of itself if you keep all the hinges loose,by the virtue of the conservation of the angular momentum theorem.
    In this video you are “freezing” a short moment one of the hinges (the wrists ) .
    I explain :the swing is made of three pendulums and three hinges (I simplify of course ):
    -the pendulums are the upper right arm ,the right forearm ,the hands and club together
    -the hinges are the right shoulder, the right elbow ,the wrists .
    The torque is applied by the fast rotation of the lower body and some pectoral contraction which gives some power to the upper right arm action .
    The formula is TORQUE= Moment of Inertia X angular acceleration .
    The moment of inertia is (more or less )a constant (In fact it is reduced during the swing because the arms get closer to the body )
    The angular accélération passes on to the clubhead if there is no friction in the wrists (No holding on ) .You can’t do anything about the angles ,they just take care of themselves.What you have to do is accelerate from the top with the lower body to create maximum torque and keep the arms “POWERLESS “and the “HINGES “loose
    That’s exactly what you teach and which is correct and which adheres to laws of Mechanics .
    Sorry for this rather “pedantic ” demonstration ,but that’s where the MATHS serve a purpose
    The demonstration is a bit more complicated if I introduce in the equation the role of the left arm …

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      November 26, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      You are correct. My job is to take what you said and put it in terms everyone can understand.

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    January 16, 2018


    Where do you see the wrists releasing the lag in relation to your body?

    As your hips are opening up to a 45° angle impact I’m guessing your hands are at about the inside of the lead leg or just past the trail leg when they release.

    Do you ever picture this when you are practicing your swing?

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    January 17, 2018


    You’re right about over analyzing the swing.
    It’s good to go back to: A – to – B

    All three of those links are part of my favorites… Thanks!

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      January 17, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      Right. Simple works. Why I do the tips is to stop you from making the many mistakes I made years ago. Wasn’t fun times back then.

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