Few pros create more downswing lag than Sergio Garcia. It looks as though his hands and arms drop almost straight down toward the ground, causing the clubhead to lag far behind his hands well into the downswing. This incredible lag lets him keep his hands in front of the clubhead until just after impact, transferring a massive amount of energy into the the ball. The resulting clubhead speed yields big-time distance.
Even if you can’t replicate Sergio’s swing velocity, here’s how you can amp up your lag — and add some easy yards fast.
IT’S ALL IN THE HIPS
From the top, the feeling you want is that your arms are dropping as your hips unwind toward the target. Let your arms be responsive—they should be pulled down by the rotation of your hips. You don’t want your arms (or worse, your shoulders) to lead. If your shoulders spin out, the club will swing down from outside the target line, and you’ll quickly lose any lag power you’ve built up. Try to keep the left shoulder fairly passive in the initial stages of the downswing, and rotate your hips hard to the left. That should give you the powerful lag you need to generate an extra 10 to 20 yards off the tee.
DRILL: LET IT DROP
To train the arms to drop properly at the start of the downswing—that is, down, not out—take a practice backswing and stop at the top. Pump your hands and arms up and down twice without moving either shoulder, then hit a ball, re-creating the sensation of the arms falling as your hips unwind toward the target. The better you get at this move, the more lag you’ll create and the farther you’ll hit the ball.