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Clubhead Lag -- the clubhead lagging behind the hands through impact -- is the most important fundamental in the golf swing.

All PGA Tour players use Lag to compress the ball while poor players don't.


Learn how to FEEL, CREATE and SUSTAIN the lag. Discover the benefits of the Flat Left Wrist, shaft loading and educated hands and cut your scores in half!

Drag the wet mop!

Drag your wet mop!One of my favorite tip to help you feel the Lag is to Drag the Wet Mop!

It may sound funny but the best way to discover and understand the Lag is to throw away any technical thought. Instead you must focus on feel and feel only. You’ll discover that feelings come from the hands. This is why it’s extremely important that you pay a lot of attention in what is happening in your hands (in the Golfing Machine’s terminology it is called "Mind in the hands"). During the swing, you must focus on their position and seek a feeling of pressure and heaviness.

Now, what kind of feel do you have to look for?

This is where the wet mop analogy comes in handy!

  1. Grab a mop (a towel will do the trick) and wrap it around the clubhead. Now, soak the mop in a bucket of water then put it on the floor (this tip may actually help you clean the house!).
  2. Take your normal stance and put the mop in front of your trailing foot. At this point, your hands should also be in front of your trailing leg.
  3. Now, gently, try to drag everything in one piece by moving your hands past your leading leg and straight toward the target (we call this "Tracing the Line"). Do not try to manipulate the clubhead! We do not want the Mop to go past the leading leg: only the hands – so allow the Wet Mop to trail behind when you try to move your hands towards the target.

Congratulations, you are lagging!

Do it again and monitor those important things:

  • The grip is pressing hard against the forefinger of your trailing hand – this is the exact feel of pressure we want in a normal golf swing.
  • The mop feels very heavy as it lags behind your hands – this is the exact feel of heaviness we want in a normal golf swing.

Did you notice:

  • that your body reacts naturally to ease the drag? The hips clear, the torso turns automatically when you try to create lag and not the opposite: deliberately putting those elements in motion won’t create any lag!
  • that you automatically pushed against your leading foot to resist the drag?
  • you might even notice that your shaft was bent and put in tension.

Now, your next task on the range will be to seek and incorporate those feelings of pressure and heaviness in your swing.

I recommend that you begin with very small swings (almost a chip – we call this "Basic Motion") using a seven iron and sending balls no more than 30 feet away. Basic Motion is important because they are less moving parts than in a full swing it’s easier to concentrate on pressure and heaviness in your hands.

39 Responses to “Drag the wet mop!”

  1. Peter (Netherlands) Peter (Netherlands) says:

    hi John and others,
    This is also a nice one on Youtube
    “Ben Doyle-Tip #16 Punches-H.264 300Kbps.mov”
    cheers, Peter

  2. Peter Peter says:

    hi John.
    My compliments for your great work and thanks for the tips. This Mop drill is one of the drills Ben Doyle always uses, even with pros like Grant Waite and Steve Elkington. Besides this mop drill, he uses drills with the impact bag in a proper way, a tire and also with a small piece of wood pushing(dragging) against a box to get the sensation how this lag should feel like. And also to experience the way your whole body responds to this motion. Go to Youtube and search Ben Doyle.
    kind regards from the Netherlands

  3. Hi Jason, welcome aboard and thanks for your support!

    Indeed, Lag is not that complicated to do once you know what to do and what to look for and in this regard, pressure feel is the key.

    Your accuracy problems with your longest sticks suggest that you are now doing better with your Lag but still struggling with geometry!

    I suggest that you focus on your hands to make sure that 1) you keep your left wrist flat at all times 2) and even easier to do: keep your right wrist bent as long as you can and well past impact.

    With the longer clubs, low point of your swing arc tends to merge with your ball location and for many players, impact is the end of the action and they stop dragging/driving their club head starting from impact.

    This is very wrong. Even if it feels weird at first, you must continue the job until the end of the followthrough (the both arms straight position). Only then you can let go the Lag pressure feel AND stop thinking of keeping your right wrist bent (along with the left being flat (but you know that!)).

    Keep us informed of your findings and good golf!

  4. Jason Jason says:

    Hi, just discovered your website after searching for ways to
    create more lag. Your explanations of lag and how to feel
    it thru pressure points is mind blowing. I never knew it could
    be so simple. I realized how little lag I did create with my old
    swing. In fact, I’m sure I was casting the club most of the time.
    I hit my irons better now than I ever have but I struggle to hit my
    driver or any wood for thay matter with this technique. I jerk every
    shot straight left. Could you explain to me what Im doing wrong.

  5. paul paul says:

    hi,i have just discovered your site after searching how to take a divot.some of the terminollogy is beyond me but i realized i had no lag in my swing.i played yesterday and tried to apply your principles and i was hitting the ball much further,a bit too far on some holes.i am looking forward to working some more on the lag.

    great site

  6. Ted Ted says:

    Please comment on what the right thumbs job is. I find myself using it at times to increase pressure,(almost like pinching towards the pessure point) Not sure whether the thumb should be kept out of the picture. Thanks.

  7. Thank you for your support Mike.

    Speaking about the DVD, nothing is planned yet but it is a good idea that I keep in mind.

    However the good news is that an EBook is on it’s way and it should make the readers of this blog happy! ;-)

  8. Mike Mike says:

    This is simply the best golf instruction I have heard in years..You are absolutely right about the index finger and keeping the pressure point.Thankyou fpr the info and keep it coming. If you don’t currently hace an instructional Dvd you should put one out you will do very well. Keep the info coming.

  9. great drill and article. its intuitive and a great way to prevent throwaway.


  10. dre park dre park says:

    great info. your explanation of pp#3 really opened my eyes. just wondering how feeling pp#4 across my chest helps with pulls. i cannot fix my pulls, tried everything. slowing hips just makes me stop at impact and not at low point. i pull all my shots from wedges to driver. thank you for helping us with this site, it’s great !

    • Forget about slowing or accelerating the hips. You must focus on something more repeatable and more reliable;

      Your hands control the entire motion. Therefore, learn to move them along the correct path and everything will follow.
      Put your mind in your hands. Focus on PP#3, find it and move it along the target line.
      Be assured that the clubhead will follow in the same path, as sure as a trailer behind a car.

      You pull your shots because you have taken the habit to send your hands in the dreaded outside-in path.

      You’ll have to “educate your hands” to “trace” (sorry, I have not yet written an article about that yet!) the base of the plane line.

      To cure your pull you can even move that PP#3 along a straight line going to the right.

      Keep going!

  11. David David says:

    Oh, and I am married. Just long enough to feel the lag :)

  12. David David says:


    Thanks! (I think) :) I don’t think my swing is horrible, I normally shoot around par. My tennis swing on my forehand side however is probably not good as I was a top ranked junior and recently started playing again and have found that I cant hit the same kind of topspin like I did when I was young. I do agree that my muscles are out of balance because I dont take care of myself. Thanks for the tips – you are the man!!

  13. John L. John L. says:

    you have to work out both the tricep & bicep at home or in the gym. You should do ‘eccentric’ exercises, that means slowly release the contractions. Yes – exercise with weights. Yes – even though you will scream with pain. Also start taking Gelatin 7 grams per day (Knox) and MSM glucosamine chondroitin along with Omega oils. Your muscles are imbalanced because you don’t take care of yourself and also fire/push with your right hand during your horrible swing.

    ( Actually the best way to feel lag is to get married. )

  14. David David says:


    I am suffering from bad tendonitis on the inside of my right elbow. After my next tournament, I am going to lay off golf and tennis and hope it will heal. Going forward, am I doing something wrong in my swing that could lead to tendonitis. I get a little steep sometimes I think. Any tips to ease tension on this area of my elbow? Thanks for all your terrific advice!

  15. Raoul Reese Raoul Reese says:

    I think that it is easier to feel the lag when you keep the club shaft on line, on the exact plane, with your right forearm.

  16. To John
    This is coming along slowly. I’m currently in the process of upgrading this site to provide even better content in hi quality.

    More on that soon, thanks for your patience!

  17. John John says:

    Also coming soon: everything you always wanted to know on how to “Load the Lag”!

    have you done an article on how to do this?

  18. Thank you Andy, I appreciate a lot.

    TGM is indeed not easy at first sight but as Homer Kelley wrote:
    “Complexity is much more manageable that mystery”

    Let’s now fade that complexity away and unleash everyone’s golfing potential! :-)

  19. andy kilgore andy kilgore says:

    I can’t thank you enough for the information posted on this site. You truly have a gift in explaining complex concepts in easy-to-understand language. I first read The Golfing Machine in the early 70′s and while my sense was that the book contained the true principles of ball striking, I could never never be certain because doubt was inherent due to its complex style. That is no longer a problem because of your site. I can’t thank you enough.

  20. Yes Courtney,

    The bench drill can help understand that phenomenon:

    Find a bench and move your clubshaft back and forth along the edge.
    The edge of the bench is a straight line, your clubshaft is travelling along that line and your hands are always pointing to that line BUT at the same time, your CLUBHEAD is moving in an arc.

    So, tracing the plane line with your hands automatically produces the correct motion of the clubhead!

  21. Courtney Courtney says:

    So to be clear. With tracing the plane line, no matter what ball position I have due to the club I have selected I just need to trace the plane line for that particular shot?

  22. I found tracing more easy to do for Swingers and delivery line easier for Hitters.

  23. Courtney Courtney says:

    Thanks for the response. Ill try both techniques and monitor which one works better for me. I think I was hitting more consistently “tracing” the plane line. Ill keep you posted!


  24. Hi Courtney,

    Your confusion is absolutely normal because you are trying to trace the plane line AND use the delivery line of the hands at the same time.

    You can’t monitor both at the same time and must choose one procedure.

    If you prefer to trace the base of the plane line with your #3PP you direct that pressure along that line and not towards the inside aft quadrant of the ball.

    Now, if you choose the delivery line procedure, from the top of your backswing you draw an imaginary line going from your #3PP to low point and direct your hands along that line going down and out to right field.
    (the inside aft quadrant is the same idea albeit more approximate than going to low point!)

    The funny thing is that both procedures produce EXACTLY the same travel of the hands!

  25. Courtney Courtney says:

    Hey John!

    I am really confused right now as I just got back from the golf course. Hit some really solid shots and some bad. My question is, Is the PP#3 or hands to be directed at the inside quadrant of the ball on all shots or am I to be tracing the plane line with my hands? Or am I do drive my hands out towards right field. I will hit great shots but mix up my focus here and there and then I am mentally lost.


    Plus I am going to assume the hand action is the same for all motions from Basic and Acquired to Total Motion?!

  26. To Jon Thorlacius:

    “My key thought is slowly letting the club drop and with gravity I accelerate to “destroy the ground” that´s exactly what I’m thinking. It´s tempting to go too fast tough, I must reintroduce my brain to this way of swinging.”

    This is BRILLIANT: I cannot enough state the importance to start as slow as you can with the Hitting action. It is sooooo vital and people tend to underestimate that.

    For the Hitter, it is absolutely shocking and mind-blowing to get longer with a short backswing and a slow start down!
    But doing it is believing it!

  27. To Courtney:

    Tracing the base of the plane line is equivalent of using the aiming point technique (what you are currently doing and what Ben Doyle advocates).

    Tracing the base of the plane with your hands doesn’t mean that your hands travel in a line (they go up/back/in & down/out/forward) BUT they can point to that line:

    You can do that holding a flashlight or a laser in your right hand and move your hands to draw a line on the ground back and forth.

    I also see it like that: without a club, bend you right wrist and point your index to the base of the plane.
    Do your backstroke and keep pointing your index to that line to the infinite.
    On the downstroke, imagine that you “brush” the base of the plane line to the infinite towards the target – this should get you to both arms straight.
    I love the “brush” analogy because you can almost sense the pressure in your index while your “brush” the base of the plane line!

  28. Jon Thorlacius Jon Thorlacius says:

    This is something I was on to when I began playing golf. When I started I naturally developed a kind of “hitting” action were I kinda slammed down on the ball and this feeling you are talking about is exactly what I was on to. A golf teacher later tought me a more swinging like action where my left arm was more dominant. It´s not bad at all, I have progressed from a 36 to a 19 handicap with that swing but I have been experimenting with the hitting action again with a right arm dominant swing and that explosive element I found 4 years ago is back with the lag feeling in my hands again, especially in the irons. Im quite a bit longer in fact and feel solid. My key thought is slowly letting the club drop and with gravity I accelarate to “destroy the ground” that´s exactly what im thinking. It´s tempting to go too fast tough, I must reintroduce my brain to this way of swinging.

    Thanks for your site, the information posted here has been one of the basic ingredient´s to my renewed more powerful swing.

    Kind Regards


    • TimothyW TimothyW says:

      Hey JT
      I recently switched to the hitting style of motion and it has been great. I’ve become more consistent and accurate with this motion; however, I’m still have to ungrain the left arm dominance of the swinging motion in the stroke. I,too, am suprised by the distance that I have from the hitting motion, off the tee box I can put it out to around 270-280 yards out with a good degree accuracy.

  29. Courtney Courtney says:

    Hey John:

    Great stuff. Fan of the Golfing Machine and its teachings. I think Ben Doyle would be proud as he has written me stating words must become pictures and I truly think you have done that. My question. You mention tracing the plane line with lag. Is this the line you direct your hands on? I am so worried about down and out I always visualize the low point of my clubhead but if I can simplify it even further with just hands following the plane that might make my swing even more repeatable! Sustain the lag!

  30. Thank you Scott.

    Absolutely right: “Position Golf” is doing a lot of harm to serious Golfers looking for improvement as they think that reproducing static positions seen in magazines is the solution.
    Alas, without dynamics nothing good can happen.

    The proper curriculum is to let mechanics produce feels and then let feels reproduce the mechanics.

    Playing by feel is far more reliable under stress than any technical tip.

  31. John –

    Fantastic information – I love how you have focused on feel and how to create that feel with simple drills! I believe this type of information has been lost – too much focus has been placed on technical side of things. I look forward to following your info and sharing it with others!
    Great job!

  32. Nice Mike!
    Dragging the Wet Mop is indeed a very efficient tip and the benefits it provides are endless.
    It has tremendous impact on the game of the fellow golfers who tried it out, from beginners to low handicappers!
    Dragging the Wet Mop puts the emphasis on dynamics instead of style (Today’s golf instruction). And as you see, when you got the dynamics right, your game immediately goes to the next level.
    Starting by dragging from the back leg is the very first stage of learning what Lag is all about: You see, on full swings, the average golfer tendency is to “add” to the shot in an attempt to hit it far. This only produces steering, over-acceleration, clubhead throwaway and…bad golf.

    But as you’ve seen, the aim of this tip is to ingrain the feeling of Lag (pressure and heaviness sensed in your HANDS) on small shots (Basic Motion) and to keep that EXACT same feeling on full shots.

    On the next posts, I’ll write about another very simple but yet very effective tip on how to direct this Lag through the ball: “Tracing the base of the plane line”. Used in combination with the “Drag the Wet Mop” tip it gives you all you need to play power and precision golf!

    Also coming soon: everything you always wanted to know on how to “Load the Lag”!

    Keep the good work Mike, we are with you anytime if you need advice on those topics!

    Best regards,

  33. mike mike says:

    I am a 7 index. About a year ago my game went crazy, probably as a result of reading and watching too much Golf Channel. I have struggled for a year to get ‘the feel’ back. Dragging the wet mop did it instantly. Not just dragging from my back leg, but from the top of the downswing. I think of a heavy, wet mop–and the club lags, the tempo is good and the ball go straight and far.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Mike M.
    Newport Beach, CA

  34. Hi Adian, I am delighted to know that you discovered the benefits of “dragging the wet mop”-the only golf tip that improves your game and makes your wife happy while you do it at home!
    More seriously, remember to shift your attention from technique (as most of us are taught to when we play golf) to feels (pressure, heaviness) coming from your hands. This is where Lag is felt and created.

    Maybe you noticed during your practice session that Lag is very elusive, that is, any attempt to go too “fast” will dissipate Lag: To sustain the Lag, you must ensure that the pressure you felt in your trigger forefinger during the downstroke stays constant (or increases!) but never decreases. Feeling a lot of pressure at the start of the downstroke and almost nothing at impact is a sign that you’ve lost Lag.
    (I’ll post an article on that soon.)
    This is why monitoring that pressure in your hands is key to know that you’ve created and sustained Lag.

    Feel free to ask if you need more info, this is the best way to improve. I’ll be happy to help!

    NB: If you’re interested in building Lag in your Golf swing, stay tuned as I have a lot of good information to share.


  35. adian leary adian leary says:


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