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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!

What is Clubhead Lag and how can it improve your golf ?

Feeling Lag in your handsLag definition is "to stay behind".

In the golf swing, lag is that ability that allows the golfer’s hands to stay ahead of the clubhead before striking the golf ball.
In other words, the hands are ALWAYS leading while the clubhead is trailing behind.

Lag creation and sustainment is the most important fundamental in the golf swing.
Without lag, the fundamentals of the golf swing like grip, stance, etc., don’t really matter and you can forget playing golf at your best level.

No matter how different or unorthodox, all effective swings have one position in common: At impact, the skilled golfer’s leading wrist is effectively flat or bowed facing the target, the trailing wrist is bent backwards, the shaft is stressed and presses hard on the right forefinger.

How does the highly skilled golfer reach this position so consistently?

Hands leading with a trailling clubead

The answer is Lag: His golf swing produces and sustains lag in the downswing.

All the swing positions of professionnal tour players we see analyzed in the golf magazines and that many teachers told us to reproduce (this is known as "position golf") are the result of, not the cause of, this Lag fundamental.

When you have Lag in your swing, it generates most and coordinates all of these actions and positions to produce a consistent solid ball striking downswing.

33 Responses to “What is Clubhead Lag and how can it improve your golf ?”

  1. Greg Greg says:

    John: Tried Out Your Swing Tips for the first time, today, after reading your e-book yesterday & working on the drills of maintaining lag with pressure points 1 &3 while pushing the club through the grass back & forth. I hit everyone of my irons & hybrids flush, but I was hitting low pull hooks with my driver & 3-wood. I then realized I was setting up on the driver swing with my shoulders slightly closed to my target line. When I Opened up to align my shoulders slightly open or left of the target line, I started nailing my driver & 3-wood! My question is: Should my shoulders be slightly open at address for every shot or approximately aiming 2 feet left of the target line? Thanks!

  2. ken swallow ken swallow says:

    I am trying to order the ebook but cannot access paypal even though I am a member of that organization.Please instruct.


  3. ken swallow ken swallow says:

    What price in Canadian funds is the ebook.

    Thank you

    • Hi Ken and thank you for your interest.

      1€ = 1.28CAD. So at 29€, the eBook sells at around 37CAD.
      The payment process is handled by Paypal and you’ll receive a download link immediately.

      We’ve received lots of rave reviews so far, so you should be happy with your purchase.

      Good Golf,

  4. jim jim says:

    Hi John,

    This is a wonderful site! I spent about five months focusing on nothing but clubhead lag and finally have pretty good lag in my swing. My impact dynamics are better by far than they’ve ever been and I love the way I’m striking the ball.

    Unfortunately, I’ve found that incorporating lag with my old release patterns leaves my clubface very open at impact. I tried trusting CF to square the club as you suggested somewhere on the site. I’ve also tried strengthening my grip, but that seemed to create inconsistency rather than fix the problem.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.

  5. andre andre says:

    John, great informattive site. I am having difficulty w/ downswing. i can’t stopp “pulling” my shots. i use impact fix set up, with forearm takeaway. using your “swing out” while having pp#3 pressure. is “swinging out” supposed just that or something else i’m missing. swinging out meant swinging towards 1st base. thanks again for your contribution to helping hacks get better.

  6. TimothyW TimothyW says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention in learning how to maintain PP#3, I struck an 8 iron 160 yards out 2 feet from the pin on a par 3. When I first started playing this course, I would have to take a 6 iron just to reach the front of the green. Also, a by product of PP#3 is that my 3 wood has become consistent and I have eliminated double chips and pitches. I am hungry for lag, it is a feeling of power!!!

  7. TimothyW TimothyW says:

    This website has really changed my game, I now understand, after much $$$$ on training aids, I now understand what it means to “hit down” on the ball. The golf lessons I did have solely focused on just swinging through impact. Most people taking golf lessons will be told to focus on the back of the ball to make good contact which will lead to frustration because after the lessons they will still go out and duff the ball because in that 45min to 1 hour, the instruction probably never mentioned that to strike the ball clean, the swing has to go to low point which is in front of the ball. After studying the material on this site, my concern is for the front of the ball in order to take a divot which means my swing bottomed out based on geometry.

  8. JohnnyH JohnnyH says:

    This is elusive unless you understand that the goal should be to keep the clubhead ABOVE the hands for as long as possible in the downswing. Just shift the weight onto the front leg and maintain the hands below the clubhead for as long as you can; this is the secret to compression.

  9. To Jake

    Ha-ha! Excellent and very funny!

    The PP#3 should be located in the FIRST joint of the index trigger finger.

    However, your blister is located in the SECOND joint…

    PP#3 must be felt the AFT part of the shaft (see the PBS location for example: http://www.golflagtips.com/pure-ball-striker-review/ and the video around 0:14s).

    To feel it on the SECOND joint AND located AFT of the shaft, you must place your right hand in a very weak position which is not recommended.

    If you place your right hand correctly dead behind the shaft, your first joint will be correctly placed AFT of the shaft and your second joint (with the blister) will end up UNDER the shaft.
    This is important because there is another pressure point (PP#1 that is located where the palm of your right hand touches the left thumb) that also needs to be dead behind the shaft.

    This could hardly be done with your “blister grip”!

    Moreover, blisters tell no lies: they are signs that the grip is moving in your hands during the shot which is not the precision we are looking for.

    For precision impact, hands must be like clamps that firmly attaches to the club. As such, there should be no wobble in the attachment.

    But remember, tight grip doesn’t mean tight wrists too!

  10. To Jools:

    If you have the book, check “10-11-0-3. PP#3″ in regard to PP#3 rotation when swinging…

  11. Jake Jake says:

    John! I have really been working on basic motion to full but more basic. I can totally feel the pop and lag especially in the basic motion (I have more control over it) need to build up to a full swing more later.

    I have a picture of a blister on my pp#3 trigger finger. This is where I feel and maintain the pressure. Is this the correct spot?


  12. Jools Jools says:

    Hey John

    Thanks for the reply and yes I am working on the lag pressure and intelligent hands. Regarding the PBS, I am way ahead of you he he – got those about six months ago. Sometimes I use it during a round. However the point you say about not swinging too far back is new to me. I didn’t know the PP3 changes position. No wonder sometimes I still hit it fat, I sometimes fight it when I feel the pressure move from the back to the front of the grip. I think I am a hitter after all.

    Cheers and thanks for a very very useful site.

  13. Hey Jools

    Congratulations on your improvements. Keep going: learn to play by FEEL by trusting the pressure in your hands and you’ll be in golf heaven!

    You put a very interesting point here regarding equipment:

    Our goal is to get a maximum FEEL of the pressure points in our hands.
    In regard to this, read this review of the Pure Ball Striker (http://www.golflagtips.com/pure-ball-striker-review/) and come back…

    The PBS is working the very same principle that you’ve discovered with bigger grips: to get get a better feel for your pressure points.

    When I stick the PBS on a grip, I immediately increase the quality of my compression (and I think I’m already pretty efficient in this area!!!) and it’s like I’m playing with a new set of clubs!
    After a few swings, I’m able to remove the device and keep that quality of contact until I focus on something else.

    This tells one thing: With the PBS or bigger grips, we put our mind more than usual in our hands and this is KEY.

    So I would say that the bigger grip is not a solution because you’ll get used to them after a few rounds and your mind will slightly shift away from your hands and you’ll be back again to the beginning.

    Blades can play a similar role in pressure feedback because the center of gravity is a tiny point on the face instead of a peripheral weight distribution.
    When you strike the ball on that point you can get a better “pressure feedback” in your hands than with cavity back irons.

  14. Jools Jools says:


    I have been following your site for a while now. Today I shot the round of my life. I made three birdies and an eagle. I am still in shock at my achievement, but after sitting a while and taking apart what I did different today I found that most of what I did different today from most days was my approach shots. At one of the early holes today I was 100 metres out and was trying to find my PW. I found it missiing (persumably left it at another course last week) so, this being an informal game, my buddy lent me his pw. His PW is a mizuno blade ( I play with Ping G5s) – however he had oversized grips on. When I tried it, I can immediately feel all the pressure point 3 and 2. As a result I stiffed the ball three inches from the hole for the first of my birdies. Needless to say I used all his short clubs from then on. I proceeded to chip an eagle from 10 m from the green and made three more birdies.

    So my question is: Was it the oversized grips and the better feel I get of the PPs? or was it the Mizunos? Should I get new oversized grips?

  15. Jake Jake says:

    I mostly stay on my left side at least I feel this way. I had a problem in the past I would get stuck on my right side. The more I feel I’m already on my left the better I can hit down and through the shot. That is just me though. So I dont get stuck and then flip. I basically turn around my left leg like a post. I dont know if anyone has seen shawn clements videos on youtube, exactly what he talks about but then I take the hitters approach to striking through the ball.

  16. Dean Dean says:

    John, thanks for that, and you are absolutely right! In my case the initial hip slide is there but hardly noticeable, just an instinctive little movement a transition to intiate the drive down. Just enough to transfer some weight onto my front foot.

    Keep it up, the more intuitive moves I can do the better!

  17. Hi Dean

    Maybe knowing the purpose of that move could help achieving it properly:

    The objective of the Hip Slide move is to lower the right shoulder down plane to initiate the downstroke.

    This serves two purposes:
    - to load the Lag: ie, establish the initial Lag Pressure in your pressure points
    - to ensure that you’ll have plenty of left arm to extend through the shot (otherwise you’ll flip it!)

    If you see/feel that you are already doing those two things properly, you probably do the hip slide correctly without knowing it and don’t need to focus too much on that.

  18. Dean Dean says:

    John, I am in a similar position to Jake and have been trying this for a while now (and am delighted with the results I am achieving). I think Jake is feeling it the same as I am, a feeling of just pushing the clubhead down through the ball (I really like your expression “driving the lag”).

    However, any attempt to “hip slide” first, throws it all away for me. I definitely feel as if everything needs to move in behind the drive and mustn’t slide ahead of it.

    Am I doing something wrong?

    Keep up the good work!

  19. Hi Jake,

    It is indeed a pressure sensed in your hands. The easiest one to locate is the index trigger finger of your left hand where it touches the aft part of the shaft.

    Your analysis of your hips going first is right.
    The Lag is loaded first by the body with a “hip slide” towards the target (but this is not a sway!) that puts everything in “tension”.

    So, use your body to load that Lag but sense it in your hands.

  20. Jake Jake says:

    John, I have been messing around with this. Is it a pushing feeling (pressure) of the right hand pushing through the ball. I’m feeling this pressure if i do it right. If my lefts / hips dont go first it is much harder to get the feeling. I can get a tiny bit of it with just arms. But when the whole body moves with it, its much longer. I hope i’m going down the right path, thanks!

  21. Marcus Marcus says:

    Thanks John. Really looking forward to your coverage on the correct loading motion. (Hitting and Swinging?)
    As a hacker if I was previously loading the lag perfectly I was totally unaware of it and believe this ignorance was probably my biggest obstacle to a reasonable golf game. I wasted many years on futile practice before starting to understand and appreciate how critical and central is the loading, storing and delivery of lag pressure. It really is the first thing anyone should learn.

  22. You are right on target Marcus but this is half the story: you must also sustain that precious lag.
    In fact almost everybody including the hackers load the Lag perfectly – the problem is that they throw it away immediately!

    Loading the Lag AND sustaining it until both arms straight is another story.

    However, a correct loading motion can put the player in the perfect condition to easily sustain that Lag.

    You can be sure that I’ll cover this important topic in the future.

  23. Marcus Marcus says:

    If Lag creation and sustainment is the most important fundamental in the golf swing, shouldn’t the question be “What is Clubhead Lag and how can I Load it?”

  24. Done!

    Stay tuned folks for a PBS review as soon as I receive it from Jeff!
    Might be very interesting because it is closely related to sensing the #3 pressure point, which is the one to carefully monitor during the downstroke.

  25. Jeff Evans Jeff Evans says:

    Hi John,
    I would be happily send you a sample!
    Just contact me at jeff@pbstriker.com

  26. Hi Jeff and thank you.
    Seems you have invented a nice little training aid. Simple yet efficient way to sense and focus on clubhead lag pressure.
    For sure your Pureballstriker can give some interesting feedback to the brain in terms of variations of lag pressure!
    Can’t wait to try one out! If you could send one sample I would be happy to write a review on it regarding its effect on lag pressure feel.
    Best regards.

  27. Jeff Evans Jeff Evans says:

    I found your site by googling Lag Pressure you have done a wonderful job presenting these principles.
    Sustaining the line of compression is so very important as you know and understand. Being able to sense the clubhead lag pressure against the trigger finger or right index finger gives the golfer the awareness of the proper location and this is why I invented the Pure Ball Striker training device. This device allows the player to sense their clubhead lag pressure from the shortest putt to the longest drive. It sets on the aft side of the grip along the sweet-spot plane.
    While the right wrist is bent and the left wrist is flat or arched slightly the right index finger/trigger finger is now the most trailing/lagging part of the hands. This makes it possible to monitor the lagging clubhead, the sweet-spot plane and the roll of the flat, level and vertical left wrist.
    Thanks for such a great website and the knowledge you have shared here with us!

  28. You are right Maruman: Having the hands ahead of the clubhead is not enough. It misses a very important ingredient: Lag Pressure.
    As I wrote in this post: “At impact, the skilled golfer’s leading wrist is effectively flat or bowed facing the target, the trailing wrist is bent backwards, THE SHAFT IS STRESSED and PRESSES HARD on the RIGHT FOREFINGER.”

    If you can feel that pressure on your right hand’s trigger finger during the dow stroke to the end of the follow-through then the club shaft is stressed and life is good because you are driving the Lag!

  29. The Maruman The Maruman says:

    Club head lag is not the club head lagging behind the hands. That is just leverage. Club head lag is where the club head fractionally lags behind the butt end of the club due to the shaft being bent back slightly (pre-stressed). THAT is the true definition of club head lag. There’s a huge difference, becuase I know golfers who come into the ball with hands way ahead of club head but to no effect. Their over acceleration of the arms/power package has lost the club head lag in the shaft.

  30. Golfman Golfman says:

    I agree when you say that lag is a fundamental widely ignored by current golfing instructors. There is sooo much teachers out there going common places like “make a full backswing turn” or “keep an eye on the ball”.
    You could spend as much $$ and time you can with them, you can bet your shirt they’ll never teach you how to sustain the lag!

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Aiming-Point Location Driver to Wedges

Aiming-Point: Too far forward

Aiming-Point: Bad location with the Driver

Aiming-Point: Good location with the Driver

Divot Location demonstrated with a Hitting stroke - Swing Sequence

The eye of the Hitter - 3 - Follow Through

The eye of the Hitter - 1 - Address

The eye of the Hitter - 2 - Startdown