Lag in your golf swing is crucial in generating maximum clubhead speed, power and distance. In order to create lag, your wrists must be cocked or angled at the start and top of your backswing and this angle must be held as long as possible during the downswing. The wrist angle is released just before impact. To increase the lag power of your swing, practice drills that can improve the angle of your wrists.
Many amateur golfers are successful in setting their wrists in the proper angle at the top of their backswing, but lose the angle too early on the downswing. The thumb-lock drill can help you keep the proper wrist angle longer. Grab an iron and take your normal stance and grip. Remove your left thumb from the shaft and place it over the top of your right wrist. Tee up a ball, take a half swing and hit the ball. As you do, notice how your left thumb helps you maintain the proper right-wrist angle and helps you keep the clubhead behind your hands before impact. Hit several balls with half swings and then hit several balls with your normal grip and backswing. If you are left-handed, move your right thumb on top of your left wrist.
Lead With Wrist or Butt
Learn how to set your right wrist in the proper angle and keep your clubhead behind your hands by concentrating on the back of your right wrist. Tee up a ball and take your normal stance and grip. Take your backswing and during your downswing, lead with the back of your right wrist. Visualize driving through the ball with the back of your wrist. If you're left-handed, focus on the back of your left wrist. A similar drill is to lead with the butt of your club during the downswing as you drive through the ball.
Early Set Drill
Some players struggle with getting their wrists set in the proper angle at the top of their backswing. This is an effective drill to help you obtain an early wrist cock and maintain the angle. Start by choking up about 12 inches on your club. Take your normal stance and grip. Slowly start your backswing and stop when your left arm, or right arm if you are left-handed, becomes parallel to the ground. At this point, move your club until the shaft is perpendicular to the ground. Your wrists are now set in the proper angle. While maintaining this angle, continue to take your club to the top of your backswing.
Martin Hall, Golf Channel instructor, uses the thumbs-up drill to help golfers find the proper wrist angle. To perform this drill, take your normal stance, but only hold your club with your left hand. Take your backswing and when you get to the top, look up at your thumb. Notice how it points skyward. While holding this position, grab the shaft several inches above your left hand with the index finger of your right hand. This helps lock in the angle of your left wrist. Keeping both hands in this position, start your downswing, keep your thumb pointing up as long as possible, release your right hand and hit the ball. After several practice swings, put both hands on the grip, practice your swing and concentrate on your thumbs pointing up. If you're a lefty, take your club back with your right hand and use your left index finger to lock the wrist angle.