Trick to Hold Your Lag for More Distance

Increasing your club head speed is the most important way to increase your driving distance. Cocking your wrists to create “lag”, so that you can release your wrists at the bottom of your swing, is the best way to increase your club head speed.  Unfortunately too many recreational golfers don’t know the tricks to create and hold lag in their backswing. The normal way to create lag is at the top of your backswing.  But there is another way to create lag and to learn to hold lag in your downswing for a powerful release.

Most pros like Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy make a wide straight arm takeaway followed by a wrist cock at the top of their backswing as their trailing elbow bends near their side.  The good news is that there are tricks that you can use to create lag and to release lag at the right time.

Dustin Johnson starts his wrist cock (for lag) before he starts to rotate his shoulders and leading arm.  His leading arm is still pointing dead straight at the ground and his club head is well back from his ball in his backswing.

I noticed that Dustin Johnson, Michelle Wei and many others on the European Tour start their wrist cock as they start their takeaway. The face of their club has already opened almost 90 degree from their setup point by the time that their club is horizontal to the ground. From that point they lift their straight leading arm to the top of their backswing.  Creating lag, if you start your wrist cock from the bottom of your swing, may be easier for you too. I find that this method helps me feel and hold lag as I start my downswing by dropping my arms (without releasing my wrists) for more power and distance. NOTE: (Avoid bowing your wrist like Dustin Johnson at the top of the swing as it just adds complexity that you don’t need in your

Dustin still has the same amount of wrist cock before his leading arm is horizontal.  He finishes his wrist cock for lag at the top of his swing.

swing according to Hank Haney.)

Tips for the Early Wrist Cock Technique:

Light Grip: To avoid tension in your arms and hands, I recently watched a long ball champion say that his leading hand grip is a 4 out of 10 and his trailing hand grip pressure is much lighter.

One Continuous Motion: Make sure that your wrist cock takeaway is in one continuous motion as you continue lifting to the top of your backswing. [Don’t cock and then lift.]

Your Backswing Rotation Should be Inside:  Your backswing could be completed in a single plane which is identical with your downswing plane. If your takeaway is wide and high, you can avoid pulling your shot by looping your club at the top to shallow out your downswing from the inside (to the outside) as you impact your ball.

Keep your Trailing Knee Bent in your Backswing: Don’t try to get more rotation by straightening out your trailing leg. You will lose total control of your direction and most likely push your shot.

Limit Your Backswing: Accept your limited spine rotation. As you age, your flexibility may be limited. Don’t try to create more rotation by bending your leading arm but you can lift your leading heel slightly.. A three quarter backswing will still give you a powerful long hit as long as you release your lag at the bottom half of your swing.

Starting the wrist cock lag at the start of the takeaway has improved driving consistency and power for Dustin Johnson and many other professional golfers. Use your GOLFSTR+ to ensure that you 1/keep your leading arm straight, 2/keep your wrist flat at the top and 3/to make sure that your lag is completed at the top of your swing. Buy one today at




  • Great ancient teacher JOE DANTE taught 4 “Magic Moves “.
    One of these moves is that you should cock your wrists at the beginning of the backswing .
    I don’t do it myself ,it doesn’t work for me.
    I prefer the GREG NORMAN cock ,happening the latest possible time , at the end of a wide,smooth backswing ,it gives me more time and a better tempo .

  • Will Curry says:

    Thanks for sharing these 2 points of view. The most important part of your swing is holding your lag and releasing at the bottom. Even Jim Furyk gets that right.

    There are many ways to skin a cat and many ways to complete your backswing. I think the most important part of the swing is to shallow your club in the backswing and swing from the inside and up your target line. I love to make my shots draw.