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zenbudda

Releasing lag, distance between hands and body at impact

22 posts in this topic

Preface

From ages 5-13, I played "just to play" and never had any real instruction.  My father also never had any instruction and just followed what he could learn from the pros (Nicklaus, Miller, Palmer, etc ) .  So my "basics" came from hand-me-down information.  Between 13-16 I started practicing and playing several times a day, several days a week.  Dad built me some clubs (Golfsmith Tour Model II's with square grooves, and true temper dynamic golds).  I was never really consistently good.  I could shoot +9 to +18 on better days.  I struggled with shanks, tops, hitting it fat, duck hooks and high fades.  I put down the clubs for most of 20 years.  I played here and there but nothing ever spectacular or worth talking about.  A few years ago I took some lessons at GolfTec (Golfsmith) and realized some major flaws in my swing.  I tilted towards the target on my backswing, re-routed my club from outside to in, lifted my head to get my left shoulder under my chin...etc etc.  My instructor was trying to get me back to a more stable one-piece sort of swing.  My swing looks a lot better and a lot different know.  I still feel really tight in my backswing, and it's hard to keep my head from moving up and down.  It's easy to start my down swing by sliding slightly foward, and it's easy to rotate my hips.  But for the love of god, i cannot unwind my upper body in proper sequence.  My timing is way off at contact and i'm still shanking (hozel), topping, fatting, hooking, blocking and slicing.  Out of 100 balls, I hit approximately 10-20 decent shots within 10-20 yards left/right of target.  About half of those are 5 yards within target.

Question

I feel I'm having problems grasping some mind-to-body concepts when it comes to lag, releasing lag, and where my hands need to be at impact.  I'm really struggling with trying to understand how to pull my arms through my upper body and keep my hands in a position where i do not hit the hozel (i do this quite often).  I watch a lot of youtube videos to see if i can find some indicators on how the pros pull their arms through the strike zone, but nothing is making sense in terms of that mind-body connection (ie. i can see what they are doing, and i can understand it mentally, but physically it's not happening).  So the way I would like to summarize this is, what muscles are being fired when you release lag (and for those that think you cannot hold on to lag too long you are way wrong), and where are your hands supposed to be in relation to your body (how far away from your body...think of a down-the-line shot).  I know you are supposed to have shaft lean but I feel as if I'm not releasing most of my lag before impact.

Sorry for so many words.

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Question

I feel I'm having problems grasping some mind-to-body concepts when it comes to lag, releasing lag, and where my hands need to be at impact.  I'm really struggling with trying to understand how to pull my arms through my upper body and keep my hands in a position where i do not hit the hozel (i do this quite often).  I watch a lot of youtube videos to see if i can find some indicators on how the pros pull their arms through the strike zone, but nothing is making sense in terms of that mind-body connection (ie. i can see what they are doing, and i can understand it mentally, but physically it's not happening).  So the way I would like to summarize this is, what muscles are being fired when you release lag (and for those that think you cannot hold on to lag too long you are way wrong), and where are your hands supposed to be in relation to your body (how far away from your body...think of a down-the-line shot).  I know you are supposed to have shaft lean but I feel as if I'm not releasing most of my lag before impact.

Sorry for so many words.

Check this out, I'm not a big fan of a "pull" feel to sustain leverage.

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My swing in this video has its faults, but the principal is there. To me, sustaining lag in this little nudge of a swing, I don't feel any pulling at all. I agree with mvmac. I can't recall how many instructors told me to feel like I'm pulling, it never ever worked.

In the video, I feel like my right arm is pushing, thrusting, extending post impact. Leading with the right elbow too. Hands feel low. I don't start with a lot of lag if you're thinking Sergio Garcia, but between P5 and P6, where many people start casting, I've retained the shaft to arms angle BUT no pulling, no holding the lag, no Herculean feats of strength here, just proper timing, I'm holding the club lightly throughout. I see those YT videos out there of people showing exercises to "hold the lag" and I shake my head. There's lots wrong with the swing, no use of hips, arms too long, etc..., but it helped me start to figure things out although I still continue to figure things out, I'm less confused. Ball didn't go far, swinging very slowly, but came off real low, obviously, and curved a little left.

These are what I call my finding proof of principal swings.

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mvmac,

thanks for your response.  do you have anything that focuses on release of lag (proper way to release) and a down-the-line video of where your hands are through the release in terms of distance from the body?

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nevets88,

thanks for your response.  can you replicate this technique at near full swing?  if so, do you still feel your arm thrusting forward?  where are your hands from your body through the lag release?

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I currently don't have a mechanism to video tape myself effectively.  i'll try to come up with something tonight.  however, i can guarantee that part of my problem is when i release lag, my hands are too away from my body (hence i'm blocking, toping and shanking a LOT Of shots).  this is why i'm interested in hearing a sound solution for releasing lag and where your hands should be in terms of distance from the body (ie. the same as they are at address?  if so, why are the pros hands a little more forward)

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@zenbudda , please read this thread: . The multiple posts - particularly without quotes - are tough to follow.

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nevets88,

thanks for your response.  can you replicate this technique at near full swing?  if so, do you still feel your arm thrusting forward?  where are your hands from your body through the lag release?

Not yet. I'm not focusing on lag, but forward shaft lean with a shallow angle of attack, hands ahead of ball, less flippy. What I'm having problems with is getting my hands more forward. I'm not working on lag at all. When I get a good strike, my hands feel further away from the body post impact. Currently, I get about 200 yards from a 3I (that's a 22 degree, 38.75" shaft) on a normal tempo solid swing, probably a little more, but my post impact conditions are less than optimal, my arms are long on the way down and my left wrist is cuppy. I can get my hands even more ahead of the ball at impact. You can see it in my last video in my myswing thread.

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mvmac,

thanks for your response.  do you have anything that focuses on release of lag (proper way to release) and a down-the-line video of where your hands are through the release in terms of distance from the body?

You can have many different looking "releases" and still play pretty good golf.  There is no "proper" way to release other than making sure you have a flat lead wrist at impact.

I currently don't have a mechanism to video tape myself effectively.  i'll try to come up with something tonight.  however, i can guarantee that part of my problem is when i release lag, my hands are too away from my body (hence i'm blocking, toping and shanking a LOT Of shots).  this is why i'm interested in hearing a sound solution for releasing lag and where your hands should be in terms of distance from the body (ie. the same as they are at address?  if so, why are the pros hands a little more forward)

You feel like you retain the lag too long?

We like to say "lag happens" and I find it to be true for most golfers.  Pro's hands are more forward at impact because that's how golf clubs were designed to be hit, with the weight forward and the shaft leaning forward.  We call it Flat Left Wrist, right pic below, lead arm and shaft line up, Key #3.  Most golfers look like the left pic and that's where a lot of contact problems come in.

There is no one solution, it's figuring out what is going on with your swing and fixing the priority piece.  You may feel like the release is important but if I had to guess I'd bet your weight isn't forward enough at impact, Key #2.  Having a solid Key #2 helps get Key #3.

I would spend some time doing these drills before you tried to do anything with the release.  If you're topping and shanking a lot of shots, imo the release isn't the culprit.

More on the 5 Keys

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Here are some swings (front view and down the line).  After reviewing these, I thought about taking another set but the set-up is cumbersome.  I realize that I have not corrected my backswing "that much".  I'm still tilting towards the target a little, and I'm taken the club back too inside.  I'm also still lifting my head/chin to get my left shoulder underneath.  I admit, I'm incredibly stiff in my upper body.  I cannot seem to separate my hips from my upper body that well.  Anyway, for what it's worth.  The FPS sucks.

The reason for the video is to attempt to show that I do have shaft lean, and I do have lag, but I tend not to release it properly (hitting fat, topping, hitting hozel, blocking to the right etc etc).  If you slow the video down (you can do this in YouTube but not using the embedded vid), you will see where I do have lag in my swing and my hands are in front of the ball through impact.  My divots at the driving range suggest I'm pulling the club across my body, and on my drives, I definitely feel the ball hitting the inside of the club (high slice).  I really do need to work on my back swing but if someone could just point me to the right direction of proper release, I can start to play golf again instead of hitting 500+ balls a week on weekends.

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mvmac,

thanks for those tips.  if you trust me, i can guarantee you that 95% + of the time i am coming down on the ball, and out of that, 50% of the time i am making a divot in front of the ball.  I think you will see in my video that I am definitely leaning forward into the swing.

I still have a funny feeling that i'm not releasing the club correctly and i'm either releasing too late (causing my hands to be too far in front of the ball) or my hands are drifting away from my body causing me to hit the hozel instead of the center of the club.  It might be because i'm started out tilted towards the target (somethign I thought I had corrected) and I'm getting trapped by not over correcting and pulling my arms across my body in an attempt to correct the problem (/shrug wtf do i know lol).  This next few weeks, I'm going to focus solely on limbering up my upper body and trying to get a smoother transition from my back swing to my down swing.

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I would shank the ball if my butt moved that much toward the target line and my spine raised up that much (from the down the line view) from the top of the swing to impact. Disclaimer: I'm not an expert but used to shank more than my fair share of balls.
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I would shank the ball if my butt moved that much toward the target line and my spine raised up that much (from the down the line view) from the top of the swing to impact.

Disclaimer: I'm not an expert but used to shank more than my fair share of balls.

Can you explain what you mean by "spine raised up that much"?

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If you draw a vertical line on the edge of your butt at the top of the backswing by the time you get to impact your butt is probably close to a foot off of the line. (Just a guess). If you draw a line on your spine angle at the top of the backswing it's probably between 30 and 40 degrees (also guessing) but by the time you get to impact that line would have to be vertical to match your spine angle. P.S. I don't lose any sleep over either of those things as long as I keep it to some sort of minimum.
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are you referring to the front view or down-the-line?

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Down the line.
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The reason for the video is to attempt to show that I do have shaft lean, and I do have lag, but I tend not to release it properly (hitting fat, topping, hitting hozel, blocking to the right etc etc).  If you slow the video down (you can do this in YouTube but not using the embedded vid), you will see where I do have lag in my swing and my hands are in front of the ball through impact.  My divots at the driving range suggest I'm pulling the club across my body, and on my drives, I definitely feel the ball hitting the inside of the club (high slice).  I really do need to work on my back swing but if someone could just point me to the right direction of proper release, I can start to play golf again instead of hitting 500+ balls a week on weekends.

Can't tell much of what the hands are doing with that video

mvmac,

thanks for those tips.  if you trust me, i can guarantee you that 95% + of the time i am coming down on the ball, and out of that, 50% of the time i am making a divot in front of the ball.  I think you will see in my video that I am definitely leaning forward into the swing.

I still have a funny feeling that i'm not releasing the club correctly and i'm either releasing too late (causing my hands to be too far in front of the ball) or my hands are drifting away from my body causing me to hit the hozel instead of the center of the club.  It might be because i'm started out tilted towards the target (somethign I thought I had corrected) and I'm getting trapped by not over correcting and pulling my arms across my body in an attempt to correct the problem (/shrug wtf do i know lol).  This next few weeks, I'm going to focus solely on limbering up my upper body and trying to get a smoother transition from my back swing to my down swing.

This is the reason for your problems.  Make it hard to get the weight forward properly, just helped a golfer yesterday with this same issue.  His path was well left and couldn't keep it on the golf course.  Made some changes and he shot nine shots better on the back nine.  No more slices.

To fix it, narrow your stance, allows the hips to turn.  Stance is too wide and promotes a sway.  Also feel like you turn your right hip pocket to a line that bisects your body.

Also note how the left knee will work, how this pic below is different than yours.  Left knee isn't collapsing inward.

Can you explain what you mean by "spine raised up that much"?

This

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Thanks again!  That makes plenty of sense.

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