Si Woo Kim won the American Express last week to chalk up his third PGA Tour title. Everybody likes the South Korean's swing - but here's what stands out for me.
As Kim turns to the top of his backswing, below, he maintains the angle he has created between his left arm and the shaft of the club. Fairly standard stuff.
But here's where it gets interesting for us mere mortals. As he starts down, below, look how that angle increases and the club moves closer to his right shoulder. That’s called lag, and it’s very difficult to achieve.
Most amateurs can create these angles in the backswing, but it’s the maintaining of those angles on the way down that usually causes problems. Kim not only maintains, but increases the angle resulting in a powerful unhinging of the wrists.
The ability to create this lag is what sets amateurs and professionals apart.
Because of the lag Kim has created, his hands reach the ball first and the shaft of the club is left trailing behind.
This enables him to compress the golf ball and create more speed, a common trait in longer hitters.
This can be a difficult concept to grasp, as so much of the angles created by Kim are achieved by other well executed fundamentals in his swing.
More often than not, amateurs will try to delay their release or pull too hard with their hands during the downswing. This can leave the clubface wide open, causing a multitude of wayward shots.
Lag in the swing needs to be a natural, unforced motion for it to be affective. And the only way to do that is build sound fundamentals.