There is always a discussion somewhere, with someone, about how to get more power.
Everyone wants it. Everyone talks about it. This is how I believe you can get more power - and it only involves a few small tweaks to your swing. Lag is stored power. That’s the way I see it. You can talk all you want about positions and so on - and that would be correct - but I simply view lag as stored power in the swing.
Creating that lag
I believe pressure points are hugely important in the swing. Once you get to the top of your swing and you have rotated correctly, the club will sit on that pressure point.
I get to the top of my swing, I keep those fingers open and the club will rest there. Gravity will force it down. As I turn back down, notice the angle between the club shaft and the angle reduces as I’m getting my body out of the way. The pressure point now drives the golf club down.
At impact, meanwhile, I want to feel as though I’m hitting the ball with that pressure point and not the golf club. That will not only help create the lag you need for more power but will also give you compression on the ball.
If the clubhead were to pass my hands, all the compression on the strike would be lost. By doing it properly, you reduce the chance of scooping the ball.
Where your right hand makes contact with the grip - the top knuckle of your index finger - that's the key pressure point we're talking about.
How it works
When you crack a whip, or cast a fishing rod, there’s a bit of timing involved. Imagine it this way. If you cast out too quickly, you won’t get the benefit. It’s the same with cracking a whip. If you crack it too quickly, it won’t work out the way you want.
It comes down to correct timing, and create the right lag works in tandem with good timing. The golf swing is the same as cracking a whip. When you get to the top of the swing, you’ve got to find a way to get back down, almost leaving an impression of having left the clubhead behind.
You want to lead with the hands, with the clubhead then following just behind, instead of the clubhead passing the hands through impact.
How to feel that pressure point
To get a better feeling of how these pressure points work and understand specifically where they are, use a different club. I use a putter grip for this drill. It’s easy to feel the pressure point you’re focusing on against a flat surface.
Take your putter, turn it around so that the flat surface is on that pressure point and feel yourself pushing the surface down through the shot. Try this on the range to get used to the feeling of controlling the club with your hands, as this will force you to create the lag needed in the swing to generate what we’re all looking for: more power.
Steve Johnston is the PGA professional at Peebles GC. For lessons, call Steve on 01721 720197. Follow him on Twitter @mrstevejohnston or on his YouTube channel Steve Johnston PGA.