How to Stop Casting
If you’re looking to stop casting the golf club, then listen up, because it is a problem that is pervasive throughout all levels of amateur golf, and yet the amateur golfer has no idea how to make themselves stop casting the club and maintain lag. In today’s podcast, I’m going to show you, tell you, exactly how to keep from casting the golf club and start maintaining lag in your downswing.
First let’s talk about what casting is because so many golfers don’t even understand what that is, and they don’t even realize that they need to stop casting because they don’t realize they’re casting the golf club in the first place. When you’re casting the club, what you’re really doing is losing the angle between your forearm and the golf shaft. What that really is is just losing the wrist set and wrist hinge that you have in your golf swing. When you cast the club, what typically happens is you’re doing something to widen the angle between your forearm and shaft. Now that seems pretty obvious, but there are several things that can cause you to do that, and the most common has to do with what you’re doing from the right side of your body if you’re a right-handed golfer.
This simple golf swing drill will teach you a quick and easy way to sequence your golf downswing to maintain lag.
If you’re listening to this podcast now and you have a golf club, I want you to pick it up, and I want you to make a couple of practice swings. Hope you don’t hit anything in your house if you’re doing this indoors. Take your right hand off the golf club completely, and if you can, video your swing or look at yourself in the mirror. What you’ll find is that if you’re holding onto the club with just the last three fingers on your left hand for a right-handed golfer, and you’re pulling with the left arm, and you’re not pushing against the shaft with your thumb, your left thumb, you will be able to maintain lag no matter what you’re doing in your golf swing. It is a true and simple fix to stop casting your golf club.
Now, if you put your right hand back on there, I want you to pay attention. Make the exact same moves, make the exact same swings. Video yourself or get in front of a mirror again, and do the exact same thing. What you will find is that the right arm and wrist and shoulder are in a position to widen that angle. In fact, that is the only thing that it can really do during the downswing, is cause you to cast the golf club. What you need to realize is that the right arm, while it has a very important job to do, its primary job in the golf swing is to help transfer energy from your rotating core to the golf club, but also we want to release it, but later in the golf swing than what most amateur golfers do. Most amateurs go to the top of their golf backswing and they try and swing hard from the top, instead of focusing on shifting their weight.
The key to stop casting the golf club is number one, you must shift your weight first to initiate the downswing. If you do that, that does a lot of things in your golf swing that are going to help you stop casting the club. One is that it creates what we call secondary axis tilt, which is just your spine leaning further away from the target during the downswing than it was at address. This motion, where your hips are moving towards the target and your upper body is staying essentially in the same position, causes the spine to lean back, which is the axis tilt, secondary axis tilt, and that shallows out your swing plane.
Shallow Out Your Swing Plane
Shallowing out your swing plane is a critical first step to stop casting, because when you shallow out the swing plane, a lot of things happen automatically. The one big thing I want you to think about is movement. What we talk about a lot on rotaryswing.com is the force of movement, where your movement is coming from that’s moving that golf club. During the first phase, the first half of the downswing, you don’t want your arms, hands and shoulders to be moving that golf club. You want them to be moved, to get moved by your lower body. If you shift your weight, why would you cast the club? Shifting your weight and casting the club have nothing to do with each other.
However, when you shift your weight and you’re going to begin to rotate your hips a little bit back toward the target, what happens to your hands? No matter what you try and do, if you try and forcefully leave them at the top of your backswing, they’re still going to get pulled down about three, four feet. That three or four feet is all the buying time you need to maintain lag during the first half of the downswing, and you’re doing it just by moving your hips and nothing else. You’re trying to keep your shoulders quiet, your arms quiet, your hands quiet, and all of a sudden you’re magically maintaining lag. It’s that simple to stop casting the club. Initiate the top of the downswing, the golf swing transition, with your lower body. Your hands get pulled down automatically for you, and voila, you’re not casting the golf club anymore now, are you?
Now, many golfers can still get down to this point in a great spot, but start to throw the club away again too early. Again, that goes back to that right hand. All I want you to do now is after you’ve shifted your weight, take your right hand completely off the golf club and use your left arm and the momentum that you’ve created to release the golf club. If you’re not pushing against the shaft with your thumb, you will have lag. It’s that simple.
Don’t Try and MAINTAIN Lag
Creating and maintaining lag is just a simple by product of doing other things correctly in your golf swing. If you’re pushing against the shaft with your right wrist, that motion is exactly what’s going to cause you to cast the club. If you’re pushing out with your right tricep muscle trying to throw the club from the top, that’s going to cause you to widen the angle. As you widen the angle in your elbow joint, the wrist is going to go with it. If you’re pushing with your right shoulder, you can start to create too much centripetal force and centrifugal force too early in the swing, which causes the golf club to be thrown away, which is casting.
Simply put, if you just focus on shifting your weight and using just the last three fingers on your left hand, watch what happens. It’s going to be a miracle if you have been trying to stop casting the club for your whole life, which I’ve seen so many golfers who are. I can get them to maintain more lag than they ever imagined possible by simply doing these couple of simple things in their downswing. Take a look at this bonus video on rotaryswing.com. I’m going to show you some golf swing drills that are going to help you maintain more lag than you ever thought possible, and you’re going to stop casting the club once and for all.