We have never seen you play golf, but we are comfortable saying that early extension in your golf swing is impacting your ability to play better golf.
How do we know? The Titleist Performance Institute studies golf swings and golfers’ bodies to design fitness routines to help you play better golf.
TPI has identified that 70%+ of amateur golfers suffer from early extension, but 99% of PGA tour players don’t.
You may have just found the answer to the question “what is the difference between my swing and a scratch golfer?”.
Today we want to explore this topic. What is early extension in golf and how can it be addressed?
Eliminating the early extension in your swing could help you lower your golf handicap and/or break 90 for the first time!
We want to help. Let’s get started.
What Is Early Extension In Golf?
Before we try to fix it, we need to define it. Early extension is not a new concept, but it is a new way to explain an issue that has been impacting golfers since the game started.
It is often called “getting stuck”. Meaning that your arms get stuck behind your body and don’t have a direct path to the golf ball.
What causes you to get stuck? Early extension is the movement of the lower body towards the ball during your downswing.
When this happens the only way you can deliver the club to the ball is to “stand up” during the impact zone.
This is the opposite of covering the golf ball. When you stand up your spine angle changes and solid ball striking is nearly impossible.
Do you suffer from early extension in your golf swing?
What Type Of Miss Is Caused By Early Extension?
The answer to this question is the scary part. Early extension leads to the dreaded “two-way miss” that all golfers fear.
You will block some of your shots way to the right, but others will be snap hooked to the left.
It is quite simple. You can’t play good golf if you are missing shots in both directions. To play well you need to be able to eliminate one side of the golf course.
In other words, you need to know where your miss will end up. Golf is not about hitting perfect shots.
Great golfers understand that to be able to play well, you need to be able to play your mis-hits. Early extension in your golf swing makes this impossible.
We aren’t trying to depress you. There is hope! You can reduce or eliminate the early extension in your golf swing.
5 Tips To Fix Early Extension In Your Golf Swing
#1: Is It Physical?
Yes, an early extension can be caused by a swing flaw, but it could also be due to physical limitations.
It can be caused by a lack of mobility in your ankles, hips, knees, and/or spine. Do you spend too much time sitting behind a desk?
If this is the case, it needs to be addressed via a fitness routine, not a swing coach. TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) certified instructors can help you.
They will perform an assessment to determine where your body is strong and where it is weak.
Based on these results, they can build you a plan to improve flexibility and/or strengthen your trouble areas.
Nice and simple. Follow your TPI fitness plan. Improve your physical health. Start shooting lower scores and watch your golf handicap drop.
#2: Stand Closer
Our second tip is a simple one. When you address the golf ball, stand a bit closer to it.
You want to give this a try on the driving range the next time you practice. It will feel strange when you first try it.
Be patient with this drill. It will teach you to clear your hips and create space for your arms to swing. This motion is critical to eliminating the early extension.
#3: The Two Ball Drill
It may be listed as #3, but this is our favorite drill to fix early extension in the golf swing. It is simple and effective.
The drill works like this:
Step 1 – At the driving range, use your 7-iron.
Step 2 – Place two balls next to each other in a straight line from your body.
Step 3 – Get in position to hit the outside ball (the ball furthest from you).
Step 4 – Swing and hit the inside ball.
Repeat this process with several different clubs and analyze the results.
You want to see more consistent contact and no more “two-way miss”. It’s okay if you don’t hit every shot perfectly, but are your misses going the same direction.
You will be shocked at how much easier it is to manage the golf course if you know your only miss is left (or right).
#4: Your Back Is Against The Wall
Well, we actually want your butt against the wall. This drill is the perfect way to see what it feels like to stay in the correct posture throughout your swing.
Pretty straightforward, we want you to put your rear against the wall and make some golf swings.
The wall will prevent you from early extension and will give you the feel of perfect posture.
Golf can be complicated, but sometimes the fix is simple. A few swings with your butt against the ball and something may click.
Now go to the driving range and try to make that same swing. Your early extension may disappear!
#5: thaw Your Hips
Another common reason why early extension happens is that your hips stop moving during your downswing.
If your hips “freeze” and stop turning, your lower body will thrust towards the golf ball. This thrust will cause the early extension you are trying to avoid.
A swing thought that works for many players is “to clear their hips early”. Get your hips cleared and out of the way, leaving plenty of room for your golf swing.
If the early extension is getting you stuck, you need space to get unstuck. Keep your hips moving and create the space you need to hit great golf shots.
“Frozen” hips are often caused by nerves or tension. Listen to Elsa. Let it go. A free and flowing golf swing will also produce better results.
Learn to eliminate early extension and you can become the golfer you always wanted to be. No excuses. Get started today.