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Early Extension, aka “The Swing Killer,” and How To Fix It

atlanta dr. caleb elbow golf performance physical therapy rotation Apr 06, 2023

Nearly ¾ of all amateur golfers fall into this category of swing fault and almost none of pro golfers are guilty of this swing fault. So what is it? Early extension: where good swings go to die. 


What is it? 

Early extension is a swing fault identified by getting into your set up position and drawing a vertical line from the edge of your bottom to the ground. You are considered an early extender if at any point during the backswing or the downswing your bottom comes away from that vertical line toward the ball. 


Why does it matter? 

If you’re an early extender you usually have one of two shot misses (sometimes you’ll have both) 

  1. The push: the shot that goes straight as an arrow of directly to the right (if you’re right handed) of your target 
  2. The hook: the shot that comes off the club with a sharp right to left (if you’re right handed) curving trajectory 

The problem with these two misses is they are exact opposites. Usually a golfer takes into account their “typical miss” when calculating a shot. If you have this swing fault, you’re just as likely to hit a shot to the right as you are to the left. And if you’re planning to avoid a hazard with your potential miss, this makes accurate course management that much harder. 


How do I fix it? 

Dry drill (no club) 

  1. Get into your golf stance with no club and place your bottom against a wall. Now attempt to slowly go through your normal swing while maintaining contact of your bottom against the wall. Perform 15-20 reps of this movement as many times throughout the day as your can until it feels effortless to maintain that contact 
    • Another variation of this drill is to face the wall with your head lightly touching the wall. The concept the drill is the same, however, with this version the contact of your head is what is trying to be maintained 


Live drill (with club and hitting a ball) 

  1. While practicing on the range, mimic the above drill into your training by placing an alignment stick in the ground vertically directly behind you. Get into your golf stance with your bottom against the alignment stick and attempt to keep your bottom touching the stick for the duration of your swing. This drill should likely be attempted after you’ve completed the dry drill until your swing feels more natural. If you don’t have an alignment stick you can easily substitute the stick for your golf bag, a chair, or other object that is high enough to reach your bottom while in your stance. 


If you’re an early extender, give these drills a shot and up your golf game. 

Also, if you’re in the Atlanta area struggling with any sort of injury limiting you from doing the things you love, give Athletes' Potential a call at 470-355-2106 or fill out a contact request form and we will reach out to you. 


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All the best, 

Dr. Caleb 

Let us help you figure out to live your best active life today! 

 Remember, Movement is Medicine! 

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