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Early Extension


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I've recently learned that there is a formal definition for a swing fault I have developed over the past couple of seasons: Early Extension (EE)


It can be a real killer and create great inconsistencies in your ball-striking, in particular the dreaded s-word....


Fundamentally, EE occurs when your hips move towards the ball during your swing and creates on knock-on effect in moving your hands/arms closer to the ball at impact, often resulting in strikes out the heel of the club. I had a torrid time earlier in the season with the s-word and felt completely lost with my game. It was only recently until I learned what EE was that I was presented with a mass of literature, and ultimately, light at the end of the tunnel.


During the winter months I'm going to be focussing all of my effort on addressing EE and thought that starting this thread would be a good idea to share experiences.


The main drill I'm going to use, and I've researched/attempted several, will be to put something in contact with my rear and complete my swing whilst staying in contact. This should, in theory, allow me to turn my hips towards target through the strike instead of falling towards the ball.


You'll see from the photo attached I'm using the divider/handrail at my driving range although I've seen chairs and alignment sticks used in s similar fashion. I like the divider as it doesnt move and is a truly fixed point of reference.


I will film my attempts and judge my progress by focusing on the following:

  1. Rear staying in contact with handrail
  2. Head movement towards the ball
  3. Hands/space between hands and pelvis staying consistent between set-up and impact

I genuinely feel if I can master this move, and change a fundamental fault in my swing, I'll be able to increase consistency of ball striking and moved towards my goal of scratch golfer by 35 (I've just turned 33 and play off 5)


A potential limiting factor I feel might come into play, and has likely had some impact on me developing this fault, is a history of ankle problems caused by playing football (soccer). I have broken both my ankles over the years and have strained ligaments in both so many times that I feel there is a huge weakness in this area. Last year I had an operation to remove a piece of dislodged bone in my right ankle and since then there has been complications leading to pain and instability - I don't think this is a coincidence that during this time I've struggled with EE.


Anyways, I'll keep the community updated on here with my progress!

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Hump the target not the ball. Problem solved.

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I am not a coach.


I hope that works for you and if you post up a video you may get some useful suggestions from some coaches on here. There are some pretty good threads dealing with EE.


My issue, and it is just my issue, with trying to simply maintain my spine angle/keeping my butt "in touch" with something like a golf bag/chair/etc. is that it doesn't necessarily address the reason "why" - the underlying fault(s) I need to address.


It may work great for you and please post up your progress, but it also may be possible that someone with a qualified eye may have an intent you could try that will get to the heart of why you EE. Maybe some insight into any weaknesses with ankles and how to address that or overcome as well if someone can see your swing. Setup sure looks great to my untrained eye from that angle.

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GOOD LUCK!! I battle it as well. It is my goal to get rid of it this winter.


For me, I've found that it is hard to keep my rear on something. I stick an alignment stick in my bag at waist level (sticks out horizontally) and line up behind it. I practice turning and staying behind the stick. Same principle as the rear on the wall except you are staying behind the stick instead of attached to the wall.


Another you can think of is the image of a helicopter that Clay Ballard uses. Its very basic, but the feeling and the mental image really works. It has really worked well with me.

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Looking back to myself, with the knowledge I have now, how I would go back in time and cure myself of EE, ... this would be it.

There were many good suggestions offered here, pelvis/torso separation, humping the target instead of the goat, swing around the waist, etc. Now, the best swing framework for myself comprises of both approaches, the holistic top down at the intent level and the bottom up component-based mechanical approach. The intent approach appeals to the builtin instinctive human capability of throwing things while the mechanical approach can be used to monitor, fine tune and fixing faults.


For the curing of EE at the intent level, my intention would be to throw the club towards the target spinning more horizontally like a Frisbee or more like a carousel than a Ferris wheel spinning and flying toward the target. With this intent, you would shallow the club in transition automatically. You would counterbalance the dynamic weight of the club not through the shoulders but lower toward the right elbow, that is swinging more around the waist. Many good attributes of a good golf swing will emerge and you can further fine tune with the mechanical approach.

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I have had this issue longer than I knew the name for it. But just in the past 3 months have 'solved' the problem. Mine was not a thrusting of the hips straight toward the ball, but a thrusting toward the ball and over my left (front) toes. So, I ended up on my toes while hitting. I tried what you are doing and a lot of stuff worked 'just a little'. But then I came across a revelation!!!!!!! Once I quit working on the movement of my hips/legs and began working on the movement of my upper body, I solved the problem. It seems my hips were running closer to the ball BECAUSE my upper body was pulling away from the ball in an effort to get the club moving down. It took working thru a couple of different thoughts and feels before I found one that worked all the time regardless of club or lie. My first thought was just to maintain my posture, but that didn't work. Once I learned to 'pre feel' the feel of my downswing, it fixed it. Good luck.

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