How to Fix Early Extension in Your Swing

Author: WhyGolf WhysGuy

We want to preface this guide with the acknowledgment that neither WhysGuy nor anyone from the WhyGolf team claims to know everything about the golf swing. We don’t want anyone to treat what we say here as gospel. While much of what we’ll say is a reflection of decades of dialogue with PGA instructors and players, we’re always learning and we understand that knowledge about the sport of golf will continue to evolve over time. 

In this post, WhysGuy will cover:

  • What early extension is and why it's an important swing fault to fix in the golf swing.
  • How the WhyGolf Alignment Discs are the perfect tool to help you fix your early extension.
  • 3 drills that will help you fix your early extension.

What is Early Extension?

Early extension is a common issue in golf where the golfer's lower body moves toward the golf ball, often during the downswing. This movement disrupts the ideal body alignment and distance from the ball, which can lead to a loss of power and inconsistent contact in the golf swing.

First, we'll discuss three drills you can use in your own practice to fix your early extension. After, we'll give a few reasons why fixing your early extension in your golf swing should be a priority for you.

How to Fix Early Extension - 3 Drills

1. Alignment Rods on Lead Glute Drill

  1. Grab your WhyGolf Alignment Disc and place an alignment rod in the vertical setting (as shown in the adjacent photo).
  2. At setup, have your alignment rod just barely resting against your lead glute.
  3. Take a practice swing while maintaining contact against the alignment rod.
  4. If you lose contact with the alignment rod, you know you've early extended.
  5. Do this slowly a few times in practice then try hitting a golf ball.




2. Alignment Stick Drill

  1. Grab your Alignment Disc and place an alignment rod in a setting that matches your club's shaft at address (most likely 45 degrees with driver).
  2. Place the Alignment Disc just barely in front of your ball and outside the target line (see adjacent photo).
  3. You should feel encouraged to keep your club's handle low through impact, which will ultimately help you keep your body from thrusting forward through impact.
  4. Do this slowly a few times in practice then try hitting a golf ball.


3. The Wall Drill

If you don't own our Alignment Discs or Padded Rods, you can use a wall at home for a similar effect.

  1. Stand facing away from a wall and get into your golf stance.
  2. With your glutes lightly resting against the wall, begin your backswing.
  3. As you begin your downswing, make sure you have at least one glute against the wall. If at any point you lose contact with the wall, you know you have early extended.

Practice this drill for 5-10 minutes a day until you correct your early extension.

How Early Extension Can Negatively Affect Your Game

Early extension can be seriously detrimental for a golfer. While it's not always something that needs to be fixed, here a few consequences that may arise from early extension in the golf swing:

  1. Loss of Power - Early extension in golf can disrupt the proper rotational movement of your hips and torso. When a golfer's hips extend, they lose the stored power that normally would be delivered to the golf ball.
  2. Inconsistent Contact - One of the most frustrating consequences of early extension in golf is inconsistent ball striking. By moving the hips forward and straightening the body prematurely, the club's angle of attack changes and it becomes more difficult to make quality contact with the golf ball. Maintaining proper posture and spine angle is important for consistent contact, and early extension makes this difficult to achieve.
  3. Poor Accuracy - As a golfer moves their hips towards the ball and the upper body straightens, it can be hard to keep one's balance and stability. This inevitably makes it difficult to produce a consistent swing path through the hitting area.
  4. Increased Risk of Injury - By shifting the hips forward and straightening the spine in transition, a golfer's glutes are no longer in position to support the body effectively. Thus, by early extending, a golfer risks putting unwelcome pressure on the lower back.

How to Fix Early Extension in Golf - Key Takeaways

  • Early extension in golf occurs when a golfer's hips move towards the ball during the downswing, typically causing the upper body to straighten.
  • Early extension in golf can lead to a loss of power, inconsistent ball striking, poor accuracy, swing path issues, and an increased risk of injury.
  • The WhyGolf Alignment Discs can help you fix early extension by helping you identify when you early extend during your golf swing.

Ready to fix your early extension? Shop our Alignment Discs here.

What is early extension?

Early extension in golf is a common swing fault where a golfer's hips and lower body move closer to the ball during the downswing. This movement causes early extension in golf, leading to a loss of posture and an altered swing path. Early extension in golf often results in inconsistent ball striking and accuracy issues. Addressing early extension in golf is crucial for maintaining a consistent swing plane and achieving optimal shot results.

How do I fix early extension in golf?

To fix early extension in golf, focus on maintaining posture throughout your swing. Practice drills that encourage a proper hip hinge and stability. For fixing early extension in golf, use wall or chair drills to train your body to stay back. Strengthening your core and glutes also helps in fixing early extension in golf, as it improves your control and balance. Consistently practicing these methods is key to effectively fix early extension in golf and enhance your overall swing mechanics.

Is it possible to play good golf with early extension?

It is possible to play good golf with early extension, but it can be challenging. Early extension in golf may lead to inconsistencies in ball striking and swing path. While some golfers with early extension in golf manage to compensate and still play well, it's generally more difficult. Overcoming early extension in golf can lead to more consistent and controlled shots, enhancing overall performance. Thus, while playing good golf with early extension is possible, addressing this issue can significantly improve the quality of your game.

What will early extension do to my swing path?

Early extension in golf will typically alter your swing path, often leading to an outside-to-inside swing. This change caused by early extension in golf can result in inconsistent ball striking and difficulties with shot accuracy. The movement towards the ball during early extension in golf reduces the space for your arms to move, affecting the natural path of your swing. Addressing early extension in golf is crucial to maintain a consistent and effective swing path.

Check Out Our YouTube Channel For Drills and Tips

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