How to prevent early extension in your golf swing

How to prevent early extension in the golf swing

In this exclusive video tip from Peter Finch, he looks at how to prevent early extension in your golf swing to improve the quality of your ball striking

Before we answer the question about how to prevent early extension in your golf swing it makes sense to underline exactly what an 'early extension' is. This term refers to a loss of spine angle through the hitting area. As the player comes down towards impact, the hips move closer to the ball, restricting the space your hands have to move in. In the worst scenarios this can cause a shank but even if you aren't shanking the ball, your strikes will not be as sweet as you want them. Here's how to prevent early extension in your golf swing.

When you’re in this address position, with your hips pushed back and your spine tilted over, you really then want to see that relationship between the hips and the spine being maintained for pretty much your whole golf swing.

How to set your spine angle

If that spine angle begins to change and your spine starts to move back and your hips forward, for example, especially during the downswing, the club position will change in relation to your spine angle, and you will then have to achieve a number of well-timed compensating adjustments on the way down to be able to hit the ball successfully.

Golf Swing Tips Videos

As you take the club back, maintain your posture and keep your hips out of the way. As you shift your weight towards the target, bump your hips towards the target too on the way through, trying to keep them back and out of the way. If you can feel that you’re weight is moving into your left heel, that will really help to keep the hips back and stop them moving forward and giving your that early extension you don’t want. Here is the best drill for how to prevent early extension in your golf swing. Having something in the ground like an umbrella behind your left hip, and then working on moving your left hip back and into that through the ball will give you the sensation of what it feels like to maintain your posture throughout the final stages of your swing.

Neil Tappin
Neil Tappin

Neil has worked for Golf Monthly for over 15-years. Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. Neil is currently a 3-handicap golfer who has played the game for as long as he can remember. In his role at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing all new drivers and is part of a team testing golf balls. He is able to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!"

Neil is currently playing: Driver: Titleist TSi3 Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X