What Does 'Fanning' The Golf Club Mean?

Top Coach Katie Dawkins asks, what does 'Fanning' the golf club mean? And offers some simple pointers on how to improve

What Does 'Fanning' the Golf Club Mean?
(Image credit: Future)

When you fan the club, your hands roll the face open and inside on the takeaway. This puts your swing out of sync from the word go and can cause a host of poor shots. In this video and article, I'll explain what to look out for and how to resolve the issue if you've been fanning the club open.

If you fan the club open with an inside takeaway, and then you wind your body up to the top of your backswing you’re going to be trapped behind the ball. Ultimately you are STUCK. You'll need a huge tangle of compensatory moves to get back to the ball resulting often in an out-to-in swing path and a big slice to fix

A rule I tend to stand by when it comes to an efficient swing is “start as you mean to go on”… The first part of the swing - the takeaway - dictates how efficient and on line the rest of your swing will be. Here are a few drills to help you stay more connected.

Swing Path Takeaway Drill

Out on the golf course place your clubs behind the target line but slightly on the outside - it's always a good idea to use alignment sticks to help you with this. If you are on a tee box drop your driver head cover down in the same spot. You’ll have something now in your peripheral vision to work the club head towards. Keeping your club head and hands more in front of the body and not zipping them behind you from the off. This is a really simple way to work on the start of your swing.

Keep the hands connected together as you take them away

(Image credit: Future)

Switch Hand Drill

I’m a big fan of homework drills. It’s hard to concentrate on your swing path on the course when you just want to be “Seeing the Shot and Hitting the Shot." So have a go at standing in your athletic posture, place your trail hand under the lead and keep the back of your hands together (the image above shows what I mean here). Start your swing and feel that your hands stay connected in the takeaway. Rehearse multiple times. If you tend to whip your hands away on the inside, the back of your hands will quickly become disconnected.

Takeaway Checker

Put a club in your hand with a mirror or patio doors behind you, eyes down focussing on your imaginary ball and take the club away. Pause half way back. Your hands should be almost hidden by the club head and the shaft more on line with your feet. Feel it. Pause. Check it. You’ll often find it’s still on the inside, it will feel drastically outside to get anywhere near a correct takeaway position. Trust the repetition of this and don’t just let your eyes wander to check it. It’s important you feel it, then check it. 

Get that first move correct and you’ll be starting your swing on a positive and powerful note.

Katie Dawkins
Advanced PGA Professional and freelance contributor

Katie is an Advanced PGA professional with over 20 years of coaching experience. She helps golfers of every age and ability to be the best versions of themselves. In January 2022 she was named as one of Golf Monthly's Top 50 Coaches.

Katie coaches the individual and uses her vast experience in technique, psychology and golf fitness to fix problems in a logical manner that is effective - she makes golf simple. Katie is now based on the edge of the New Forest. An experienced club coach, she developed GardenGOLF during lockdown and as well as coaching at Hamptworth Golf Club she freelances, operating via pop-up clinics and travelling to clients homes to help them use their space to improve. 

She has coached tour pros on both LET tour and the Challenge Tour as well as introduced many a beginner to the game. 

Katie has been writing instructional content for magazines for 20 years. Her creative approach to writing is fuelled by her sideline as an artist.