I added the Eliminate Early Extension Drill to the Golf Practice Planner today because “early extension” is the number one fault amongst good amateurs, and pros.

Eliminate Early Extension Drill

Long Game Practice Drills

5 out of 10

15 minutes

Any golf club. Golf ball. Golf Practice Planner.

The Eliminate Early Extension Drill will give you a feel to eliminate your “early extension”. I know what you’re probably thinking.

“What exactly is early extension?”

Good question! Here’s a good definition…

“Early extension happens when from the top of the backswing to impact your pelvis kicks in towards the ball, the chest gets further from the ball, and the arms straighten out.”

That’s the early extension pattern.

The literal meaning of early extension is:

Extension (straightening up of the body) that happens too early in the downswing.

It’s something that plagues a lot of golfers.

To fix “early extension” you need to add an element versus take an element out.  To put that another way, you’re not trying to take out (eliminate) the extension. You’re trying to make the “extension” happen later in the swing. Remember that it’s called “early extension”.

How do you fix “early extension”? Simple. You put the extension into the swing “later”. It really is that simple. To go from extending early to extending later, the key piece that’s missing is rotation. The feeling you want from the top of the backswing is to rotate first and extend second.

As you hit the ball you’ll feel yourself opening up, getting the body facing the target (instead of being trapped in the dreaded early extension).


Step 1: Watch
Watch the video below.

Step 2: Understand What Early Extension Looks Like
Look at the images below to see what the dreaded “early extension position” looks like.

anti early extension drill

anti early extension golf drill

Step 3: Correct Extension Feels
Imagine an arrow pointing straight out from your belt buckle (see image below). The arrow will point slightly down at the top of a good backswing.

eliminate early extension drill feels

When you “over extend” on the downswing, the arrow will still be pointing straight ahead (see image below).

eliminate early extension drill feels

You want that arrow to point “towards the target and left of the target” (see image below).

eliminate early extension drill alignment rod

Step 4: Alignment Rod
Put an alignment rod approximately 45 degrees from where you’re standing. The goal is to get the belt buckle to extend “left past the target”. To do that, get your belt buckle extended to the alignment rod. 

You’re not trying to extend towards the ball.

You’re not even trying to extend towards the target.

On the downswing, extend to the left of the target (see image below), as you’re kicking (extending) it up.

eliminate early extension drill-feels

On the through swing, notice how far left of the target the belt buckle is now (see image below).

eliminate early extension drill

The mantra you want to say to yourself during this drill is:

“Rotate first, extend second.”

If you do this drill correctly, you’ll feel:

  • Much more open at impact
  • Tightness in the left hip at impact
  • Hips more back than normal at impact

eliminate early extension drill

Step 5: Practice Competition
Hit 10 balls. Give yourself one point each time you managed to get your belt buckle extended to the alignment rod. 


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