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Drill Skills: How a chair can fix the problem plaguing 70 percent of amateur golfers

March 2, 2020

Early extension is the silent killer for high-handicap golfers. It’s been estimated that some 70 percent of amateur golfers suffer from some form of early extension, while less than 1 percent of touring pros suffer from the same affliction.

Early extension is when (for any number of reasons, from your flexibility to your swing path) your lower body picks up during your downswing, forcing you to reach full extension earlier than contact with the ball.

The problem this produces for golfers: tops, blocks to the right and hooks to the left. This creates a major issue for high-handicappers because it rids them of a consistent miss, making their game almost entirely unpredictable.

In this week’s edition of Drill Skills, PGA and LPGA Master Professional Alison Curdt shares a simple drill to bring relief to the 70 percent. All you need to do it yourself is a club and a chair.

The set-up is simple, put the chair behind your butt at address. Then, practice your swing. If you’re early extending, you’ll feel your lower body disconnect from the chair as you come upright. The goal of the drill is to train your lower body to remain disciplined throughout your swing by keeping your butt against the chair from backswing to follow-through.

At first, it might be helpful to try the drill at half-speed to train the muscle memory. Then, as you continue, gradually increase to full speed.

The goal, Curdt says, is to help eliminate your early extension altogether, all while improving posture. Watch the video to learn more about it.

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