Early extension kills your consistency — here’s how to fix it

jonathan yarwood swings

Early extension is a swing killer that plagues many recreational golfers.

@JonathanYarwood / X

Early extension is one of the most common swing killers for recreational golfers, but very few even know it exists.

In simple terms, early extension is movement of the pelvis toward the ball during the downswing. And while it might not sound like such a terrible flaw, it can create a host of issues.

When you early extend, you either get too steep during the downswing, or your arms get stuck behind you. Neither one is particularly good, and together they cause a two-way miss.

“On both occasions you’re going to stall your body as you hit it,” says GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jonathan Yarwood. “Your body can’t really rotate from here, so your hands and arms finish the swing off with a little flick, creating all sorts of issues.”

So, how do you fight against early extension? It all starts with teaching your body the proper feels.

When great ball strikers swing, they stay closed for a bit longer in transition than their less-skilled peers. In order to keep from early extending, you must do this, too.

To teach yourself this feel, grab a push cart and put your backside up against it. Get in your golf posture and make a swing — but try to push the cart back with your butt when you’re in transition.

“It’s a great little drill,” Yarwood says. “There’s no way you’re gonna thrust forward when you’ve got something physical you’ve got to move. It works like an absolute charm.”

If you can keep your pelvis from thrusting forward during transition, you’ll become a better, more consistent ball striker.

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Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at zephyr_melton@golf.com.