How a rain jacket can create width in your golf swing

By increasing width in the golf swing, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jason Baile says you can improve clubhead speed and see farther shots

By increasing width in the golf swing, GOLF Top 100 Teacher Jason Baile says you can improve clubhead speed and hit the ball farther.


Welcome to Shaving Strokes, a series in which we’re sharing improvements, learnings and takeaways from amateur golfers just like you — including some of the speed bumps and challenges they faced along the way.

After about a year of lessons with some of the top instructors in the sport (GOLF’s Top 100 Teachers), I’m finally at a point where my swing fundamentals are at a good spot — so now it’s time to learn some of the finer details to improve ball contact and distance.

One of the ways I’m doing this is by incorporating more width in the golf swing, which means more emphasis on the extension of my arms. I’m also focusing on making a deeper rotation in the backswing, helping me load up on my trail leg before coming down through impact.

While this is still very much a new feeling for me, it’s something I’m slowly getting the hang of. And once I can consistently add these pieces to my swing, look out, because the distance will follow since I’m widening my swing arc. That adds clubhead speed and helps generate more power.

There are a number of ways to practice getting width in the golf swing, but top teacher Jason Baile has a unique suggestion in the following video — using a rain jacket! Check out how it works below.

Create width in the golf swing to increase your club speed

Most mid-handicappers like myself often focus on one thing: trying not to chunk, top or shank a shot. But now that I’ve gotten a bit more advanced with my golf mechanics, creating more width will allow me to start striping it more like I want to.

Of course, it takes some effort to get there, which is why Baile says this easy rain jacket drill can provide the feels you need to slowly start integrating it into your golf swing.

“The late, great Jack Lumpkin, one of my mentors, taught me this drill one day sitting at lunch,” Baile says. “He made me go out to his car and put his rain jacket on, all to help me feel how to create some nice width and structure for the arms in the backswing.

“He asked me to feel like the left arm was inert, and just not doing anything,” Baile adds. “So when I make that wind up and create that stretch through my trail arm, I’m going to create this wonderful arm structure from the top of the swing, and also a really good pivot to support that.”

The image below shows Baile demonstrating how the drill should look — which doesn’t even include using a club.

Baile demonstrates how to do this drill. YouTube/Titleist

“If you just let [your lead arm] hang there, grab that wrist with your trail hand grip, then make a really powerful pivot with a bunch of width against that stretching arm,” he adds. “This is going to create some wonderful structure in the backswing to set up a wonderful downswing.”

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Nick Dimengo Editor