Early Extension

Early Extension is defined as any forward movement (thrust) of the lower body towards the golf ball during the downswing. This swing characteristic causes the arms and club to get stuck behind your body during the downswing, and forces your torso to raise up and elevate through the hitting zone. Early Extension usually causes two typical miss hits, the block to the right and a hook to the left. And as most competitive players know, having two misses, one to the right and one to the left, can be disastrous in tournament play. Players that have this fault will also complain of getting stuck or trapped, this is due to the fact that the lower body has moved closer to the golf ball on the downswing.  As a result the body is in the way of the arms on the downswing and thus the term I feel stuck or trapped.

The Body-Swing Connection™

Early Extension Illustration

Physical Parameters Causing Early Extension and How to Diagnose:

In order to not early extend during the downswing several physical characteristics must be developed. First and foremost, research has shown that any limitation in performing a full deep squat or full hip bend can force a player to early extend during the downswing. Failure to perform these movements means generalized stiffness or asymmetry in the musculature and joints of the lower body. These limitations will always prevent a good address position and force players to alter their spinal posture throughout the golf swing. If the pelvis is unable to rotate around the lead hip due to joint or muscular restrictions then forward and lateral movements will dominate the pattern. Next, the ability to separate your upper body from your lower body allows the lower body to stabilize while rotating your shoulders through impact. Limited trunk to pelvis separation is usually caused by reduced spinal and rib cage mobility and shortened lat flexibility. Finally, the ability to stabilize your lower body is directly proportional to gluteal and abdominal strength and control of the pelvic musculature, which helps control the orientation and movement of the pelvis during the downswing. These muscles help prevent the lower body from thrusting towards the golf ball during the downswing.

How can I test to see if I have Early Extension?

Think you Early Extend?

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