What Causes Early Extension in Golf Swing? (Fixes and Drills)

It can start with something as simple as having a setup position that has your hips too far back or your balance points too far out over your toes.  Your hips have nowhere to go but towards the ball and up.  The ideal golf swing has a slight square and turn and allows the golfer to utilize the ground forces to create a constituent, powerful swing.

Early extension in the golf swing is one of the most common faults among amateur golfers.

It can cause a great deal of inconsistency, loss of distance and loss of lag.  

However, the good news, once you identify the causes of the early extension in the golf swing there are some excellent drills to help you correct this swing fault.

After years of battling this issue, I was finally have to solve with the proper setup, a complete turn, and the right movement from the top of the swing.

I have attempted to provide a comprehensive overview to allow you to fix it much quicker than I did. I have compiled the best the internet has to offer. Are you wiling to put in the work?

Below, I will take you through the common causes of early extension in the golf swing and then some simple fixes within your swing to help you eliminate this major fault and one that can be frustrating leading to inconsistent ball contact, start line control and overall power.

Here at golfjourney365, we believe in these three fundamentals in the golf swing.  If you check out all three you will see that early extensions can make these three fundamentals difficult to maintain and hit in your golf swing.

  • Fundamental #1: The golfer’s ability to control the bottom of the golf swing.  The best golfers will hit the ground in the intended spot, close to 100% of the time.
  • Fundamental #2: The golfer’s ability to control the curve of the golf ball. The best golfers are able to start the ball to the right or left of the target line and have the ball curve towards the target without the ball over curving past the target.
  • Fundamental #3: The golfer’s ability to have enough power to play the golf course.  This means they are able to hit the ball far enough to play the course in regulation.

We know that if a swing fault hurts even one of these three fundamentals above it is worth fixing.

Topics I will cover below:
  • What causes early extension in golf swing?
  • How to tell if your early extend in golf swing
  • 3 causes detailed with 3 fixes of early extension
  • Tp 5 drills to stop early extension in golf swing
  • BONUS DRILL: How to gain 5-8% in swing speed
Build a repeatable, consistent golf swing that works! Be the envy of your playing partners! Make sure you check out our bonus tip for additional speed below!

What Causes Early Extension in Golf Swing?

Causes of Early Extension in Golf Swing (List)

  • Poor Setup
  • Not Enough Turn in the Backswing
  • The Hips Stall in the Downswing

How to Tell If You Early Extend

First, we have to determine if we have early extension in our golf swing.  There are some simple steps to follow:

  • Setup a camera about 6 yards behind you between your feet line and your target line at about navel height
  • Go ahead and capture your swing on video.
  • Download a simple app that allows you to draw and line.
  • Draw a vertical line along your back side from top to bottom.
  • Watch to see if your hips move towards the ball and out of the shot.

In an ideal golf swing the legs will squat and turn allowing you to keep your backside against the line.

Cause #1 Explained: Poor Setup

Most bad golf swings start with a poor setup.  Unfortunately, many of the traditional golf instructors promote a setup with the hips too far back (away from the ball) and the balance points too far out of the toes (closer to the ball).  

This leaves the golfer in a poor position to try to hit a shot while maintaining the tush line in the golf swing.  Recently, we have learned more and more about George Gankas.  I believe he has the setup position spot on in the golf swing.  

Fix #1: How to Fix a Poor Setup

Gone are the days of the setup with a significant knee bend, hips back, and the back straight.  You want a more comfortable setup with your arms pits over the balls of your feet, you butt more under you and standing more straight up (keeps balance points back).

This might be counterintuitive to everything you have heard over the past twenty years, but if you think about it, this position allows you to squat and turn in the downswing as your body extends on the backswing. 

If you are already in a squatty position you have nowhere to go but up and towards the ball.

Cause #2 Explained: Not Enough Turn in the Backswing

The second main issue is when you don’t complete the turn in the backswing.  This leaves you in a bad position where you will more than likely start to come out over the shot and order to stay to the inside and have a fighting chance to hit the ball you will early extend to keep the club more to the inside.

This is a major fault in the golf swing.  Not only does it cause you to early extend, but you will lose power because your body will stall as well on the downswing. 

Getting into a proper setup an then taking the proper backswing (enough turn) puts you into a position to make the proper downswing.  Remember, that the early extension is a result of things that go wrong in your setup or backswing that leaves you will no choice then to thrust your hips.

Fix #1: How to Get Enough Turn

Go ahead and try to make a 90 degree turn with the shoulders and at least 45 degrees with the hips.  Make sure you turn and don’t slide back.  It is ok to extend or straighten your trail leg to allow the hips to turn.  This will put you in an ideal backswing position.

One of the common misunderstandings in the swing is that you have to move off the ball.  You can keep your head center and actually get a better turn if you are able to extend your trail leg to allow for a complete, full turn to set you up for a powerful delivery using your legs and proper rotation.

Cause #3 Explained: The Hips Stall in the Downswing

Many times from the top of the backswing, the hips will slide causing you to get out in front of the ball.  Your body will naturally react and stall to allow the hands and arms to catch up so that you don’t hit the ball a mile to the right. 

The hips stalling will often then lead to the early extension causing other significant issues.

Fix #3: Keep Rotating

From the top of the backswing, try to squat and turn through the shot.  You do not need to bump forward, allow the legs to squat and turn through the shot.  This will help you eliminate too much club twisting and helps you maintain a solid clubface through impact.  

Best Drills to End Early Extension in Golf Swing

Below are some additional videos that may help you find a drill that works best to solve your issue.  It can be one of the greatest mysteries in golf, but make sure you pay attention to your setup. 

If you are not set up properly, you are fighting a losing battle from the beginning.  The hips will go somewhere, if you setup taller at address it allows you to squat and move down into the shot and maintain your tush line through the swing.

Drill #1

Drill #2

Drill #3

Drill #4

Drill #5

Monte Scheinblum: The Truth About Early Extension

One of my favorite teachers of all time is Monte Scheinblum, he has the ability to make difficult concepts seem easy. He breaks difficult items down and actually explains the causes of why things happen in the swing. 

His video below is worth checking out:

BONUS Drill: Increase your swing speed through overspeed training

  • Check out SuperSpeed Overspeed Training Protocols
  • Train every other day for 10-15 minutes.
  • See a 4-6% increase in swing speed as early as the first training protocol.

The number one thing that has helped me gain significant distance is the SuperSpeed Training System.  This overspeed based system where you train every other day for about 10-15 minutes with different swing sticks can help you increase your swing speed by 5-8% which can be 20-30 yards.  Who wouldn’t want an extra 20-30 yards.  Plus it helps improve your mechanics.

SuperSpeed Golf – Use Discount Code Golfjourney365 for some savings!

The analytics are pretty clear on the importance of speed in the game of golf.  Would you rather hit your approach shot from 130 yards of 160 yards? 

The answer is pretty simple!  We know that over the course of time, we will hit shots from 130 yards much closer than from 160 yards, whether we are an average amateur golfer, a scratch golfer, or a PGA Tour member!  

The key is having shorter approach shots, so we can hit the ball closer to the hole and then make more putts!  Speed is king in the game of golf!  Make sure you check out SuperSpeed Golf!

My Secret To Golf Improvement

Let’s face it, in order to get really good at golf, we must practice frequently.  About three years ago, I made the leap and invested in a golf simulator build for my garage. 

I went with a SkyTrak Launch Monitor and the TGC software and can now play over 100,000 courses including Augusta, Pebble Beach, Bethpage Black, Whistling Straits. St. Andrews and many other of the top 100 courses in the world.

This golf simulator setup, which is more affordable that you might imagine, has been a game changer.  I can now play golf everyday of the year regardless of rain, snow, cold weather or time of day.  I can practice or play rounds of golf. 

I can stand in the 11th fairway at Augusta and with the auto-rewind feature I am able to practice my approach shots from various differences.

It is worth checking out through Rain or Shine Golf as they offer some incredible packages along with financing offers that are difficult to beat.

Some direct links to Rain or Shine Golf for pricing and financing:

They say the secret is in the dirt…I say the secret is in the mat! Get started today and play golf 365 days a year! Your scores will thank you!

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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