This post is part of a series of discussions where I tackle a lot of common swing issues. However, instead of providing common fixes that you've probably seen elsewhere, I will be providing a different way to think about how to obtain the correct feels of the swing. This series is catered to help more of an intermediate to advanced player who has somewhat of a functioning swing. These articles will assume you know some swing vocabulary. Please also check out my earlier posts.
Today we will be discussing a plaguing issue called "Early Extension." Early extension is when player sucks in his pelvis toward the ball at impact. When this happens the club-head loses stability through the hitting area and all consistency is lost. Many ill side-effects of early extension are flipping the hands through the ball, high hands at impact, steepening of the club, toe-shots, loss of balance, los of rotation.
How this tip is different: The most popular drill you'll find to solve early extension is the chair up against the butt drill. Those of you who have tried it know it doesn't really work. Sometimes you end up straining your body to do it. A hugely missed aspect of this problem is the relationship between the arms and body swing. It's actually how the arms are moving in relationship to the body and also the timing of the arm/body swing that inspires you not extend at the ball. Today we will look at a most uncommon fix that will help you to achieve this feeling without a silly chair stuck up your butt.
What I'm about to tell you is going to sound crazy, but I promise you, if you do it right you will hit it more solid. Start with your normal stance and grip. I want you to slide your hands across your waist to the lead side by pulling your lead arm behind your back. Make sure you are not turning you body. You should be only sliding your hands across you body so that you are feeling your lead rhomboid muscle completely flexed. (see pic on right) If you are doing it right, you should feel as if you're holding a sword to your side with your hands low. Now once you got that down I want you to simultaneously bump out your lead hip and get into a semi-follow through position with you weight on your lead side and you hands and arms across your chest. Remember the key to this is to have your arm-swing past your chest, not together. Do a few reps of this. Now see if you can arrive at that point after you take your normal backswing. Feeling wise it's going feel like your hands and arms are sliding across your body while your weight only shifts forward in the follow through.
Now take some shots! See what happens. It's almost like magic. Remember, there is a lot more to this but you should hit some really great shots for awhile until your bad habits kick in again! Cheers!