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You Don't Fix Early Extension by Rotating More


iacas
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This will be a quick one.

It's common for early extenders to look a bit like this:01 EE.jpg

This is a common pattern, and what you'll see is that:

  • The pelvis/hips have moved toward the golf ball (that's your "early extension" or "goat humping" right there).
  • The pelvis/hips aren't able to get as open as they should.

The thing is, the second is not the cause of the first. Yet you'll often hear "I just need to get open more."

No. Here is why:

early_extension_rotation.jpg

On the left, a pelvis (the oval) is rotating around the center of the hips. I'm not displaying any linear nature here, I'm just showing the rotation and some "toward the ball" translation.

In the middle, the pelvis early extends. It moves toward the golf ball. This is similar to what you'd see above. You'll notice that the hips remain a bit more square (less open) in the middle image.

On the right, the same amount of early extension — the pelvis moves the same distance toward the golf ball — but with more rotation (somehow). Notice: the early extension still exists. Oh, it may look a bit less, but it's still making some goat out there fairly happy (if goats enjoy such things).

No, the thing is… when your pelvis is going toward the ball, it's tougher for it to rotate. The lack of rotation is a symptom, not a cause.

Fix the movement of the pelvis toward the ball and the rotation can be improved. Just as you can't fix a cold by saying "don't cough" or "don't have a runny nose," you can't fix early extension by saying "rotate more."

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This is what I’ve been working on for a while. Right now I am the player on the right. I’ve gotten my hips more open from other priority piece changes but still extend a bit. It’s a tough one to change, but I am making progress. I keep working on the feel of the left leg driving the left hip back and up from A6 on.

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On 11/6/2021 at 10:54 PM, iacas said:

No, the thing is… when your pelvis is going toward the ball, it's tougher for it to rotate. The lack of rotation is a symptom, not a cause.

This is a nice graphic. Is EE a main cause of the "S" word?

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  • 3 weeks later...

These two videos have really helped my understanding of hip movement:
 

 

 

As a beginner, I have been told "rotate hips" and have been doing exactly that. I was wondering however why despite rotating a lot - I have good mobility thanks to squatting regularly - I was clearly humping the ball.

As Malaska says in many of his videos I had the wrong mental picture of the task: glad I caught this early in my learning process though.

Currently actively working on it and developing a nice feel in the hips, with space for the club to move and a much better impact position.

A drill that's really helping is "starting at impact": you set up at address with hips open to target and move back. Also grooving the movement with practice swings, etc.

I'm astonished that I've had to dig down relatively deep in the internet to understand this - it seems fairly basic!

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26 minutes ago, FlyingSpaniard said:

I'm astonished that I've had to dig down relatively deep in the internet to understand this - it seems fairly basic!

It's not. You can get to scratch and goat hump the hell out of it.

Everyone rotates. That's a given. Some just do it a little better than others.

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

It's not. You can get to scratch and goat hump the hell out of it.

Everyone rotates. That's a given. Some just do it a little better than others.

I mean, yea, I get this. Isn't Nicklaus often mentioned as an early extender?

What I mean is, why isn't it more standardized in instruction? It seems the science is fairly clear on the rough path that the hips should follow. Your diagrams, or the videos I posted, are real eye openers, whereas "rotate your hips" or "open them at impact" can conjure the wrong task in the mind (it did for me, and from what I can read this is really common).

As Malaska explains this has nothing to do with the individual's capability or mobility. If you can hinge at the hips you should be able to do this (which may also be helped by flaring your feet out, which I see you guys recommend around here).

My question is why in 2021 this idea is not more widespread in instruction... It's taken me dozens of hours of watching videos before finding an explanation which seems to make sense...

I guess what you're saying is that it's not widespread because:

a. Loads of people have gotten away without it through history
b. Some people do respond correctly to the classic prompts

Still....

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1 minute ago, FlyingSpaniard said:

What I mean is, why isn't it more standardized in instruction?

There's very little that's standardized in golf instruction. We attempted to standardize with 5 Simple Keys®, but even within that there's a lot of freedom for individuality.

1 minute ago, FlyingSpaniard said:

It seems the science is fairly clear on the rough path that the hips should follow. Your diagrams, or the videos I posted, are real eye openers, whereas "rotate your hips" or "open them at impact" can conjure the wrong task in the mind (it did for me, and from what I can read this is really common).

Because, again, you can get to scratch while early extending, and everyone rotates somewhat. So it's pretty low on the totem pole. There are often a LOT more low-hanging fruits to pluck.

1 minute ago, FlyingSpaniard said:

a. Loads of people have gotten away without it through history
b. Some people do respond correctly to the classic prompts

It's not just that. It's what I said above too.

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2 minutes ago, iacas said:

Because, again, you can get to scratch while early extending, and everyone rotates somewhat. So it's pretty low on the totem pole. There are often a LOT more low-hanging fruits to pluck.

Ah I see. I think I've become singularly worried about this topic because (a) my first positive swing feel was in the hips and (b) I was deseperately scrambling for a solution to hitting it fat, which led to working on weight/force transfer which led to this. I can now appreciate how the rabbit hole is deeper than it may seem at first glance.

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21 minutes ago, FlyingSpaniard said:

Ah I see. I think I've become singularly worried about this topic because (a) my first positive swing feel was in the hips and (b) I was deseperately scrambling for a solution to hitting it fat, which led to working on weight/force transfer which led to this. I can now appreciate how the rabbit hole is deeper than it may seem at first glance.

Precisely.

Since you’re new-ish I’d recommend this topic:

Lots in there.

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I can actually get myself to swing like the diagram on the left, but the path is just too left and exit is too low. So even if you can get your hips to look like that, with me, it's a little extra shallowing at the top and getting head down to the ball, covering, it's very possible and very likely your work is not done. But the work on the swing is never done really, is it?

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