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The Extended Shaft Alignment Stick Drill Will Transform Your Swing

Many golfers struggle with an inside takeaway. An inside takeaway means when you look at the position of the club head from a down the line video, the club head is inside the hands when the shaft gets parallel to the ground on the backswing. This generally leads to TERRIBLE club head and shaft motion and bad impact positions later in swing. And that means you have inconsistent ball flight. So let's sort out how to get better!

In this video you learn how you can use an alignment stick to retrain your takeaway motion and this will help you get better impact. You get immediate tactile feedback to learn a proper takeaway and backswing sequence. The club head will not come inside too soon and the club shaft will not be too shallow too early.

When you have the inside takeaway it also means the shaft is too shallow too soon. When the shaft is too shallow too soon, this leads to a club shaft that gets too steep in transition. When a club is too steep in transition you generally see golfers compensate via early hip extension. This means you will lose posture (stand up) and flip the club through impact. You see the lead wrist breaking down with this stand and flip move. This adds loft to the club, changes the club path and club face, and you get very inconsistent impact. This poor impact all stems from a bad takeaway. So let's fix it!

To stop the inside takeaway and transform your swing with the alignment stick drill, do the following at a pitch show level effort and speed:

  • Hold the alignment stick on your club shaft with your normal grip. Setup to the ball and have the stick rest on your lead hip.

  • Have the stick maintain contact with your lead side until the club is parallel to the ground on the takeaway. When you do this it ensures that the club head is not coming inside your hands on the takeaway. You must check this on video - feel is not real!!! Go slow and try it for shot pitch shots.

  • Check on video that the club shaft and club head have a steeper path up in the backswing. Embrace an exaggerated feel.

  • Check on video that you see the stick and shaft shaft follow a steep to shallow sequence as you complete the backswing and move the club head around the top of the swing. (The club head will have a clockwise rotation around the top as the shaft shallows for the right handed golfer.)

  • Now let the arms come down on the trail side of the body with a flat or bowed lead wrist

  • Move the club head around your body without letting the stick hit your body - even in the follow through. (If you flip the club with your hands the stick will hit your body at or slightly after impact) You will need to fold your lead elbow down post impact to be able to keep the stick from hitting your body post impact. This post impact lead elbow motion is what you see in most any great ball striker.

Take note that your arms will feel a "counter rotation" to the body rotation in this drill. For the right handed golfer as the trunk starts to move to the right for you to maintain the alignment stick on your lead side you will feel a slight rotation to the left with your arms. As the body turns right the arms turn left! Try it!!!

As the body turns left in the transition and downswing the arms will then be rotating to the right of the body - a "magic move"- as the arms drop into impact. This sequence produces the club shaft that is shallowing vs. steepening around the top of the swing. As the body turns left the arms turn right!

With the shaft having this steep to shallow motion around the top of the swing, you are in a position to rotate the body in posture. Maintain a flat or bowed lead wrist though impact. A flat or bowed lead wrist is something you see in all almost all great ball strikers. This is the opposite of the lead wrist collapsing which is what you see when you lose posture and flip the club. Again - get to the point where you can hit a ball with the extended shaft without the alignment stick hitting you body at or post impact for a pitch shot. You will only be able to do this with a steep to shallow transition and maintaining a flat or bowed lead wrist at impact.

Getting better impact is so much easier when you have a good takeaway as opposed to the bad inside takeaway. That is why practicing with this extended shaft using the alignment stick is something all the coaches at Alta View use in their lessons.

This is a fantastic and easy to do drill. Hit some pitch shots with the extended shaft next time you practice. Once you have learned how to maintain the alignment stick against the lead side of the body until the club shaft is parallel and then avoid hitting the body with the stick post impact you will have transformed your swing for better impact.

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