You’ve done it! You’re down to the final piece of the puzzle of hitting a draw.
You’ve gotten through the backswing by tracing the grid, you turned your hips and got those knees to change flex, you kept a nice flat left wrist at the top, you slid your hips far enough towards the target to keep the path in to out, and you struck the golf ball. But what do we do now? Is that all? Is it over?
The last piece of the puzzle is very important and seldom discussed. It’s called “extension” and it’s the one that helps us generate power and create height on those draws your about to hit.
Extension is a very simple motion that most people can do with very little effort. If you were to stand up nice and tall, and from that position push your hips forward and up, you would be extending. If I were a lumberjack and and wanted to chop a piece of wood on the ground, I would raise the axe over my head and “extend” and get into a similar position. This motion actually allows the golfer to keep their arms long and straight at and after impact creating a more consistent strike, as Steve is doing in Photo 1.
Most cliché golf instruction will tell you to “keep your head down” or maybe your buddies said you are always “picking your head up.” Well, believe it or not, if you were to actually keep your head down, you wouldn’t be unable to extend to hit those big, high draws we are looking for. So it is of the utmost importance to make sure that when you are hitting golf balls that you extend properly by pushing your hips for-ward and up while also not “keeping your head down.” Feel free to turn your head and rotate it — it’s always nice to see where your ball is going!
Again, the proper look at follow-through is Photo 2. Photo 3 shows what often happens when you work too hard on keeping your head down: No extension and a weak, broken-down follow-through. You can guess what happens to the ball in that scenario — no power, no direction and certainly no draw.
THE UPPERCUT DRILL
A very simple drill to help you understand extension is to get into your address position with no golf club. I want you to make believe you have a boxing glove on your right hand and directly to your left is your opponent.
Your task is to hit your opponent with an uppercut with as much force as you can. To accomplish this you will propel your hips up and forward. This is the same move we use in golf to generate a high towering ball flight. I demonstrate this move in Photos 4-8.
After practicing your upper cut for a few minutes, place a club back in your hands and make a few swings and simulate the same motion you did while throwing punches at your imaginary opponent.
You’ve done it. If you followed all these pieces properly you should be hitting big, high beautiful draws that your playing partners will be jealous of.
So just remember: follow and understand the grid, use your legs properly, a flat or bowed wrist hinge, a hip slide, and extension will create that draw. Take each piece one at a time and step by step and you will be a master in no time.