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Video Tip: Extension Series Part 1

In the first of a four-part series on how to achieve proper extension in the golf swing, Ted Frick of the Classic Swing Golf School at Legends Golf Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C. shows us a simple exercise that helps to reinforce proper upper body rotation and where each arm should be on the backswing, and the follow through.

Ted Frick:

So, we're going to do a series on a topic in golf pertaining to the word “extension.” So this day and age, we've got all kind of launch monitors, everything that's measuring like angle of attack, angle of approach, ball speed, club head separation, verticals. I got you. There’s a very important topic in the swing itself and that's the width of the swing arc.

Now, in the golf swing, geometric, keep it easy, the golf swing is moving in the shape of a circle and the circles on a slant called an inclined plane so it's circular. But a wide arc in the backstroke, which I'll define, and a wide arc in the follow through are absolute means for power, and everybody's liking power. And they go after that magical miles per hour. But we really need to search, kind of in the two-dimensional world holding the camera or the iPad, for the width in the swing.

So let me define these alignments first. Obviously, the circumference of the circle is measured in degrees. 360 degrees, full circle, 180, half circle. Okay. In the golf swing, the backstroke, when the golf club's moving back, there's a width to the arc as in how far away is the club head from your body? Wide. And a wide arc has more potential energy than a narrow arc.

Now in this series, I'm going to talk about the trunk, the arms and the legs as sources for extension in the golf swing. And then Stefany King Miller (she was married in November), she's going to finish it up with the finish. You'll love it. All right. So let me go ahead and identify the follow through, and I'll show you some stretches. The follow through is post impact. It's on this side of the ball and the backstroke is in this direction when the golf club's moving away from the ball.

Check out this really simple stretch, and the whole idea is sometimes you've got to get the body right in order to get into these alignments that your golf swing demands. All right. So it's the wall drill. It's so simple, but it's to get you into extension and you can use words like wide or words like reach. All right. Walk up to any wall. This is the shed at the Classic Swing Golf School. Many students have taken a walk to the shed. You stand at an arm distance. Look, I'm stretching out my right arm. That's where I know to put my right foot. Then I'm going to move into a golfer's posture. We call it the 40/20, where I would have 40 degrees approximately of forward bend and 20 degrees of knee flex. So I'm getting into my posture, which is another story, because you want to stay in the posture when you're doing this. But take a look.

All right, from this condition, I am going to reach with my lead arm. I want structure to it and I'm going to go ahead and touch the wall. Now, as I'm doing this, I'll be really careful. I want to make sure that my lead shoulder is working down so that my shoulders are actually moving at right angles to my spine. What I don't want to do is move this lead shoulder up and around because that's going to get your whole upper body swaying so that's an incorrect exercise you're doing. You're practicing, you're getting good at being bad. That's an incorrect practice.

So when I'm doing this drill, I'm keen on my left shoulder, my right knee and my right hip. We call it lead shoulder down, right hip around. This is for the backstroke. Now I'm going to go ahead and turn my back to you and watch how we do this for the follow-through. Same thing, wall touch. So stretching out my left arm so I know my distance. Going into my 40/20. And then I got to take this trail hand. The trail hand and arm and reach and extend. Now I'm sitting here, I am stretching. And while I'm doing this, I am staying in my spine angle. So it's pertinent. It's so important that this right shoulder continues to move in the golf swing so that I can get this reach and extension in the follow through.

So that's just part one, just showing you, what are we talking about here? The width of the arc, the importance of that extension in the golf swing. But the next couple of parts are going to be about the trunk, the arms and the legs so I hope you enjoy.