The terms "width" and "extension" are both used to explain the distance between your hands and your torso during your backswing. Extending your arms away from your body is the way to achieve this. Think in terms of leverage! The farther away from the ball your hands are at the top, the greater the leverage. And what does greater leverage do for you? That's right.-- more club head speed! Where can the body break down and take some of this leverage away from you?
- Excessive bending at the left elbow
- Poor weight transfer
- Lack of good core strength
- Poor spinal rotation
The golfer with the longest "extension" and greatest coil at the top of the backswing is usually the longest hitter, regardless of size of the person. You want to see a good example of extraordinary "width" and "extension" in action -- watch Michelle Wie! Can you see the difference? Remember to continue to work on your flexibility in addition to your core strength. This gives you the best advantage and opportunity to create more width in your swing.
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Susan Hill is a golf performance specialist and sports nutritionist. She has written for Golf Illustrated, Resort Living, Club Living, Self magazine and the Junior Golf Scoreboard. Her work has also been featured on ESPN.