Early Extension (Goat Humping)

(I know the term goat humping might be offensive to some, but it has become a common term that people recognize)

The video below is going to be very helpful. You will find something there that will help you, so take the time to watch it.

I have seen and read more reasons than I can count and even more fixes.

I posted a simple drill that would help, but it wouldn’t work on the root of the problem because I thought people wouldn’t digest the real reason.

I had a little of this issue going on myself and decided to do it on purpose and work backwards. What good things were not happening and what bad things were.

The angle of the shoulder turn MUST match distance from the ball. If your shoulder turn is pretty vertical and you are standing pretty far from the ball, you are in deep trouble.

It’s all about how the club face is rotating and more specifically, how the shoulders are rotating.

If the club is opening to start the down swing or the shaft angle is getting steep, it is very likely going to end up in an EE.

More specifically, if the right shoulder is crashing into the body instead of rotating around the spine, it is going to cause EE in most people…or if the hands and/or arms are snatching the club steep…same problem.

Many golfers make up for this issue by creating some mystery move or those with great flexibility can over come it (that is why flexibility is blamed), but in the end, if the shoulders start to rotate 90* to the spine and the right shoulder goes around the spine to start the downswing…you WILL NOT get EE.

Another way to look at it is if the club face is rotating with the spine (the turn, the pivot) and not opening to the spine, you will not get EE.

Those last two statements are basically the same thing, just described from a different perspective.

There is so much fear of over the top and so much emphasis on holding the lag and swinging inside/out, early extension has become an epidemic because those things inhibit the club face rotating with the turn and proper shoulder rotation around the spine.

This small article (and video) on this insignificant blog is the definitive information on this subject. If you don’t believe me, stand if front of a mirror and do the following.

Without a golf club making a should turn with your arms out in front of you.

1. To start the down swing, have your right shoulder go down too much so it crashes into your body. In other words, a shoulder turn that is too vertical as if you were trying really hard to over do swinging inside/out, help the ball in the air or prevent yourself from coming over the top. You are going to notice the first thing that happens is your hips thrust right to the ball.

This is what happens when you EE and no amount of flexibility is going to stop that.

2. Do the same thing of standing in front of a mirror without a golf club, letting your arms hang down and rotate your shoulders as in making a back swing. Now, do nothing but send your right shoulder to the golf ball as it would move if your shoulders were rotating at a 90* angle to your spine. You will find the first thing that happens is your hips open up and your arms go right out in front of you.

Do this process again and try to thrust your hips at the ball. You will find that to be such an awkward move that is pretty much impossible to do even do on purpose.

You will find the same negative and positive affect when you try to hold the lag (keep the club from rotating)…and when you allow the club to rotate with your turn.

Same affects, different perception.

This is why tilt at address is SO IMPORTANT. It allows you to turn your shoulders around your spine without fear of over the top and is a huge first step in eliminating Early Extension.

We need to stop worrying about over the top, lag, inside/out, hitting draws, etc., as being the primary goals of our swings. They create horrible issues that are the body’s way of compensating for unnatural contortions.

If you want to get better at golf, search for how your personal body works by standing in front of a mirror and trying different feels. Then try and translate that to the range…then to the course.

If you get your body to work naturally, proper inside/out and lag will be a natural byproduct.

Pigeon holing yourself into mass hysteria cliches is just going to end up in some nasty issue like Early Extension (goat humping), which will lead you to thousands of dollars in DVD, book and training device purchases. Not to mention the cost of replacing lost golf balls, fitting sessions and new equipment to try and solve these issues.

Buying new equipment should be for fun, not the false hope of solving a swing problem.

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16 Comments

  1. woody

    If there was ever proof that there’s more than one way to hit a golf ball, this column is it. Moe Norman said as much too: “They play over their arms. I play under my arms.” Two ways.

    Roughly, taken to the max, I’d say that the “under the arms” way is typified by Dominic Mazza. He said he only thinks of one thing, and arms and shoulders isn’t it. The key identifying feature is his left foot–stays solid. It is impossible to goat-hump with this method. Example:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YXbH8eJQhQ&feature=related (3:01) Mazza

    On the other hand, the “over the arms” way would be Joe Miller (and yourself?). Note the left foot. He is not doing the same thing as Mazza. He’s getting a lot of his power in a different way. Example:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1sGj8WCjYA&feature=related (2:07) Miller, slow, face-on

    If someone tried to do what Miller does, but nowhere near as athleticly, and out of sync, I think they could goat-hump.

    Reply
  2. Calvin

    Excellent. Probably the best map of effective movement I have seen.

    Even with this though the arms can independently do some squirrely things and tank a swing. Could you comment and perhaps also further explain your last post that ended with “keep the left elbow pointing at the chest……..”?

    I think it is just a matter of time and your persistence before you are a consultant to tour pros. When you make it keep us in the loop.

    Reply
  3. Doug Benner

    Really excellent – clear and concise diagnosis and treatment for this common problem. I never really thought of the three categories before, but it makes a lot of sense. The explanation for #3 is especially enlightening and I understand it better than before. Thanks.

    Reply
  4. Lou

    I’m a new golfer but one of my pet peeves with golf instruction is that the instructors seem to spend more time demonstrating how not to hit a golf ball than just showing you how a golf swing should look like/feel and possibly pointing out some check points to help you raise your awareness of what you are doing.

    Closely related is doing some other activity that is supposed to mimic the golf swing but is not really a golf swing. OK, this may be helpful in illustrating a concept but the mind really only wants to “see” and “feel” an actual golf swing, don’t you think?

    It seems to me if you focus on what not to do you will almost certainly tie yourself into a knot. Isn’t it true that the mind doesn’t really understand “not”?

    JMHO and I enjoy the blog posts and comments on this blog.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      I demonstrated the causes and at the end, demonstrated the things to work on to get rid of it.

      If you read this blog at all you would know you comment is off base.

      Reply
    • TonyK

      It’s done out of necessity to illustrate a concept as most swing faults, when viewed as part of a normal golf swing, are very subtle and difficult to discern. One solution might be to take what Monte said in this post and then go see some video of Adam Scott or Charl Schwartzel’s swing….two of the best swings right now IMO. See how they do a great job of maintaining that angle.

      BTW Monte, another great post. I’ve been killing it on the range with some nice smooth power fades, hitting it as solid as I ever have. Now if I could just find some time to actually play a round….

      Reply
  5. Paul

    Fantastic video, I really learned something today. Thanks for this, it ranks up there with your plane and release piece.

    Reply
  6. mono

    great stuff monte, loved this video, makes a ton of sense

    Reply
  7. Josef Patsch

    Absolutely excellent. Demonstrates what a balance act golf is – at any level. Overemphasizing one aspect gets you in trouble at the other end. Again, at any level. Hcp 9. Thanks for this excellent piece of instruction.

    Reply
  8. Joshua Dayrit

    You are a genious.

    Reply
  9. Chris

    Light has come on! Thanks!

    Reply
  10. Atanu Mukherjee

    Very true. In the last one year i dropped from 14 to 6. While I got all the lag, perfect deep hands takeaway, vertical right shoulder drop, no OTT move yada, yada – all these swing gymnastics made me go from no EE to under-plane driven EE which I have to now correct. Thanks for an excellent analysis.

    Reply
  11. Robert

    Great article and great to see that somebody out there really understands what causes EE. Just telling someone to “keep your spine angle and don’t let your pelvis move closer to the ball” is NOT instruction. That’s like saying ” you can tell this is an Aspen tree because of the way it is”. Neither is “get more flexible”. 99% of the instruction out there about EE misses completely. EE is your body’s reaction to maintaining balance, and when your shoulders, specifically your right shoulder for right handed golfers drives down into your side and lowers, you have no choice but to push your pelvis forward towards the ball. All the butt on a chair drills and stretching in the world will not fix the body’s need to maintain equilibrium. Gold star.

    Reply
  12. Adam

    I know this is a few years old but just wanted to say how brilliantly, simply and effectively this post illustrates the cause and cure for EE. You’re short game video was tremendous as well. Thank you!

    Reply
  13. Jim D

    I have researched EE, and spent many hours reading articles, practicing drills, and applying swing thoughts. This article and video provided the most thorough and best explanation by far. Your explanation for the “underneath the plane” category which I fit into, has provided me with a much better understanding. Thank you.

    Reply
  14. Bill

    THANK YOU! I am the low handicap guy that didn’t rotate his shoulder around the spine through the ball. I have wear marks on all my clubs on the heel side and despite many lessons, never could change it until I saw you explain it. Many thanks! Now my hits are as consistent as they ever where, but now in the middle of the face..

    Reply

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