If your lower body moves toward the ball during the downswing, you have a stability issue we call early extension. You would think players capable of breaking 80 wouldn't have this problem, but our statistics show 72 percent of all golfers suffer from poor glute strength and tight calves, which causes early extension. When your lower body moves toward the ball, the club drops behind you and will be blocked unless you stop rotating your body and stand up to create room. From this position, the best you can hope for is a block or a hook.
SWING ON AN UNSTABLE SURFACE
A true test to see if you suffer from early extension is to make a golf swing on an unstable surface, such as the flat-based foam roller I'm standing on (pictured). A narrow piece of wood also will work. If you can swing repeatedly without falling toward the ball—remember, the glutes can get weaker late in the round—then you have prevented early extension.
DUMBBELL SQUATS FIRM UP THE GLUTES
Weak glutes, tight calves and the inability to squat can force you to shift your center of gravity toward the ball. To prevent this, grab a five- to 15-pound dumbbell and hold it in front of you with your arms extended. Lower your body into a deep squat (your butt almost touching the floor) and place the dumbbell on a platform. Then stand up, without the weight. Do two sets of 10 reps.