The Ultimate Tour Player Drill... And How It Can Fix Your Swing

 Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood practising
Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood practising

If you struggle to consistently strike the ball how you intend to, swing too flat, or block or hook the ball, this could be THE DRILL for you! It went viral recently when Tommy Fleetwood showed just how good he is when he was spotted adding an extra degree of difficulty to the exercise.

As well as Fleetwood, the likes of Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Rose and Alex Noren have all included this as part of their practice regime at one time or another. And it's easy to see why.

It's great for any golfer that struggles with keeping the clubhead in front of their body in the golf swing takeaway and into the impact position. When teaching amateurs, I often see the club moving inside or behind the body, becoming too deep and flat in the backswing, which can then restrict the coil and turn at the top.

That can then lead to issues in the transition and downswing, for example a re-route that causes golfers to get steep and cut across the ball. Or, in other cases, the club can get stuck and under the ideal plane line, making consistent contact difficult.

If this sounds like you, here's how to set this drill up and how it can help...

How to set it up

Fleetwood uses the Swing Plane Perfector when doing this drill, which is a great training aid if you want to spend the money on something more robust and precise, but it can be set up using just two alignment sticks.

  • Place one alignment stick three inches inside the ball pointing at the target

  • Place the second one two feet behind the ball match your shaft angle at address

A PGA pro practising at a driving range
A PGA pro practising at a driving range

Start slow

A lot of amateurs come out of their posture through impact, which can be caused by the club being under the ideal plane, so this drill will really help anyone needing to work on how to prevent early extension in your golf swing, but it's important to start slow. Here's what I recommend...

  • Set this up on your driving range, start with a short club and rehearse the feelings before hitting shots

  • Once you feel more comfortable, try some half-swing, 50% speed shots - this will give you a good feeling of the new positions

  • As the feeling becomes more natural and the confidence increases, move to full shots

PGA pro Nathan Cook practising golf at a driving range
PGA pro Nathan Cook practising golf at a driving range

The benefits

You shouldn't do a drill just because you've seen one of your favourite golfers like Rory McIlroy doing it. It's got to be relevant to your game and provide some benefits. Below, I've listed the things this drill will help you with...

  • Allows for better width in the takeaway

  • Helps keep the clubface parallel with the spine angle in the takeaway

  • Gives the arms space to freely get to the top of the backswing

  • Helps you bring the club down in front of the stick, which makes it easier to stay in your posture through impact and turn through to the finish

  • Reduces clubface rotation through impact for more consistency

PGA pro Nathan Cook practising golf at a driving range
PGA pro Nathan Cook practising golf at a driving range

Who shouldn't use this drill?

If you are a golfer in need of a fix for how to stop slicing the ball, you may be better moving the ball inside the stick on the floor and trying to swing under the stick rather on top of it.

That will allow you to work on shallowing the club better, which in turn will help you move better and make more solid contact.