This page explores and defines the various golf swing errors and their related golf terms.
Outside In | Over the Top
Releasing Too Early
Swaying occurs when a golfer’s hips slide laterally back and forth during his swing, in an exaggerated manner. Although shifting your weight towards your back foot and then to the front foot is part of the basics of golf swings it should be accomplished subtly using the rotation in your hips and shoulders, not through the sliding of your hips. Ideally, the hips stay mostly in place throughout the golf swing and it is the trunk of the body and the shoulders that are actually rotating and transferring weight in the process.
In sentence: Jimmy was reminded by his golf instructor to shift his weight through a rotation of the trunk rather than through swaying, or the sliding of the hips.
More on: How to stop swaying
Refers to sudden and uncontrolled physical movements during a golf swing that lead a golfer to miss-hit shots, especially when using a putter. The root cause of someone suffering from the yips is not at all clear although it is believed to stem from mental origins rather than purely physical ones.
Famously, the professional German golfer Bernhard Langer has battled the yips throughout his career, yet was able to amass many tournament wins in spite of it through the development of yips controlling grips.
In sentence: After finally curing the yips that had plagued him for months, Jimmy forbade anyone from even mentioning the word out of fear that it would creep itself back into his putting stroke.
More info on: How to get rid of the yips
A type of golf swing error that manifests itself near the point of impact. In a typical swing, just before and after hitting the ball, the clubhead will travel on a path typically described as inside-square-inside, meaning the clubhead will be inside the target line just before and after impact but it will be perpendicular – or square – at impact.
A golfer with an inside out swing will see his club head travel inside the target line as it approaches the ball but will hit it and continue on after hitting it outside of the target line.
In sentence: Jimmy was pushing the ball right throughout most of his round, thanks to his inside out club path.
Outside In | Over the top
A type of golf swing error that manifests itself near the point of impact. In a typical swing, just before and after hitting the ball, the clubhead will travel on a path typically described as inside-square-inside. This means the clubhead will be inside the target line just before and after impact but it will be perpendicular – or square – at impact. Indeed, in a typical swing, the clubhead is farthest away and in front of the golfer at the moment of impact.
A golfer with an outside in swing will see his club head travel outside the target line before impact and inside at both impact and after hitting the ball.
In sentence: For reasons he did not fully understood, Jimmy had progressively allowed his swing to develop a tragic outside in club path.
A type of golf swing error that is related to the weight transfer of the golfer. In a typical swing, weight is to move towards the back foot during the backswing only to shift towards the front foot during the downswing and finally in the follow through.
A golfer with a reverse pivot will do the opposite. He will move his weight towards his forward foot during the backswing and towards the back foot during the his downswing, effectively doing things the opposite way, hence the ‘reverse’ designation in the name of the error.
In sentence: Jimmy has always struggled to send the ball very far due to his reverse pivot and its inability to properly transfer weight and power to the ball.
More on: How to get rid of a reverse pivot swing
Releasing Too Early
Refers to the position of the hands and wrist at impact, in relation to the clubhead. In a typical swing, the wrists are positioned ahead of the clubhead at impact. This is often referred to as the lag, or lag between the wrists and hands as it leads the clubhead forward towards impact.
A golfer who suffers from the releasing too early swing error will see his clubhead pass in front of the hands before impact.
In sentence: Because he was releasing his wrists too early, Jimmy was mostly hitting thin shots or shots that did not climb high into the air.
More info on: How to stop scooping the ball (or flipping the club)
Refers to the path traveled by the club during a golf swing. A swing on a low plane is one where the golfer will bring the club up during the backswing to a level that is lower than it should normally be.
Refers to the path traveled by the club during a golf swing. A swing on a high plane is one where the golfer will bring the club up during the backswing to a level that is higher than it should normally be.