Swing Error – Illustrated Guide

Swing errors often come in pairs. In this instance, the laid-off top of the swing error is associated with the across the line error. While the latter sees the club going too far at the top of the swing the former sees the club failing to reach its ideal position at the top.

Follow the tips below to learn how to get rid of a laid-off club position problem.

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What is a Laid-Off Position?

Short of the Target Line

The club points left of the target in a laid-off positionAs was the case with the across the line swing error, the laid off position needs to be viewed and understood in contrast to the ideal top of the swing club position. Imagine a line linking the ball with the intended target. Now imagine another line linking the toe end of your shoes. In a square stance those two lines would be parallel. 

Ideally, at the top of the swing the club should be pointing straight ahead at the target and that line would also be parallel to the previous two.

Being in a laid-off position simply means that your club stopped short of reaching that desirable, ‘on-line’ position.

Problems Associated with a Laid-Off Club Position

Getting Stuck in the Backswing

The problem with a laid-off club position is that you can get stuck in your backswingThe main issue associated with a laid-off position is that it can lead you to getting stuck in the backswing. And if you get stuck in the backswing you will need to make difficult adjustments on the way down during the downswing and as you head into impact with the ball.

This often happens because you brought the club too much inside during the takeaway. Such a takeaway might not allow you to take your club up for a full swing, stopping the backswing short which is robbing you of distance.

Ultimately, coming in with a too severe inside-out club path towards impact makes hitting a straight shot impossible. Instead, you’ll need to juggle between a draw, a push, or a hook.

How to Fix a Laid-Off Top of the Swing

Go Back Square and Create Space Under your Right Elbow

Bring your club back square to protect yourself from being too wristy or seeing too much forearm rotation during the takeawayIn order to make sure you don’t become restricted at the top (and get into a laid-off club position) you need to make sure that you bring your club out initially through a square takeaway. Indeed, bring your club back initially by rolling your shoulders and see that the shaft of your club – when it is parallel to the ground – points straight ahead at the target.

Failing to bring your club back correctly will likely lead to a swing that is too handsy, or one that features too much forearm rotation.

Indeed if you bring your club too far outside (for an outside takeaway) that means you were too handsy and did not allow your shoulders to simply roll back. On the flip side, if you brought your club too far back inside it means that your takeaway featured too much forearm rotation.

Finally, to make sure your backswing allows for a correct top of the swing club position take note of how your right elbow is positioned.

Imagine that you are holding a tray in order to put your right elbow in its correct position at the topIf you notice that your right elbow doesn’t separate from your upper body you will likely get caught and won’t be able to complete your backswing. On the other hand, if you notice that your elbow becomes too far detached from your body you will likely produce a position where your club is across the line at the top.

Ideally, you want to adopt a position similar to that of a waiter holding a tray at a restaurant. In this ideal position, your right elbow features an angle that is close to 90 degrees. In this position, bringing the club on-line with the target becomes easier.

Related Swing Error

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