How to Cure an Outside-In Golf Swing

How to Cure an Outside-In Golf Swing


The outside-in golf swing is one of the most common errors in the game of golf. Numerous amateur golfers across the country and the globe swing across the ball by impact, and have to deal with the consequences. Specifically, this type of swing often leads to a slice, which is a ball flight that is all-too-familiar to millions of players.

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If you are dealing with an outside-in golf swing, this article is designed to help you get on track.

Why an Outside-In Swing Can be a Problem

Before we go any further, let’s take a moment to understand why an outside-in golf swing is a problem in your game.

The issue here is with what is going to happen to the ball shortly after it leaves your club. When you swing across the ball, assuming the face is relatively square to the target line at impact, you are going to start the ball left of the target only to have it curve back to the right. Usually, the curve will be dramatic, and will lead to what golfers refer to as a slice. It’s hard to play well with a slice, so this mistake has got to go.

Start at the Beginning

Although swinging across the ball is a mistake that happens through the hitting area, the seeds of a problem are actually planted much earlier. Many golfers set themselves up for an outside-in swing from the moment the club goes in motion.

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This is a common mistake in golf. You may think that an outside-in swing path would be caused by a takeaway that goes to the outside, but that’s not usually how it goes. Instead, the player who struggles with a slice is usually taking the club back well to the inside as soon as the swing begins. If you stuff the club way inside right from the start, an outside-in swing path is almost inevitable.

What happens is this – you start the swing way to the inside of the target line, likely by using your hands and wrists actively in the takeaway. Then, as you get up near the top of the swing, your arms and the club are in very close to your body. In other words, you don’t have proper extension, and there is very little room for you to work with in the transition. Since the club can’t drop to the inside – there is no room for it to do so – you are forced to push it up and away, and you wind up dragging it across the hitting area at the bottom.

The fix here is obvious – correct your takeaway.

During the first stages of the swing, your hands and wrists should not be strained. You should also keep your shoulders away and your head down towards the target. Learn how to take the club back on a good path and it will be much easier to break the outside-in habit.

Rushing Can Be a Problem

Another way to get into trouble with an outside-in swing is to rush your transition. It’s easy to rush the transition from backswing to downswing, as you feel like you need to move quickly at this point to build speed and hit the ball hard. However, you would be better served to take your time at the top, smoothly switching from backswing into downswing before ramping up the speed as you take the club down to the ball.

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If you do rush your transition, you won’t have time to rotate your lower body toward the target properly. Your legs will be stuck in place, so you’ll have to move the club up and over in order to give it a clear path to the ball. That sets you up for an outside-in path, and the slice that usually follows.

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You can practice taking your time with the transition by hitting short, soft shots on the range. As you practice, you should almost feel as if you are coming to a stop at the top before letting your legs lead the way down into the ball.

Get Off the Course

The unfortunate reality of the situation when you are dealing with an outside-in swing path is that you are going to have trouble correcting this error on the course.

The best way to make progress is to set aside a period of time where you won’t be playing any rounds of golf. Dedicate this block of time to visiting the range as often as possible in order to break your old habits and get your swing on the right track. It might not be fun to miss out on rounds of golf for a while, but your long-term outlook will be improved if you can make it happen.

Consider taking some lessons from a professional instructor during this time off. Even if you already know what you need to change – such as getting rid of your outside-in swing path – a pro teacher will be able to monitor your progress and offer drills and advice to help you reach your goals. A few swing lessons can help you improve your game for a modest amount. Ask as your local course about their lesson options and you might be surprised to find just how affordable and convenient golf lessons can be.

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It’s not going to be easy to break the habit of swinging across the ball from outside-in. There is sure to be some work involved to get your swing moving down the right path, but that work will be worth it when you start to hit straighter, longer shots. As you attempt to make progress in this area, be patient and understand that there are going to be some struggles along the way.

We hope these tips help you break through to some of the best golf of your life – and don’t forget to have fun along the way!

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