9 to 3 Golf Swing Drill

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Watch part 2 now to see how you're moving your body in the opposite direction of the pros!

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Published: February 17, 2014

The 9 to 3 Drill is the key to working on the Rotary Swing Tour while on the range actually hitting balls.

While it is much quicker to create new movement patterns without the distraction of hitting a ball and swinging a club, at some point you must begin transitioning to the real world and this is THE drill to guide you through the transition.

At address, note the red line that is drawn up from the center of the ankle.

At the "9 o'clock" position, you can note that the hips have shifted slightly away from the target and the body has turned away.

The crux of the golf swing that should be mastered doing this drill is getting the left hip back into neutral joint alignment so the hip can rotate properly.

At impact, the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, ankle and knee on the left side align into neutral.

tiger woods impact position

You can see this position demonstrated by Tiger Woods above.

At the follow through position, the club has fully released, yet the arms are still in front of the chest.

"I love this drill and it will now be part of my pre game warm up - a great way to get striking and weight shifting warmed up."
-James H. | Oct 8, 2012 | Nassau

Checkpoints for Practice

  • The 9 to 3 Drill is 90% of the golf swing
  • Pull the right shoulder back to rotate upper body - hips stay anchored
  • Push right heel into ground to activate right glute
  • Make sure arms remain in front of the body
  • Next step is weight shift, using the left hip & glute
  • The left oblique pulls hands down into impact
  • You need to practice this a lot - if it gets boring, you can add a little bit of wrist hinge to gain some speed

Video Transcription: Golf Biomechanics - 9 to 3 Drill

9 to 3 Drill9 to 3 Drill

The 9 to 3 Drill has been something that we've talked a lot about on the website and in the forums, and especially in the clinics. Students who have gone to the clinics have spent a lot of time learning how to do this drill correctly because it is 90 percent of the golf swing.

If you can do the 9 to 3 Drill correctly, the rest of it is just small details that have minimal impact, relatively, compared to doing this correctly on your overall golf game, your ball strike.

Long story short, it's very worth your time to really pay attention and understand what I'm going to tell you and how to do this drill correctly, because this is how you want to practice, this is how you want to warm up, until you've mastered this. As I said, it's 90 percent of the golf swing.

The 9 to 3 Drill is basically taking a club to the point where it's parallel to the ground or, if you're looking at a clock, it's about 9:00, to 3:00 on the other side, and doing everything properly in between there, inasmuch as the body movements that we're working on.

The basic thing is, it's Move 1 and Move 3.

Hands are in front of the chestHands are in front of the chest

The first piece is doing the takeaway correctly, and you have three checkpoints here. A, pulling your right shoulder back - we're focusing on that right shoulder blade to create rotation so that our upper body is turning and our hips are staying pretty anchored.

B, that we're pushing our right heel into the ground so that we activate this right glute, and C, that our arms are still staying in front of our body at this point. That's best seen from down the line, so there my hands are still in front of my chest. The opposite of that would be them being back here or way out here.

If I just keep my arms quiet, that's all I'm trying to do in Move 1, or the first half of the 9 to 3 Drill.

The second half is where everybody falls apart. This is the crux of the golf swing; learning how to properly shift your weight back to your left side and create the initial part of the downswing acceleration.

Weight shiftWeight shift

What that is, is once we're in this position here I'm going to use my left side to shift my weight. I'm using my left hip, my left glute, getting my weight back over to my left. Now I'm centered over my left ankle and, as I start to turn from my let oblique, my hip area, that's going to pull my hands down into impact, then I'm going to release to about 3:00.

The ball's not going to go very far at first. You don't want it to. You're trying to control the movement. Here, 9:00, shift, impact, 3:00.

That's all you're doing. At first, you may only hit the ball 10 yards. I'd prefer you practice learning how to do it just on short little chip shots, to learn how to get the movement correctly, because getting this - getting this weight back to the left side while keeping your head behind the ball and getting into the proper impact position - is very, very challenging at first.

Let's take a look at that. I'll do a really short one, and then I'm going to do the 9 to 3 Drill with wrist hinge.

Try to finish hereTry to finish here

We'll take a couple practice strokes here. Right there is good. Follow through. I released my wrists a little bit, and that's OK. There's momentum going this way. The further you hit it, you'll pass 3:00 a little bit.

If you can learn to control it so that your arms finish here, that's where you want to start out.

Now it's left-side movement, releasing down, getting some flow in it. Now I'll go ahead and hit one.

It's a short little shot. I went a little bit past 3:00. My release went a little bit too far, but that's OK because I'm doing all the other movements correctly, so just a little bit of momentum is fine, to let the club release.

One more time...There.

Now, the next thing I'm going to do is add a little bit of wrist hinge. All that's going to be is the same movement, but then I'm going to cock my wrists and let my wrists release on the other side. It's just to allow you to create more speed.

Wrist hingeWrist hinge

That's all the point of it is because this drill will get kind of boring after a bit, but it's very important that you take the time to do it. Then when you want to start hitting it farther, with adding some wrist hinge and getting coiled up and doing 9 to 3 correctly, you should be able to hit this about 70 to 80 percent of your normal distance.

I'm going to do the same thing - 9:00, wrist hinge, release through.

Same thing there, just letting everything release, 9 to 3 drill, same movements.

The checkpoints there - if you're going to look at this on a video of your own swing - make sure you get loaded up into the right side, that your hips stay pretty quiet, more importantly that you get your weight back to your left, get into a good impact position and release, and keeping your arms in front of your body.

If you can do this correctly, you will learn to compress the ball like you never have before, and it will make a tremendous difference in your ball strike.

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