How To Build an Inside Out Golf Swing
Most golfers struggle with a slice and would kill for the ability to hit a draw.
Let me ask, what if you could…
- Straighten out your slice
- Add more distance to each club in the bag
- Improve your contact and hit the sweet spot consistently
The key to making all this happen is learning how to build an inside out golf swing. This is a habit among top ball strikers, both pros and amateurs, and something you can learn how to do as well.
Keep reading to learn more about building an inside out golf swing so you can hit it better than ever.
Inside Out Golf Swing Explained
So, what is an inside out golf swing anyway?
Think about the golf swing as a path. As I’m sure you know, there are many ways to hit a golf ball but your path and clubface ultimately determine what the ball does in the air.
For example, if you swing over the top with an open face (like most golfers), the result is a pull cut or pull slice. The ball takes off left of the target – due to the path – and cuts back due to an open face. If you happen to pull the shot with a square clubface, it’s a dead pull.
This is known as an outside to inside swing. It’s not referring to the backswing but instead the path that occurs on the downswing.
The opposite is an inside to outside golf swing. In this case, you’re swinging from the inside of the ball and out toward the target… maybe even slightly right of the target if you’re playing a draw.
Other ways to describe this move are known as creating lag, finding the slot, or shallowing the golf club. This is a power move that instantly improves your ball striking, ball flight, distance, and accuracy. When you swing from the inside, you have much more control in your swing and generally much more consistent too.
Related: Draw vs. Fade
How to Build an In to Out Swing
To build a more effective swing like elite players, follow these steps:
- Hinge your wrists for a better backswing
- Rotate your hips (instead of swaying)
- Shift your weight forward
Step 1: Hinge Your Wrists
The biggest mistake that makes it nearly impossible to swing in to out is the first part of your backswing. The takeaway sets up the rest of your swing and if this move isn’t corrected, you’re fighting an uphill battle.
As Golf Digest pointed out, “Getting too far inside too soon encourages you to re-route the club to the outside — known as coming over the top — the very thing you’re trying to avoid.”
The key to making sure you re-route to the inside on the downswing is correcting your takeaway. Don’t just turn your shoulders around your body, make sure your wrists hinge up as well. Otherwise, you will pull the club too far inside which gets you out of position early.
Step 2: Rotate Around Your Body
Once you get the takeaway dialed in, another important part of your swing is the hips. Too many golfers laterally sway instead of rotating around their body. This leads to a steep downswing which also goes against an in to out swing.
Instead, you want to rotate around your body and turn your hips. As your hips rotate fully, then you unwind them to begin your downswing and re-route to the inside.
Ben Hogan described this move in the swing beautifully in his book, Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons. As the great ball striker said, “The golfer gets on his second plane – without thinking he is changing planes – when he turns his hips back to the left at the start of the downswing. This moves the body to the left and automatically lowers the right shoulder.”
The hips start the downswing and everything else follows. But for too many players the upper body thrusts over the top first creating the over the top, steep downswing.
Instead, rotate around your body so your hips are loaded up and then unwind on the downswing. Hogan later elaborates saying, “When the golfer is on this correct downswing plane, he has to hit from the inside out. When he hits from the inside out, he can get maximum strength into his swing and abstain maximum clubhead speed.”
Step 3: Shift Your Weight Forward
Finally, if you load up properly and start the downswing with your hips, you can’t forget the last step – shifting your weight. Too many golfers try to scoop the ball in an attempt to help it up in the air by hanging back on their trail side. This leads to inconsistent contact and a huge loss of distance.
Instead, you need to unwind with the hips and get your weight to your lead foot. By shifting your weight forward, you will hit down and through the shot which will make a huge difference in your overall ball striking.
If you’re hitting irons it will lead to a much better divot and you’ll hit the ball, then the turf. A lot of players think of this as covering the shot or trapping it. Essentially, you want your lead palm down toward the ground, which compresses the shot.
Best Drills for Inside to Outside Golf Swing
Now that you have a solid understanding of an in to outside golf swing, let’s get into some drills and training aids that will help. While it’s important to know why this move is so important, it’s not always easy to feel in your golf swing. This is even more true if you’ve had an outside to inside swing that creates an over the top move.
Here are some of the best ways to create this feeling on the range so it can become part of your golf swing.
There are several common positions in the golf swing and P1 is a great place to start creating your in to out swing. P1 refers to the first part of your takeaway when the club is parallel to the ground.
Ideally, at P1 you want the club outside the hands with a square clubface. This will set up the rest of your swing so you can create lag effectively on the downswing.
Remember, if the club comes from too far from the inside, it’s almost impossible to shallow out and swing from the inside. By simply checking this position on the driving range or at home, you will develop an efficient backswing.
Do this 50X at home or 20X on the range before hitting a single golf ball. Repetition is the key to creating this new move and retraining your takeaway.
Roll Your Hands Drill
As Clay Ballard of Top Speed Golf discusses in the below video, aiming right isn’t the answer. So many golfers think this will help you swing inside but in reality, it can lead to big misses.
Instead, you first need to learn how to release your wrists and swing out to create a draw. Without a golf ball, try to rotate your hands more throughout the swing. You want to feel the face rolling shut on the downswing, sort of like a baseball swing.
Do this five times as mentioned in the video, then hit an iron to see how it feels. It’s okay if you start hitting a big draw or even hook. It’s important to first feel the proper release so you can have the confidence to swing out toward the target.
Alignment Stick in Ground (Expert Level)
The final drill is not for the faint of heart and recommended after you’ve completed the previous drill. The only reason I recommend building up to this drill is because it takes some time getting comfortable doing. Plus, it can get a little dicey on the driving range too.
Here’s how to get started:
- Grab an 8-iron and one alignment rod.
- Insert the alignment stick into the ground at a 45-degree angle behind the golf ball.
- The rod should be facing toward your target and will act as a trigger to swing from the inside. Place it about a foot behind the ball so you have to swing under it on the downswing.
- On your backswing, you should be able to swing back without touching the stick.
- On the downswing, you also want to avoid the alignment rod which forces you to swing from the inside. If you come from over the top, you will hit the stick.
- The closer the stick is to the ball, the more you will need to come from the inside. Start with it farther away from the ball and work your way up.
Use the Lag Shot Training Aid
While I’m confident the drills above will help you out, sometimes a training aid makes swing changes even easier. The Lag Shot 7-iron (and driver) are both awesome tools to help you create an in to out swing.
This training aid has a blue whippy shaft that makes it easy to feel an in to out swing on the range or at home. Plus, you can hit golf balls with it so it’s an easy transition to your golf clubs.
Do you have more questions about building an inside out golf swing? Check out our top questions and answers to learn how to create this effortless swing.
What causes an inside out golf swing?
There are a lot of factors that impact your ability to get to the inside on the downswing. Some of the biggest include:
- Neutral to strong grip
- Proper hip rotation (not swaying)
- Square to the target (proper alignment)
- Hinging your wrists for a more up than around backswing
And finally, unloading your hips and clearing your left side so you can swing out toward the target. Too many golfers stay back on their trail foot which makes it nearly impossible to swing out and make proper contact.
Is it better to swing inside out or outside in?
Inside out swing is much better for a variety of reasons.
First, it provides a better energy transfer as you’re hitting down and through the shot. Off the tee, it leads to more power and better weight shift as well.
Second, it helps minimize a slice and even learn how to hit a draw. Finally, it typically means more accuracy and distance with every shot in the bag.
While an out to in swing leads to pop up drivers, inconsistent irons, weak slices, and other issues that plague most golfers. The sooner you can develop an in to out swing, the better!
How do I fix my inside out swing?
If you’re one of the few players that has too much lag or too much inside to outside on the downswing, here are a few fixes:
- Weaken your lead hand grip slightly.
- Try to hit a cut shot instead of a draw.
- Take the club more inside on the way back to promote a neutral path.
Do pro golfers swing out to in?
The majority of professional golfers swing in to out, not out to inside. But there are some players like Craig Stadler and John Daly who have made an out to in swing work very well.
There are a lot of ways to swing the golf club but learning to build an in to out move can have an enormous impact on your game. When you learn to swing the club from the inside you will add distance, improve contact, and likely play more consistently.
Don’t get me wrong, a slight out to inside swing isn’t the end of the world and can make it work. But in general, most great ball strikers have an in to out swing as it helps with so many aspects of the game.
If you’re on the quest to change this part of your swing, just remember it can take time. Breaking old habits and replacing them with new ones isn’t an overnight fix but it’s worth it.
Use the drills during practice and at home to regroove your swing and hit it better than ever.
Do you struggle with an outside to inside swing? If so, what are you doing to fix the issue so you can become a better ball striker?
Let us know in the comments below.