Subscribe to ‘Notes From The Range’

NOTE: The Image above (Bubba Watson) is a left hand example of float loading. This post is talking to the right handed player. If you are a lefty, please swap it around.

“The student must approach instruction as a step-by-step process. The only real shortcuts are more and more know-how” – Homer Kelley ‘The Golfing Machine

Float Loading is a term used to describe a way of slowly cocking the left wrist on the backswing and not fully cocking it until the start of the downswing.

Many Pros – to some degree – have a little float loading in their moves. That’s why you see that extra LAG achieved during the transition into the start of their downswing.

Understanding the right arm’s role in the swing is the key here, namely the folding and straightening of the right elbow. I could talk extensively about this subject, but someone else has usually said it first (and better) so I’ll let one of the best in the business take the lead here – Brian Manzella. You can visit him at He’s also a student of Homer Kelley’s “The Golfing Machine” Book and his teacher was Ben Doyle, who was Mr Kelley’s first original authorized instructor.

Here’s the Low Down:

Most golfers straighten their right arm too early in the downswing.

This is what actually produces much of the dreaded clubhead throwaway (dumping the clubhead) before impact. Meaning, the club head reaching the ball before the hands reach their impact location.

The Impact position of the hands should be directly under the left shoulder.

At impact (in a good golf swing) the right arm is still slightly bent, and doesn’t reach a fully straight/extended position until post impact.

So the whole idea behind Float Loading is basically a drill to keep the right arm bent for longer during the downswing and through impact. Once the Right Arm becomes straight before impact, the Left Wrist will have also un-cocked and as mentioned a great deal of LAG will be lost before the club reaches impact. This produces thin shots, fat shots, miss hits and high shots because the shaft isn’t leaning forward.

Below is lesson summary I recently did for one of my students. We got him practicing the Float Loading drill and by the end of the session his LAG and all round technique had considerably improved.

The best way to use float loading

You can use float loading in your swing if you don’t sway to the right with your body. If there’s any lateral movement with your head or hips going back, I’ve found that many golfers still extend their right arm too soon before impact because they haven’t got back onto their left side at impact.

Use the dragging feeling in your hands going back that you generated whilst float loading, and throw the clubhead up during the takeaway. This will set the wrists early.

The objective in the swing is to ASSEMBLE, LOAD and DELIVER the power/lag back down to the ball.

What I’ve found is many people sway their body and also move their club and hands back too straight during takeaway when float loading. We want the hands and club moving BACK, UP and INWARDS. Not BACK, UP and STRAIGHT.

Straight meaning – along the target line with the club – and along the toe line with the hands.

So my advice would be to use float loading as a drill, to feel the correct role of the right arm coming down (which should be bent at impact). Then gradually incorporate an earlier wrist cock into the backswing – as seen with David in the lesson summary above.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts and comments on float loading below.