The Inside Out Golf Swing & Deciding If It’s Right For You
Written by Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8

Updated on December 13, 2023

When I was 17, I tore my ACL, which kept me out of golf for nine months. When I returned, I found it challenging to rotate my hips, which led to me swinging outside-in and slicing most of my shots. After a lesson or five with my golf instructor, I regained my regular inside out golf swing and improved my distance and accuracy.

In this post, I will explain how to go about employing it in your game. Conversely, I will advise which golfers should avoid using this swing path. 

But before I guide you through the steps of how to pull off an inside out golf swing, let me explain what it actually is.


What is an Inside Out Golf Swing?

In layman’s terms, it means that your clubhead goes inside on your takeaway and outside on your downswing. Trackman explains that it helps produce a closed clubface at impact to induce a controlled draw. 

According to Top 100 instructor Jimmie Ballard, the inside out golf swing is ideal for combatting slice shots. Taking the clubhead inside on your backswing prevents you from coming over the top and forcing an inside downswing. When you induce an out swing path, it causes you to slice your shot.  


How to Swing Inside-Out

Step 1 – Alignment

The first step is to prepare yourself for the shot and ensure you are aiming correctly. Your feet should be pointing towards your target, and your clubhead a 3 to 5-yards outside your landing area. In other words, if you are a right-hander aim to the right of your target.

Step 2 – Turn Your Trail Foot

Golf Digest suggests that angling your trail foot in the opposite direction of your target enables optimal upper body rotation. Plus, it promotes the shift of your front knee inwards on your backswing. To achieve supreme power and clubhead speed, you need to maximize your shoulder and hip rotation.

Step 3 – Shoulder Rotation

Tests conducted by GolfTEC found that tour professionals rotate their shoulders up to 60-degrees before they tilt their front shoulder and bring the clubhead parallel to the ground. That means they rotate 30-degrees more than the average casual golfer.

As a result, the superior players among us, build up immense energy on their backswing to prompt rapid clubhead speed on the downswing.

Low handicappers and professionals often tilt their left shoulder towards the ground, enabling them to shallow out their swing. Therefore they bring the shaft parallel to the turf, which helps them position the clubface for impact.

Shoulder rotation is only part of the package. To enhance power and speed, you also need to work on your hip rotation and leg drive.

Step 4 – Hip Rotation

GolfTEC further found that amateur golfers turn 10 to 15-degrees less than professionals, leaving several yards on the table. When we combine hip and shoulder rotation it equips us with tremendous energy to release on our downswing.

On your backswing your hip rotation will place weight on your trail leg. However, on your downswing it helps you transition that weight to your front leg for an optimal power drive.

Step 5 – The Takeaway

Once you are aligned in the proper position your next task is to start your backswing. If you take away your club on the incorrect line, it ruins your shot from the start. 

This setup sees your clubhead glide inside at the top of your backswing. Let the rotation of your shoulders take the club back and send it on an inside line.

Step 6 – Shallow Your Swing

Ballard recommends that you shallow the shaft at the top of your backswing to get the clubface into the desired position at impact. This promotes the ideal path for your clubhead to close slightly and generate a draw.

If you do not flatten your shaft, you risk leaving your clubface open, which will cause you to gain excessive side spin and fade your shot.

Step 7 – Downswing and Impact

To complete your inside-out golf swing, you need to follow an outside path through impact to start your ball right of the target. If your clubface is not marginally closed, you could hit your ball directly right. However, if you close it excessively, you will hook your shot.


Benefits of Using an Inside Out Swing


Golf Coach Clay Ballard explains that successfully pulling off an inside- out swing results in a straight shot, with a couple yards of draw. As a result, you enjoy more control from your woods and irons, ensuring superior distance control and accuracy.


When you produce an inside swing path, it helps you improve your accuracy by connecting your golf ball with a square face. As a result, you hit straighter shots to keep your ball on its target line.

Carry Distance

Clay Ballard demonstrates that he achieved 90-yards of extra carry with an inside-out swing path compared to outside-in. 

The opposite occurs when you take your clubhead outside on your backswing and bring it through inside. Your clubface cuts across the ball and generates a sidespin that encourages a fade or a slice. That means that your ball flies several yards from left to right instead of straight, reducing your carry distance.

Total Distance

When your ball flies predominantly straight, it promotes forward roll upon landing. The distance of your roll depends on the conditions and the type of turf used on the fairways. If you slice your ball, it is likely to kick right when it lands, resulting in a loss of distance.

Reduces Slices

Jimmie states that an inside out golf swing is ideal for amateur golfers who consistently slice their wood and iron strikes. This golf swing path helps you square your face at impact to produce straighter ball flight for superior accuracy and distance.


Cons of Using an Inside Out Swing


Since an inside-out golf swing promotes a draw, it can lead you into trouble if your rhythm is off. If your clubface angle is too closed at impact, you can generate excess right to left sidespin, which can cause a hook.


The other challenge that amateurs have with the inside out full swing is their aim. As Trackman mentions, the swing promotes a draw, which means you need to aim right of the target line and draw the ball back in. 

If you do not close your face slightly at impact, your ball will travel directly where you were aiming. Resulting in an inaccurate shot.

Open Face

Swinging inside out can leave you susceptible to connecting the ball with an open clubface. That means that you will fade or slice your shot. Considering that you are aiming right of your target, it can send you catastrophically off line. 

That is why you need to work on shallowing your swing and squaring your face at impact. Otherwise, the advantages of the inside out approach are not worth it.


Pro Players Who Use an Inside Out Golf Swing

It is common to see Tour Pros employing an inside out golf swing, to maximize clubhead speed and induce a draw. However, it depends on the shape they are looking to achieve on a shot.

The more pertinent question is which pros swing out to in. Golf WRX suggests that Craig Parry and Craig Stadler had great success with this setup.


Deciding if The Inside Out Swing Is Right For You

Are You Slicing Your Shots?

The biggest reason amateurs should consider the inside out golf swing is the obstacle of slices. You may be swinging from out to in, causing you to cut across the ball at impact and impart left to right sidespin on it. 

Those who face this struggle can overcome it by employing inside out golf swings that promote a draw bias launch. If you find yourself in this conundrum I recommend giving this swing path a go on the driving range.

Is Your Clubhead Speed Slow?

If you struggle to generate sufficient clubhead speed on your downswing, it reduces your ability to generate explosive ball speed. Therefore you lose distance. 

Swinging inside out with optimal rotation can generate sufficient energy to accelerate the clubhead on your downswing. The faster your clubhead speed is, the higher the chance of transferring that speed and power to the ball at impact.

Therefore, if clubhead speed is an issue in your game, you may want to test this swing path.

Do You Lack Power?

The challenge many amateur golfers face is the loss of energy at impact. That reduces your coefficient of restitution (COR) which means you impart less speed on the ball. As a result, you deliver a weak launch and a significant loss of carry and total distance.

Achieving superior ball speed and distance requires your hips, shoulders, and club to work in unison. If your left or right arm takes over from the rest of your body, you lose power and the ability to transfer energy to the ball at impact.

By swinging inside out, you encourage optimal torso and hip rotation. That means that you maximize power and energy when the clubface connects with the ball, producing superb speed and superior distance.

Increasing your power and speed allows you to unlock consistent distance. So long as you do not strike the ball in the heel or toe. 

Ultimately, the inside out golf swing can assist you in generating extra power to maximize COR and ball speed.

Do You Hook The Ball?

Although there are several excellent reasons why you should consider an inside out golf swing, it has its drawbacks. Since you need to close the clubface at impact, it leaves you vulnerable to hooking the ball.

With that said, if you struggle with the hook shot, then I would suggest staying away from an inside out golf swing for the time being. You may find a single plane more suitable for your game.


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Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years. Current Handicap: 8