A laid off golf swing describes a position at the top of the swing where the club points to the left of the intended target line for the right-handed golfer. It should be noted that this assumes the swing is a full swing i.e. club shaft horizontal to the ground.
Having the club laid off at the top of the backswing often results from a fault lower down in the back swing or takeaway motion.
A golfer, who has a tendency to take the club outside the correct line in the backswing or moves the hands away from the body in the early stages of the backswing, would normally lay the golf club off too much in the second half of the backswing motion. This results in the club pointing left of the intended target line at the top. The resulting downswing can then be too flat and from the inside, causing blocks, hooks and possibly even shanks.
In order to correct the laid off at the top of the backswing position, the most useful training aid for a golfer is to use a full length mirror, placed directly behind them on the ball to target line. From a good stable address position, rotate your shoulders and avoid using any excessive wrist or forearm action. Take the club back to hip level so that the shaft of the golf club points directly down your target line. Now look into the mirror and notice how the club head should sit directly on top of your hands.
You should not be able to see any of the shaft when viewed in the mirror at this height. This would show an on plane backswing. If the club head is too far in front of the hands, this would be classed as outside of the line and is a key reason why the club could then appear to be laid off at the top of the swing.
Start your swing on the right track to keep it on the right track.