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The Backswing is the start of the golf swing and is the portion of the swing that moves the club away from the ball and target and upwards off of the ground. The Backswing is designed only to get the player in position for and help create momentum for the downswing. The Backswing consists of a combination of arm swing, wrist hinge and shoulder turn.

Backswing Drills

Backswing Tips

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  • The Driver Head is Difficult to Feel

    Because a driver is long and light it is difficult for you to feel where the clubhead is at the top of your swing. This is a common complaint among students on the lesson tee. They just can't seem to get comfortable, because they can't tell if they are in that perfect slot or not. To help combat this use a mirror or video while you are practicing. Having that visual aid to check your position will give you the confidence you need to trust your swing.

  • Use More Wrists and Less Arms on the Hinge & Hold

    For a Hinge and Hold shot barely allow your arms to swing on the backswing. The backswing should be made mostly by hinging your wrists. Simply set your wrists, make as little arm swing as you need for the distance at hand and pivot forward dropping the club on the ball. The angle that you set in your wrists helps to pop the ball up unlike the bump and run shot which is a low running shot.

  • Backswing and Forward Swing are Mirror Images

    The back swing and forward swing (after impact) should be mirror images of each other. Halfway back in the backswing and halfway through in the follow through, the butt end of your club should be pointed back at the target line. If it is pointed outside of the target line your swing is too flat. If it is pointed inside the target line your swing is too steep.

  • Maintain Posture When Checking Swing

    To check the position of the top of your practice swing use a mirror. If you don't have a mirror available simply rotate your head to peek, but be careful not to stand up and change your posture. When you raise up and change your posture the position of your arms, plane and clubface will change so you will not get an accurate picture of what's really happening in your swing.

  • Change Your Backswing to Change Your Distance

    To control distance you can either change the length of your back swing or change the amount of power or "oomf" you put into the putt. I believe varying your back swing length is the easier and a better way to go. Experiment with different back swing lengths and see how far back you need to swing the putter for varying distances.

  • Your Left Elbow Should Point at the Target Line at Half Way

    To help check your swing plane, when you are half way back in your swing, your left elbow (for right handers) should point back at the target line. If your elbow points too much in front of you (outside the target line) your club will lay back on a flat plane. If your elbow points inside the target line the shaft will tip over the swing plane.

  • Play the Ball Left For Loft

    To hit the ball higher, play the ball forward of the center of your stance so you will catch it on the upswing and add loft. After your club hits the bottom point of your arc and starts coming up, the face angle changes and will have more loft. This helps propel the ball up into the air. Note that you still have to hit down on the ball, because if you make contact high on the ball, that in turn will knock the ball down.

  • Vary Backswing Length to Control Distance

    To vary distance on pitch shots, vary the length of your backswing. A short backswing with a sand wedge that reaches only to where the shaft is parallel to the ground is going to fly the ball about 20-40 yards for most players. A medium backswing where the left arm would reach parallel to the ground is 40-60 yards and a 3/4 backswing can be anywhere from 60-100 depending on the player and the wedge that they are using.

  • Monitor Backwing Length to Control Distance

    When chipping, let the length of your back stroke help control your distance. You can always switch clubs and go down in loft to get more roll out of the shot, but within that you still need to be able to control the length of the pendulum motion. A larger pendulum is going to send the ball further just as it does when you are putting.

  • A Big Arc Equals Power

    When driving, make the biggest arc you possibly can. The bigger your arc, the faster your club head speed and then of course, the greater your distance. This means you need to keep your lead arm fully extended throughout the backswing just as it was at address. Folding the arms or letting them collapse into the body creates a narrow arc and less power.

  • Don't Stop Your Follow Through

    When working on putting length, let your follow through be a bit longer than your back swing. This will keep you from decelerating or quitting on the putts resulting in putts that are left short of the hole. It will also prevent you from the opposite. Stopping too short on the follow through can be a result of getting too choppy or handsy (not letting your shoulders and big muscles control the stroke). This can cause the club head to over accelerate sending the ball too far.

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