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Swing Length

Swing Length refers to the overall length that the clubhead travels in a golf swing. The overall standard is that a player reaches a full swing once their clubshaft reaches the point to where it's parallel to the ground. This depends more on a player's build and flexibility level however. The length of the swing should be judged more by a player's shoulder turn. For instance, golfers with thicker chests, shorter arms and less flexibility might not be able to get their club to the point of parallel, but still may complete a full shoulder turn. Swing length is a factor in how far the ball will travel.

Swing Length Drills

Swing Length Tips

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  • Shorten Your Swing In Fairway Bunkers

    A 3/4 length swing is often best for most players out of a fairway bunker. This affords a good amount of control while allowing the player to stay long enough to accelerate. Swinging too long often allows swing faults to break through and it is more likely that you will have inconsistent contact.

  • Keep the Club Head Below Your Knees When Around the Green

    For all green side bump and runs focus on keeping your club head below your knees and close to the ground on the back swing and the finish. Keeping the swing compact will help you keep control and keep the trajectory down. The idea is to have minimum air and maximum roll for control on these shots. A low swing with little angle in your wrists will help provide low, rolling shots.

  • Swing From 10 to 2

    For the typical greenside bunker shot use the face of a clock for the length of your swing. Swing from 10:00 on your backswing to 2:00 on your follow through. This will help ensure that you are making a big enough backswing to get some acceleration and that you accelerate all the way through to the finish. Obviously for very short or very long shots you may have to adjust the length a bit.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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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