Before you swing your club forward to hit the ball, first you need to swing it back – and that initial movement to prepare your club to swing can significantly affect your overall swing when golfing. Despite its name, the backswing should be at the forefront of your mind when attempting a golf shot.
The backswing is a critical piece of the overall swing and needs to be carefully considered to get the kind of shot you want. There are different styles of backswings to meet different objectives for your golf shot, and you should work to find a backswing that suits your body and your style as a golfer.
Proper Golf Backswing
As described on Golf Week, your swing’s full arc should take the shape of a perfect circle. Therefore, you should keep your secondary arm (left if you’re right-handed) straight throughout the swing. At the peak of your swing, for the most commonly accepted form of a backswing, your club should be parallel to the ground and above your head.
Many golfers, such as PGA professional Eric Hogge in his instructional video here, advise their students to lengthen their backswings so they reach that ideal height. In the case that you have difficulty getting that high, try to relax and let out some of the tension in your body. You should also adjust your stance to maximize your body’s potential flexibility. These tips should ensure your backswing goes high enough.
Short Backswing Golf
Short backswings are also becoming increasingly popular, as they present their own advantages. The primary strength of a short backswing, the Washington Post writes, is simplicity, which is useful for new golfers still adjusting to the complexities of the sport. Since the power of a swing is largely determined by the wrist rather than the arm, it can still pack as much force as a longer swing.
As explained on Rebellion Golf, the way to empowering your shortened backswing is finding the optimal sync between your arms’ swing and your shoulders’ rotation. The cornerstone of your swing and backswing remains to have a smooth arc, so feel free to experiment with your backswing to find the right level of rotation. Above all, focus on applying power through your wrists rather than your swing alone.
Golf Backswing Drills
Whether you prefer a long or short style of the backswing, you should work to make your swings consistent, and the best way to do so is through drills and other practice. In one of the PGA’s tips, the first step for your backswing should be to rotate your torso fully and see which method proves most successful for you. Once you know the style you wish to pursue, you can proceed with practicing your backswing.
Practicing your swing is a good step toward perfecting it, but drills should also take a psychological angle. For instance, Golf Info Guide encourages exercising to simulate short swings so you can recognize how it differs from a longer one. Similarly, the drills on PGZ are designed to help you understand the setup of your backswing. By mentally processing your form, you will improve your backswing.
More Golf Backswing Tips
Want to know more about your backswing? Here are a few more tips from golf professionals. Golf Tips for one has several important tips regarding your backswing and overall swing. First, you should always remember that the majority of your swing’s power comes from your own body rather than simply the arms. Also, you should avoid stiffening your back leg during the backswing, as doing so could make you lose your balance and posture for the swing. In addition, make sure that you time your wrists’ movement properly to sync with the backswing.
You need to recognize that the individual parts of your body must move in harmony for your backswing to be effective. Golfweek also emphasizes “brushing the turf” in that you should start your club close to the ground and move it upward with a smooth motion, as this will increase the potential power of your shot.
Only the Beginning
Of course, no matter how much you improve your backswing, your swing and golfing will not reach their full potential unless you account for all of the other pieces in the swing and game – nor will they be able to work without a good backswing. Strengthening your backswing and finding the best form for your personal style is just one step in developing your skills as a golfer.
Your Long Game works to provide comprehensive advice on the equipment, techniques, and other aspects of golfing so you can get the most out of each game and practice. Click here to find more advice on your swing.