Your preferred golf swing is one that will come over time, as you become more comfortable with your stance and your movement during the game. Some players prefer a flat backswing, while others prefer an upright swing. Neither one is right or wrong, but instead, a player prefers one over the other for comfort and precision. An upright golf swing isn’t for everyone, but it has its advantages for some players.
What is an Upright Golf Swing?
An upright golf swing refers to the way in which your arms and club are positioned on your backswing. With a flat swing, players swing the club back in a way that wraps around the back of their bodies. The club becomes almost parallel to the ground when it reaches its highest point behind the player’s back.
An upright swing, however, puts the club in a position on the backswing that’s more perpendicular to the ground. The player’s arms also point more toward the sky, rather than wrapping around the back.
A flat swing tends to be the more common choice, but that doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice for every player. But, those who use an upright swing usually do so only after they’ve become more seasoned in the game and have perfected their basic stance.
Upright Golf Swing Advantages
An upright golf swing is chosen more players with back pain or strain. This type of swing doesn’t require as much twisting as a flat swing, since your arms and club will go upwards, rather than wrapping around your back, which can save a lot of stress on your spine, shoulders, and neck. Tall players sometimes prefer an upright golf swing, too, which doesn’t require them to bend over as much when swinging.
An upright swing can also help golfers have a squarer clubface position when it meets the ball since the club travels a straighter path throughout the swing than it does with a flat swing. Those who struggle with hitting the ball at undesirable angles due to the club shifting positions during a swing might benefit from an upright swing.
Drawbacks of a Golf Upright Swing
An upright swing won’t work for every player, though. Upright swings are a bit less natural than flat swings, which feel like swinging a baseball bat. If you don’t complete an upright swing correctly, you can risk having severe pain or injury to your back because of its unnatural positioning.
Some players don’t get as much power out of an upright swing, either. A flat swing brings the club back further on the backswing, which gives a golfer more power as it comes back down to hit the ball. And, an upright golf swing tends to cause the ball to go higher in the air than a flat swing, which isn’t ideal for all shots. You also might notice more spin on the ball from an upright swing, which can be tricky for beginning players.
Switching to a Golf Upright Swing Plane
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to attempt an upright swing to see if it will improve your game. Before you do, we encourage you to read about the mechanics of an upright golf swing below and take the time to watch videos of professionals who have perfected this swing.
Taking the time to have the proper stance and setup before you tweak your swing can not only improve your swing, but can also prevent injuries to your back, hips, shoulders, neck, and other areas of the body involved in your golf swing.
Upright Golf Swing Mechanics: How to Do It Correctly
Changing your golf swing will take time and practice. You should also spend ample time getting familiar with a new swing before you decide if it’s right for you. An upright golf swing causes discomfort for some athletes, so pay attention to what your body tells you. If you find that it’s just too uncomfortable, or is causing you pain, then it’s best to go back to your usual swing. Here’s how to master the upright golf swing for maximum precision and power during the game, and to prevent injury:
A slight bend is vital to any golf stance. An upright swing often gets confused with an upright stance, but standing too straight and stiff won’t give your body the mobility and weight distribution it needs for a mighty swing.
Your knees should have a slight amount of flex in them, and your torso should be slightly bent at the hips. Your bottom should be stuck out somewhat after bending over at your hips, remembering to keep your spine straight rather than hunched.
Allow Shoulder Flexibility
Your shoulders are, perhaps, the most important part of this type of golf stroke. To succeed in swinging upright, you must have flexibility in the horizontal and vertical planes of your shoulders. Your back shoulder will move up on the backswing as your front shoulder will move down, which gives you the proper motion for the swing.
You can stretch your shoulders for increased mobility with a variety of exercises. Hold a broom in front of you, with your hands wider apart than your shoulders. Bring the broom up over your head and as far behind you as you can. Continue using this exercise regularly, gradually moving the broom farther behind you and downward to allow optimal rotation in your shoulders.
Keep Your Balance Centered
It can be challenging to get used to balancing your weight with an upright swing. A flat swing has a more natural motion that switches weight evenly from one side to the other, which can result in a powerful swing without throwing you off your center of balance. An upright swing, though, doesn’t curve around your body and, instead, goes over your head.
To keep yourself balanced, you should distribute some weight to the foot closest to your target on your downward swing. This motion will keep your feet planted steadily as you bring the club down, giving you more power through your swing.
Steady Your Back
One of the major benefits of this type of swing is that it has less impact on your spine, shoulders, and back when you perform it correctly. Therefore, you should learn to keep your back as steady as possible with an upright stroke, which can both enhance your swing and prevent injury.
While a flat swing requires a good amount of back and hip swivel to gain power through the stroke, an upright swing relies more on arm and shoulder placement and movement. Be sure to turn slightly through the hips as you lift your club, rather than twisting your back.
Conclusion: Perfecting the Upright Golf Swing
An upright swing for golf is preferable for some players regarding comfort and accuracy. If you’ve never used this swing, you can experiment with it using the proper stance for an upright stroke to prevent injury and increase power. An upright stroke can be a good choice for golfers with back injuries, as it creates a less twisty position when swinging. If you give yourself time with the stroke but decide it’s not right for you, you can try swinging on a flat or more neutral plane.