Golf Backswing: Everything You Should Know

The backswing is mainly the slowest part of your golf swing and it is crucial to making an excellent shot. This is because the backswing sets up everything that follows in your downswing, the ball strike, and the follow-through.

If you are off the plane or out of alignment during the backswing, you will not make a shot and will definitely struggle throughout your round of golf.

How to Create the Best Backswing

When it comes to backswings, there is no one-size-fits-all for golfers. Creating the best backswing that will boost your scores requires lots of experimentation. When you practice extensively, you will find the backswing that works for your body type and play style. The truth is that no two backswings are ever the same, but there are features that identify both effective backswings and flawed backswings.

Most golf professionals get their club on a level that is parallel to their body weight. A seamless one-piece takeaway will only come when the golf club travels slightly towards the right. Another important thing is that golfers hinge their wrists naturally as the golf club rises above their head and the player actively levels the weight of the golf club.

The Takeaway Will Determine the Success of the Entire Golf Swing

A good takeaway is one of the important elements of any golf swing. Your takeaway will determine whether you execute a proper or poor shot. When the upper body acts in unison, the club will operate independently and will strike out as it becomes parallel with the intended target.

A flawed golf swing takeaway usually emanates from the club traveling extremely far outside or inside. As a result, the golfer is forced to make last-minute adjustments as the golf club reaches the top part of the backswing. Golfers will notice a minor turn in the wrists towards the body’s right side when their clubhead opens up. This leads the sensation of the bodyweight to transfer to the trail leg and allows the hips to open up as required.

Golfers need to maintain straightness in the right arm for as long as necessary to prevent premature folding. This way, the club will remain ahead of the body leading to a perfect golf shot.

How Players Can Develop Smooth Transitions for Their Backswing


The success of the complete golf swing rests on the transition from the backswing to the downswing. You need to execute this transition correctly to maintain a constant rhythm throughout the directional change the swing must adapt. Most golfers experience trouble during this transition process mainly because their body weight falls outside and away from their trail foot. This often results in the trail arm faltering in a similar fashion.

Displacing the weight outside the trail foot tends to force our transition, this makes it extremely difficult for the lower body to adapt to the downswing position with ease. With the trail arm extended behind the back, it is almost impossible to produce an effective golf shot. To create the ideal transition between the backswing and downswing, you need proper rhythm, timing, and balance to produce a complete and error-free golf swing.

Many golfers usually encounter a level of hesitation when at the top of their downswing. This hesitation may be shorter for some players and longer for others. The time spent in the hesitation level has very little effect on the golf swing’s end result. At this hesitation moment, the body muscles and weight work with the momentum of the swing to produce the desired backswing. If they work in different directions then it will result in a disastrous shot.

After the hesitation period is completed in the backswing, the body begins a smooth transition into the downswing with appropriate hip rotation. The hip rotation is usually the initial movement as the player transitions from the backswings towards the downswing. Furthermore, it is the hip rotation that powers your golf swing to create further distance. It achieves this by allowing the body to work just as a single unit instead of relying on different single parts like arms to generate the required force into the ball.

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Common Backswing Mistakes


Below is a list that highlights some of the common backswing mistakes that amateur golfers make. When you know where your golf backswing may go wrong, you will know what to do to keep it on the right track.

  1. Too Narrow

This is a major mistake in most amateur games. To get your backswing right, you should keep the club wide when it’s making its way up towards the top. This simply means that the club should be out away from the body to allow for a longer swing arc. If you allow the club to get quite narrow as it goes up, you will end up with a slice. One of the best things you can do for your game is to get away from the narrow swing arc and trace a wider path in your backswing.

  1. Too Fast

Making a fast backswing is one of the biggest mistakes that many amateur golfers do. With a fast backswing, it will be quite hard to get the body in the right position and in time for impact. The likelihood is that the club will beat your body to the top of your backswing because it is moving extremely quickly. A quick backswing will lead to an arms-only motion, which lacks consistency and power.

  1. Too flat or Too steep

If you swing too steep or too flat, then you will struggle to strike your ball cleanly. And, without hitting clean shots, it will be difficult to add some variety to the game. For many players, the right path away from the golf ball is too nearly mimic the angle of the shaft at address. If you tilt your club vertically or flatten it out, you will need some adjustments, later on, to get back to the right position.

  1. Too Short

If you cut the backswing off prematurely and then start down towards the golf ball before you are ready, then you will deal with lots of issues. Many players experience this problem while on the golf course and not the driving range, because the latter is a more relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere. Most players rush their swings, especially when they get nervous or anxious about the final results of their shot. You should find a way to calm your nerves so that you can perform a full backswing even if you are under pressure.

There are many different ways that backswings may go wrong. However, when you exert some effort on the range and focus, you can eliminate these mistakes from your game.

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Tips To Achieve the Best Backswing


  1. Create Space

The best golf backswing is all about creating enough room. You need adequate space for you to fall into the transition and downswing to smoothly get back to the position where real ball hitting begins. When you have less space to accommodate your arms, the more you will fight the club down using your arms and hands. As a result, the proper sequence of how your club and body movement will be broken.

  1. Get Into The right Hip and Heel

You need to load and store some pressure and weight around your right heel and hip. To shift weight through your strike and will end up in a complete accelerating finish, you need pressure on the right side of the body. To successfully move the weight through the golf ball, you must be behind the ball. You should strive to turn around your right leg and hip and avoid swaying your upper body over.

When done well, your body will ultimately balance itself and will give you a better way of starting down or falling down into the downswing. This is because you will be replanting your left heel to get your legs working instead of using the arms and hands to initiate the transition between the backswing and the downswing.

  1. Point Your Club Towards The Target

Point your club where you think the target is instead of trying to point it precisely. Over the years great golfers have crossed the line using different tactics and short or long backswings to hit some great shots. All these strategies allow renowned golfers the best possible route to get back on the best path to impact and get their clubface square during the strike. All this can only achieved by first knowing the impact.

  1. Understand the Proper Entry to Impact

You should learn the right entry to impact. When you learn this, then the other part of your golf swing will form and take shape. This is because a great backswing usually starts with a goof takeaway since the backswing is a continuation of the same movement that you initiated your takeaway with.  Always remember that golf swing is continuous and there are just pass-through points rather than stop and start positions and it begins with the takeaway.

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The Length of Your Golf Backswing Matters

Backswing length can be a good or a bad thing depending on the player. There are pro golfers who have really long backswings and this means that their golf clubs can travel past parallel at the top and these players are still successful. Some experts also have a short backswing, meaning that the golf club stops before getting to the parallel position at the top, and some pros also stop at parallel. All of these players are still successful at hitting impressive golf shots.

Basically, there is no universal standard regarding how long or short a backswing should be. Some players can easily handle longer backswings, while others cannot. Generally, most amateur golfers tend to over-swing in their backswings, particularly when using the driver. This simply means that the backswings get longer than what the player can handle. Therefore, shortening the backswing is necessary to improve the overall game.

Reasons Why You Should Shorten Your Golf Backswing


  • Control

If you have challenges controlling your golf shot, you should choose to shorten the backswing. Sometimes, golfers may purpose to hit a specific golf shot like a draw but fail executing it. This can be because the backswing is too long and your clubhead lags far behind. The length of your backswing can affect how the clubface will come into contact with your ball.

If the backswing is too long, there is extra time for the clubface and the path to shift from the ideal. As a result, players may end up with a less desirable shot than what they had imagined. This is because a long backswing tends to shake off your timing.

  • Timing

When you shorten your backswing in golf, your timing will improve. With a shorter backswing, your muscles tend to work better in sync. In most cases, when the backswing is extremely long, some of the golfer’s muscles mainly on the lower body will move to the downswing before the upper body muscles complete the backswing. Since these muscles are working against each other, it can cause different golf shot issues, such as inconsistency.

  • Consistency

You need to shorten your backswing if you have trouble with consistency. When the backswing is long, the lower and upper body will work against each other, and you will end up hitting lots of fat and thin shots. This is mainly because the lower body weight tends to be far behind or ahead of the upper body weight. This will result in poor impact at the extremity of your golf swing.

  • Accuracy

Another reason why you should shorten your backswing is that it will boost the overall accuracy of your golf shot. This is mainly because the interval of the backswing usually has a big impact on the distance of the golf shot. When you hit the ball longer, there is a higher chance that you will hit it offline. Therefore, to enhance your accuracy, you should consider shortening the backswing, especially when you miss lots of greens and fairways.

For most amateur and leisure golfers, hitting the ball far is lots of fun. However, to improve your scores you need to give up some distance so that your golf shots are more accurate.

  • Balance

A shorter backswing will also translate to a better balance. In golf, balance can only happen when everything else goes right. Therefore, for you to improve balance, then it means that your swing is under control. Most golfers need to be balanced for them to hit impressive shots consistently. Very few players have the ability to hit excellent shots with consistency when they are in an off-balanced position.

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In a Wrap

If you wish to supercharge your golf swing, you need to refine your mechanics. The objective of your backswings is to put you in a perfect point at the top of the swing position. When you achieve this position, you will have a powerful follow-through that will generate more distance. If you notice that your backswing does not get you to that ideal top spot, then you should do something about it.


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