How Important is your Backswing

By Don Powers, PGA

When you watch golfers hit the golf ball you will see many different backswings. Some are short, some are long and some are in between. Which one is correct? Depending on your body type and physical abilities one of them is correct for you.
The majority of inexperienced players I see have backswings that are too long. Why do so many golfers have swings that are longer than they need?

I think it all boils down to perception. Many golfers feel that if they swing the club farther back they will hit the ball farther. But if this were true, why do many pros hit the ball as far as John Daly and have much more compact backswings?
When you watch the PGA Tour professionals on TV you see different lengths of backswings but they all have basic similarities. Let’s examine these common traits.
Good ball strikers usually hinge their wrists to their maximum. This means the left arm and the golf club at the top of the swing is 90 degrees or less. Some professionals call this setting the angle.

The average player tends to keep their wrists too stiff-many times it is because they are trying to hit the ball too hard. Hitting the ball too hard tends to make you tense up-which often causes you to lock the wrists, which forces the left elbow to break on the backswing and results in a the club going back too far. You must allow the wrists to stay loose throughout the swing and keep you left arm straight. The more you cock wrist-the more power you can create without taking the club too far back.
Don Powers in the Sure Swing Golf Machine at address and half-way back on the backswing.

Good ball strikers maximize their shoulder rotation and the rotation determines how far the left arm extends back. Proper backswings are directly related to the amount of shoulder rotation a player is capable of making. John Daily can turn his shoulders past 90 degrees and because of this he has a very long backswing.

Your goal should be to turn your shoulders 90 degrees (hips approximately 45 degrees or less), keep your left arm straight, and allow your wrists to hinge as much as possible. You should turn your shoulders until you feel a good stretch and a little tension. The tension tells you that you have coiled your body and are in a powerful position to make your forward swing.
Position at the top of the backswing in the Sure Swing Golf Machine. The Machine will not only train you to do these important swing techniques correctly, but will teach you how it feels to do them properly as well.
Think of your backswing as if you were winding up a spring. Wind it up as tight as you can. When you let the spring go it wants to release back the other direction with speed and power.

Remember the key points to better swings and longer and straighter shots are:
1. Turning your shoulders to 90 degrees on the backswing
2. Keep your hip turn to 45 degrees or less.
3. Left arm straight and extended-weight slightly more on back foot.
4. Allow your wrists to be flexible and relaxed.

For more information on the Sure Swing Golf Machine or the Sure Swing Golf Academy in Colorado Springs, CO or Scottsdale, AZ please contact us at or (602) 314-5950.

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