Golf Backswing

Golf Swing Takeaway

The most important thing to think about now is just what Roy said during “Tin Cup”. You must take the club away from the ball with your body….primarily your shoulders. As you turn your shoulders away, your arms and then your hands follow right along. If you don’t, there will be no consistency in your golf swing and it will be hard to pinpoint one or two things to work on. So do yourself a favor, and don’t bend your wrists until you have brought the club back to where it and your arms are parallel to the ground.

At this point during the swing, your left arm should be straight (it should remain straight throughout the swing), your right elbow should start to bend so that it remains close to your body (and the right elbow has to be tight to your body your entire swing…it doesn’t have to be touching per say, but it needs to be close to maintain that “inside-out” swing), your wrists should be straight, and one very important key that many don’t understand is that your club face should be perpendicular to the ground at this point.

Many golfers will keep the clubface closed to prevent the ball from going right, but you’re only making it worse by doing this. Throughout your golf swing, your clubface has to come open on the backswing and then rotate to the closed position as you move the club through the hitting zone and into the follow-through. By rotating your wrists through the hitting zone, you are supplying that “inside-out” feel and also providing the “hook” spin on the ball that I know you are so desperate to do.

Best Online Golf Instruction Resource Available

So, by opening the clubface on the takeaway, we are priming our swing to be in position for the downswing. Only after your left arm and club shaft are parallel to the ground during your takeaway can you think about bending your wrists. At this point you want to slowly “cock” your wrists all the while keeping your left arm straight and keeping that right elbow close to your body. You don’t want to keep your elbow too close so that it’s uncomfortable, but you don’t want that elbow flailing out there. This is the single best tool made in golf today to properly teach you what the backswing is supposed to feel like.
  • Learn proper tempo for your takeaway.
  • Feel the correct club position throughout your backswing.
  • Maintain the appropriate swing plane.
  • Generate maximum club head speed.
  • Make consistent contact with the golf ball.
  • Cure your slice and/or hook.

Click here to start hitting the best golf shots of your life.

You want your elbow close to your body during your swing, because that helps us achieve our goal: the “inside-out” swing.

Golf Digest February 2005As you reach the peek of your backswing, ideally you want your club shaft parallel to the ground or a little less than parallel as you hold it above your head. Don’t pay attention to John Daly at this point, because he has balance better than anybody I’ve seen. Only he can bring his club back so far and still get it back to the starting point on a consistent basis. We’re trying to work on consistency so we’re going to stop the back swing when we reach parallel. Your left wrist should be cocked at about a 90 degree angle and remember, your right wrist is just along for the ride. With your left arm straight and your right elbow close to your body, we’re ready for the downswing.

But wait, we didn’t talk about the weight shift during the backswing. This is vitally important because we’re building up our power and coil during our weight shift. As your body pulls the club away from the ball at the start of your takeaway you want to feel the weight shift from your left leg to your right. This loads your power. Too many golfers think that the golf swing is primarily an upper body motion. This thought is what makes them search the right rough consistently for their ball during the course of play. As your weight shifts to the right leg, your left leg will bend slightly because it is being pulled by your hips turning away from the ball. Your left leg just follows along and your left knee will bend some as you will find your left knee now even with or even a bit behind the ball. Your left heel will raise slightly off the ground as you reach the top of your backswing. Don’t consciously lift it, but just make it be natural. Just let your weight shift pull your left knee toward your right and your left heel slightly off the ground.

You have to understand that by shifting your weight, almost 95% of it, to your right leg on the backswing and rotating your torso away from the ball so that it is pointed in the opposite direction of your target, you’re building up the power for your swing. Unless you can do that, you’ll continue hitting them short and to the right. You can’t complete the swing correctly unless you’ve set the swing up correctly.

Just as you reach the transition point between backswing and downswing, the middle of your back should be pointing at your target. This will ensure that you’ve put yourself in position to create the coil and torque on your downswing in order to generate maximum club head speed.

It’s this transition in the golf swing that is so commonly misunderstood, and where most all amateurs lose their club head speed before they’ve even hit the ball. Explanation can only go so far before the analysis piles up and turns into confusion. In order to fully understand the transition from backswing to downswing, you have to feel what it feels like. This is the only tool that will allow you to feel this transition and maximize your club head speed, and keep your swing on plane as you approach the most critical part of the golf swing.


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