Building an Ideal Golf Swing – Backswing

The purpose of the backswing is to get the club into position to be swung into the ball. A consistent backswing finds the body in the same conformation every time, and at the same place every time. Here’s how to achieve those two things.

Many authorities tell you to take the club away by pushing it back with your left side. Whenever I hear that, I think of the old saw, “You can’t push a rope.” Neither can you push your golf swing. The way to get something into the proper spot is to pull it there, not push it there. (You know why they’re called “tow trucks,” and not, “push trucks”?)

Take the club away, then, with you right side, specifically your right hand. Being right-handed, you will be using the hand you normally use to get things done, in this case to put the club where you want it. What could make more sense than that?

When you pull the club straight back with your right hand, eventually everything else will follow. It will be much easier to get to the same place every time. What place is that? I call it, control.

Take the club back to the spot where you still feel you can come back into the ball without your swing having to search for it. For me, that means taking the hands to about shoulder height. That’s a shorter backswing than most, but it has far more accuracy and really does not lose any punch.

The angle in your left wrist at the top of the backswing needs to be the same as it was at address. Taking the club back with you right hand also makes it easy to preserve the angle in your left wrist, which is a key to keeping the clubface aligned.

If you increase the angle, by “cupping” the wrist, which is most common, you have opened the clubface, and you must close it somehow on the way down, and by the exact amount you opened it. That’s a lot to ask. How about just leaving that clubface angle where it is by not changing the angle in the left wrist? Taking the club back with the right hand does this.

One move, two extraordinary results. You still have to practice it, but this is the easiest way, the surest way to get into good position by the end of your backswing.


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