There truly is one, proper golf swing that you can use every time, regardless of the course, the clubs and the shot. Here is an overview of a proper golf backswing that fits every body type.
The backswing tends to be overlooked because it is boring. It is the slow swing back, though it makes or breaks the shot. It sets up everything downstream – and downswing – like the strike of the ball and your follow-through. If your backswing is out of alignment or off-plane, you probably won’t make the shot. But what is a proper backswing?
The backswing starts with proper positioning. Your hands, shoulders and arms should form a triangle that will begin to rotate away from the ball. Your shoulders and feet should be lined up, and you should be pointed straight toward the target.
Bend your knees as you keep your back straight, lining up the center of the clubface with the ball. Next is the golf swing takeaway, the true start of the backswing. This is the swing back until the club is parallel (roughly) with the ground. Consider this the start of the perfect circle that your swing will create, down, hitting the ball and then continuing the loop up until it is nearly complete.
The next step in the perfect backswing requires hinging your wrists, simultaneously bending the right elbow (if you’re right handed) as it moves the club toward the top. This happens naturally as you feel the weight of the golf club.
Slowly draw the club back to the top of your backswing. Your hips should rotate about forty-five degrees and your shoulders about ninety degrees as your club moves to the top of the swing. Let your shoulders fully rotate. Your left shoulder should nearly touch your chin.
During this time, your left arm (if you’re right handed) will be mostly straight. Your left hand should stay flat relative to the plane of the swing. Try to have it flat, though a little cupping is OK. A flatter wrist makes it easier to control the club and bring it to plane. The right elbow will end up pointed down at the ground. It should be at a ninety degree angle at this point. You’ll feel seventy to eighty percent of your weight on your dominant leg.
The hard part for many is the fact that all of these body parts have to move together to create a powerful force that propels the ball with as much power as possible.
Before you swing the golf club down, your body should be tilted slightly away from the ball, not towards it. The latter is called a reverse pivot and hurts your performance.
Once the golf club is parallel to the ground, start the true down swing. The golf club will follow the same path down as you lifted it up. Maintain the perfect circle by keeping your left arm straight. You need to know how to swing a golf club.
However, after you’ve started the initial pull of the club down, you have to keep the knuckles of the left hand down so that the back of your hand faces your target when the club impacts the ball.
Your knees and hips should follow the club so that your weight shift is kept intact. Keep your weight shift and arm speed in sync. If your arm goes faster than the rest of your weight, the ball will fly off in an oddball direction. (Pun intended.) Likewise, you should keep your eyes on the club, not the ball. The ball should make contact with the club in the center of the clubface.
You shouldn’t really feel the impact. If the contact with the ball hits the heel or toe of the clubface, then you’ll feel the stinging and that means you made a mistake. Your backswing is officially over. At this point, you’re into the follow-through.